Saturday, February 13, 2010

A Gift of Fate

Official Records Information
1 hour

I was not going to get to play with horses today because I was supposed to be working a 4H bake sale all morning and afternoon and then rushing to work until the evening. Fate would have it that so many people signed up to help that we only needed to stay for an hour and a half, so I got to have a session with Misty where I was going to have none.

Before I began about today's session, let me just say that early this morning when I was doing chores, I took Misty to the pasture by leading her by the a strand of mane and she was SO sensitive to it. She responded properly to pressure every time I put pressure on her mane to pull her closer to me sideways, forward, or backward. It was a great experience.

Onto today, I wanted to do 2 line driving, or at least prepare her for it for another session, and I wanted to ride bridleless. So, I took the 45', the halter, the stringed carrot stick, and the green ball. Misty was in the corn crib pen (a fenced off area that has no gate attached, so the horses can go in and out of it through the gate opening), and she met my eyes and held them fine. I whistled to her and she began walking to me, but Conner was kind of in the way and she did not want to squeeze between him. I ended up pushing her out the other side of the corn crib and the whole time she was trying to connect with me, even from the great distance that was between us. It was very nice. When she came out of the other side of the corn crib, she looked for me, saw me and when I whistled, she trotted to me. I began trotting backwards and then stopped she stopped and slid right to me. She put her head down and it did not push me, but just touched me. How nice, much better than if she had put it to the side or something.

I drove her from a good 15' feet in zone 3-5 to the obstacles in the pasture, which is where I had the halter and line set up. She put the halter on very nicely, head turned to me. Once, before the knot was tied, she looked out. I just stopped tying the knot and she put her head down and toward me again.

I drove her to the ball and she immediately began to push it around. Once when she looked at me for more direction, I sent her in a circle. I let her choose the distance and she stayed around 12' out. When she got to the ball again, she stopped rolled it some more. The next time she asked a question, I sent her again, this time moving the circle so she would hit another obstacle. It was a couple barrels and ground poles piled up and she was immediately trying to figure out what to do with it. I was too tall to sidepass over and to jumbly to jump, so she kind of fidgeted back and forth around it. When she finally looked at me, I smiled and sent her off in the opposite direction.

I maneuvered her so I was in zone five and then I just followed her at the trot. We went all over the pasture, starting as a sort of passenger lesson on the ground to let her get confident with me following her in zone 5 then I slowly began to direct her. She made the transition so well that I decided two line would not be undoable for today. I repeated the process of letting her wander and get used to the feel of the lines on her and what they meant. She felt her way out of several binds. As I began to direct her, I felt it would be better if she saw a purpose to the direction.

I put her on the pedestal to stay while I set up two barrels. She got all 4 feet on there. I think that is a first, or at least the first time she did it and stayed on condfidently. She was not ground tying to it very well, though. would only stay for 15 seconds and then try to come to me. I just kept putting her back on it. Because she was not staying ground tied, I did not put the barrels as far apart as I would have liked (they were only about 15'+ feet apart and I would have put them about 50' feet apart. When I went to do the figure 8, she really wanted to not go around it and she got very confused. I just stayed patient and soft until she understood.

I only did one figure eight because I decided that her go button needed attention with two lines before we could do anything pattern-like. I got her away from the barrels and into the open pasture and trotted behind her while she trotted. I also asked her to half pass in both directions, and she understood and executed it in both directions.

I felt like we had harped on driving for long enough and she was also feeling particularly together, so I coiled up the line, put the savvy string around her neck, and got on. I was going to frog leap on, but I couldn't get any traction to jump. Seeing as how it has been ages since I did that, I was happy that she was perfectly fine with me jumping around back there.

I started with some focus riding. I was first and foremost concerned with checking that she did not want to just run to the gate. She followed me nicely, not perfectly though. We went to T-posts, the barrels, and the pedestal. When I got to the pedestal, I asked her to get on with only the front feet. My aim was to yield her hind quarters once we were up there. At first, she was not understanding, but after the few initial tries, she caught on and yielded both directions perfectly.

Next, I tested then fine tuned her stops, goes, backs, sideways, and spins on the haunches. I only trotted because she was hollowing her back and I did not want her to loose her footing because of her all-over-the-place-posture. She got a bit rounder as we continued. Her halfpass was light, no string needed. I got her to where she could stop and go without the string, though her backing often goes crooked. I give it 3 stars out of five. Her turns on the haunches are getting better. I started by trotting a circle and tightening it until I asked for a spin, but I also did plain old sit and spin.

When I felt like any more would be too much, I spontaneously jumped off and ran to the front. I swept up the carrot stick and 45' line as I passed them. I looked back and whistled. Misty was just standing there watching me, intrigued-looking. I did not watch to see if she would follow. Later, as I was reaching the front fence line, I looked back and Misty was gone! I looked in front of me and she was running in front of me! I stopped and she stopped and bounced over to me. We played with the ball for a few minutes then I tossed it over the fence and took her halter off. Misty put her head in and toward me, then as I took it off, I gently dragged it toward me and her nose came to me and she totally stayed connected. So good-feeling! I gave her a good face scratching before climbing through the fence.

I gave her some hay and went inside the house, a very happy and lucky-feeling person!

Natural Horsewoman Out.

No comments:

Post a Comment

About Me

My photo
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