Friday, April 29, 2011

Lurvely Rides, Lurvely Horses

Blu was just outside a run-in stall soaking up the sun. He came right in to be haltered.

I played with water crossing with a driveway puddle. I focused on waiting for his intent to change. When it did, I took him to graze. Reapproaching the puddle, he was already a changed guy. He was focusing on the puddle instead of ways to not go in the puddle. When he put two feet in, I walked off with him and grazed some more. Even though he walked around the puddle, I was still happy with his change. I was also happy because I triumphed over myself. I got tight during our first try and had to kick myself. But after that, I was all relaxation and positive leadership.

Next, we did the HQ yield in motion. I was tickled with his performance, so much so that I tried it with the trot. We stuck with it until he had a break through at the trot, but that did not take long. I would like to see him able to do this exercise further out on the line and for him to become more coordinated at a faster walk as we go along.

I put his bridle on sitting on the ground. I had to stand up twice when his head shot up to look at something, but he took the bit right into his mouth and was fine with the bridle. For mounting up, he dove for the grass, but when I asked him to bring his head back up, he brought it up and came sideways to me by himself. Um, AWESOME.

After combing the reins and riding in the road while combing the reins, I played with HQ yields while riding him, too. I had to work on my timing. I timed my cue with the left front leg. When it landed, I cued the right hind leg to step under. Blu wanted to speed up at first, so I went back to relaxation. He was stopping with exhales just fine, but after our revisit to relaxation, he was much more level-headed.

Blu really caught on quick. Our first try with this the other day was a bit fumbly, but today he did great. Today I also had the reins attached to the bit, not the halter. I was better, too. One cool thing is that we did the hq yield in motion in the road, too, and he was totally relaxed. He never spooked at a car.

We floated right into a trail ride that was a mix of finesse and freestyle. I asked for leg yields from side to side of the path as we went along. I let him go at his own pace for a stretch and practiced matching him—including his sudden dive for grass. Then we played with grazing respect. HQ yields in motion were thrown in, too.

On the way home, he was a star as I got the newspaper and mail from his back. Then I hopped off and let him graze for a bit.

When I went outside, Misty called to me and marched right up to the gate when she saw me.

I saddled her up in the barn.

We played with sideways to me and a puddle. She was a little bit aloof.

When I got on, I did so knowing I was about to do some problem solving (with that aloofness and tightness). I contemplated whether I wanted to fix it on the ground instead, but decided I wanted to try some things on her back. Of course, I knew that if what I tried didn’t work, I could just hop off and work on the ground some more.

On the ground, I had done the falling leaf pattern to move her around. I switched us to a squeeze game between the trailer and me, then opened the door and had her step up. Now, under saddle, I wanted to see if I could shut the door.

We did the fluid rein until she blew out. When I began on the door, I would just stop at the door and wait for a mental/emotional change (toward relaxation) before moving on.

I tried hindquarter yields and motion and did leg yields from side to side of the driveway at the trot. Misty is so much more maneuverable than Blu. It’s very interesting. I think Blu is good for me because, as a rider, I have to get my position and timing just right to send the message to his feet. Misty gets the idea with little precision on my part.

When I felt a change in her, we went on a trail ride. I rode her out to the back at her pace. We worked on grazing respect a bit.

Going down the flooded aisle, I had to zig zag and exercise my patience because she refused to go forward. I could tell it was an "I don’t want to" matter, so I zigged and zagged her from grass to grass. Once we got so deep (literally), I was able to ask her off and she went straight and even cantered through the water. It was fun. She was not in a hurry on the way home.

When we got to some grass on the asphalt, she refused to go forward. I recognized that it was another instance of not wanting to, so I just waited her out and eventually she was fine.

The final leg of our ride was to go down the round about 30 times from our north to south driveway with turn face and wait after each traverse. It was cool to feel her change.

I enjoyed my time with Misty and I managed myself much better, too.

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