Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Messing with Misty's Mind

Official Records Informaiton:
Misty, 3-30-10, afternoon, 40 minutes

I got to go out and enjoy the unusually warm weather (70 degrees!!) for a bit with Misty. She was feeling kind of neh today, so I just messed with her mind and not too much with her body. I spent a lot of time waiting for it to be 100% ok with her to put the halter on, and then, after all of the things I had done to get that, I walked away and sat far away from her and began playing with the ball by myself or sitting down or something and she was like "What are you doing?" and pretty soon was over wanting the ball and chasing it etc.

Natural Horsewoman Out.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Library of Horsemanship

I spent a couple hours at the University library with my jaw on the floor. I am going to spend the rest of my college career working through MSU's horse book collection. I picked up an armful of books after much deliberation and walked to work.

I was exhausted and almost decided to just stay home and get homework done, but after a shower and some soup, I was ready to go! I had been inspired by a savvy club back issues I watched and read this weekend and I met Blu at the gate and took him to the permanent round corral we have and worked on two concepts with him then put him to bed and sat in the other pasture and watched Britney play on line with Connor. Misty spent the whole time standing over me, which was awesome. It's coming back! Everything I thought we had lost, the three of us (Misty, Blu, and me) is coming back. Phew!

I brushed Misty at liberty and put her to bed. Bridget is such a big help and a joy to watch. I recommend that everyone get a friend like Bridget!

Natural Horsewoman Out.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Parting the Red Sea

Official Records Information
Misty 30 minutes afternoon/evening 3-28-10

Bridget and Connor accomplished so much this afternoon, I am proud of them. AND while she was warming him up, I played with Misty at liberty in the pasture with the ball and the obstacles. She really gets into that ball! She pins her ears chases after it and then will suddenly stop and say "cookie?" I should get pictures and video records of it . I changed focus and asked her to stand on the pedestal. She did one foot and kind of unconfidently looked away, so I took several steps back and then she looked at me and got right on . Then I ran backwards and she trotted to me, but her ears were back so I lifted my hands to have her back up. But I guess my fingers were in the position I usually have them in when I ask her to sidepass to me because she stopped, changed the look and began sidepassing to me . I looked at my fingers and put them in position again with more intention and began backing up and she did it again . I felt like Moses parting the Red Sea! My first sideways to me at liberty, and it was not even in the plans!

Natural Horsewoman Out.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

I am such a good tease that it worked.

Official Records Information:
Misty, 3-27-10, evening, 1 hour 30 minutes

I would like to share what I did with Misty tonight, real quick. I did end up going out and playing with her. I was eating an apple on the way out and she was watching me. I ignored her and went to Blu who was waiting at the gate for me. When he saw the apple, he nickered and tried to get closer. I gave him half the core and Misty had enough of that and came up to get the other half. She was much better about staying while I haltered her. I could feel that she was not 100% wanting to stay (probably at 10% reserve of wanting to leave), but she stood while I walked around her and while I opened the halter.

Then, I got a call from Bridget, who works at a salon and has hardly had anytime to play with Connor. She was coming! I was so glad because I still had the playground set up and I knew she would enjoy using/playing on it. I took Misty out to graze and put on a jacket because it was freezing!

When Britney got back, I went back into the pasture and, after gabbing for a minute, we went out to play. My warmup consisted of getting Misty to a point where she was a bit more emotionally collected so she could be physically collected enough to not fall over while cantering (she slipped a few times), and then testing her "Yes, Ma'am" and want-to by putting a pair of barrels on end and asking her to come to me from the other side yo yo style. She reared up, balanced for a moment, touched her toes on the top of the barrels, lifted up again, backed up, and came down I was kind of expecting her to either kick them over or just walk around them. I gave her a cookie and laid the barrels down. She jumped those almost before I asked her .

Later, I let Misty go and played with Connor on line at the trot so Bridget could work on her independent seat without having to steer.

Natural Horsewoman Out.

I am such a tease.

Official Records Information:
Misty/Connor, 3-27-10, afternoon, 1 hour

Well, I did not play with Misty at all. I played with her pasture mate, Connor. 5x she came up to me and got scratches and did some liberty and then left. I decided she did not feel like playing, and as opposed to making her uncomfortable until she decided I was the person to be with, I went and got another horse! Connor was happy to play. I worked on his HQ yields in the circling game and his confidence with the carrot stick. He went over a see-saw (he is a PercheronX, and I was so afraid it would break while he had his weight displaced over both ends!) for the first time ever. He was super confident, which is awesome. I rode him and, as always, he goes where you want at the speed you want, nice and easy. He has perfect impulsion. It is so relaxing. His back up was stiff and heavy, so Bridget will need to work on that, but otherwise, he is a joy to ride. We went grazing, and right about then, Misty turned green with jealousy. I am now deciding whether or not to go out and play with Misty or to leave it to next time...WWPPD?

Natural Horsewoman Out.

Wow, I am so mad at myself!

I have not logged a ton of hours. I have a note-to-self to log January 22, but I have NO IDEA what Misty and I did! I will brush it off, though. I can't make this an OCD thing...So this post is an update on what has been going on. I would estimate that I have put about 16 hours on Misty and Blu collectively, but who the heck knows?!

I will start with yesterday, for which I can make an official record:
Official Records Information:
3 hours
Goals- build a playground and play with Misty on it using my giant imagination! Make it fun and cause her to want to meet me at the fence saying "what are we doing today, mom?"

I built a round pen using the plain, white sliding curtain rods that look like canes and are SO UGLY. Then I used binder twine to add fence lines between the rods. It was very nice and easy. I nearly broke my back carrying a door that has treads on it to become a ramp/see-saw. I put it over a tarp so that it was a see-saw on a tarp. I also had a tree limb with binder twine on it to be pulled around, and then there was the giant tire pedestal that is always there. Misty was investigating things while I set up.

Catching Misty was not so bad. She was very connected right off the bat and it did not take long to attract her to me. I rubbed her all over with the halter and lead, giving her ample chance to decide to leave; but she stayed right where she was and cooperatively put the halter on. I was so happy. It was not as good as it has been before, but it is improving from the dip we had when I was depressed.

On the 12' line, I took her to the homemade round pen. I don't remember what we did on the way, but she was great going in. I started by putting my ringed 23' line on around her flank

circle at liberty-change of direction
cow game
quiet time
beginning of bowing

on 23' line outside round pen
dragged me to the ramp to check it out
sideways, circling, squeeze
jumped the entire ramp set up
pedestal did not get all 4 on
flying lead changes
drive from behind - not comfortable

She stood 100% as I mounted!
flying lead changes after an initial fit of exuberance! Flying! Easy!!

Err...sorry kids, I just had a lapse in motivation or something and I have lost a marginal amount of blogworthy material.

I will get over this, though.

EDIT: Look! I found this post that I made in the Official Savvy Club Forum about this particular session. Good save:
"EVERYBODY!! I got my job back, and the person who has been abusing dogs, the rules, and the other employees was fired!!!! After I got the news, I went outside and played with Misty and it so awesome. I built a round pen out of curtain rods and binder twine and we did the circling game with a flank rope and 12' line, I got my brand new Parelli knock-off 23' line dirty, Misty jumped confidently over a 1' high 6' long jump (ok, it was actually a tarp with a see-saw on it and she decided it would be easier to jump it from a standstill than walk over it ). I rode her and got every flying lead change I asked for...I just had a great day with her. Then, in the evening, I played with Blu and he was so exuberant and excitable, but by the time we were done, we were at liberty in the giant pasture and he was helping me carry all the ropes and the round pen back up to the front. Yay! "

And another post:

"today, I have yet to go out and play with Misty, but I set up another playground and played with Blu this morning. I noticed he was especially clingy and snuggly; he kept coming up to me and putting his face in my arms aww, so cute! I spent the session working on his confidence and looking a better expression. I would say I had great success because after quiet time at the end of the session, he was totally chill and confident again.

I am going back out to play with Misty, now. All the horses have had an afternoon snack of hay and I had a chicken waffle for lunch. I need to get that patented because it was delicious! My sister wouldn't touch it, but I know in my heart how yummy it was... . "

Natural Horsewoman Out.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

What I said to Chris- I like it.

ricochetsk wrote:
Spike did a lot of good things today, like not lose his brains too badly when the 2 horses that were in the arena at first left, came back and left again. And I still love him. But when I used the halter/hackamore, he tucks in and pushes through it, going where he wants when he gets it in his head. Same with the bitless bridle. He is still fighting the bit too, trying to pull the reins out of my hands, even with a loose rein, chomping constantly at the bit. With any of them, he can turn his head one way and go the other. I have leadership on the ground and I have a reasonable amount when riding, yet he still makes it his mission to fight me every step of the way. He will jig and spin when asking for a simple backup from in front of the wall, and I can tell he's practically gritting his teeth with determination to do what he wanted. And today, I'm sick of it.
Tomorrow are lessons and I will talk to Faith about it. Maybe I will put the hackamore back on and see what happens now that I am getting the leg cues better.


Hey, Chris,

My horses respond really well to the fluid rein when they are trying to rip the reins away. They usually only do it at shows, and it has been a long time since, but the fluid rein helps them relax and it keeps them from knocking themselves in the mouth. I know how frustrating it is, though! If it gets too bad, you could always take a time out and chill with Spike for a little so you don't loose your mind or get reactionary. There is a thread around here that is in the recent section and it is about a woman whose horse is violently throwing her head to the ground to rip the reins away . I found these things in the vault. Maybe you can find something helpful...

I spent a while trying to fish these out of all the Q&As and videos. Nothing directly speaks to the horse that yanks the reins out of the rider's hands, but there are some concepts that are used in teaching collection that also help your horse with his relationship with the bit. I found the mag article particularly helpful. I am sure you may have seen them before, but looking at them in this light will maybe help you see something new and move this event from a frustration to an exciting learning experience! I hope your lesson tomorrow is especially full of revelations!!

Natural Horsewoman Out

Erudite Natural Horsewoman

Official Records Information:
Blu, 3-23-10, 2 hours, afternoon

I really enjoyed playing with Blu today. He was not as sparky as he has ever been, but he was cute. At first, he was a little stand offish and bland, but as we progressed, he began to give of himself more, and after we took a sit down break, I did some stuff at liberty and he had exceptional draw for how it was when we started. I also learned a new word today while reading about the Merina people of Madagascar: Erudite- adj. scholarly or knowledgeable--sounds like savvy! I want to be an erudite horseman!

Natural Horsewoman Out.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Dave Calls this an "Eventful Time"

I got suspended from work for being indirectly involved with an incident (I did absolutely nothing, but I know someone who was involved and for the "safety of all the employees, I am to stay away from the clinic"), my brother got a divorce, and I buried my beloved degu (who had been in the freezer until the ground thawed, but seeing his box and putting him in the earth raised up all the emotions from his death...Now when I get ice cream, Douglas' box won't be there ). All of this happened on Friday, and the week leading up to it was tumultuous.

I am ok, though . Why? Because I have gotten all better. Last week, I played with my horses a lot (unfortunately, I have hardly documented them!). I made lists and checked things off. I cleaned my room on the snowy Saturday (after a week of high 60's, it SNOWED and we had coverage for all of 36 hours...then back to 60's. This is Michigan, but it's not the Denver where it was 72 one day then 3 feet of snow the next, so, I am not complaining.) I just felt the feelings and let them go instead of just feeling like a sinking rock in the ocean (or some other deep analogy--no pun intended)

I am just feeling more like myself again. I am so glad to be out of it. Maybe I should move somewhere that is not climatically set up for failure...

Natural Horsewoman Out.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Dawn, At Last, after a Long, Long Dark

Today I had my first good session since I have been feeling extremely "off" to say the least.

I will cut straight to the chase: I worked on the 12' line (my 22' is in the wash and I was not going to do 45' in the mud) with Misty. She did not immediately approach me and I had to spend some time attracting her to me (not by yielding her, just being interesting).

I went slow and relaxed a lot, which was easy to do since it was SO warm and sunny out. I waded through the foot deep draining pool/pond and she came with me after some checking out--I was happy with her effort. We walked to a set up of barrels and I was playing the yoyo game with her straddling a ground pole between her right and left legs and she did it perfectly without me fiddling around trying to get her to understand what I was thinking--like she saw what would be the reasonable thing to do. Then I lifted my right, and she thought for a moment, and then went sideways, carefully stepping over the ground poles. After she came in, I yoyoed her out again and was more clear about pointing so she knew to start circling...and the good stuff kept coming. Later I stepped onto a barrel and she sidepassed to me before I even asked.

The main point was that she was trying to jump the moon for me today (relative to what I was expecting since it has been so long since I had a good length session with a good mood...I was so impressed by Misty's attitude as I had expected something more along the lines of constantly not cooperating, wanting to leave, etc. I guess that is just what you get when you underestimate yourself and your horse

Natural Horsewoman Out.

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