Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Teaching Misty to Halter Herself

Official Records Information
15 minutes

I began my routine by sitting with my equipment and doing stretches for my hamstrings and back (because I was at work all day and I was stiff) for 5 minutes. After that, I began playing the catching game with Misty, just unsticking her feet until she would follow me. Then, I began to teach her to put her head into the halter herself. I would approach her with the halter in position until she put her nose towards it, then I would pull away quick and give her a treat. This built slowly into her following me as I carried the halter in position, and then into her putting her head under my arm and her nose touching the halter. She was so skeptical, but the feel and the interest got so wonderful, that I decided to end it there, even though I did not even finish my routine. Hopefully, tomorrow will benefit from that decision.

My patience was high quality tonight, so good for me. I was very happy with my time with her.

Natural Horsewoman Out.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Play After Work

Official Records Information
<45 minutes

I worked 12 hours today, starting at 7:30 a.m. and then I did not get to the farm until about 8:00 p.m. Since I was gone all weekend on the Ohio trip, this was my first time seeing my horses since last Friday! I have, of course, been thinking about them all weekend because it was a Parelli tour stop. I decided to play with Misty tonight since I had not really had an active play session with her last week because of her inflamed tendon and my work schedule. I started with my routine of sitting for 5 minutes, but that 5 minutes turned into 10 because I had to teach Elle how to keep her wrist straight as she swung the carrot stick ("the more joints you have hinging, the less continuity you have across swings" is a good rule for beginners with the carrot stick). Eventually, I was finally back into place on the dusty ground. Then I realized I forgot my bag of treats, so I filled a bag and clipped it around my hips and returned to the pasture. Misty was very interested in me now that I was going "rustle rustle" with pellets. In order to counter her over eagerness to get a treat, or rather, in order to not use the rustling as a bribe, I set up a puzzle with the halter. I arced my arm with the halter split between my hands and invited her to put her head under my arm and into the halter. Initially, she said "Um, this game isn't fun anymore!" but we quickly made progress. I don't think it will be long before she sees me do this with my arm and the halter and comes right over.

Once she was haltered, I did some one line driving from zone 5 with the green ball. She sure does love that thing! It gives her so much confidence. I would really like to progress her randomr pushing into directed pushing. Sometimes she gets it in her mind to push it to me. . . maybe I could make that work for us. Hmmm. . .

Next, I wanted to drive her to something else. I decided that the carrot stick, laying on the ground, would be a new one. Well, I had no idea how long I would have to wait before the success, but, just like this past weekend, I could see every thought going through Misty's head, and so, the wait just is not boring. I was completely hanging on every movement and facial expression she made. I did a sort of yoyo game with her. She eventually knew that I was driving her to something, but did not know what. I would drive her back to a post then reapproach the prostrate Carrot Stick. I could have porcupined her head down, but that would have ruined the success when I saw the light go on in her eyes and she asked me tentatively "This?" BINGO! Cookie! I foresee this as being a task that will help her get her gears going and her mind focused--this driving to something small on the ground.

Natural Horsewoman Out.

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