Thursday, August 4, 2011

Mustang Campus Meeting

This morning we started with playing a game to improve our carrot stick toss. The tecnique is to push the butt of the carrot stick with one palm while you guide the direction with the other. We started with the name game then we played it so that if you couldn't name the next key, principle, or quality, or if you didn't catch the stick, you had to do the chicken dance.

Then we went out to the savvy park with 45' lines and our carrot sticks and savvy strings to practice tool savvy lead by Tanya. I have the quick draw down with both hands and I had pretty good feel wrapping the string around a person, but the 45' line practice we did was AMAZINGLY eye opening. My 45' line works! Woo! I need to work on building its memory by throwing it out and recoiling it more often.

Then Ryan went over knots again and also taught us the picket line knot and the pretzel knot. The pretzel knot took me a minute to get, but now I have it down.

Our all campus meeting was special because most of the campus was going to be at the fairgrounds for a Parelli demo. Also instead of highlights from everyone, Kalley, Rhett, Ryan, and Berin shared their experiences from the past weekend at the mustang event in Reno.

Each was asked what the biggest thing they learned was:
  • Kalley: Patience and belief in the principles under the pressure of being the only woman and having all those people watching.
  • Rhett: Winning the porcupine game because once it was won, they quit resisting and got really sensitive to the halter really fast.
  • Ryan: Zone 1 vs zones 2 & 3 acceptance; making friends with his horse and putting the relationship first.
  • Berin: putting the horse first and thinking like a horse; understanding WHY the horse is doing/thinking something.
When asked how they chose their horse, Kalley had my favorite answer. All of them were funny because after the colt start in May, the competitors knew that "picking" was making a mad dash for the one they wanted. Kalley's conclusion to her story about "picking" her horse was "Some of us got the one we wanted and some of us got the one we needed."

Kalley also said something interesting about ranch raised colts vs. mustangs. She said she preferred the mustangs because the colts had more opinions about humans (that were not so good) and the mustangs had a better understanding of herd dynamics and the language because they depended 100% on that language for their entire life.

In the afternoon, Ryan Rose, our course leader, gave us a quick demo about preparation, specifically warm up strong to ride soft and get in harmony on the ground so you can be in harmony in the saddle.

He got super interesting with his LBI Glow. He asked her to just turn her nose for the send and played the game of "keep circling until you offer to go out of your way to jump the barrel." Ryan actually showed us lots of ways to make games out of preparation.

I went out and played with Blu after the demo. Most everyone else went to the fair. I let Blu graze while I threw out my 45' line and practiced twirling my rope. Then I took him over to the round pens and played between the two 50' pens.

While I watched Pete play with River at liberty, I played with Blu's feet. Something EXTREMELY interesting happened. I was having him lift his hind foot and then releasing when he lifted his hip. Then I picked up his foot, tapped it, set it down, and it was like putty in my hands. I went to give him a cookie and his lip was drooping and he did not take the cookie. I tucked it in his cheek. I stood back for a minute then pinched his neck. He gave a tiny response, but not much. I took the cookie out of his cheek and sat down in front of him. I watched the flies fly around his whiskers. He began to respond to them, then he did a lick and chew and took a cookie.

Next he tried to roll. I had to tap him back up before he flipped over, though because he was going to roll into the round pen. He got up and yawned. I took him into a round pen to let him roll. He pawed some, but that was it. Then I scratched him where he asked and he enjoyed that. There was a lot of big yawns.

Conclusion: Blu has some serious issues with his back feet being handled and tonight he gave up his life at one point. After dinner, I talked to Pete Rodda about my observations. He made me feel better about having caused Blu to go there because it was a mistake that gives me experience with something I will someday be able to reference with a student. The strategy to find the threshold I had crossed was to watch VERY closely for his skin, lips/nose, eyes, breathing, or ears to change and retreat from that threshold. Places to watch for a threshold were on the approach to zones 4/5, massaging legs, pick up feet without catching them, pick up and hold a moment, pick up with increasing length of hold, stretch out a little, stretch out with increasing length of stretch, play with lead by the back leg.

Natural Horsewoman Out.

The campus meeting was chan

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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