Friday, February 5, 2010

Pleasant Surprises

It seems that I am behind in recording my time with the horses. Not to worry. In the past week, I have had all of 4 sessions with the horses, if you can call them that.

friday january 31- catching and grazing, 30 minutes, Misty, afternoon
I went out to the back of the pasture and sat on a barrel that was in the very back northeastern corner of the perimeter. Bridget was playing with Conner in the round corral and Misty was standing by that fence, which was all the way on the southern fenceline (about 200+ feet). I just sat and waited. My plan was to just have down time if she did not want to be haltered or to come over. If she did come over, I was going to do very little and then take her out to graze on the newly uncovered lawn behind the barn.

Fate had it that something spooked the horses. All of them. Misty's head and tail went up and she began to trot around. Within moments, she spotted me and came trotting out to me. I was absolutely surprised at this! As a horse, she was saying "Oh my gosh! You my safe zone! Save me!" That means so much to me! I keep getting surprised at this, when I have periods of time where I don't get to have a good long session (or at least longer than the interaction of feeding and talking or massaging for five minutes) and my horses still do these things that make me feel so happy.

I had a halter and 12' line and stringed carrot stick with me, and she put her head right in while I stayed seated. I was prepared for her to say "Well, now I feel safe, so...SEE YA!" but instead, she cooperated. I made the walk to the gate interesting by playing all seven games with the various obstacles that are sprinkled in the North Pasture (barrels, pedestal, tires, ground poles). I report that everything needs some spit and shine, but she was still impressive.

When we were finished, I took her out to graze. I played some friendly games while she was grazing and tested her focus on me. It was very relaxing.

wednesday feb 3- mirror, all the horses, 15 minutes, both, afternoon
I was in the barn photographing an installation art piece. I was using the Mylar mirror (which I meant to bring down to the farm in December) to reflect light onto the artwork. When I was done, I took the mirror out to the pastures to introduce the horses to themselves. It was funny to say the least! Misty was infatuated and followed me like I was carrying grain when I went to take the mirror to the other side. Conner wanted nothing to do with it and stood far away looking on. Blu was terrified but curious. Ginger ran around like a looney while I played the friendly game with Blu. Blu eventually was chasing the mirror around to touch it. Hoosier stayed in his stall and never met his reflection. So funny!

friday feb 5- Bridget at liberty 1 hour, afternoon, Misty
I read a thread on the Parelli Savvy Forum about two women who went into their Liberty round pen and divided it in two with ground poles then played a game where they had to keep each of their horses on their own half. If the horse went to the wrong side, the other person protects her herd of two and shoos the horse back on to its side. I asked Bridget if she would like to try it. The groundpoles were frozen to the ground, so we used the 45' line and 12' line to make the line.

I only had the tetter-totter on my side, which Misty had never encountered before. I started by playing the catching game at a slow rate and taking my time. I did a lot of giving her time to explore the tetter-totter. She was quite AWESOME, if I do say so myself. She was curious and kept going further everytime I presented it to her. I led her over it with the carrot stick through the halter and leading her over it at her own pace. She managed the change in tilt perfectly, like she had done it a million times!

Another fabulous moment was when she went away from me at the trot once and ran into the rope on the ground and skidded to a halt when she saw it. She had apparently learned from the two times she had crossed over! I beckoned her back to me and she trotted to me.

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