Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Two Line Driving Drives Me Crazy!

Official Records Information:
1 hour 30 minutes

I spent the morning working in the pasture, and throughout, Misty was saying hello every now and then and getting pellets from my pocket. When I went to catch her, she was having none of it. I would rate her spirit at a 3 out of 10, though, because she did not put to much try into getting away. She made one loop around the corn crib and then came right to me when I backed up. I put my arm in an arc so she could duck under and tell me she was ready to be haltered. I only had the 45' line coiled, so I put that around her neck like a thick necklace.

I could waited and was patient on the way to the halter, letting her work her way out of her emotional introvertedness. Her feet finally got less sticky and I knew she would be able to handle it when I offered the halter. She put her head into position and I got that feeling that it would definitely be a great session on the relationship part.

My sister was waiting for cool things to happen so she could take pictures, but she had to leave before photogenically cool things could happen. I played some friendly game and did some more waiting, all preparation for a successful zone 5 driving session. I checked her hindquarter porcupine and found it wanting, so I fixed it up to a nice phase 1 or 2.

I drove through the weave with one line, first. I noticed that she was beginning to "follow me with her hindquarters." This is when the horse moves herself so that you are directly behind zone 5 again. This means that you are using less rein to move her. I was glad to see this! She was also very confident about the carrot stick swinging not meaning for her to speed up, but for her to move her forequarters over.

I did notice that we need to tackle tail driving. Misty has been doing PNH for a while, she should know how to be lead by her tail. Seriously.

With everything going so smoothly on one line, I made it into two lines and havoc began. Not with Misty: she was so connected, confident, smart. Me, I kept getting the rope tangled in her feet. I was working on the figure eight, which is a lot of flipping. Misty did great, though. I also noticed that she realized the pattern, today. Some of the highlights are:
When she was tangled up, dropped a line and asked her to sidepass to me. I did not have a carrot stick because I am not handy enough, yet to do a carrot stick AND two lines (a decision I made after a lot of flops with all three things in my hands!). So, she did it with me (standing 10' from her) wiggling my pointer in the air and arcing my arm up as if it could grow and tap her other side. How cool is that?
I asked for a bit more go during the figure 8 and she smiled and trotted. No ear pinning, just "Yes, ma'am!"
Everytime she got unconfident, she looked to me, which is huge. And I don't mean her feet got stuck and I went through the process of waiting and waiting for her to look at me, I mean she stopped and looked right to me.

I stood with her for a little while and rubbed her all over. Then I walked her out back and drove her from zone 5 with one line while the other horses zoomed and flitted around. While she got through an adrenaline rush, I did the falling leaf pattern. Then she snorted and relaxed into normal driving. She was going, not impulsively, but with a good swing. When I saw her begin to put the brakes on, I knew she had reached her happy grazing spot: the perfect place to let her go. It was under an apple tree and she began searching for apples after I rubbed her face. I picked several apples and gave them to her. She decided I was a good thing to stay near to and would circle the tree, get an apple or two from me, and make another circle of searching the ground. I was able to pleasantly say good bye.

Later in the Evening. . .
I went out back to bring up the horses for evening play. I had nothing with me because I figured they would all just run up anyways. Well, I got out there, and no one seemed to care that I was telling them it was time to go up. I even tossed a wild onion at Connor's butt and he just flinched and yielded. I was standing next to Misty and began talking to her and picking grass. She let me take her and lead her up by the jowl. Ginger followed us and I let them graze on the way up.

I rasped Misty's feet at the barn and put on a halter and 12' line and out we rode. It was a good passenger lesson. I enjoyed myself, and Misty was very agreeable. She was also so patient when we were shutting that gate back up--very nice sideways to shut it and whatnot. I took her out to graze after that, which is what we did for about 20 minutes.

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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