Friday, July 30, 2010

My Second 2-Star Parelli Professional Lesson

BEFORE YOU READ: It is very late and I have not bothered to proof this post, yet, so be patient with the grammar, spelling, and sense-making of my words--thanks!

Official Records Information:
Misty, 2 hours, 7-30-10, evening

I quite enjoyed tonight's lesson. Before Meggie got there, I had to get Misty warmed up, so I got there an hour or so early to do that. Misty, Connor, and Blu were up front and the other two horses were out back. I took Blu and Misty to the round pen--Misty in a halter only being led by my pinky, Blu with the 12' line around his neck, Connor trying to get by us--the whole thing could have ended badly, but I set it up for success. I made sure that Blu and Misty were not going to get into an argument with one another by leading them around together and giving them pellets when they got close to each other. Misty's ears would pop forward and Blu would stop thinking about nibbling Misty somewhere annoying. Then, I shooed Connor away by shaking my head at him until he cantered off in a fit. By the time he came back to the gate, Blu, Misty, and I were standing together on the other side.

Safe in the round pen, I let Misty graze at the stubbly stuff in there with Blu for 5 minutes so I would have fewer "I am not happy with this change in environment and Connor is running around" emotional issues when I started playing with Misty. While they ate, I brought out the plastic bag on a stick, a carrot stick and string, and a 23' line.

When I got back, both horses looked at me. I let myself in and they came over to greet me. I stood and pet them and gave Misty pellets whenever she tolerated Blu. Then I shooed Blu out of her space and began to assess how the tail leading was coming. After a few phase 3 with no rhythm in the yield, I decided to wait until I had done something to get her more focused on me, first.

I was wearing a pirate hat from the craft store--it's for Blu's costume at fair--and I decided that would be another good friendly game to play with Misty. She liked that pirate hat, I think. I should have taken pictures.

Exactly what order I did the following items is kind of foggy, so bare with me:

Figure of 8 at liberty to get our communication up and running. She was very focused on me. At first, she wanted to turn away from me when she was supposed to go around the left cone. I would step to the right and swing the carrot stick the way I do when I ground drive and she responded correctly by moving her zone one to the left. Then, when her left eye was to me, I would step back and draw her in. She was very willing to come in--had a very innocent look on her face. After two of those, instead of letting her come in, I would send her around the other cone. After that, she did the pattern no problem.

Now, Misty was very connected to me and I had her at liberty (this one of the things that I am not sure about where it happened in relation to the other events). I began my tail leading and progressed us from a couple steps back at phase 2/3 with a little bit of hair to--wait, no she must not have been at liberty or maybe I put the line on her because I moved on to turning and using the line as a phase 4 to move her hind quarters. I think we got through one figure of 8. . .

Put the line on and played my circling game. I was not getting straight backs for sending, so I would correct her and back her up again. I worked on stopping with the carrot stick by stopping her at the gate, where Blu was on the other side of and a tire was leaning against it. That worked very well. Later, when I was circling for Meggie, I would have to work through the opposite--having her continue without stopping at it. That was not too bad, though, I don't think. I also would use it as a marker for her downward transition.

Meggie arrived while I was examining Misty's shooed hooves and deciding to not run her at fair. I will do ground driving with her, but if I show in Speed, we will most likely just be walking/trotting.

Circling in the round pen notes:

My send was pretty disrespectful on Misty's part! She was not backing straight and she was definitely not backing rhythmically. I used long phase one, quick 2/3/4 to fix it, but I need to pay special attention to this game for homework. I did a thing where I looked and flicked at her hiny if she took a crooked step back. Meggie had me do the friendly game at various parts of the backing up to make sure it was not a friendly game issue. It turned out to be more of a respect issue

Slack in the rope still needs work, but not too much--she made a lot of progress in that tonight. She was able to ignore the weeds in the round pen, and when we left, she got back to putting slack in it there, too. However, she sometimes takes it out. Meggie noticed that when she is going left she is tending to look out more and I told her that she is usually fine going to the right, but going left, about half the time she is counter bent and looking out.

Change of direction. I worked on my timing (per Meggie's advising). I was going back into my bubble, but not soon enough because sometimes Misty was going into that space in the center as she changed direction. I realized that subconciously, I was thinking that if I went back sooner, Misty would not be pushed forward but go around behind me or something. I have never thought this to myself, but once when I was doing as Meggie said and going back sooner than I had been, I got that feeling "oh no, she won't make." Then I was like, 'wait of course she'll make it!" Kind of the BFO for the night. That really made her changes snappier. My homework in regards to this is to refine it.

Next was canter/walk transitions. We worked on my timing--asking her to go to the walk right before she was about to break from the canter anyways and asking for the transitions in the same spots. Misty began to do both up and down transitions better. I personally was thinking it was pretty cool for the time we spent on it. The benefit of having a PP there coaching.

We moved to the pasture to work on the other direction and see how her slack in the rope held up with out the round pen to shape her. It was not perfect immediately, but we ended well. Now I just have to make it all the norm. One of my homeworks is to now have a long phase one, quick 2/3/4 or 4 for the transitions. As an important principle as I do this without her, remember to take care of Misty's responsibilities in order: if she has no slack in the rope and poor transitions, I take care of the slack in the rope first, then the transitions.

Misty's lead by the tail for Meggie came as a sort of sidenote after we talked about the circling game, Misty's looking away, etc. She was not really connecting with me and I could see she was thinking slowly. I really wanted Meggie to see how far we got with it with her own eyes, but mayge next time--which is not until August 17th! Since I have two weeks to work on all this, next time we will have a riding session.

Looking away: I think I sometimes I misread her "ignoring you" face as an unconfident face. I know I did tonight, at least twice. I definitely don't always misread it, but that is another thing on my homework list--when I think she is being unconfident, I will ask myself "Is she really unconfident??" That is so basic, but obviously I need to work on it.

Reading unconfidence properly
Looking away--what creative things can I do to end this when I am sending her on the circle or the yoyo
straighter yoyo/send
continue with lead by the tail
refine the transitions and change of direction
slack in the rope
Phase one long, phase 4 for transitions
General "attitude problem" of Misty's
~how can I make a game out of things to make things more interesting?

Overall, I was really glad to hear that Misty was being more disrespectful than unconfident. I am assertive and building confidence does not come as naturally to me as building respect. I can instill confidence just fine. I feel that this is kind of the turning point for Misty in her emotional condition. She has been so unconfident this summer and now several respect issues have been sprouting up lately, which means she is probably getting her confidence back. I know that sounds twisted, but that is how I feel. So, there.

Natural Horsewoman Out.

1 comment:

  1. "Overall, I was really glad to hear that Misty was being more disrespectful than unconfident. I am assertive and building confidence does not come as naturally to me as building respect. I can instill confidence just fine."

    This is exactly the same way I feel! My 2* PP just confirmed for me that my mare is probably expressing disrespect rather than unconfidence. I was so glad to hear it because I am much more prepared to be assertive than I am to "coddle".

    Good luck! I enjoy your blog!


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