Thursday, February 24, 2011

Black Cats and Pyramids

Maggie and Mom gave the horses hay before I got out there. That is not optimal, but when I took Blu by the jaw after greeting him, he did not argue a bit. He was actually very bright and light. He anticipated stopping at the gate, but I smiled and continued to the round pen.

I made a decision today that I want to give Blu and I a good long focus on our relationship. I want to do amazing things with him, so I am going to make sure that we have a super duper foundation underneath us to build on. I feel that I am continually returning to a feeling of being at war with Blu. It did not used to be that way, though. Looking back through my blog posts, I come across this post about Blu. It made me smile. At the end of our session, when I return Blu to the back pasture with all the other horses, he chooses to follow me back to the front instead of join his buddies. That is a powerfully humbling feeling.

I am going to go on an adventure in less than 18 weeks. I would love for us to have all these tricks up our sleeves, but what is much more important is that Blu and I have a rock solid relationship. No cracks allowed. I need him to trust me completely on this road trip.

All of this stewing has lead me to the decision to plan out each of my remaining weeks today. The first week is going to be down time. It is going to be learning about each other in the round pen.

Today was the official signing of the peace treaty. I was put on my Carhartt's and hoofed it to the round pen with Blu as described above. I was surprised that Blu immediately came to me and stood over me. I lay in the snow being rubbed all over by the cat and the horse. After a bit, I sat up and found an itchy spot under Blu's chin. He loved being itched there! When he would stretch out of reach, I would take my hand down and he would put his back down for more. Blu was progressing to nibbling, so any time he put his mouth on me, I stopped scratching. He licked and chewed after 5 times.

Once he put his butt to me and began backing up. He has done this on occasion during quiet time since I first started Parelli. He likes his butt itched, but this feels different. It is a way to get me to move out of the way, I think. He is not kicking or evening looking mean--he just looks sneaky and kind of like he is giggling. He will very slowly slide back. I used the carrot stick to protect my space. He got some more itching from me before he got into position to do it again. When I yielded his hindquarters, he plodded slowly off and looked like he was going to lay down. I sat up to watch and he immediately looked to me and came back.

I rolled around on the ground, but it was to no avail. He was done with rolly thoughts--or so I thought. He was getting a little mouthy with Sarah the black cat. All along she had been rubbing on his mouth and chin, but now he was starting to get a bit curious with his teeth. She slapped him and hissed. He pulled away and licked and chewed. "That cat has self respect," I thought. I felt justified and happy about protecting my space from then on. I did it gently, but I was adament. After some more time of being clear about my boundaries, he followed the cat to the gate (more like chased her slowly at the walk). When he decided that there was no way he could reach her through the gate, he began to wander as if to roll again. He was clearly restless. He would get his legs close together and swish his tail, but not go down. He pawed. He yawned.

I think he was having some major discoveries right then. He returned to me--still not having rolled--and I stood and we exited together. I positioned him so that he was between me and the fence so I could do a stick to me game on the way back to his hay. The first stop, I had to add stick, but the second time, he stopped without it. Then I ran to his hay and he trotted.

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