Tuesday, July 27, 2010

What? Catching Issues? Don't sweat it: I got this.

Official Records Information:
Misty 1 hour morning 7-27-10

I went out this morning with a plan to work on my PP homework. I wanted to specifically further her lead by the tail progress as well as to do some ground driving with trotting. I met both of those goals.

Cherry, 45 minutes, afternoon, 7-27-10
Cherry the MorganX is very sweet. I was warned that she was the type of horse who you could whap as hard as you liked and she would not move. So, when I was doing any yielding, I did light, light, light phases followed by a delicate flick to the udder, nose hairs, or chest. That got her very light, very fast.

When I got my helmet to ride, I was warned that Cherry does not like it when the rider taps the helmet while riding. I found out that she also does not like to have a lot of other commotion on her back. I tried to lift the helmet back by its visor, but the thing came unvelcroed.

I got down and backed away while sticking and unsticking the visor. Then I retreated while I tapped my helmet. Successful licking and chewing with those and I got back on and repeated. I got down when she was able to handle her final fear with my cowgirl hat making straw noises.


Misty 20 minutes, evening, farrier, 7-27-10

Misty 1 hour, 15 minutes evening 7-27-10

I am going to say it now: there are no words in the human language capable of describing the feeling of my horse cantering to me with her face aglow. When it first happened this past winter, I burst out crying I was so completely overwhelmed. Now, I do cry tears of joy quite often around my horses, but let us strike that from the record, shall we?

I feared that I would have to wait a terribly long time before that would happen again. I know I have spoiled it, now, but let me tell you about tonight with Misty.

Off into the pasture I went. Misty sneaked off to the corn crib structure. You might know that this is her safe place. So, I went out, noting her behavior on the way. I stopped and backed up 40' when she got very uncomfortable. She was turning her head from me and looking at everything but me. I turned my back and waited. When I felt her look at me, I looked back, and sure enough she was very tentatively looking at me. I smiled and turned my back again, but then she retreated back further into the corn crib. Hmm. . . well, I decided that I could continue waiting there or I could go closer and sit somewhere close to her comfort zone. Either one would have been "right" for that instance, but by going to her safe place, it would not be such a stretch for her to come to me.

I sat down on the edge of the foundation of the corn crib facing out and waited. I watched the bats flitting around and diving for their dinner. I listened to Hoosier knocking something over in the barn. I thought about the farrier's visit. . . I did not pay any attention to Misty behind me. Faster than I thought she would, she came to my shoulder and put her head down by me. That was nice. When she began to relax even more, I gave her a cookie. I waited some more before pulling out my barn knot halter and halter her while sitting down. Definitely some reservation from her for that, but not to bad. I did not push her through it or anything.

I did approach and retreat and she began to get more comfortable and looked at me. I began to play with leading her by the tail, but within the first few responses, I realized it would be more productive to do it when she was in a better frame of mind. Like this morning, after I got her mind focused on connecting with me and being curious, she was able to learn a lot faster. I could have continued and eventually she would relax and figure it out, but I decided to retreat again, instead.

I sat back down and after 5 minutes or so, I decided that I could indeed wait for Misty to relax some more, but I have the savvy to get her relaxed faster with some on line playing. So, I walked off to the open pasture area and began some on line stuff. We circled on the 12' line and Misty curved her body around me in both directions very nicely. Plus, she was trying to stop at a cone and play with it in an effort to appease me in some way. Unfortunately, I changed our good circling game into a stick to me / mirror me game. We did some cutting game steps and then I was just playing: having her trot to me, stopping, rolling back, etc. I thought to myself "Gee, I wish this stinkin' line could come off. . . " and took it off. I decided that if she took off, that would be my cue that this was a bad idea. . .

I proceeded to play with her. We ran around the pasture, did cutting with each other, reared up, went sideways over a barrel, lead by the tail (!), and amongst all of this wild liberty, Misty ran to me on several occasions. Once was just when I ran backwards and had her run to me. Another time, after one of our sit-and-chills (where I sit/squat and she puts her head down by me and comes off some of the adrenaline), she did not come off it enough, we were in the back of the pasture, and she just took off for the front of the pasture where Connor was standing. When she got there, she looked around, spotted me, I smiled and jumped up in a little canter, whistled, and she cantered and possibly galloped to me. Then, as she got close, I had her slow down and go sideways a bit. Then we sat and relaxed. She stood in front of me (I was sitting) and put her face right in my face, forehead to forehead. She stood like that for a long time. I don't know what that means.

I played a while longer, got to having her take several steps (5-8 with rhythm) back with just the tail, and then told her, "Why don't we run around for one last lap?" I trotted then cantered then ran all out. I looked behind me and she was pumping along chasing me down. I came down from the canter to the trot rather than stopping abruptly. We did that once and I was afraid her new front shoes would rip right through her feet.

Tonight did not go as planned, again, but I got homework done and had a lot of fun. That is a lot accomplished, in my book.

Natural Horsewoman Out.

No comments:

Post a Comment

About Me

My photo
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