Saturday, January 14, 2012

Progress with Experiment

This week did not really work out the way I had hoped because lunch never found me playing with Blu. However, it did deliver some great experiences, though. I answer the horsemanship questions and learn a lot through that. I was very excited to hear back from Kristi Smith about last weekend's discovery of following Blu when he left me during liberty and turning it into  zone five driving. Her response made me feel affirmed in what I was doing and excited to keep going.

Today, I introduced Blu to the telescoping pole. At first, after an initial meeting, when I put it under his head to go from one side to the other he shot back and turned and ran. I reestablished connection and began the friendly game again. He became curious and started to push on the stick and nibble on the bag on the end. It took us a while, but when I closed the stick, I could put it over his head without it bothering him and shake it about to the sides without it bothering him. Going over the head took a lot of approach and retreat. We did not get it to where he could handle it going under his chin; that includes by his front feet and at his chest.

I played with his spins and he was not leaving. I gave him long pauses to process. I used a lot of contact with the savvy string/carrot stick to maintain a connection at first, then I reduced the stick. By the end of the session, it got to be more of a suggestion and less of a tell. I could send him, spin around myself, and he would be facing me.

The first time he left was during a circling game after a change of direction. I went with him and turned it into driving from zone 5. Again, it was really nice zone 5 driving.

Unfortunately/fortunately, I did not get to practice the zone 5 driving as much today because he only left once. That's a huge improvement. Looks like it's time to start upping the ante. Tomorrow I am going aim at the trot on the circle a bit more and cantering stick to me.

An observation I made was the feeling of the velcro NOT ripping apart, even though Blu wasn't moving. I was surprised at the solidarity of that feeling. Blu wasn't moving, but I could tell he was thinking and would respond once he decided what he should do in response. It's different from when he might just stand there and shut down/disconnect. This processing was super cool!

I asked Blu to go sideways away from me, which he did, but when I changed gears to sideways toward, he kept going away. I probably could have asked him to stop first and had more success, but I just drifted with him until he found the answer. We played with his responsiveness and he knowing if it was a draw or a send sideways. Once I had Blu going sideways to and away, I combined it with a spin. He did a spin and then I drew him in the opposite direction of the spin to me and sideways. It took the entire length of the paddock for him to even go with front and hind.

Then we ran/cantered to the top of the paddock, stopped and backed up.

It was a nice end, so I sat with Maree and we talked while Blu stood over us.

I am excited to see what tomorrow's session is like!
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