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.

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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