Wednesday, December 30, 2009

What a change!

I can't believe the change is Twosox!! Today when I played with him he was so much more confident. On the circle he was connected and wasn't looking out or away. At first I just asked him to walk then when that was going well and he could do that I would ask him to trot every time he got a a barrel [there were two]. At first he would only trot a couple steps then break gait but after a while he relaxed and then he started trotting longer and longer. At the end he trotted from one barrel to the other. I then brought him in and gave him a rest. It was so nice to see him confident and not bracing!!!

After a rest I backed him out and we went the other way. He was having a little bit more trouble so I switched to a driving game.... in a circle like Mr. Parelli showed in the Level 3 Online DVD. That really really helped Twosox. If he broke gait I would let him walk for a couple steps then ask him to trot again. We got two laps at a trot!!!! It was AMAZING!!!!!!!! Twosox was really confident and was trying so hard!!!!!! We took a long rest while my mom did Figure eights with Knightly then we did some Stick to me at the walk/ trot/ and back up. Twosox was so in tune with me and did exactly what I did!!!

Then we did Figure eights. Again Twosox blow me away!!! He did an almost perfect Figure eight right off the start!! He would look away just a tiny little bit when he was coming towards me so we just kept it up until it was a non issue. Then I asked him to trot.... just a little. Twosox offered to trot way more then I would have ever expected!! He trotted over 3/4 of the Figure eight pattern!!! After about 2 figure eights I brought him in!! I was so proud of Twosox!! We much have done something right last play time!!!!

After a long rest I let Twosox got. Twosox stayed right with me though so we played at Liberty a little bit. We did some Stick to me first then I asked Twosox to jump the barrels. He jumped right over them and then turned and faced me. Our draw is SO much better!! All I have to do is take a couple steps backwards and Twosox will come right to me. Then when I was about 20ft away from the pedestal I sent Twosox to it. At first he walked up to it, put one foot on it and then looked back at me like "Is this what you wanted Keri?" then he climbed up with his front two feet. I walked up to him and stood on the pedestal with him. He was perfectly content standing there. Then I started swinging my carrot stick and savvy string around etc. Twosox just stood there quietly. Twosox was amazing!!

When I opened the gate to let Twosox out he just stood there then I had to sent him out because my mom wasn't done with Knightly. He slowly left and then moseyed down the hill into the corral.

I can't believe how well Twosox did!!! It was so much fun!!!

Next time should be fun!!
~Keri

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Oh what fun it is to ride my horse bareback and brideless...

even in when it is -20c [not including wind chill;)]...... and that is what I did this afternoon!! After we had finished cleaning the corral I decided that it was to cold to do an all out play time with Prince so we played in the corral at liberty then I got on and rode around bridleless with just a savvy string and carrot stick. It was so much fun!!!

We did Stick to me walk, trot, back up and sideways [both towards and away]. Then we did Touch it. I asked Prince to put his hind feet on one pedestal and his front feet on the other. At first he wasn't quite sure what I wanted but after a could tries we got it. That was the first time we have ever done that at Liberty and only the second time we have ever done it!! So I was really proud of him!!!

Then we went over to the water trough and I climbed up. This time I rode with my carrot stick so that was fun. We did transitions, sideways with and with out a fence, point to point [climbed up on the pedestals!!] indirect and direct rein, pivoting on the HQs and backing up with out using my savvy string or carrot stick. Prince did REALLY well!!!!! Our sideways was a HUGE improvemnt from our last ride!!! Prince was really responsive and I didn't even need to use my carrot stick. Except for one when I had to stop his forequarts from running away with out his hind quarters ;) But he got it all figured out!!!!

It wasn't a long play time/ride but I am glad I did it. It was fun!

~K

Monday, December 28, 2009

Going slow.....

Yesterday [December 27 2009] morning when I was outside I went to see the horses and spent some time with Twosox. I didn't do a whole lot. Just rubbed him and then massaged his legs. While I was massaging his legs I could slowly see him start to relax and by the end he was totally relaxed and spent about 5 minutes yawning, licking and chewing and then fell asleep. It is amazing how Twosox can look okay but you don't know how unconfident he really is till you see him coming off the adrenaline. 

After lunch I went back out and I played with Twosox. It was actually warm outside.... or at least not cold ;) After I had haltered Twosox we went up to the riding ring to play. I had a couple things that I wanted to play with but nothing to big..... well they are big for us because Twosox isn't confident at them but not in general :)

We started out with some friendly then did some circles at the walk. I had the 22ft line on but when Twosox is circling at the end of it he looses confidence and in so we loose all connection. So we started out on about 15ft. Twosox did a lot better. He still was a little bit unconfident but not to bad. Once we had done a couple circle at the walk I asked Twosox to trot every time he got to the barrel. I didn't care how long he trotted as long as he tried. So we did that for a while. I was really really soft and by the time we stopped Twosox, though he wouldn't trot long, was trotting at a phase 1/2. A couple times he came in with out me asking so I gave him a rub and really softly asked him to go back out. The whole time I was playing around with how light and soft I had to be so that Twosox would respond confidently. It was incredible!!! I mean I was hardly doing anything and still Twosox couldn't back up with out looking away or having a high head!!! I think by the end of our session I had found out just how light I had to be.... or at least some thing that would work ;)

After we finished circles we went to Figure eights. Those were interesting. We just did them at the walk. I put the barrels farther a part [My sisters idea! Thanks sis!!] I think it really helped. After a couple minutes of experimenting and such Twosox offered to trot.... a very little bit. I took it but continued on. I could see that Twosox was getting more confident and he wasn't bracing as much. Twosox started trotting through the middle of the Figrue eight and then he started trotting part way around the barrels [something I have only ever been able to get when he was RBE and I was doing the Figure eight pattern until he relaxed]. So I brought him in and gave him a LONG rest. I still wanted to play around with getting his confidence when he was coming around the barrel towards me. He was having a hard time giving me two eyes. So after our rest I asked him to go back out on the figure eight. It took a while but soon Twosox could almost 100% of the time confidently [and giving me two eyes] come around the barrel and go the other way. So that was where we ended. I brought him in and wait for Twosox to lick and chew. It seemed like eternity before he finally licked and chewed but it was worth the wait!!

After that we did some Touch it. I was standing about 15ft away from a barrel so I asked Twosox to go over to it and touch it. He did really well. Once he got over there he sniffed the barrel then turned and looked at me and asked a question!! It was really neat!! We went to different things. What started out as just Touch it from 22ft way turned into Touch it from zone 5. It was really cool!! Twosox did so well!! Each time he touch what I wanted he would ask me a question and check in to make sure he did the right thing. He is such a sweet horse!!!!

Then we just spent some time hanging out together. When I let Twosox go he stayed right with me and then followed me all the way across the riding ring, down the hill and into the corral. It was a great ending to a great play time!!


~K

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Merry Christmas!!!

As the song in one of the Christmas plays I was in says "From our herd to your herd, merry Christmas, may you day be filled with joy. From our herd to your herd merry Christmas lets rejoice in our Saviours birth....."

Merry Christmas.... and can't forget a happy new year ;)

So I hope you all have a wonderful day!!! And remember the true reason for the season :)

~K

Monday, December 21, 2009

Liberty, Bridleless and more!!

After my little brothers were finished playing with Prince we [Prince and I] went up to the riding ring. I drove Prince from zone 5 up the hill then we both ran in to the riding ring. After I switched to the 22ft line we went and did some Stick to me. Prince had so much energy so we played with that. We did w/t/c all over the place. I couldn't believe all that energy Prince had!! It was fun but tiring.... all that running in the snow!! :)

Then we did Figure eights. Prince wanted to canter them so I took it for a little while then asked him to trot them. At first they were a little messy just because we haven't done them in a while but then Prince got really connected and put slack in the rope and was just listening to my body. It was so cool!!! After that we did some circles. At first we just played around with Change of directions. Then we did some cantering/maintaining gait. At first Prince didn't want to canter so we played with it then he cantered a lap. So I brought him in, gave him a quick rest and then sent him back out again in the other direction. This time it was a lot better and he cantered 2 laps nicely. I am hoping to play with him more so that we can build it back up to where it was in the summer and not take so long but I am going to take the time it takes so it will take less time!!! After that we did some long range sideways over barrels and then back towards me. That was fun!! 

My mom needed the 22ft line so I took it off Prince and I wasn't planning on playing at Liberty but we ended up doing some really fun stuff!! We did stick to me, the cutting game, a little bit of circles, change of directions, drawing to me at the trot from far away and some other stuff. The look on Prince's face was priceless!!! He was riveted to me!!!!!!!!!! It was SO much fun!!!!!!!

Then I put my 12ft line on him and tied then into two reins then got on. I tied my savvy string around Prince's neck and checked and made sure that Prince was responding to that. Then we were off. I didn't have a lot planned but there were a few things I wanted to play with so we started will A Million transitions/Follow the rail. Prince did really well with that. We did walk/trot/ back-up all with the savvy string and carrot stick. Prince did really really well. I was so proud of him!!! I wanted to play around with trotting for a bit so we did that next. When ever Prince got a little bit faster I would just grab onto his mail and hang on!! It was fun!!! Prince was happy to trot around but we did some transitions here and there. Prince got REALLY good at listening to me seat. We even played around with transitions with in each gait. That was fun!! When I asked Prince to back up he got so good that all I had to do was shift my weight back, focus and wiggle my feet a tiny bit and he would back up. It was amazing!!!

After that we did Figure eights at the trot. At first Prince wasn't to thrilled about trotting figure eights. But pretty soon it became a game that if he trotted one figure eight he would get a rest. Then he put effort into trotting!!! We did big figure eights too. Prince liked that better. More like straight lines!!

The last thing I wanted to play with was sideways brideless. At first Prince would do what he normally does and his hind quarters were lagging so we played with that. Then I remembered what Mr. Parelli did in the Level 3 Freestyle DVD of the new Levels when Magic did the same thing [not to the same extent though ;)] which was just bring the carrot stick over to the other side and "blocking" the shoulder from going to far ahead. That really helped Prince. It fixed a lot of our problems with Sideways too. At the end Prince would go true sideways for about 10-20ft with just my body and a little bit of pressure from my carrot stick. It was so light!!!

Prince responded really well to the savvy string today and most of the time I didn't even need to use it! He responded to just my body. He is SO light when I ask him to turn or pivot on his hind quarters!!! It was amazing the improvement!!!! We also did Lateral flexions with the carrot stick. It isn't perfect yet but we are getting there. It is a good start though!!!

I can hardly wait for our next play time!!! It will probably be me trimming him though. He is next so that should be interesting!!!

~K

Sunday, December 20, 2009

M1 & M2 are at it again!!

After lunch I went out and played with Prince. Since it was warm... or warmer at least my two little brothers played with Prince first. They both did REALLY well and I am really proud of them. They remembered so much since the last time they played.

M1 [my older youngest brother ;)] played first. He had been asking me earlier today when he could play with Prince next so it was the perfect timing. Before he started playing he figured out what he wanted to do. It was neat hearing him think through it all. He decided he would like to so Friendly, yo-yo, circles and some Touch it. So after I caught Prince I handed him over to M1 and they were off. I was there to help him if he needed it and give him suggestions but most of the time he was able to figure everything out himself. After he did some Friendly game he sent Prince to the pedestal. Last time the boys played with Prince they had a hard time driving Prince away from them and directing him so that he would go where they wanted. But today they were both really good. I explained to them that if they got Prince's nose in the direction they wanted to go that the rest of his body would probably follow. That really seemed to help them. Prince climbed up on the pedestal for M1. It was really cute. Prince then looked at M1 asked a question. Then M1 backed Prince off of the pedestal and squeezed him between him and the fence. It is really interesting because even though Prince responds and the boys hardly have to go past a phase 2, Prince doesn't do it for them. He waits till they ask him and then he responds. So I think that is really helping the boys because they actually have to do it.

After that M1 sent Prince over to a chair I had brought him. The look on his face when Prince went over to it and sniffed it was priceless!!! He was smiling ear to ear!!! M1 was really good this time at not having the carrot stick off the ground the whole time. He had really good control over it. Which was good because last time Prince kept going sideways everywhere because M1 was asking it with out knowing it ;) Them M1 did circles. M1 remembered everything that he had to do. At first Prince was like "Are you sure I have to go circle?" But M1 just nicely sent him on again. He had everything down pat..... even down to the carrot stick leaning up against him. This time he let Prince go around 2 circles before he brought him back in. It was funny because as he standing there he said "You know what I like best about the circle game? I like passing the rope behind my back.... as long as I don't get all wrapped up in it" It was so funny!!! Talk about a true Parelli kid!!

After M1 was done M2 came out. At first he said all he wanted to do was do friendly but then once he got started he didn't want to stop. He played around with getting the savvy string over Prince and not hitting him in the side. It must be so hard being so short!! He did really well though. Then he did yo-yo's. Back and forth, back and forth, back and forth. It was amazing to see the look on Prince's face to change though because at first he was like "yeah what ever. I will back up but it is boring" But after the third yo-yo he started getting interested and asking questions. It was cool!! It was really cute seeing M2 backing him up and then bringing Prince forward again then rubbing him on the nose. After that he was like "I want to do Touch it!!!!" So he sent Prince over to the chair. I was surprised at how well he did.  I told him the same thing as I told M1 about getting Prince's nose in the direction you want. He did a wonderful job!!! Prince knocked the chair over and then offered to go sideways over it..... what a sweet horse!! M2 wanted him to sniff it though so he brought him in then sent him back out again to do it the "Right way" So he did it again this time Prince did it "right" and sniffed the chair. M2 was so pleased!!! Then he sent him over to the pedestal. M2 only wanted Prince to sniff it though. Then after he sniffed it he sent Prince on to it. It was amazing to see them try and figure out what zone they needed to put pressure on etc. Once Prince got a little rest for climbing up M2 asked "Can I ask him to put all four feet on the pedestal?" I said sure and then waited to see how he would figure it out. M2 lifted the hand with the rope in it and then supported it with the carrot stick. Prince climbed right up. M2 was so happy!! Then he was like "K [that is me ;)] do you have an apple I can give Prince?" I said I didn't have an apple but I had some sunflower seeds he could give Prince. I gave some to M2 and he fed them to Prince. He did really well. His hands are so small and Prince's mouth is so big!!

Well that is all for this post. I am going to type a separate post of the fun Prince and I had after.

~K

Saturday, December 19, 2009

*gets excited*

Well this is a little late but that's okay. On Thursday the Levels arrived, I had just about given up hope that they were going to come Thrusday becasue it was past their regular time but at 2:30 guess what showed up!!! Even though I have already seen a lot of the Level DVD's I was really excited. Here are some pics...

Good things come in Fedex boxes!!!



.... and white Parelli boxes ;)


 

 

 

*sighs* I am so happy!! God is so good to me!!!!

~K


Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Confidence Games: Day 1. Green lawn chair




So today was Day 1 of playing Confidence Games with Twosox. Over the next couple months I am going to be focusing on building and strengthening Twosox's [my dear sweet RBI horse] confidence. I am going to pick an object and play all seven games with it then after we have played all of them I am going to pick a new object... and not just any old toy but I am going to try some really scary ones too. Things that Twosox wouldn't see every day!! This way I can still play with Twosox and create a stronger relationship but at the same time not over loading him. Plus I can focus on Prince's and my journey even more with out neglecting my other horse :) I think it will give them and me the best of both worlds!! Another bonus is that on those cold winter days [which I know we will have ;)] I can still go out and play because it wouldn't take long to do!!

So today was Day 1. I picked a green lawn chair to start with, nothing to hard but still it will present some challenges. Of course game #1 of the seven games is the friendly game. So we started off with some Touch it, nice and simple. Twosox had no trouble going over and sniffing the chair.



 He even offered to put his front foot on it!! Not a bad start!! After Twosox was done checking it out I asked him to put different zones hear the chair. Then I stood on the chair and did some extreme friendly game with my carrot stick. Then I played friendly game in every zone. Twosox did really well with that. Zone 5 was a little bit harder but all in all Twosox did really well. I was proud of him!!

Then I picked up the chair and walked around Twosox seeing how he was with the chair moving in each zone. He was great!! He got a little bit worried about me and the chair in Zone 1 but other then that he was fine. The whole time I was watching his head, ears, and eyes making sure that he hadn't gone internal.  After that I started rubbing Twosox with the chair. Twosox wasn't confident with that at first. But with some approach and retreat he let me put the chair on his back and hold it there. Twosox was okay with it but he wasn't 100% confident so I gently asked him to bend his head around towards me. I did that every time he got a little worried and pretty soon every time he got a little worried around the chair on his back he would turn his head towards me and check in. I was amazed at how fast he learned that!!! 

After that Twosox and I just hung out together for a bit. After a couple minutes Twosox finally started licking and chewing.... and boy was it a big lick and chew!! He wouldn't stop yawning too!!




Since he was so relaxed I decided to climb on and ride for a bit. Twosox lined up right next to the fence so that I could get on. Once I was on we checked our lateral flexions and indirect rein. Twosox wanted to go to the other horses so we had a chance to practice our lateral flexions. We walked back over to around the tree and stopped there and rested. Then we played around with how light I had to be when I was asking Twosox for a lateral flexion so that he would keep his feet still. Every time I ride Twosox I am amazed at how light he is! I mean I was hardly touching the reins and he had already bent!! Pretty soon Twosox was bending no problem and he was keeping his feet still. It was fun!! Our 9 step backs were really light too. If I wasn't light enough Twosox would do what I wanted but he would brace so when I was light enough he would do it calmly with no brace. It was really interesting!!

Then we stood still for a while. I wanted to wait till Twosox relaxed before I got off. He is always tense when I am riding ring. It doesn't really look like it when I watch our rides on video but when I am up there you can tell that he is tense the whole time it especially shows when you see him come off all the adrenaline he was on!!! Then you know he was tense!! After about 5 minutes he started licking and chewing, yawning, shaking his head and relaxing. That was when I got off. Once I was off he kept yawning, and licking and chewing. I love seeing him coming off adrenaline!!!

I knelt down and asked Twosox to lower his head so I could take his halter off. He kept it low the whole time and then stayed with me for a while before he left. The whole time was still licking and chewing. It was amazing!!

So I had a REALLY fun time with Twosox it was so much fun!! I can hardly wait for our next play time!!

Here are some more pictures....




 


Next day it will be the Porcupine game with the green lawn chair!!! I am excited!!

~K

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Looks whats coming my way....



Yep.... that's right... all four of the new Parelli levels!! I am REALLY excited!! It is a good thing that I have already had a good look at them or else I wouldn't be able to stand it!!!

I would like to thank a dear friend for providing work for me so that I could get these and also my Mom and Dad who are simply wonderful parent!! I love you!!

I can hardly wait..... it is like Christmas.... 10 days early!! I am so blessed!!

~K

It's the little things that count

I went outside this morning to clean the corral and give the horses their grainless grain [flaxseed, apple cider vinegar, and sunflower seeds ;)] I had to make sure the horses didn't get to Twosox while he was eating so after he was done I played with Prince at Liberty a little. We had a lot of fun!!

It all started when I had to drive Prince away because he was coming to close to Twosox and I so I got really intense and then started walking slowly towards him, Prince started backing up but it was kid of slowly so I got even more intense and then flicked him with the end of my savvy string. Prince out more effort into backing up after that, all I had to do was look at him and started getting that intense look and he would move. It was cool! Then we went and did some sideways from zone 5, leading by the tail, drawing backwards from zone 5, porcupine on the nose, stick to me, and then we did some yo-yo's at first I started out where I would back Prince up about 3ft then bring him forward about the same then each time I would shorten it so at the end I would take a step forward and Prince would back up a step then I would step back and Prince would step forward. I did it quickly too so I just hesitated a very little bit before I took a step forward or backwards. Prince was so in tune with me and didn't miss a step!!!

After that I asked Prince to back up to the water trough with me in zone 5 [I moved out of the way when he got there ;)] then I climbed up on it and did some extreme friendly game, I stretched out over him, climbed on his hindquarters. I really wanted to get on but I didn't have a helmet, Prince was at liberty so he could have walked off etc but I asked my mom if I could and she said sure and that she knew that i would (1) get off if I felt I needed to and (2) I wouldn't get on if I didn't feel safe and if I didn't feel that Prince was ready. So I got on. Then I tied my savvy string around my Prince's neck. He stood perfectly still. We didn't do a whole lot but what we did do was AMAZING!! And it proved that what we did last day paid off. Prince responded REALLY REALLY well to the savvy string he was VERY light. Half the time I didn't need to use my savvy string, Prince just responded to my body!! It was so cool!!

We practiced out turning/hind quarter pivots , back ups, stops, and sideways all totally brideless!!! It was so fun!! Prince offered the sideways so I took it and then made it my idea. I didn't need to use the savvy string for backing up. I just shifted my weight back and wiggled my feet a tiny bit and Prince would back up and it wasn't a slow back up either, he was putting effort into it!! We did almost a full pivot on the hind quarters with just my body and a very very  little bit of pressure with the savvy string. It was SO light!!

Prince was in tune with me the whole time and responded to my slightest suggestion!! It was wonderful!! Through the whole ride Prince wouldn't stop licking and chewing. We would do something and then stop and he would automatically start licking, chewing and yawning.

It was such a fun session even though it wasn't very long at all. I am so proud of Prince!!!

~K

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Snow... bridless riding,,, winter... and more!

I played with Prince yesterday. It was our first play time in the snow this winter!! It snowed over a 12 inches since Monday!! It was crazy!!!

Prince and I had a lot of fun though. I got a wooded shed out of the shed so that Prince and I could play around with pulling it. At first the horses were like "WHAT IS THAT???" But once Prince sniffed it out he was totally fine with it. I wasn't going to halter Prince right away but he brought his head around and wouldn't take it away!! So I haltered him and then went up to the riding ring. I dragged the sled all the way up the hill and it was behind Prince the whole way!!! Prince couldn't have cared less!!!!! When we were up in the riding ring I let the sled drag farther behind Prince, I asked Prince to trot and some other stuff then I looped the rope around his neck and held the end. That way he was pulling it. Prince was perfect!! He responded really well and it was a lot easier then me trying to pull it ;) Prince is so much stronger :). We played around with that for a bit. Prince was fine the whole time.

After that I put the 22ft line on Prince and we did some circles. Prince did really well keeping the slack in the rope at the walk and trot. After a couple circles I asked Prince to canter. We definitely have to play with that. Prince would canter about 4 strides and then break gait. So we played with it until he cantered about 1/2 a circle then I brought him in and gave him a rest. Then sent him back out again. This time I could see that he was trying harder and knew what I wanted. He would canter about 3/4 of a circle, break gait, then either pick the canter back up again or I would just point and he would start cantering again. After a couple times of doing this he cantered 1 and a 1/2 laps then I brought him in. Since I haven't asked Prince to canter on the circle in a while I didn't force him... besides it would be REALLY hard to force Prince to canter 4 laps ;) So I am going to take it slow and build back up to where we were a couple months ago.

Since we were ready to ride I decided to play around with mounting by the neck. Prince has the basic concept but he still walks away a little when I jump on his neck. But after a couple tries he did it really well. He walked away a little bit but not as much as before plus he put effort into lifting his neck and helping me on. So I decided to leave that there. We then just spent some time doing nothing. Prince stood really well. Ruffy was a little distracting because he was trying to convince Twosox that to play with him but Prince did well. After a bit we went and did some different things. Just playing with getting everything lighter and such. Prince tried so hard at what ever I asked him!! Our sideways and 9 step back ups are getting really soft. Prince is had figured out that when I put a little bit more pressure on it means to go faster. That was cool!

We didn't do a wholel lot of trotting but we did some. At one point Prince started trotting faster so I just grabbed a hold of his mane and did what Mr. Parelli calls "Hang tight and raddle!!" It was fun! The good thing was that I didn't raddle to much ;) We also played with indirect rein. We are starting refine it in the way of I will ask Prince to pivot either a complete circle or a circle and a half. Prince caught on really quickly. It was amazing!! Plus we are taking up the speed too.

Then I tied my savvy string around his neck and played around with that. That was another one of those things that we were kind of avoiding just because I didn't want to take the time to teach Prince not to run through the pressure. But I think that this winter will be a winter of doing the things that I was avoiding for no reason what so ever. So far I have done two of the things so I guess that is a good start ;) As soon as Prince felt the pressure of the savvy string he started walking right through the pressure. So I just pretended that I was a fence post and then when he stopped I released instantly. It took a while but finally he figured out to yield to the pressure. Then it was time to try it at the walk..... we walked a long the rail and did walk to halt transitions with some back up in there too. Pretty soon Prince got the hang of it. After that was going smoothly we went to turning. It is amazing how riding with a savvy string really makes sure you get all our phases right!! At first Prince would just back up when he felt the pressure when I was asking him to turn but he soon figured it out and was turning and I didn't even need to use the savvy string!! It is an amazing feeling when you horse responds to you and you don't have to use your rein, carrot stick, or anything else but your body. After that Prince got even lighter and he was responding consistently with our me having to use my string. That was going really well so I grabbed my carrot stick and we rode around with that for a bit. Prince is getting ultra light!! We ended when Prince gave me 1/2 a pivot on his hindquarters with just tiny little bit of pressure with my savvy string. It was amazing!!!

Definitely a good first snow ride!!! Now I just have to uncover all our toys.....

~K

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

My challenging RBI

 November 8 2009

Twosox always gives me a challenge of some sort!! And today it was a a good one!! I think that it was more me then anything.... wait, I KNOW it was more me. I wasn't in the best frame of mind to play with him and the weather didn't help any. But I went out anyways and played. At some points I think I should have just stopped and went inside but there were still some really good parts of our play time.


The horses were down near the turn around so we played there for a little bit. The ground was frozen and bumpy so that didn't help any. Poor Twosox. Since the ground was hard when ever he walked you could see that he wasn't comfortable. I think part of it had to do with the fact that Twosox's feet aren't very healthy. But he still tried really hard.

When we got back to the corral we went out to the front yard and did some circles. Twosox was not paying attention to me AT ALL. The wind had picked up so that didn't help. So I decided to just let him walk around on the circle [because I know he wouldn't maintain the trot] until he connected with me. Or at least try that and see how it worked. Fortunately there is a slight hill on our front yard and so as Twosox was going around he had to go up and down the hill. Twosox was bracing, was looking away etc etc but after about the third circle or so Twosox started watching where he was going, he started arching his body around the circle, he got connected and then what REALLY surprised me was that he started blowing, stretching, licking and chewing etc!!! It was SO cool!!! His gait softened and he put slack in the rope. Plus he picked up the trot and gave me a nice slow, soft trot!!! And he didn't break gait!!! It was so amazing!!! I couldn't believe the change!! There were times when we lost the connection but for the most part Twosox was connected and had slack in the rope.

I brought him in and then after a rest and lick and chew I sent him out the other way. Twosox did the same thing on this side, he was bracing, looking away etc but after a couple circles he did the same thing he did on the other side and started to relax. Again he picked up the trot and trotted 4 laps with out breaking gait and kept the slack in the rope the whole time!!! I couldn't believe this was the same horse!! Twosox has never trotted 4 laps on the circle that calm!! It was wonderful!!

After that we went and played around the trailer. Twosox was fine walking up the ramp and putting his nose, neck and front to feet in the trailer. It was amazing how confident he is now!! So we played with getting him really confident with him whole body in the trailer. He will now stay in longer when I send him in. So that is good progress. After a bit I went in the trailer and asked Twosox to come in that way. I opened the little side door so he could see out and we just hung out in there for a bit. Twosox was a little worried at first because he was windy but after a while he calmed down and even ate a little bit of hay.... a very little bit. Then I asked him to back out, he calmly backed out and then I let him eat grass before we went back to the corral.

It was a great play time but I could have handled myself a lot better. Like Mr. Parelli said over and over in the New levels.... "Before you can have control over your horse, you have to have control of yourself" That is very true!!

~K

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Viewing the new Parelli levels, playing with Prince on the 45ft line and more!!

Yesterday we was our Parelli meet up and our friend brought the new Parelli Levels. We only watched the Level 1 DVD there but she lent us all four levels [If you read this Mrs. S. THANK YOU!!!!!!] We left the Level 3 Online and Liberty at our other friends house so she could watch them. I didn't have time last night to watch any more so I got up extra early this morning, did my Bible reading then started watching the Level 4 Online. It was AMAZING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! It was exactly what I needed. I will have to watch it again because there was so much info packed into that 2 hours and 8 minutes :)

After lunch I went out and played with Prince. He didn't want to be caught. So we played with that. Then I haltered him from my knees. That was interesting. We have done it before so Prince knew what to do but he was distracted. We got it done though. Then I put the 45ft line on him and we went out to the front yard. Normally Prince rushes out the gate as soon as it is opened but for the last couple times that I have let him out I made sure he stood still till I gave him permission to go through. I am doing the same thing when I open the other gate after we have finished cleaning the corral in the morning. The horses have to wait till I take the boards down and give them permission to come through. They have caught on REALLY quickly. I was surprised! Prince will now perfectly still and not move even when I am putting the boards on the other side of the fence. Then when I am finished he will look at me and ask a question then I let him in. It is cool!!!

Anyways.... Prince ate grass for a little bit then we went to the middle of the yard and we played with backing up to almost the end of the 45ft line. There wasn't quite enough room to back all the way. I had another arrow in my quiver that I learned from the Level 4 Online DVD this morning and that really helped. Prince would get about 35ft away and then stop, he knew I couldn't reach him from there. So that went really well. Then I sent him out on the circle. Prince could only be about 30ft away because the house, rose bush and well were in the way but I was really surprised at how well he did!! I put the slack in the rope and Prince kept it there the whole time!!! It was amazing!!! Considering we were out on the front yard and there was a lot of distractions he was wonderful!!! We also practiced out Change of directions and Transitions. Prince walked a full circle too!! Okay so all of you that know that Prince a LBI would be thinking "Yeah and so... what is so special about Prince walking a circle?" Well it is really special because Prince likes to trot when he is on the circle and even when I ask him to walk he will walk some then start trotting again. So when Prince walked a full circle and I didn't need to correct him once it was good!! Our Change of directions were REALLY good. Mr. Parelli showed two ways to do them, one was the way that I was doing them and the other way was a different way so I tried them the new way. They were SO much better!!! Prince was had rythym, relaxation and connection pretty much the whole time we were circling!! He normally trots with his head a little high and it is normally a faster trot. But today it was a soft jog [but it wasn't a lazy jog] he was relaxed. It probably helped that there was a hill that he had to go up and down.

We also did spirals on the circle [when you coil the rope in so the circle gets smaller and smaller] Prince didn't break gait once!!!! We only did it at the trot so it wasn't as hard as if we were doing it at the canter but still for the first time Prince was wonderful!!!!!! He still kept slack in the rope. It wasn't on the ground but it wasn't tight. I was really surprised at how good our porcupine game it!!! One thing that watching the Level 4 Online DVD has done is it has shown me that we are really playing in Level 4!!! I kind of had my doubts before because but when I was playing with Prince it was amazing!! I guess I just thought that a lot of the things we were doing weren't really Level 4 things. But I guess they are!!!

After that Prince and I played with some Sideways at longer distances. Prince went sideways almost the whole way to the end of the 45ft line!!! It wasn't totally straight but it is getting there. I was a lot better at coiling my rope today.Maybe it likes me better now!!! hehe ;) After that Prince and I went over to the trailer. I sent Prince to it from about 20ft away, Prince walked onto the ramp then wouldn't stop looking at me, he was kept asking me questions!!!! Finally he figured out that I wanted him to go into the trailer. I am really trying to make being inside the trailer a comfort spot. Prince did really well though. I loaded him a couple times. Some times I would back him out by the tail, other times I would leave him in there longer and then back him out. The first time his head was a little high. So I just rubbed him until he relaxed them he licked and chewed. That was good.

Since everything was going really well I climbed on Prince bareback. The whole time I was riding and playing it didn't even feel like I was out of a fenced area. Prince was wonderful and we both had SO MUCH FUN!!!! We rode around for a bit doing some sideways, 9 step back ups, pivots on Prince's hindquarters, we rode onto the trailer ramp, we did a little bit of trotting, then we rode up our road. Prince was AMAZING!!!!!!!!! He followed my focus almost perfectly and even though there was a lot of grass on either side of the road he didn't even try to go for it!!! We rode to the edge of town and then back again. I love Prince!!!!!!!!!!! I am so blessed to have him!!! Then I let Prince eat on the front yard for a bit before I got off. He was keeping me warm!!! hehe

It was so much fun!! Tomorrow I am hoping to play with Twosox again. I love my horses!!!!!!!

~K

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Trailer loading day 2

December 2 2009

Yesterday after I played with Prince I played with Twosox. While we were in the corral we just did some friendly then we went out to the front yard. I talked to my dad for a little bit then we walked over to the trailer. Twosox was fine walking up to it and he sniffed it out then started eating again. He was so much more confident!!! That means we left it on a good note last time!!

I let Twosox eat for a little while then I asked him to climb on the ramp....no probelm!! He climbed right up and was sniffing the inside of the trailer out. I backed him on and off a couple times then on about the third time I asked him to go a little farther in. Twosox put his front feet in the trailer then stopped. He looked around for a bit then I backed him off. He backs off really straight!!! Better than Prince and Knightly!!! Then I got in the trailer and asked Twosox to come in a little bit then back off, come in a little bit more then back off. Just doing different games and seeing how Twosox did. He was really confident and came in farther each time. After a couple times of going in and out Twosox came all the way in!!!! I was SO proud of him!!!! He looked around, sniffed the divider out and looked out the door. He wasn't as confident as say Prince but for a RBI and the first time in a trailer in almost 2 years it was amazing!!!

I asked Twosox to back out again and then I just let him eat grass for a while. I knew that the real test would be if I could stand on the outside of the trailer and send Twosox in but I wanted Twosox to see that it wasn't a bad place in there. So after a couple more times on coming in hanging out and then backing out again I got out of the trailer and stood on the ramp. Twosox was even more confident that he was at the beginning!!!!  It was really cool!!! The first time Twosox put zone 1,2 and some of 3 in the trailer but he couldn't stay in there long. He didn't get worried but he wasn't 100% confident. So I let him back out, take a rest and then I asked him back on again. This time he stayed in there a little bit longer before coming out. So I let him rest a little bit longer outside the trailer. The third time Twosox offered to put all four feet IN the trailer!!!!!! IT WAS SO COOL!!!!!!!! He stayed in there a little while then slowly backed out.

I was so proud of Twosox!!!! For only being the second day I was really impressed!!! It will be really interesting to see what he is like in 7 days!!!!! I then just let Twosox eat for a while then we went back into the corral and we went up into the riding ring and hung out for a bit. Twosox had a HUGE lick and chew and then fell took a nap. Since Twosox was in such a great mood and was calm I we went over to the fence and I played some friendly with him while I was on the fence. Since we haven't ridden in a while I was making so assumptions. He was doing really well so I decided to stand on the fence, put my foot on his back and swing my rope a little bit. Twosox did really well. He was a little concerned about the swinging rope but only for a couple seconds then he relaxed again.

After that I climbed on, checked out lateral flexions and then we just walked around. Twosox was calm pretty much the whole time. One time he saw something in the bushes but then he relaxed at the end he fell sleep!!!! That was what I was hoping he would do!!!! Twosox is calm when I am riding him but he isn't always 100%. I can tell that there is a little bit of tension. Just the tiniest bit. So for him so fall asleep it was really good. I was reminded of how light Twosox really is. To ask him to go I would think "go" and pick up my life just a very tiny bit and Twosox would start walking. Stopping was a little but harder but if Twosox didn't stop when I relaxed he would stop when I picked up my rein to bend him so he was still light with that.

After a while I got off. When I let Twosox go he stayed at the gate so I rubbed him for a while. He is such a sweet horse!!!

Here are some pics....



 

 

 

 

 



~K

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

What a day!!!!

Today was a wonderful day!!! I played with and rode both Prince and Twosox. Prince in the morning and Twosox in the afternoon. The sun was peaking through the clouds on and off through out the morning but by lunch time it was shining bright and clear. It was so nice!!!

About 5 minutes after I got outside the horses left..... so I filled the water trough, played with my little brothers, waited.... and finally my mom was finished cleaning the corral with my sister so we could go [it was my day off from that duty ;)]

The horses were in the turn around when we got there. After we caught Prince and Knightly we decided to go to the field and play for a bit before heading home. Before we left the turn around I noticed Prince was being a little dominate so we did some driving game, sideways and circles. I "put" a huge hill in Prince's way so that he really had to think about where he was going. It took him a while but finally he started playing attention to where he feet were and he stopped tripping. Then we played Stick to me to the field. We did trotting departures, back up, and sideways!!! It was really cool!!!

After that I sent Prince sideways while I kept my feet still over to a big rock that is in the field. He did really well!!! He had a big rest there then we played with our Stick to me at the canter. It was a little slippery in the field but we managed. Prince did really, really well!!!! After a couple minutes he would start cantering when I started cantering in my body!!! After that was going well we played around with cantering then slowing down tot a stop, then cantering again. Prince caught on really quickly!! It isn't perfect yet but it is getting there!! Then we went over to a big dip in the field [we have a VERY interesting field... rock, tree, dips, raspberry bushes etc etc ;)] I went Prince down it and then up it again but he wanted to trot through it so I ask really really softly for a walk and he walked all the way down and then back up again! He is so smart!!! Then I switched positions and asked Prince to back down it and up the other side. Prince and I have been having some problems with backing up straight but this time Prince backed up perfectly straight, even when he was going up the other side he was straight!!! Prince had a rest on the other side then I asked him to come trotting to me. I backed up a couple steps and Prince came trotting right to me!!!

I then put the 45ft line on Prince and we went to the middle of the field [or as close to it as we could get!] and we did circles...... well at first they were a rather odd shaped circle..... more of an oval.... not they weren't even that!! Oh dear....... Prince has never been at the end of the 45ft line when it was circling so he was a little confused but we played around with it and he got it. He was circling at about 40ft by the end and this time it was a circle!!!! He had to watch out for rocks, hills, big hills, shrubs and lots more too!!!! Talk about the 4 responsibilities!!!! Once Prince gave me one true circle with out me making any corrections we stopped.

I was ready to go back home so while my mom finished up Prince and I went over to a little hill in the field and I set Prince up onto it. Then I crawled under him. Stopping right under him to play some friendly of course ;)

I decided to ride Prince home. So once we were ready I climbed up. Prince is SO comfy bareback!!!!! He did really well the whole ride home. There were a couple close calls with low hanging trees but other then that it was great!! Man those tree are wet!!!! That is the problem when you have short horses that only make the paths a certain height!!!! hehe it was a lot of fun though. Prince and I went in the lead, my mom and Knightly followed and Ruffy and Twosox  took the rear. Prince was really in tune with me and did everything I asked!!! Once we got to the turn around I asked Prince to trot. It was really comfy!!!! I am going to be doing a lot of bareback riding this winter!!! Unless it doesn't snow a lot then I might dig my saddle out!! :) 

When we were coming up to the short but steep hill that is on the other side of the turn around I grabbed a whole of Prince's mane and we walked right up it. It was SO amazing to feel Prince under me pushing himself and me up the hill!!! It was an amazing feeling!!!! The nice thing about bareback is that you can feel everything!! Going down the hill was interesting also. I was totally confident going down it. It isn't a steep but it is longer so it is more drawn out. For 90% of the ride home I only had one hand on the rein. Before when I have ridden home [or out on the trails] I have made my reins shorter so I could control Prince a little bit more [i.e. Bend him if he got a little to impulsive! ;)] So it was really nice to be able to trust Prince and trust myself!!!

Another bonus about riding Prince home was that I didn't have to walk through mud!!!! hehe it was so nice!!! My jeans still got dirty but not as bad ;) I couldn't believe how comfortable Prince was!!!! It was wonderful!!!!

I will type Twosox's playtime tomorrow!!! It is getting late!!
~K

Monday, November 30, 2009

Trailer loading with Twosox


November 29 2009

This afternoon I played with Twosox and the trailer. It was the first time that Twosox has been near a trailer in almost two years!!! I was really proud of how well he handled everything too.

At first I was making no assumtions and so I let him eat some grass for a little while when we slowly moseyed over closer to the trailer. That was when Twosox go really worried about it. He was snorting, he couldn't look at me with two eyes, he couldn't eat etc etc so I backed up until he could walk in between me and the trailer and be confident..... it was about 35ft!!!!!! He was really worried!!!

So we just did squeezes back and forth until I could be about 10ft away from the trailer and Twosox was okay with it. He was gaining more confidence really quickly so then I asked him to touch it. He touched the spare tire that was on the side. We imediatly left and went to the other side of the yard and rested there. Then we went back. This time Twosox was WAY more confident. I went and sat on the fender and just let him eat near the side of the trailer. He was fine with that but we stayed there for a while. Then I asked Twosox so go and check out the ramp he went over and sniffed it out for a while I brought him back and gave him a rub. Twosox was really getting more confident now. He was fine putting his front to feet on the ramp but he still got a little worried when he looked right into the trailer but then I remembered that our friend suggested opening the side door. So I did that. It isnt' a big door but it is big enough that Twosox could see out. That seemed to help.

Twosox started getting really curios about the trailer and he put all of zone 1 and half of zone 2 in the trailer and was checking out the divider. I figured that I should set a goal of where I wanted to end so I decided that we would end when I could send Twosox onto the trailer ramp and back him off confidently three times. The third time Twosox actually wanted to go farther into the trailer but I just backed him off and then sat on the ramp and we hung out together for a while. I was really proud of Twosox!!! He did so well!!!! I am hoping to do it like a pattern and play with it for 4-7 times. We have it for about 2 weeks so I hope I can do that!!!

Should be fun!!
~K

Ruffy trim

November 28 2009

Today I trimmed Ruffian. This time I was able to use the trailer mats of our friends trailer that she lent us. It made it so much easier!!! Ruffy stood really well for 90% of the time. He wasn't sure about putting his front feet on the stand but he wasn't to bad. I am really glad to have all four horses trimmed. I know I will have to do it again but I know have a really good idea of how each horse will stand the next time I trim.... and I hope they will be even better!!

The weather was SO much nicer then yesterday. The sun was out and it was warm!!! It was wonderful!!!

~K

November 27th playtime

November 27 2009

Today was miserable weather wise but we still had fun. It was raining when we left with the horses, snowing when we got there and then raining when we left.

After we unloaded the horses Prince and I walked into the arena. I took one look around and decided that there was nothing that I wanted to play with in there. So Prince and I walked out the gate and went and played out in the small field beside the round corral. We did some Circles first. Cantering, transitions, and change of directions. At first Prince was pulling a little bit on the rope but after the third lap he lightened up and put slack in the line. After that we did some Stick to me. We practiced our canter stick to me. Prince did really well with that. It was really cool because Prince was really in tune with me that as soon as I stopped cantering in my body Prince would stop canter, then when I slowed down Prince slowed down too. It was fun!!

Then I tied the 22ft line into two lines. It was a little short but that was okay. At first we just did Point to point then we walked over to the driveway and did some Weaving [with out cones], transitions, lots of trotting, and other stuff. Then we trotted all the way down the driveway and back to where my mom and Knightly were.

After that we did some Stick to me over to the arena gate. It was SO cool because all I had to do was think trot and Prince would start trotting then I would think walk and Prince would walk. It was fun!!!! Then we played with the single barrel that was there. I asked Prince to jump it while I was about 15ft away and he did!!! Normally I have to be pretty close to it when Prince jumps it. It was neat!! Then I asked Prince to go sideways over it. By this time the rope was pretty wet and heavy and I think that was why Prince wasn't quite sure what I wanted. He tried but had a hard time with it. We kept with it until he got it. Then he had a big lick and chew!!!

Then we went into the arena and switched to the 45ft line. I set two of the plastic barrels up on there end away from the fence. Then I sent Prince on the circle and put the barrels in his “way”. The first time he half jumped it but I didn't quite line it up right so he missed them. So we played around with it until Prince jumped the barrels. Prince got a long rest after that!!! After that I sent Prince out on the circle. He was about 35ft away from me and cantering around connected and all!!! It was amazing!!!  He gave me two circles at the canter on the 45ft line which was a first for us!!!! I was about to bring him in but then the rope got caught on some metal barrels that were standing up and Prince got scarred  and ran off plus our friend was coming down with her horse and an umbrella. I couldn't believe how scarred Prince was!!!! I have never seen him that scarred!! He did look really pretty though ;)

After I caught Prince again I put the 12ft line on him and then my friend handed me the umbrella. My mom was holding Prince for me because I had to go back to the truck to get something, on my way back I was watching Prince out of the coner of my eye to see what he was doing. I didn't walk straight to him but I walked all around. He really wanted to come to me so my mom let him go and also took the rope off. Prince got about 15ft from me then stopped so I turned and walked towards zone 5 and then every time he turned and looked at me I turned and walked the other way. Soon Prince was confident enough to walk up to me so I just stood there and let him sniff me and the umbrella out. It was really neat!!! I put my savvy string on Prince's halter so that he wouldn't be in the way of us filming. He stood quitely beside me and then he started licking and chewing, sighing, blowing, and yawning. He must have been on a lot of adrenaline. Then he started pawing the ground and I had a feeling it was going to roll... and he did. So now my horse was wet and muddy. He was cute though!! The cool thing was that Prince has NEVER rolled when I have had the halter on him!!! It was really cool!!! After we were finished taping what we needed to tape I walked over to the pedestal and climbed up on it. Prince was totally fine with the umbrella over him, opening and closing etc etc. He was way more confident!!! It was really interesting [and a lot of fun] for me to have to get Prince confident with an object when he was so worried about it!! I have played with an umbrella before with him but this one was a different colour and it was totally different circumstances!!!

It was then lunch time and so we went in. I was so glad to be out of the wet, cold, and all in all miserable weather ;)

~K

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Knightly trim

November 26 2009

Well today was very successful. I trimmed Knightly this morning and it only took me 2 hours!!!! It helped that he stood very well and was a perfect gentleman plus there wasn't as much to trim on his feet as there was on Prince. So that helped. Just as I were finishing his last foot it started down pouring.... I guess we got that 40% of rain they were calling for ;) hehe

I was even more confident then I was yesterday. I knew what I needed to do and did it. I also knew how I could improve from what I did yesterday on Prince so that was good. I was relaly sore yesterday but  thanks to my mom's back rub last night I wasn't to sore. I am sore now but that is okay. Tomorrow we are taking the horses out to our friends farm again. I hope I am not to sore to play with Prince!!! I will make sure to get to bed on time tonight and get a good rest!!!

You can look on my other blog [thenaturalhoof.blogspot.com] for more about yesterday and today.

Well that is all for now!!

~K  

Prince trim


November 25 2009

Today I trimmed Prince for the very first time!!!!! It took me 4 1/2 hours. I started at 11:00 and finished at around 3:30. It was well worth the time though because I could see the change in Prince. He left side was the hardest but I figured it would be. The cool thing was that by the end of the trim Prince was offering to pick up feet up for me!!! Plus instead of just lifting his foot off the ground a little bit and then letting me pick it up the rest, Prince was handing me his feet softly. It was amazing!!!

I am not going to type about everything I did in the 4 hours because it would be boring.... but lets just say that it was a lot of fun and God gave me the patience and wisdom that I needed to not get frustrated or mad a Prince and to stay calm and think of it as a game!!!

I was really proud of Prince and it can only get better!!!! And the best things is I know that I will NOT need to put another 8 hours into handling Prince's feet before I trim him again ;) I was doing it all for tomorrow. So it might have taken longer today but next time, if I did it right, it shouldn't take as long.

Tomorrow I am hoping to trim Knightly and then on Saturday I am hoping to get Ruffy trimmed!!! I hope that goes well!!!

~K

November 23rd playtime

November 23 2009

Wow Twosox and I had an interesting playtime today. We started our in the corral and just did some Touch it then we went up the riding ring and did some circles up there. I wanted Twosox to trot 4 laps each way. It took a while but finally he did it. During the process he got a little worried but then calmed down. After that we played with driving the hind quarters. That was really interesting because I thought Twosox knew that..... maybe he forgot ;) Twosox will move his hind quarters away when I am farther away from him but when I am standing by his shoulder he would only take a couple steps then stop or walk forward. So we played with that until he could move his hind quarters in a full circle.

After that we went to Figure eights. I was planning on playing with getting Twosox to trot the whole figure eight... or at least more of it. But as soon as I asked Twosox to speed up he got worried, he started looking out as he was going around the barrels and he couldn't give me two eyes [sometimes he couldn't even look at me with one eye] so I tried different things, standing farther away from the barrels, standing closer, not using my carrot stick, and lots of other things. Nothing really seemed to help except this one thing..... we went back down to the walk and our figure eights were no better. So I figured that we should fix then again. So what I did was everything Twosox came around the barrel and was bracing I would bring him in all the way instead of sending him out again, rub him and then back up out and send him through the barrels. After a while of doing this Twosox started giving me one eye, then two eyes when he was walking around the barrels. So at least our Figure eights at the walk are back to where they were before the start of our play time. I think I will email the Savvy club member support and ask them because I am out of arrows. Everytime that I ask Twosox to pick up the pace a little he gets scarred and our Figure eights fall apart but there has to be a way to keep his confidence but still get the trot.

My mom asked me to show her something with Knightly. She was having trouble with getting him to move his forequarters over and not walking forward. So I left Twosox on his “spot” and started playing with Knightly. With in a couple minutes Knightly figured out exactly what I wanted but then there were some other things that needed to be solved.... aka yielding his hind quarters with out pinning his ears and tossing his nose at you. So we played with that. Pretty soon Knightly figured out that he couldn't do that!! So then we went and did some sideways with a fence and played around with Knightly not putting his head over the fence when he is going sideways [he figured out that if he put his head over the fence the rope would get caught and then he wouldn't have to go sideways.... clever LBI]. It was really fun!!! We pretty much did different forms of the Driving game the whole time. Knightly is really light when he wants to be but while he is being light he is also giving you other problems..... pinning his ears, swishing his tail etc etc.

All this time Twosox was standing where I left him. He had moved a little bit but other then that he stayed right where I left him. When I got back to Twosox we did a little bit more Figure eights at the walk. They were MUCH better. Twosox could look at me when he was coming around the barrels and was confident the whole time.

After that I let Twosox go. He followed me over to the gate at Liberty. It was definelty a play time that made me think!!!!

~K

November 22nd Playtime

November 22 2009


Wow. Prince and I had a wonderful play session today!!!! Plus an amazing ride!!! Prince, Ruffy and Twosox were up near the riding ring when I got out there. So I decided to take my equipment up there because there were a couple of things I wanted to do with Prince before I saddled him. I managed to get everything up in two trips. The first time Prince saw me he turned and went the other way and totally ignored me. How interesting!! I always love feedback!!! I didn't pay any attention to Prince and just continued up the hill. The second time I was going up the hill, this time with my saddle, Prince did the same thing. He turned his zone 5 to me and ignored me. I just walked right on past him. Ruffy on the other hand couldn't be any more curios!!!! He followed me right into the riding ring and was checking everything out. Since I wasn't paying any attention to Prince he suddenly got really interested in me. I decided to do something different and I closed the gate so that Ruffy and Prince were closed in the riding ring. They started playing so I just watched. It was SO cool!!! Ruffy can get Prince to canter 2 ½  laps in a circle just by chasing him and trying to bite his tail!!!! I love watching them play!!!!

I sent the horses around the riding ring. They cantered off and cantered about a lap then started trotting. I let then trot for a little while then I asked Prince to disengage and they stopped and looked at me. Prince didn't want to come to me but Ruffy came right over. I rubbed him and didn't pay any attention to Prince. Ruffy decided to take off again. He had SO much energy!!!! Prince went off after him. Ruffy tripped on something and was limping for a couple minutes. It is amazing how he went from galloping around one minute to peacefully sleeping in the sun the next. Since Ruffy was limping I decided to play with Prince a little bit at Liberty. We did Touch it from 30ft away, sideways over the barrel, Stick to me, I stood about 35ft away and send Prince over to the pedestal and asked him to put all four feet on it and he did!!! He knew exactly what I wanted!!!! Prince was now glued to me!!!! It was so cool!!!!

After that I went and got my halter and haltered Prince. Then we played around with bowing. We are just starting it but Prince is SO clever!!!! After that we did some Stick to me Online. We did walk, trot and canter. The first two time I asked Prince to canter with me I had to support it with my carrot stick a little but the third time when I started cantering in my body Prince did it at exactly at the same time!!! It was SOOOOO cool!!!!!! I didn't need to use my carrot stick at all!!! Then we went and I asked Prince to jump the single barrel that was lying down. At first he just trotted past it but finally he figure out what I was asking and he jumped right over it!!

Then I went and saddled Prince. He stood perfectly still while I got him ready then we went off and did some Porcupine games and some stick to me. Then after the saddle was tight enough I sent Prince out on the circle. I only asked him to trot. I gave him a long phase 1 and then a quick 2,3.4 and he was off. It took us a little while before Prince gave me 5 circles at the trot with out breaking gait but we got it. Prince even offered to canter a couple times and he cantered for 1 laps or so then went back down to the trot. I think he was expecting me to ask him to canter. Hehe I love doing the opposite of what my horse things I am going to do!!! :) We then went and played with sideways at a trot. I asked Prince into the trot and then sent him sideways. He went off at a really fast trot so we got a really fast sideways. It was cool!!!!!

Prince was ready to ride so I got on. I just tied my lead rope into two reins because my mom was going to use the hackamore. I actually like that better for some reason. Not sure why. Prince and I started off with some Follow the rail. We did a lot of trotting. One thing we have to play with is getting or Direct and Indirect reins tighter and not drift quite so far from the fence. We did the Follow the rail with a carrot stick this time. I don't really like trotting with a carrot stick yet but it was really nice today. My riding has come leaps and bounds in the past few months!!!

After we had finished doing Follow the rail we did some Sideways, 9 step back up, pivoting on the hind quarters and some point to point. Prince was SO light!!!! Our sideways was a MILLION times straight too!!!!

Now here is where it really gets fun!!!! Ever since I started riding the Patterns I have avoided Figure eights like a lot of people avoid the porcupine game and that is because I couldn't figure out how to get my body right so that Prince could do it right. So finally over the last couple rides I have been playing with it and just doing it!!! At the walk we got it figured out but once we went up to the trot everything fell apart again. Again I have been playing with it and we finally had some success and now I can't wait till we can ride Figure eights!! So today we played with them. I did the first couple at a walk just to make sure everything was smooth then I asked Prince to trot. He would trot through the middle then he would break gait when we were half way around the barrel. Since I didn't have my hackamore on I didn't have anything to get to a phase four with so once we got a fairly good Figure eight we stopped and I took my savvy string and put it on my wrist. That way I could get to a phase four if needed. That really helped Prince. At first he wasn't to happy about it and pinned his ears a little but after that he was very snappy!!! He went into the trot at a phase 1!!! We kept at it and finally we got almost a complete figure eight at a trot. So we took a LONG rest. Prince had a big lick and chew also. Then once we had our rest we started off again and we got a complete figure eight on the FIRST TRY!!!!!!!!!!!!! I was so proud of Prince!!!!!! It is interesting because when we are doing things like Weaving and the Figure eight Prince's trot is slower and a lot easier to ride but when we are doing some thing like Follow the rail his trot is faster. I like it though!!!!

After we had another long rest we went and did some Weave. We did both at the walk and at the trot. When we were doing the Weave at a trot Prince brought gait the first time but that was only because we had to go in bwteen Knightly and the tire but after that we trotted the whole Weave!!! After that I got off. All three of the Patterns that we did were so good!!!!! It was so much fun!!!

After I had gotten off and un-saddled Prince I picked up his feet. It wasn't perfect but it was so much better then it was yesterday!!!!! Prince's was REALLY good on his right side. He let me do almost everything with them!!!! I made sure to put his foot down before he started pulling and if he did pull I just went with him and didn't try to hold on or anything. That way I was able to have my hand on his foot but now act like a predator and get tight. Before I asked Prince to pick his foot back up again I would take a couple seconds and just rub massage his leg. It really made a difference. When I went to Prince's left side he was a little bit harder but he quickly figured it out and relaxed and let me hold his foot no problem!!!! His left hind foot was the hardest. I could feel that even though Prince was letting me hold his foot and he wasn't pulling he was still tense. So I just massaged it while I was holding it and when he relaxed I would put it down. That helped and in the end I was able to clean his foot out and he wasn't tense, not prefect yet but a lot better then what it was!!!

It was an amazing playtime from start to finish!!!!! Hopefully Wednesday I can trim Prince. It might take me a long time but if I do it right it will keep getting better!!!

~K

November 21st Playtime

November 21 2009

My sister and I went out this afternoon and played with Prince and Ruffy. It was reminded me of the days when it was just us four!!! It was fun!! Not that it isn't fun now though ;)

It was a gloomy day but we went out anyways. I love watching my sister and Ruffy play!!! I am positive that Ruffy would almost do anything for my sister!!!

Prince and I had a pretty good play time. It had it's “Oh boy” moments that is for sure. My plan was to play with Prince's feet. I didn't go to that first though. We did some circles, sideways, and leading by the tail. We played around with Don't change gait on the circle. Prince would canter about 2 ½ laps then break gait. I know how I could have done better now but I guess I will be prepared for next time!!

After we had played for a bit I then asked Prince to pick up his feet. Prince kept pulling back and did not want me to hold his feet. It felt like we were back to square one again. I took the end of my rope and wrapped it around Prince's leg that way I could go with him when he was pulling and not release on a brace. Today that didn't work as well as it did before. Prince just pulled harder and got worse. So I changed stratigies and so if Prince pulled his foot back and I couldn't hold it I just rubbed it and calmly picked back up again. I also noticed that if there was any tension in my arm when Prince pulled, he pulled harder. Hmmmm.... How interesting!! So I really hard to make sure that when Prince started pulling his foot I just calmly went with it and didn't act like a predator and get harder. That made a HUGE difference!!! At first Prince wouldn't even let me pick out his foot!!! But pretty soon he figured out that I wasn't going to get frustrated and I would just rub his leg and then pick his foot back up again. No big deal. So if Prince was trying to push my buttons and get my frustrated that wouldn't work or if it is a trust issue rubbing his foot then picking it back up again will help that. So either way it would help.

I was able to pick up all four of his feet and get a good idea of what I need to trim when I do trim him. So that was really good. His left hind foot was the hardest. So I will have to do a lot of friendly on that foot. All in all though Prince did really well. It will be interesting to see how he does the next time I pick up his feet. I really want to trim Prince's feet. Hopefully on Wednesday I can trim him.

Looking back I know I could have handled our play session a lot better but I know for next time and so I guess that it good.

I can't believe that it is almost December!! I hope I can get at least two more horses trimmed before the snow get here. I am praying!!! :)

~K

Hoof Trimning lesson

November 18 2009

Today was my hoof trimming lesson. All in all it went really well. We only got Twosox done but that is okay. I would have liked to get at least one more done but it got dark and so we couldn't. We have ordered a right handed knife and a blade sharpener so once they get here I will start trimming the others. Plus we did some shopping around for a hoof stand... or something that would work instead of one. I think we have found something that might work. When we go into town next we are going to get one and hopefully it will work. I am excited!!!!
That is all for now!
  
~K

November 17th playtime

November 17 2009

Oh man!!! I just had the most amazing time with Prince!!! I have been spending a lot more time riding lately, mostly bareback because I haven't felt like saddling Prince. I have to say though that since I have been riding bareback more the rest of our riding has gotten a lot better!!

Anyways back to our playtime today.....

Before I went out to play with Prince I thought of a couple things I wanted to play with during our playtime. I decided to try my Wintec Wide on Prince. Just for the fun of it. I wanted to ride in a saddle but since I am still trying to get over this cold and am a little tired I didn't feel like dragging my Fusion out. So this was a good alternative. After I had saddled Prince I moved him around some. We did some Stick to me. That was really cool! If I leaned forward Prince would lean forward if I leaned back a little Prince would shift his weight back. It was fun!!

We also did some circles. We were only on the 12ft line but that was fine because I have been trying to  ask Prince to circle on different lenghts of rope that way he can learn to use his body in different ways. It has really helped our Figure eights while riding also because Prince learned how to move on a tighter circle. So I asked Prince to trot 2 laps each way. Nothing to hard. He did that really well. Then I asked him to Change direction a couple times. We also played around with going faster and straighter when doing sideways with out a fence. At first Prince had a hard time getting straight, especially when we started going faster. Pretty soon he got it though and we got both the speed and straightness that I was looking for.

It was a lot of fun playing on a shorter rope. I had to unsaddle Prince, change the shims around then resaddle him again so I had to move him around again. I asked Prince to circle at a trot about 6ft away from me. This used to be REALLY challenging for him. At the walk he was fine but when I asked him to trot and leave slack in the rope that was a totally different story. Today though he was wonderful!! There was slack in the rope, he didn't break gait and we even did some Transtions and Change of directions!!! We also did Leading by the tail and extreme friendly game in all zones. Prince was SO light when I asked him to back up by the tail!!! Normally he will back up but it will be slow but today he was very responsive and we were able to pick up the pace a little bit and actually keep it up!!

Prince looked ready to ride by this time so I decided to get on him in the corral. The saddle was more comfortable then I thought it would be. I was able to fine my balance point way easier then when I was riding Twosox with that saddle. I had to play around with the stirrup length. Prince stood perfectly still while I fiddled around with it. Before when I have ridden him in the corral he has always gone straight from the manger but today he was much better!!! He didn't even try to go to the other horses or the hay.

We stood still for a while because I was helping my mom with something. Then when she was ready to go up I got the crazy idea that I wanted to ride up the hill to the riding ring. I have never ridden up it before because it is really steep but today I felt up to the task. So I got off, tied my 12ft line into two reins [I actually like riding with one rein now!! It is more of a challenge! :)] I had to change my boots also because I didn't have my proper riding boots on. Then we were off!! I wasn't quite sure how Prince would do, I knew he could make it up the hill no problem, but would he listen to me while we were going up the hill... there was no need to worry though because Prince was totally perfect in every way!!! ;) We walked up the hill with no problem at all. It was totally amazing to feel all that power under me. It was incrediable and totally undescribeable!!!

When we got up to the riding ring we took a little rest. While we were riding up the hill Prince listened to me so well. We didn't go up the hill in a straight line that way it would be easier for Prince but he listened to my body and reins and was SO light!! I hardly had to put any pressure on the reins and he would move. It was amazing!! Once we had taken a little rest we did soem Follow the rail, Transitions, Weave, and Point to Point. It was nice riding in an english saddle but I do like my Fusion better. Trotting english it a little bit more complicated but I got the hang of it pretty soon. Our Weave was AMAZING!!!! We only did it at the walk but Prince was SO light!!! He followed my focus and was perfect!!! We did one complete Weave then had a rest. Prince had a big lick and chew then we were off again. I had to do a one hand pushing passenger when we were trotted for the first little bit. I was okay if I could do a sitting trot but when Prince's trot got faster I went into a rising trot and that was harder. Put I think I got the hang of it in the end.

We did Figure eights also. PRINCE WAS INCREDIABLE!!!!!!!!!!!!!! It is amazing how good Prince is when I get it right in my body ;) hehe The barrels were on a little bit of a hill so that added a little extra challenge to our Figure eights but that was fine. Prince really arched his body around the barrels and he was so responsive!!! We did about 5 complete Figure eights and then we stopped in the middle. All I had to was relaxed and Prince stopped. One time when we were doing Follow the rail, we had been doing walk trot transitions also and we were walking a long and just as I was relaxing Prince started to trot, it all happened in a split second but Prince had just started trotting but when he felt that I relaxed he stopped right then and there. It was a good thing I was on my balance point or else I would have fallen off forsure. Prince stopped so fast. It was amazing though because he was so in tune with me that he felt me relax and stopped.

Then we played around with trotting departures. At first I thought that Prince wouldn't like them because I was asking him to go faster quicker but instead he did an AMAZING job!!!!  I think he liked them because we would trot about 5ft then stop, have a quick rest then trot off again and repeat the whole process. Everything that I asked Prince to do was so light!!! Even our sideways was soft and straight!!! We also practised our 9 step back ups. Prince is getting lighter each time!!

After I was finished riding I climbed off. I unsaddled Prince and since my mom wasn't on Knightly yet  I climbed on Prince bareback so we could ride together. Prince and I walked over to the pedestal and climbed up. I was helping my mom with something [I think it was circles] I kind of felt that Prince wanted to climb up on the pedestal with all four feet so I just waited and after a couple minutes he did!!! So we stood there for a long time while I was helping my mom.
My mom had just gotten up on Knightly and Ruffy and Twosox came up and of course Ruffy has to stand right at the gate and bother them. So Prince and I come over and send Ruffy off. Then Ruffy being the LBE he is sees my saddle on the fence and goes over to check it out. I didn't mind that but when he started biting it I got a little bit worried. Prince and I were on the other side of the riding ring so we trotted over to save my saddle. It was really cool because Prince and I had a purpose!!!! We trotted the whole way over to the saddle and Ruffy I picked my saddle and the theraflex up [good thing it was my english saddle!! hehe] and we rode over to the pedestal and half placed it half dropped it there. I was relaly proud of Prince because he did so well the whole time!!! He wasn't at all worried about me carrying my saddle while riding him. I love my horse!!!!

When my mom was ready we did some trail ride simulations. We did about one curcit around the riding ring then we stopped. By this time it was getting cold because the sun was going down. It was a lot of fun though!!! Prince did soooooooooooooooooooooo well!!!!!!

Tomorrow the Proffessional Barefoot trimmer is comming out for a full one on one lesson day!!! I am excited but nervous because I am not sure how the horses will do.  I just hope I can stick to my Parelli pinciples and put the relationship first. Should be fun though!!!

~K

November 16th Playtime

November 16 2009

Twosox and I had a great play session today. He was a million times more confident then he was last time we played. I was only planning on playing around with the tarp but we ended up doing more then that. But that was totally fine. To start off with my mom wanted me to show her how I get Prince or Twosox farther away from me when we are doing Touch it on a longer line [22ft or 45ft] So I stood at the fence and sent Twosox 22ft away to the tractor tire. I was actually surprised at how well Twosox did. We haven't really done a lot of that. I mean we have done Touch it from 22ft away but we haven't done a lot of it while I kept my feet still and sent him all the way out to the end of the 22ft line to touch something. It was neat!!! Twosox asked me a question when he got there and he offered to put his foot on it... or at least try. He couldn't get his foot on the top because it was to high. After I had brought him in and let him lick and chew I sent him over to the pedestal, again keeping my feet still. This one was a little harder for Twosox because he had to go straight in front of me and in doing so put me in zone 5 but he did really well and was confident the whole time. I then asked him to put all four feet on. He had a little bit of trouble with that so I had to move closer to help him. But in the end he got it.

While Twosox was standing with all four feet on the pedestal I went around and set up different obstacles. Twosox stood there the whole time and for Twosox that is really good. Normally he would have climbed off. Right near the end the tarp that was behind him got caught by the wind and scarred him. He jumped like 6ft off the pedestal and then turned and looked at me. I walked up to him gave him a rub then asked him to go stand on the pedestal again. He went right back up and stayed there while I finished setting everything up.

We then went and played with the different toys. It was a lot of fun. A couple times Twosox got a little worried so we just kept with it until he was confident then we moved on. When I asked Twosox to jump the barrels he flew right over them. I am not sure if he was a little unconfident though because he jumped really high. We then walked over to the tarp that was hanging down from the tree. Twosox was doing fine and was confident but then a gust of wind came a just the wrong time and the tarp moved. Twosos stopped and stared at it. So we walked away and did some sideways with out a fence, and then went and did some Figure eights. At first Twosox was not connected with me so we kept with the pattern until he started getting connected and then we stopped. After that we did some Stick to me, circles, traveling circles and I backed Twosox out the small gate. I wasn't sure how Twosox would do backing through the gate because it is not very wide and there is a hill on the other side but he did really well and was confident the whole time.

Then we went and I asked Twosox to back onto a tarp that was on the ground. Twosox wasn't to sure about it at first but then he figured it out and was able to back on to it confidently. There was only a gentle breeze now so we went over to the tarp that was hanging from the tree. I couldn't believe how confident Twosox was with it!!!! He walked right under it like he had done it all his life!!!!! We did it three times and each time he got more confident. The last time he walked right straight under it and the tarp even touched him in zone 4/5 and he was fine. It was AMAZING!!!!!

The last thing we did was picking up his feet. Twosox did really well and let me hold his feet with out to much problems. We are hoping to have the Proffessional barefoot trimmer come out soon for a one on one lesson day. Should be fun!! I think that we will trim Twosox first because he will most likely be the most patient... him being the only right brain horse in our herd.

I was really proud of how well Twosox handled everything today. He was so brave!!!!

~K