Friday, March 11, 2011

Stallion Exposition

~Part One
I worked this morning and the weather was beautiful. I was working as fast as I could because after work, I had to go to the Stallion Expo to work a booth and would not have much time to play outside. When I got home, I changed shoes and went out to play with Blu.

In the round pen, I played with a barrel a bit, seeing what he would do with it. He had nice draw.

When I went to get on the barrel, he was giving a lot of negative feedback (biting and pinning ears). I just sat or stood on the upright barrel until he relaxed. Then I got down and followed me out and back to the barn.

~Part Two
I sold two items for the MSU Horse Program out of the tens of people that I stopped and tried to convince to buy merchandise to support our wonderful program. However, in the process of helping at the booth, I met a few people to add to my network of friends. I sold a polo to the woman who created her own business entity called Southern Girl Racing. She was fun to talk to.

The stallions there were lovely. I never got to see any of them in action, though. I did watch parts of the colt start challenge. I was sitting in with Maggie, and at first I was so overwhelmed by the terror in the space, the nervous energy pouring out of these coming 2 year old colts, who 2 days before, had never seen a halter before. Cowboys immediately began to flood them with stimulus and yank and knock with the halter. At one point, my right leg began kicking back against the cement behind my feet uncontrollably. I felt the horrible sense of claustrophobia and noticed in one of the five round pens, a colt's right hind leg had been tied up.

Tearing up terribly, I was about to leave and we were only 3 minutes in. Then I noticed the front and center round pen. The horseman was being so quiet and soft. I totally shut out what was happening in the arena. I took a few videos of him with colt #4. It was beautiful. It was sad, though when a horse started bucking in another pen and a man behind me said that's what I should be taping. I moved to another spot after that.

The man in the center pen did a lot of mirroring of his horse. There was no dust rising and his colt did not even break a sweat (while the other colts were drenched). He had a great sense of humor. When a horse in another pen began bucking under saddle, he covered up #4's eyes and shook his head at him. He was suddenly the first one on, and the horse was taking everything in stride. He ended early and just hung out with his horse. He did not use a bit. I wish I could have seen more of it during the weekend, but I only went on Friday.

It was a big learning experience for me. I could not believe that folks could stand the atmosphere. It was not like a wild horse race or anything, but there was so much force and violence. It was all about the guy in the pen dominating through force. Except in this one pen.

When I changed seats, I met a pair of lovely horsewomen. One was a very experienced dressage rider. She was leading the way in philosophical conversation with her friend. Her friend was a pleasant woman who just plays with her quarter horse. It was so nice to chat with them. I asked if either had ever heard of Parelli. When they said yes, I got the feeling it had not been positive experience, so I asked if the Parelli student at their barns were nice. Unfortunately, they are not, really. It sounded like these students at these ladies' barn were a bit snooty about Parelli--a sort of "if it's not Parelli, it's no good" attitude. How very unfortunate. I did not tell them that I was a Parelli student. I continued to enjoy conversation through to the next round of horses.

In the next round, I saw a very confident horse who was very deliberately telling his handler what he thought of him. I wonder if he ever landed one of those slow, calculated kicks. In this next round there was no sign of hope, and when a man laid a horse down, I had to leave. I believe that when a horse is "laid" down with ropes and such, it causes them to leave their body, to spiritually change. In the wild, animals facing sure death will leave their body and they won't feel anything--a sort of grace and mercy of the Creator so the animal does not need to be present as they are being eaten alive. Reading the book Tao of Equus by Linda Kohanov reinforced how I feel about "laying horses" down. This should not be something that we condone, and it should NOT be a part of a colt's first experience with a rider. These horses have no baggage or dangerous opinions of humans. They are clean slates--all they bring are their innate horsenalities. So I excused myself and hustled out before the tears came.

I wandered through the horse trailers. They are beautiful. I decided that what I want to do is to become a nomadic horsewoman. I will buy one of these amazing horse trailers, a nice truck, and I will travel from ranch to barn to school to yard. I will help start horses, give lessons, clean stalls, etc. until I am ready to move on or it gets to hot or cold. It will be me, Blu, and Misty traveling the country on an adventure. I want to have stories, to meet people.

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