Thursday, August 19, 2010

When We are "Whapped"

Misty, 1 hour, 8-18-10, evening

I got down to the farm and Misty was in the South Pasture eating hay with Ginger. I got my stuff (45' line, halter, savvy string and carrotstick) and opened the barn door into the South Pasture. . . and SURPRISE! Misty was standing behind the door already! "Hi!"

I walked out and left the barn door open. I thought she would go in, but she came to me and we put the halter on after some friendly. She was much better about reservations and she solved the puzzle and put her nose straight down through the nose hole on her own.

I was going to go play with two line driving in the North Pasture, but then I decided it would be better to do it in the round pen. So, off to the round pen we went. On the way, she had a nice feel on the rope, unlike the other day when she was a little heavy on it.

In the round pen, I let her go and hung up the 45' line so I could do some liberty, first. I know this might sound backwards, but just from haltering and on our trip to the pen, we had reached a point of connectedness that I felt we could go right into liberty.

I started with the friendly game again--remembering that Misty tends to get nervous in new environments, sometimes. So, I checked to make sure she was ok with the carrot stick flying around while I stood in zone 5. In the process, I had a lapse of skill and whapped her in the face. Now, I see that "whap" is not a word, according to my spellchecker, so let me define it:

whap (wh-AP): vrb. 1. to accidentally cause the savvy string to come into contact with a horse during the extreme friendly game 2. to hit the something with the savvy string during the PNH program, i.e. extreme friendly game

So, Misty's head bobbed and I ran to her and threw my arms around her face and appologized and rubbed. She seemed to be saying "Ok, ok, please get on with it, quit snuggling me!" I did a few helicopters to make sure she had accepted my appology and she seemed even more bored.

I knew that beginning the lead by the tail now would be in poor form because she was bored and disconnecting from me. NOT! I did put the line on her and started lead by the tail. I used the line to wake her up by wiggling it when she did not respond fast enough. After she was light, THEN I took the rope off and got fingerful-of-hair backups. I checked her steering and put the back up to use by starting a figure eight. I started her in the middle and backed around a tire. It was like watching paint dry, but we did it. Only, we only got around the tire. She did not want to back away from it! I did some yoyo to and from it, making the yo yo back longer and longer. When we made it to the middle of the cone and tire, I knew it was a good spot to give her a long break. We started up again, backing to and around the cone. Paint drying, but I was able to lead her by the tail back to the middle, albeit at tail phase 4. I called that success for the night. It had taken us the better part of 20 minutes. Lots of dry paint everywhere, though.

I put the 45' on her again and made it into two lines for driving. I yo yoed her out and in a few times before sending her right. I let her go for a bit and feel the rope on her and get my thoughts organized and my visual of what I wanted into my mind. It was just the friendly game. I wanted her to do transitions with my energy only. I thought this was a good goal because we were at such a close distance, the round corral was shaping her body so she could focus on me, and the lines gave me the ability to instantly speak to her so I could refine her response time.

Her canter was very rushed at first, so I did a rushed canter in my body. Slowly, after about 5 rushed laps, I began to slow down in my body and settle into a more relaxed canter. She did, too! I played approach and retreat with the canter for the rest of my session until she departed with relaxation into a nice canter. That was the highlight. Not much to share about the other gaits as I did not really do much in the way of correcting; she is really good at mirroring me in the walk and trot. I played with going slower or faster in the gaits. One thing I did not do was back up. Hmm.

Before I left, I lead her by the tail from one side of the round pen to the gate. Three hairs, phase one.

As I left, Misty came with me--all the way to the fence! That was really awesome.

Natural Horsewoman Out.

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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