Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Painting Pony

I am teaching Blu to paint for my final project in my Mixed Media and Installation class. I am having him create 5 pieces. Each piece is created through the relationship I have with him. Today, we did our first piece.

It is about weight. Horses are heavy animals. If you are in the presence of one, it is very clear that they are powerful. Each hoof carries so much weight! The front end naturally carries more weight because of the head being on the front end, but Blu specifically carries the most weight on his left front foot. So, this first work is a minimalist sculpture. I took a slab of clay in a plastic bag, plopped it on the driveway. My plan was to play the touch it game. First have him touch it with his nose, then get it set up so that he touches it with his left foot. NOT his right foot. Just the left foot. At first he was set up to get it with his right. With a small adjustment through communication, I got him set up for the left foot to be it. He pawed it and the plastic ripped a bit. When I unwrapped the slab, it was perfect. It was not a typical hoof print. It had a mark from him biting it and had the mark from him pawing it.

Blu was adorable, today. He was light when I lifted him from the grass. He made amazing progress learning to paint, he did great on the road and on our walk, and he followed me under the tree I went under to avoid mud (that was the CUTEST squeeze).

Here is the sequence of learning:
1: Touch it. He got a cookie after he touched it.
2: Nodding. I taught him to nod on cue by nodding when he did and giving him a cookie. Now he nods on cue. Eventually, I will encourage him to paint by nodding.
3: Bite it: I kept the brush on me and if he ever presented mouthy behaviors during a session, I would let him bite it. Eventually I presented him with the brush and gave him a treat for biting it.
4: Hold it. He gets rewarded for holding onto it longer.

This is going to be a fun art project!

Natural Horsewoman Out.

1 comment:

  1. Yes, sounds like fun! Would love to see the finished products!!!!

    Petra Christensen
    Parelli 2Star Junior Instructor
    Parelli Central


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