Monday, January 11, 2010

Crazy Blu Pictures

Official Records Information:
30 minutes

Goals for Blu: Play with Blu on the ground on line and at liberty; Maggie wants to take pictures.
Goals for Misty: I played with her unexpectedly, but I just wanted to play with her at liberty in the pasture.

My sister wanted to me to play with Blu so he would buck and run in exuberance the way he has done quite often lately. I went out with the 45' line, halter, and carrot stick with a savvy string attached. Blu met me out there and I haltered him.

I played the circling game, first. His changes of direction were much better than they have been. He has benefited from the sessions of the past week where I worked on those direction changes. He disappointed me however in his craziness. He was actually quite tame tonight. Not a single buck. Just obedience. If you think this is good, I agree with you, but at the same time, the bucks I see nowadays with Blu are bucks of wild exuberance, not "I don't want to" bucks. I enjoy the high energy that he exhibits during our play sessions. I guess he was just not feeling it tonight, which is just too bad for my little sister.

I took off the line and left it in the snow. I hoped that maybe he would be a bit more "Yipee" at liberty than he was on line. I played some cutting games to get his play drive fueled up. He always enjoys that. Then I ran around the pasture some with him. He generally trotted, but he kept up (with all the layers on, the boots, and almost a foot of snow, it's not hard to keep up with me). He was just happy and pleasant.

What came next is a first for us. I was doing my stick-to-me and then I felt that feeling I get when I realize there is an opportunity to teach something new and I know I will have success because of the optimal circumstances. I stopped moving forward and just did my trotting march in place as I turned on the spot. Blu continued at my side, circling me in a tiny circle. Next, I put my arm out, rubbed his neck, then applied rhythmic pressure to the air to ask him to increase the distance. I put my arm down when he reached about 10'. That is the first time I have ever done anything resembling a circle at liberty in a large, non-circular area. Next, I yoyoed him out and sent him to the right on a circle. I was very gentle, but he made a quarter lap and took off. He looked at me and came trotting back, excited. I jumped around a bit and we just played. I chased him around and then he chased me around.

I stopped and stood with him and relaxed and let him even out his breathing while I did TTouches on his neck and back. Once he was breathing normally, I began to paw the ground. He pawed it with the correct hoof and I gave him a cookie. Then I walked, trotted, stopped, and laid down. He did the gaits with me and watched as I did the last. I did it like a horse the best I could. I dug a bit with my hand as I leaned down, then I put my hands and feet close together and rolled down. He looked at me and rubbed his nose up and down my boot, looked at me, put his nose on my hair, looked at me. Then--this is super exciting to me--he pawed gently and put his back very close to his front legs! I gave him a treat and waited, but then he seemed to change his mind and went back to nosing me. I played with his lips to give him the social contact he needed (I believe that horses like Blu are nibbly not just to explore but also because horses socialize using their mouths, i.e. grooming. An excellent way to fix the gentle but unwanted nibbling is to rub their lips.).

I called that a session and rolled up the line. He followed me into his stall and I gave him a bite of hay there. I felt extremely good about this session, even though the goal of getting photos of Blu being a nut was not fulfilled, my sister snapped several shots of Blu and me playing. A few of them are quite excellent.

Official Records Information:
30 minutes

Goals: Just to be with Misty at liberty. I did not really have any specific goals, I just saw her and did not want to go inside without playing with her.

I had a carrot stick with me as I ran to the back of the pasture. Misty was running after me and we did just what I wanted to. We ran, jumped, cut, and ran some more. There was so much energy and excitement!

Toward the end of the session, I jumped the fence to let the dogs in. Misty ran to the fence and waited for me. I ran back to her, jumped the fence and ran around the pasture. She ran excitedly after me. I suddenly flopped to the ground and laid out. She slowly came up to me and smelled me. I jumped up and ran again and she came after me again. We were having so much fun.

I cried when I left. I was cold, my pants were all wet from laying in the snow, and my fingers were numb; but I did not want to leave. I am having more and more emotional issues with leaving the horses. If I could, I would rather just stay there with them. Not having a session or anything, just being with them. I imagine I would stand around with them for hours and run around with them for hours. It would be a pleasant existence.

I went and sat on the front porch to contemplate the way I should handle those feelings and how I should live my life with my horses and people. When I finished, I got up and hopped off the porch. I looked to the pasture, and somehow, from 75 yards, I could see her in the back of the pasture, and she saw me. I began walking to her and she began walking to me. We met at the fence, arriving at the same time. I pet her face and talked to her, then walked back into the house. When I threw a glance back and she was still watching me.

Natural Horsewoman Out.
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