Friday, April 30, 2010

Something that had to Give Gave

This is my 50th post!!! I have really stuck with this blog (except for a about 10-20 sessions that never got recorded...)!!

Official Records Information:
Blu 1 hour and 3o minutes 4-30-10 evening
Misty 15 minutes 4-30-10 evening

Blu met me at the gate and was very pleasant. I put him on the 22' line and had a plan to use 5 barrels to do weaving on the ground and then while riding. I started with some circles. To say the least, we did many very bad circles--he was on adrenaline, worried, fast, disunited. . . I stepped back and just stood with him for a long time. He snorted a lot, and after a few minutes, he began to ask me to scratch his itchy spots. That was my cue that he emotionally stable again. I yoyoed him in and out a few times and asked him to circle. He jogged very nicely and I asked him to comeback when he completed one circle in that nice, calm, way.

I did a weave with Blu stick to me style, then I drove him through them from the end of the line in zone 3. He did very nicely with that pattern, so I decided to mount up.

I had him step to me, which is really needing more practice as he was not quite sure what I was asking. I did some "bridleless" freestyle (natural hackamore on, but I did not touch the reins) at the walk. I am trusting him more and more, and soon, I think he will be just as trustworthy as Misty is brideless. We walked and trotted through the weave, then, at the end, I directed him to the jump and we popped right over. That was the perfect ending spot, so I took care of him.

As I was finishing up, Misty seemed to beckon me, so I did not just leave, I went and sat on a tire. She came to me and I did not touch her until she touched me. Then I itched the noseeum bumps. She really enjoyed that.

I pointed to the green ball, which was pretty close to us, and she went right to it and touched it. I stayed on the barrel and just kept sending her back to it. Eventually, it was in a position so she would have to turn 180 degrees to push it, so I had to turn her around first. I stayed on the barrel, and with just my hands, managed to get her turned around, but she thought I was spinning her and she came right back. How sweet. Next, I very clearly asked for a spin. Then I made it clear that she was not supposed to spin back to me. Once she touched the ball that time, I left, and she followed. It was a good session.

Natural Horsewoman Out.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

4H workouts

I have had two 4H work outs for the 2010 season. Both were very successful with Blu. He loads very well. I just go out, put his halter on (after he comes to meet me), wrap him up while he grazes, throw the rope over his back and send him in. He just goes right in, no reserves about it.

At the first workout, I must admit, I was so proud of him. He was a different horse from what he had been at all the other workouts of his life. Usually, I loose power steering, breaks, brain...basically, he just goes to pot. I am usually just patient with him and work him around his lack of control and look really stupid (probably) to any observers. Not at this first workout.

We warmed up on the ground, first. He was bucking and running around with a lot of excitement, at first. I set him up so he was forced to change direction on the fence. Soon, he finally got relaxed. He completed figure eights on his own. For showmanship, his pivots were perfect, and his stops were snappy. His trot and set up were lacking in polish, but they were not deplorable.

I put the saddle on and he went back to being excited again, but it did not take as long to get the bucking and jumping to stop, and pretty quick, he actually looked very rideable. Forget "rideable," Blu was plain old stuff of dreams. Easy steering, easy the end, I went around picking up all the cones up and putting in the corner of the arena. He was like a golf cart. It was great.

The next workout was not as nice, but I did not get to spend as much time as I wanted on the ground, and he had a bridle/bit on. I was still pleased with him, though!

I look forward to this new me. I am really relaxing in these situations and just taking things in stride.

Natural Horsewoman Out.

Blu in the Snaffle

30 minutes

I had an excellent horse day. I played with Blu with the halter and 23' line, but I had a headstall with a snaffle on him so he could get comfortable in it. He hardly messed with it at all, and messing with the bit is a huge part of his MO. I think I am on to something. Next time I ride, I am riding in the Natural Hackamore with the headstall on with the snaffle. I had a ramp set up and played with that. He did not want to step on it first, but of course it did not take long to build up his confidence so he could. He is such a cutey. We did not do anything jaw dropping to an audience, but I made some huge personal progress.

I spent most of my time helping Bridget. She is learning how to ride in the saddle. She really does not like how restrictive it is, but I told her it was good that she was so comfy bareback (that is how she learned to ride).

Natural Horsewoman Out.

Monday, April 26, 2010


Nauseous, heart burn, slightly stressed. I was planning on going to the 2011 Fast Track, but the Red Hot Early Bird savings expire on May 31, while last year, the savings expired in October...I was not prepared for that. I have been building myself up since last fall that I would go to the 2011 course. I have never believed in my "I can do this" so much, and I am just really feeling yucky, now, mentally as well as physically (stomach hurts). I even told my mom this morning that I was definitely going to do it and there was no turning back...her response was "What horse are you taking?" Then I got the email with the application form on it...

I am still not giving up, I just hit a road block and am stopped on train tracks with a train coming my way. I am trying to be reasonable and practical but optimistic. I deserve to go just as much as the next person, I just know it. I wish there was some kind of scholarship program, and maybe, someday, there will be.

Natural Horsewoman Out.

A Rainy Squish Between Shifts

Misty and Blu, hour and a half,

Misty and Ginger were in Middle Earth and the boys were all out back. The girls saw me coming out with the halter and line and ran to the front, anticipating me driving them up. I was going to ride Blu to round them up, but I decided it wouldn't hurt to see if Misty wanted the job. I shut her up front and Ginger ran back to the back to join the boys.

Misty was going frantically around the pasture, calling. I just stayed near the corn crib and waited. After several minutes, she suddenly saw me, really saw me, and walked right to me, calm as can be. She let me halter her and stepped right to me, and we were off. All of her previous frantic emotions were gone. We stopped and ate grass on the way out. When the horses were in her sights, she went into driving mode and really got in tune with me. It was a nice little collaboration of effort. On the way back to the gate, she was still calm, and I got down and did Ttouches for 5 or 8 minutes.

What a great way to spend my between-shifts break.

Natural Horsewoman Out.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Four Stories

I will sum up my day with 4 stories (trying to keep it short):
#1 At work this morning the giant Great Dane puppy BROKE the metal choke lead she was being walked on by one of my co-workers. Just one big lounge and snap. She was excited to see the tiny dog I was walking. I went into shock, I guess, but I am very upset with myself. I have stopped charging dogs several times in my life with a look: the last time was when I was walking with Misty online down the road when a dog notorious for attacking strangers came snarling at us. I got between Misty and him and said “Hey!” in a snarly tone and he ran away with his tail between his legs. His owner was shocked and apologizing for any harm done to my horse. But today, I just froze up. Oh, well, nothing bad happened except the clinic lost one of its stupid choke chains.
#2 I went to the farm to play with Blu, but the horses were out back so I had to bring them up. Misty came running up when she saw me coming out, thinking all the horses would start running up. I shut the gate so she could not go back out and after several minutes of frantically running around, she suddenly saw me and just calmly walked over to me and let me put the halter on. She enjoys bringing the horses up with me. It was good to realize this after yesterday’s questions about her. She knows what the job is and most of the time, I just get out of the way and let her do her thing.
#3 I played with Blu for a short while before going back to work. I had him saddled and my helmet on, but I only got through the preflight check before I had to go to work. It was still a good time and I got to ride Misty.
#4 Ginger got a 2 inch gash on her right flank/belly, aka her most ticklish spot. Ginger is my 17 year old sister’s horse. She is also Misty’s sister. Cute, huh? Ginger is the most sensitive horse I know, and tonight, she had to deal with 3 to 4 people crammed in her stall poking around and whatnot. I stayed out of the stall as much as I could and tried to keep my parents from raising their voices. My dad was down there to stitch it up or super glue it shut. Ginger is going to the breeders at the end of the week, so we would like it to heal up ASAP. It was very shallow, so super glue was enough. I was so proud of Ginger and my family for their cooperation.

Natural Horsewoman Out.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Leave...and NEVER return

Official Records Information
3 hours

Today was about Misty. I made a program plan for today yesterday, so I had something to follow, though I did go off course.

Ah, today is 11-18-10. I do know how this one did not get finished. It was a bad day. I finished feeling so downtrodden. I was afraid that Misty wanted me to leave and never return to her. I actually contemplated "setting her free" in the pasture and just letting her be forever. You might imagine that I was unhappy with myself.

Maybe I can dig up some notes on this session. It was probably a lot of me sitting and observing and being ignored. Well, we will see. Sometimes, it is best to leave memories like this alone and just let them become a learning experience that is just a part of you.

Natural Horsewoman Out.

Internal Monologue

So, I had an...interesting internal monologue today when I was playing with Misty. I was working through my program for the day, and all of a sudden, I felt like she wanted me to just go away and never come back. So I went away and I sat there asking myself why I was doing this program with her if she does not like people. She has never gotten to pick anything. She has always just done whatever I wanted. Some time while I was talking myself through why I should not just buy her food and make sure she was always healthy, she peeked inside the door of the building I was sitting in. After that, I began to feel better and come up with reasons that playing with her is a good thing for her. I am a good person, you see. I have things to show her through our relationship about humans. I don't have to worry about these kinds of thoughts from Blu; he adores humans. He tells me what he likes and I know pretty well where we are going together. But Misty throws these at me all the time, and it makes me want to just set her free on a 4,000 acre pasture and not look back (not out of frustration, but out of feeling that is the right thing to do). I love her so much, so that would be hard, but I don't want us to be a thing that I do to her (even if I do it in the nicest way possible via PNH). I don't know, it was a provocative afternoon. (P.S. I went out and we had a good session, during which she gave me things at liberty I really had not expected).

Natural Horsewoman Out.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Why I Feel Happy

Blu is the most loving horse. He comes to me and puts his head in my arms to snuggle. He speaks to me. He is a communicative horse. I don’t mean he nickers or calls, he just makes an effort to tell me things all the time. He says “Itch my butt,” he says, “I want you to come over here and play with me.” He tells me other things, and Misty does not, usually. Or at least she does not make such a big effort. She is a challenging horse. She much prefers other horses (specifically her boyfriend) to people, whereas Blu would move into my house if I let him. I am not saying he’s my favorite, it is just one of my favorite things about him. Misty has certain things that are special, but tonight, I am focusing my attention on adoring Blu.

I started out playing with Misty at liberty. She was making huge efforts to do what I asked from 50’ away. Ok, huge for her considering how she has been lately. I going to try and do most of my play at liberty in the pasture for a while as that seems to help build her trust in me. Someday, I will explain to you all why Misty and I have a fallout every spring/summer.

Well, Misty was pushing the ball and putting effort into it, so I let her eat her hay and went over and called Blu away from my mom who was itching him (he is itchy). Get this, he left her! He was practically in heaven. I was surprised. I played with Blu and ended with asking him to back into the trailer. This was session one, so I stopped when he confidently yoyoed straight back to it and until his legs touched the edge. Everyone should get to know a horse like Blu.

So, that was the most important part of my day.

Natural Horsewoman Out.

Thursday, April 22, 2010


I took her to the round pen for undemanding time. I laid in the middle of the round pen and fell asleep. I woke up because my leg was burning from the sun on my dark jeans. To remedy the situation, I built a lean to fort out of severl ground poles in the round pen and went back to sleep under it. I woke up later because I was stiff. I played the catching game with Misty with the determination to not go to her and that I wanted her to be unconditionally following me in the round pen (no matter how fast I went or how tight I made turns). The first time she gave me two eyes, she was not coming to me, so I suggested she circle me. In the course of our circling game, she gave me several nice changes of direction when I asked. They were strategically placed changes of direction of when she was turning to come in--reverse psychology. I listened for her to want to slow down and that is when I would tilt my head for her to come in. When she came in, I would do my stick to me test and try to shake her. Sometimes I walked to the gate and the turned from it, for example. I had to repeat the whole process of the circling game and then the stick to me 3 times before she was firmly staying with me. I noticed that over time, she began to make an effort to step over the fort rather than avoid it.

I took her out grazing in the pasture we call "Middle Earth" for half an hour then I took her to the front and trimmed and filed her front right foot. I only had to tie her up to file it in the position with her foot stretched forward because I could not have her leaning down eating grass while I did that; everything else was at liberty and she was very good.

So, I let her graze for a very long time after my farrier work. Then a neighbor came over and wanted me to saddle his horse for him because he could not lift the saddle. He said he had already tried, so I assumed his horse was already tied up, waiting to be saddled. So, I thought it would be a good time to tie Misty up and begin her on having patience while tied for 10 minutes. An hour and half later, I came back to Misty, who was standing quietly, alright--right in the middle of a new patch of stirred up dirt, quite the change when juxtaposed to the image of green grass that had been there when I left. I took her for another graze and then let her go. I was pretty upset with myself, but what can you do? And, she learned patience while tied up.

As for the horse I was supposed to saddle, I got out there and she was out in the pasture with her mini donkey and goat mates. She is a Right-Brain-Introverted horse, from my limited experiences with her. I played the catching game with her for about 10 minutes before I realized it was the donkey with whom I needed to play the catching game. You see, every time I got close to the horse walking to me, the donkey, whom I will call Dunkey, would run away. Then the horse, I will call her Mair, would follow him, nickering and worried. I had the goat, who I will refer to as Gote, following me around way before Dunkey and Mair finally came around. I played mirror me with Dunkey and he laid down two times in my presence and did a lot of licking and chewing. I spent most of the time sitting down. Finally, I decided to try driving the trio to the smaller pen by the barn. That was easy!

In the pen, I strategically put myself between Mair and Dunkey, facing Mair. As I stood there, Dunkey came to my back and began sniffing me, and eventually, touching my fingers. I pet him and he told me where to find his itchy spots. After that, we were fast friends! Soon after, Mair was a cinch to halter and saddle up. It was interesting, though, analyzing her relationship with Dunkey.

Natural Horsewoman Out.

Sleepy Student

So, we went out to lunch after my class (my gramma, mom, and I). Very yummy. Then my mom dropped Gramma and I off at the farm where I did a few household chores for Gramma and then went out to play with Misty.

I took her to the round pen where I fell asleep, so I don't know what she did for that hour and half. Then we went out to graze and I trimmed her feet. The whole thing was about 3 hours long. When my mom got back from work, the neighbor pulled in and said "I just had surgery on my shoulder so I can't lift my saddle onto Lady. Could you run up and saddle her for me? I think I want to go out and ride. I tried to saddle her up myself, but I couldn't lift the saddle." Ok, let me giver the low-down on this guy. He has owned horses for many years, but he still does not know anything about them. Their feet are always in need of attention and his donkey extremely obese while his horse is just obese. I said sure and tied Misty up. I figured it would be a good time to let her stand tied for 10 minutes and today I would leave her for 20 and so on. I told my mom to leave her there so she could start to learn patience when tied. I got out to the stable and Lady was out in the pasture grazing. Ok. I had assumed that Lady would be tied up already, but that's ok. Lady got curious about me pretty quick. But I noticed that she was very attached to the miniature donkey. When he moved away, she began nickering and walking after him like a mama after her foal. When I realized that the donkey was very untrusting and that it wouldn't matter if Lady wanted to come to me, I decided to call my mom up and let her know she could leave and untie Misty.

My conversation with "Moses" began with a mirror me. Once he was to the point that I could approach him, I was able to touch Lady. She was so nervous that I could not go up to her head still, so I decided to move them to the smaller pen. I gently drove the three (there is a goat in the mix, too) up to the front pen. There, the donkey began following me around and enjoying me scratching him in all the spots he is too fat to reach. Lady finally relaxed and it was pretty easy from there because she relaxed a lot. The whole thing took an hour and a half, though.

Natural Horsewoman Out.

The Neighbor Lady

I went out to check on Lady to make sure she had been taken care of properly and she came to the fence nickering. She is fine--besides the aforementioned ailments.

When I came back, Blu was laying down in the hay pile. I went out and laid on his belly. Then he told me he wanted to lay down so I went over and let him put his head in my lap. He fell asleep and began running with his legs, lol. Then he sat up so I went and sat down with my back to his belly again. After 5 minutes, he touched me and told me he wanted to lay down again. That time I let him lay on the dirt and I took some pictures with my cell phone. They are not the best, but better than nothing. Also, I don't know if I know how to or if I can upload them onto my computer... Then I laid my head on his neck and we took a nappy. He is so sweet. Misty does not do that with me . But my little Blu-Boo does!!

I left Misty alone, though I might go out and play with her later...

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Open Season!

Last night was my 4h club's first work out meeting of the year. No one came but my family, so that is four girls (My friend Britney, me, and my little sisters, Maggie, and Ellie). Bridget was stressing big time. I was glad that no one else showed up and we were able to completely let Bridget just take in her surroundings and do what she needed to do.

Blu, for the first time since he began going to these workouts, was perfect. I got to play on line with him for as long as I needed and then . . . I was so relaxed. Riding him, he had perfect impulsion, was using his whole body well, and was easy to steer.

Bridget was able to get a hold of herself and she rode in a saddle for the first time since she started Parelli (all this time she has been riding bareback, trying to build up her independent seat).

Trailer loading was great. Conner is taking fewer retreats before he is in happily and my mom is really working with me instead of against me. Over the weekend, she and I really butted heads when I started to pull him out of the trailer to work a sort of reverse psychology angle with him. She was so angry and she huffed off. I tried to stay calm because Conner was depending on me to stay calm. She huffed off to sit in the truck and after a couple minutes, Conner was practically dragging me into the trailer when I let him go in, which was the goal.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Trailerloading Made Easy

What fun I had tonight! Bridget and my sister, Magnolia, all played with our horses while my mom looked on (for the most part). I built a playground around the trailer, which was hooked up to The BarnKat (my truck). I had the table cloth tied up again, but in a new way and with an additional table cloth. I had to cones out, as well. The trailer door stayed up. I worked with the 45' line. We three just loaded our horses for the first times this year and we had no big scene, no yelling, no frustration; just laughing, jumping up and down in joy, and really big smiles.

Official Records Information
2 hours

I have decided to make a serious patterned program out of catching for the next seven sessions. I started it today. My goal is that Misty will put more effort into being caught. It is already a general non-event, but I often sense reserves on her part, and I don't want that. So:
1) sit outside the pasture with back against the gate for 5 minutes (I used a timer)
2) stand up, go into the pasture and give Misty 10 seconds to make a salutation
3) a. if she ignores me, I will casually walk around to her and begin stalking with serious intensity b. if she meets my eyes, wait for 20 seconds and halve the distance to her, wait, repeat
4) allow her to close the distance, dance as necessary, avoid tagging her/keep the energy low
5) give her several chances to leave during haltering by stopping and stepping back during haltering. If she leaves, start over from step 3) a.
6) Tah Dah! She loves me!

I had a very interesting Catching Game, tonight. There are a few noteworthy observations:
#1 she greeted me when I got to the farm, coming up from the back of the pasture, but she completely ignored and moved away from me during the 5 minutes of sitting.
#2 I could really tell that she was keeping at least one eye on me and she was very attentive to my movements, but she was not in a rush to get away
#3 she did not leave me when I gave her the opportunity to when I was haltering
#4 she took a long time before she began to get into halter position with her head laterally

On the way to the gate, to get her mind started, I tossed the line over her body to the other side of her so she had to do a spin away from me. When we got to the gate and the gate was open, it took her a few extra seconds to think through it, as she wanted to go forward, not right.

Misty immediately got tense when she saw the trailer, so I spent a good amount of the time to let her relax and eat grass before starting anything.

It took a 1.........2-3-4! before she stopped grazing and looked at me with an "Oh, we are starting?" I asked her to play the circling game behind the trailer. I stayed very patient and quiet, letting her pick the gait and direction at first. I did not want to start asking things of her until she was looser and more relaxed. Then I began asking for changes of direction, and when those were more relaxed, I moved her to two cones I had set up and began asking changes of direction with those. The two cones were set up about 10' apart and each 30' from the trailer. I am sure you guessed that the next step was to just do figure eights. I progressively made the cones closer together and closer to the trailer until they were about a foot from the trailer and about 4 feet apart. I got Misty there and she was not in the least worried about the trailer; rather, she was so attentive to me, asking questions, trying, stepping lightly. Then, once, instead of going around a cone, she just stepped confidently in the trailer and looked back at me, I smiled and decided that was a successful ending note for the day and we grazed and watched the other two girls have success with their horses for the next...I don't know, 30 minutes or more.

Natural Horsewoman Out.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Conner and the Trailer: A Letter

Dear Bridget,

As a recap, this morning we went out the farm to play with our horses and the trailer. We fed Conner and Misty a can of grain each. After you caught Conner, he proceeded to give us a lot of problems--from too nervous to focus to violently dominant! I took over in the end when he was getting especially dangerous and brought him back to paying attention, but then he went back to being nervous. Right when you were going to go get a longer line so you could keep him at a distance, you saw the time and had to go. So, I asked for permission to continue playing with him. As you were leaving, you may have seen us going under the rope that was holding up the small cloth that I had tied up. Conner was saying "No, no, no, I can't," so I was just waiting there for him to relax. When he finally came under the rope, he ran under and was very nervous. I put Misty away and we began to fix that.

My goal was to eventually have him go under the table cloth, which was about 5' off the ground attached to the trailer. About 20' of rope attached the tablecloth to a nearby tree, and the closer to the tree the rope was, the higher it was, at a maximum height of about 8'. So, it might make sense to you that the first thing I did toward my goal was to just walk from one side to the other side of the rope and let Conner zoom under behind me where ever he wanted to, which was always pretty close to the tree. The reason I did not send him under was so he would have a leader showing him it was safe. Every time he got to the other side, I yielded his hind quarters and stood with him for a few seconds before calmly going back to the other side. I stayed very relaxed and slow and acted like there was no rope...I even acted like there was no horse, sort of.

I watched for changes: for him to go under without hesitation; for him to go under closer to where I was going under, rather than closer to the tree; for him to slow down. The first change he made was he stopped hesitating, then he began to cross closer to the section I passed under, then he slowed down. This was all happening after about 8-10 crossings. At this point, I stopped and faced the line, and went neutral by cocking my leg and not moving. Then I waited for him. He licked and chewed literally for about a minute, no kidding. When he was finished, he took a step toward me. I let him continue to relax and ignored him. We would want to reach out and pet him, but for now, his reward was not having any pressure on him, and it really worked for him.

My next step toward my goal was to build his confidence in the set up, which I did by playing the squeeze game. I sent him under, and though he did not go all the way to the tree, we basically were in square one again as far as speed and nervousness went. Can you imagine how it would have been if I had asked him to go under this way first? Yikes! This time, it only took about 5 or 6 squeezes before he slowed down and became confident. My reward for him this time was to take him over to the hill and let him eat grass. He was relaxed--he passed some gas. After about 3 minutes, I stood up and began walking off. I had only taken a few steps before he looked up and followed me, trotting to catch up. I was so pleased with that response, I took him to another patch of grass and let him eat some more before going back to the trailer.

Next, was to pass under very close to that low cloth. I did a few passes stick to me style to help him with his confidence in me, then I did a few squeeze style. He had to put his head way down and then he had to deal with the ropes dragging across his back, but he did it and he did it all at a calm and confident walk.

The next step was to offer him the cloth. He tried his best, which was to touch it with his nose, but I left the decision up to him and he decided it was better to go under the rope. The first few times, he trotted unconfidently, but I think that is because he was afraid he would get in trouble for not going under the table cloth. So, I repeated the offer a couple times and made it more obvious that it was ok to go the other way by making a clear offer to go under the cloth and then a clear offer to go under the rope. After 2 repetitions, he was confidently walking and licking and chewing.

I gave him the second half of his morning meal of grain and let him graze while I fed the other horses. It all took about 10 minutes. I decided to try the cloth again. I attaced a carrotstick to the cloth on the side away from the trailer so I could lift it higher. I took Conner over and played a squeeze game with it, rewarding him when he made it through his thresholds. I waited him out for about 3 minutes when my mom pulled in and needed to talk for a bit. Conner could bite the table cloth and stand with his head low in front of it, but he could not pass under it, so to get to Mom, I went close to the tree and went under it. The rope had sagged a lot now from all the tugging, so it was only about 51/2' at the tree. He went under slowly and confidently and ate grass while I talked for a few minutes with Mom.

When we returned, he quickly got through his thresholds going from the opposite direction and after only 2 minutes, he squeezed quickly under. He did not trot, but it was speedy and unconfident. I let him stand for several minutes until he licked and chewed, then I repeated it 4 times and he was going under at a walk, very confidently.

I expected a lot and rewarded the littles he gave me. I was surprised that he was able to become confident so quickly. The whole thing (including our extensive breaks) took about 45 minutes, I would guess. I think that a lot of the success was due to all of the time I gave him in between the steps as well as how slow I went. I focused on my breathing and keeping it slow and audiable. I also noticed that he was not so tuggy and was ready to pay attention when I was leaving the grass.
I left the set up attached to the trailer so we can do it again tonight, maybe. I hope you had a good day at work.

Natural Horsewoman

Friday, April 2, 2010

Professional Photographer in the Making

Well, today was just awesome. I went to work from 7 to 1 and then rode my bike to the farm and played with Misty while my friend took pix for her college photography class. As soon as she sends them to me I will share . My goal with Misty was to not rush her. My friend was in a time crunch, but I did not care. I just flowed with the go and pretended like we had all the time in the world. I had a very intense catching game. I moved very little and she moved a lot and I definitely felt that she was drawn more strongly to me. I started by directing her 30' away to a ball that was about 50' from her. She caught my drift pretty quick and we had a good time playing with it at liberty. She was really talking to me, today. When I was putting her halter on, I knelt down and she put her head down. I would give it a 9.8 out of 10 for willingness. I think that if I would have gotten the halter on and then taken it off she may have left, but I am not sure. She followed me to the 23' line and we put that on and did some falling leaf and figure 8's around a barrel. She has recently been having problems backing up with the yoyo (past few sessions) and I sense that it is a confidence thing, so we quietly worked on that for a bit and I got a much better yoyo.

I went to a barrel and stood on it and beckoned her with the tiniest finger gesture and she sidepassed to me. Right then I lost my balance a bit and the barrel began to roll backwards. I just slowly kept walking it back until I could rebalance myself...and Misty chased me sideways as I rolled away.! I am on Misty now and I just kinda let her talk to me about how she was feeling. She was feeling pretty up today so I just gently began to sculpt her into maneuvers as she went at her own pace (a really nice trot). I had her to a haunches in circle, a shoulder out circle, some spins, some halfpasses and sideways at all the gaits. I also experimented with her in the trot asking for different heights and speeds and changing the front end's speed but not the back end's and visa versa. It was very nice--good stuff!

Then I hopped off and took her through what we call Middle Earth to the back pasture. It was her first time out there since the grass has been here, so I took it slow as we left the other horses. I waited out the thresholds she showed me and let her eat a lot. Regardless, by the time we got back there, I had to tell my friend that I would not be riding because Misty was not rideable, but that she could get some great action shots of her playing on the ground. So, I played with Misty on the ground, matching her adrenaline-fueled jumps and star-bursts. After about 3 minutes though...oops got to go, my mom is honking!

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