Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Got Creative with Leg Wraps

Official Records Information
30 minutes

Of late, I have adapted myself to thinking of Misty very delicately. I do not want to force her to do anything, because any success I had would be tainted--where is the beauty in anything without dignity? With Misty, I want her to do things for me and with me of her own volition. One of the greatest reasons for the switch from all the "epic" sessions in winter to this is because spring and summer is show season, and Misty knows what I have turned into in the past, so she completely changes. I am not going to go there this year, but of course she does not know that. So, where I stand is trying to prove to her that I am not going to be changing any time soon...

I went out to take pictures in the afternoon and I put some treats in my pockets in case she came up to me. She did not, but I forgot to take the treats out, so the next time I went to photograph the artwork I was working on, I still had them. I was taking pictures and very focused on that act when all of a sudden, she was there--and shying at the drawing! I got some photos of that. She had been coming up to see what I was up to and did not notice the drawing until it was gonna get her! Anyways, I gave her treats and scratched her itches.
Later, I gave her some more treats at the fence when I was working around there.

When I came out for an evening session, I took out the travel wraps, halter, and 12' line. I was surprised when she did not immediately walk away when she saw me, but she stayed. I itched her and put a wrap on. I stepped back because I wanted her to know that no one was keeping her there--I could feel her getting emotional about the leg wraps (leg wraps lead to trailers, which lead to me changing). She did walk away: to the corn crib. I stood for a moment before following her. She turned to me at first, but was distracted by something way off in the distance. I rolled a wrap at her hindquarters and she jumped and looked back at me again. Then I went to the gate that separates the two pastures and sat down with the wraps and ropes.

Blu came to the fence and got scratches. Misty wandered around the pasture aimlessly, one leg wrapped. She stood with in 10 feet of me every now and then, like she was trying to figure me out. Then off she'd go, and I still felt like she was testing me, to see if I would follow her...but I never did; I just sat there, often with my back to her, itching Blu. Blu was loving it: when he wanted me to itch somewhere, he would put it close the fence; when he wante me to get his other side, he walked forward, turned on his forehand, and walked back to me (he could not just turn around on the spot because Ginger was squeezing him between her and the fence. He is too funny.

Misty stopped once, took a cookie, and left. This was ok. This is what she needs. I can feel so much skepticism coming from her. She thinks that at any moment I will snatch her up and become a different person. . . and it is my responsibility to show her that will not happen.

I walked to the front fence, because I was going to call it a night, what with stiff hips and back from sitting. She followed me up there, though. I did not turn to face her, I just smiled at her. She came up and touched a wrap in my hand, and I gave her a cookie straight away. Then I decided to make a game out of this to build her confidence in the wraps. I kind of turned the wrap into a vending machine. I really liked the way that I could see her getting more confident. The wraps were no longer wraps, they were just a target for her nose. I was even able to wrap and unwrap her legs a few times. She also touched the wraps while I was wrapping her legs. It was all very provocative for her. Before leaving, I put a wrap on the ground and pointed to it, while I stayed on my knees. There was a long wait before she figured it out, licked and chewed, and touched it.

Tonight, that was success.

Natural Horsewoman Out.

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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.

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