Saturday, April 30, 2011

BFO: "How Interesting!" Understood

This is my last school weekend. I have finals then two months before I leave. In fact, exactly two months from Sunday, I will be arriving in Colorado. I am so squeezed for time, I feel that this has truly been the most difficult semester I have had yet. I keep projecting myself into the summer, thinking of how it will feel to be on my way to the fast track, on my way to my future.

Today I enjoyed my time with Blu. It was so interesting to handle catching Blu. He was immediately locked onto me when I stepped outside and called him, and he locked on again when I got through the barn to the doorway of a run in stall. However, he did not come to me. He just stared. That means that coming to me was a lower priority than not going through the knee deep muck. I just waited, but today I eventually sat behind a large, old door leaning on the barn. As I was hiding back there, watching Blu stare at the door, I realized that I was actually experiencing great excitement with something that used to be frustrating and disappointing. I was having fun playing this catching game of not moving my feet, even though it was taking a long time (It took almost 20 minutes for Blu to get to me). I know that yesterday may have been tough for Blu and that he may not have been sure about whether or not he wanted to play, but I knew that it was okay. I didn't tell myself to feel this way, I genuinely felt pleased. Before, I was not FEELING that, though I knew I should.

Today, I got to see Ginger interact with Blu. I recognized the offensive and defensive head positions that came up in a Parelli DVD I watched recently. When the horse is on the offense, his head is usually tipped in the direction of travel. In defense, the head is usually tipped away from direction of travel so the horse can see the pursuant. That was cool to observe. At some points, as she chased him, I could see him thinking he'd rather brave the muck than hang out with her anymore. When he first decided he would come to me, she started chasing him again and chased him away. Ginger would go in spurts. She would chase him, stop and come off adrenaline, rest, and start the cycle again. The last time she chased Blu, it was set up just right that I thought I could draw him to me. I peeked out around the door and called Blu. He spotted me and came clambering through the muck, hustling to me. He stopped by me, unlike Hoosier, who had come in a while before and simply stopped by me and then continued inside. What a cool learning situation, and what a good feeling to embrace.

I sat with him while he grazed multiple times. I liked the way he waited for me to give him permission to eat, rather than diving down. He also had nice feel when I asked him to pick his head up, even though I often had to swing the stick sometimes.

Amongst grazing, we also visited the road. He flinched a few times, but no bolting. I also asked for some sideways to me and he was confident, though his HQ was dragging a bit. I did not correct him too much, though because it was not a priority and it was in the beginning of our session--the priority is soft, comfortable communication, undemanding requests at that part of the session.

Blu is excelling in the hindquarter yield in motion. Today was the second session I tried it at the trot and he is already much improved. On the first session, he was falling in, leaning out with his head up, trotting faster, and it took him longer to experiment through to the correct way of going. Today, he was cleaner and leaps & bounds more confident. He did not lean on the rope, nor did he fall into my space. He was able to stay out at about 7' from me. To improve further, I will begin counting the number of circles I ask him to maintain, how many times I have to use the stick, and how far from me he can maintain.

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