Saturday, February 6, 2010

Directly to the Heart of the Problem

Official Records Information
30 minutes

The title of this blog is "Directly to the Heart of the Problem." You may have guessed (or, you may have not guessed) that the "Directly" refers to direct-line thinking. I had been cleaning out stalls for two hours and Blu and Hoosier had been coming in and out eating hay out of the aisle. I approached Blu with a line, bent down, and had him pick up his leg. I was planning on working on his acceptance of having me do various things with his feet. Well, it was rude to say the least. I hardly said hello, for heaven's sake! He left, pretty quick and I immediately realized how ridiculous I was to have the mindset I had been using.

I played the catching game and did long range join up in the pasture. Once he was following me around at the walk and trot, I stopped and just was with him for a while. That is where "the Heart of the Problem" was; I needed to get his heart before I did something with him. I massaged him for awhile and then moved on naturally, rather than directly, on to body exploration and finding his "can't-won't-don't" spots. He let me scrub his eye areas, he was comfortable with me touching his face from the front, his ears...then I moved down to his legs...then around his tail and sheath. He was perfectly happy and relaxed.

I walked back to the barn and he followed me. There, I worked on desensitizing him to rearend handling for the day when Blu's temperature needs to be taken. He lifted his back leg a couple times in warning, but I just held in there until he relaxed (just lifting his tail touching underneath).

Tonight, I went and visited Misty after chores were done. I rubbed her all over, did belly lifts, then worked with her butt and teats. I also thought about what kind of things I did with the horses that I came up with all by myself. Here is what I have so far:

1. Standing under the horse to do Belly Lifts
2. When I first started to play with Misty on the ground (before I could ride her, when she was 3 years old), I used to walk to the end of the lead rope, and then stand there until she came to me. I remember how accomplished I felt at coming up with that and how good it felt when she put slack in the line. That was before I ever read about any other horsemanship but "The Black Stallion" movie.
3. Picking up the Halter- I taught Blu to pick up his halter and hand it to me.
4. Spanish Walk- I am teaching Blu the Spanish Walk by teaching him to use his pawing habit on cue.

That's all I have, but I plan on expanding it as much as I can. I am all for copying others. It is so unhealthy to put blocks on yourself from using other people's ideas, but I think it is also a sign of poor growth if you don't have creations of your own.

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