Thursday, March 10, 2011

Misty is My Soul

ORI: Misty and Blu, 2 hours, 3-10-11, afternoon

I had another session of riding Misty while playing with Blu, or maybe that would be playing with Blu while riding Misty . . . or maybe it's both of those . . . It is snowing again, but the ground was quite mushy, so we had to be careful not to punch too many holes in Gramma's yard (yikes). Today, my plan was to do this with these two and work on the things that needed work after my observations from Tuesday.

Misty came right to me, but started to walk away when I lifted the halter. I played an approach and retreat draw building game with her with it. I was able to get the reins over her head without any reservations from her, so I settled on that. Blu followed us into the barn. Once everyone had their halters on, I lead them outside.

I tied Blu to a tree while I played with Misty on the 23' line with the flag on a stick. First we did some yo yos. She was a little defensive at first, but then got more confident with them and did them with more fluidity. Then she trotted circles around me. She was much calmer today and even broke gait to a walk a few times, though all it took was a look or a thought and she was trotting again. I worked on downward transitions with the goal of having her stop lined up with a tree so I could have her go sideways to it. Once she stopped in line, I began the sideways, and she was great. She was a little unsure about it, but she was relieved to stop at the tree and did a lick and chew. I picked another tree and repeated, then I had her come sideways toward me to stop at another tree. Sideways toward me was very nice, though she got close to me. Maybe I should have backed up faster (?). When we hit this third tree, she did a BIG sigh.

During this, Blu was beside himself beside the tree. He would paw impatiently on occasion and was being bored. I made him wait outside at the tree while I put Misty's saddle on in the barn. Blu was great! He did start taking my 23' line, which I hung up on a limb of his tree, off the tree, but he was otherwise fine.

I did a quick checking between tightening the cinch, then went to the trailer and Misty came to me, presenting her left side, to mount up. I untied Blu and the games began. I started without the flag with Blu on the 12' line. I just pushed his zone 1 around with Misty. It was very difficult for him at first because he wanted to dominate. When that was better, I played some stick to me and Blu was flying through the air. Misty was just trotting, but Blu would get behind then speed up rearing and swinging his head. I got very big and matched him and then some. Misty was very defensive, herself. When we moved on, Blu was being MUCH more respectful and Misty was not being so reactively defensive of her space because I was doing it for her.

While teaching Blu to respect Misty's space, I worked on keeping him from running up her butt by backing her up and swinging the rope at him when he was behind her.

Next, we did sideways. Misty was pretty good, but Blu was much improved from yesterday. He really clicked with it. He went with his HQ and FQ together instead of dragging one end, and he was a bit less unsure. We ended by grazing for 10 minutes.

I was done, but I decided to take Misty and Blu toward the neighbors to see where Misty got nervous. I was hoping to go on a trail ride sometime before my spring break ends. So, we would find that threshhold and mark it so I knew where to start next time. Misty got a bit of a heart rate increase, but was not out of control as we headed over there. I let her stop and graze. Through the squeeze between pine tree and fence, she tossed her head at Blu and made him wait behind her. We went onto the asphalt and lapped the 30' back around. That felt nice and on the reapproach to the path, Misty was calmer. So, we went on a trail ride.

Misty was walking a fast clip. I used the end of Blu's line to keep him up with us. When we turned around to come back home, Misty relaxed and walked much slower with much more freeness in her body. I saw a limb on the path and thought it would be cool to drag it home, so I went back home grabbed a featherline.

Everything went so great! Misty stood while I dismounted and tied on the stick and while I got back on. Both horses were attentive to the stick, but they weren't jumpy. Unfortunately, my line got scuffed because the stick rolled so the line was on the asphalt :(

When the limb came around a pine tree and made it shake, Blu shot forward and turned and faced, but Misty kept her head on. She was not totally confident, she did more of a freeze, but usually, if another horse bolts, she does. She quickly relaxed under me. The rest of the way home, she understood the dragging behind her thing and was cool.

I thought today was so fun and interesting! As a post script message, I will explain the title to this post on a later post (that makes sense).

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