Friday, December 11, 2009

Day Nine: Refreshing Refresher

Official Records Information:
45 minutes

Brr! It is pretty cold up here. I bundled up and went to the farm with my friend who I coach with Conner. She was playing with Conner in the North pasture while I was playing with Blu over there. She is really making progress with him. He has done small circles with her at liberty in the wide open and he ran to greet her the other day!

Anyway, I decided to use a stringless carrotstick today, and that is all I had as I got Blu to the North pasture. He was standing with his butt to me and I got him to yield it, then I walked him to the gate. He wandered off while I was shutting the gate, so I knew I was in for a good "catching game." I loosened his feet by walking casually from hind end to hind end. Every time he yielded the HQ I was after, I turned away and started arcing to his other HQ. Eventually, he started following me. This was a good example of improving the draw by improving the drive.

My plan was to tinker with the barrels. I sat on a barrel and directed Blu to touch another barrel. I had to stand up a couple times and get clearer. I drove him to another barrel from zone 5 (behind the tail). Then, after relaxing there, I drove him to the Jollyball. He rolled it around a bit and we moved on.

I worked on some cow play and million dollar moves. He was very animated, and also getting full of himself, so I backed him up with speed for about 20'. I had not done to much trotting, so I asked for the trot. He did so with a nip at me, but I had positioned myself 4' from him so he would not get me. As we went along, I kept him at that distance by raising my hand when he started getting closer. I stopped and he stopped without any headtossing, then licked and chewed. We trotted again and he started up with a headtoss. I ignored him and kept him at a distance as we headed for our next stop.

I dug through the snow to the scrubby grass beneath and showed him. He ate that then dug for more while I stood at his shoulder and massaged his back.

Next stop was the gate. We moseyed over and it felt good to have him following me so respectfully and confidently without any strings attached. The gate was a dream. He set himself up to sideways through it, so that is what we did. He waited while I locked the gate and followed me to his stall where I gave him a flake of hay.

We were going to record today, but the camera's batteries were dead and it was snowing pretty bad. Maybe next time.

Today was a nice day. There was definitely a tone of "refreshment" on the whole session. Blu was pretty mouthy, too. He was trying to nip at me a lot or trying to nibble. He never landed anything because I never gave him the chance to reach me with that end. As the session dwindled to the end, though, he had basically ceased with the mouth. I was so happy at the end!

Natural Horsewoman Out.

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About Me

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I am a young horsewoman with a million things on my mind. I have been a student of the horse all my life. As a little girl, I had a desire to understand horses on deeper levels. I believed that there was no such thing as a bad horse, and I believed that all horses were beautiful. One might say that I was a naive child, but I guess I don't have an excuse anymore, because I still believe all of that, and Parelli Natural Horsemanship is helping expand on this perspective.

What We Are Currently Playing With

  • Moving Close Circles at Liberty
  • Soft, Balanced Canter on 45' Line
  • Zone 5 Driving