Sunday, January 10, 2010

Plastic Bag and the Bob Cat

Official Records Information:
1 hour
Goals: Ride Misty freestyle/bridleless after some ground play outside the pasture.

Misty saw me, but it was another one of those days--she did not come out to me, just looked at me and looked away. I had the 45' line, halter, and a carrot stick with a giant plastic bag tied to the and of the string. I got her eyes on me and sent her running. Conner bolted, but she did not seem terrified of the bag. She only completed one lap before looking at me. I turned and ran as fast as a could, the bag flying behind me. I looked back and she was flying at me. I kept running and she ran by my side for a while, completely disregarding the bag flapping behind us. I stopped and rubbed her and gave her a cookie. Someday, I will get one of these runs on tape, because she is so beautiful. She left me as I began walking, but she just went to a barrel and touched and looked back to me. I smiled and pointed to the next barrel and she went and touched that one. The next barrel I pointed to had the 45' line and the halter sitting on it. I met her there and gave her a treat. I knelt by her neck and she put her head on the ground so I could put the halter on.

I played the friendly game with the bag and she did not have any trouble spots, as I suspected. she even didn't mind it going under her between her legs.

I yoyoed Misty to the end of the line and she went out with a medium speed but obediently. I would like her speed to increase and the phase it takes to back to go down (right now, it's at a phase 2-3).

She circled nicely at the end of the line, then I asked her to come in and I drove her from zone five (behind the tail) to the gate. She is getting so good at this, she really understands the carrot stick as a distal forehand driver. I continued the zone five driving down the drive way and to the mail box. She showed slight unsureness on the way there. I think that the fresh environment (it's been a while since I worked with the horses outside the pasture) relieved her of some of her self confidence. The success of the mail box restored her, though. She went purposefully to touch the trailer and a bird house, next.

I took her over to the yard south of the barn near some trees to play the circling game. I took the bag off the string because it was getting tangled in the line. Misty was fast on the circles and had beautiful flying lead changes at the slightest cue to change directions. Her impulsion came up between having the new environment and the fact that the neighbors were moving manure with a Bobcat. She calmed down a bit as I continued changing directions, but she was still eying the neighbor's barn.

I did falling leaf pattern on the way to the Aisle (the 20' lane that runs between our and our neighbor's fence line). She was blowing out, making that instinctual snort, so I put her on the fence and pushed her sideways faster and faster. She was doing a great job of keeping up, but she was still upset. I changed tactics to half circles on the fence. I really encouraged her to go faster and she was cruisin' and turnin'. She finally came out of it a bit and I put her back on the fence and ran sideways for another 50'. I knelt by her head and she put it down by me. If her head went up, I gently asked her to put it back down again. When we stood back up, she was relaxed. I had her go sideways at the trot back to the barn. She was lagging her hindquarters at first. When we got back to the open, I changed it to a half-pass from zone 5, first at the walk then at the trot, then I yielded her hindquarters. She was all ears and I walked with her back to the pasture.

I was going to ride bridleless, but my ride pulled in and it was a fine place to end, so I gave her a treat, put my equipment away, and gave her another treat before leaving.

It was an exciting day, but I am sad to have not been able to ride bridleless. Maybe tonight when I am giving my lesson, I can ride Misty bridleless. I am teaching the 7 games. . . hmm. We will see.

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