Monday, August 31, 2009


So today Prince and I worked on refining our play and riding. It was a huge success. We started by playing in the turn around. Since it was cold outside they horses weren't in so my mom and I went to find them. When we go to the turn around we called them and they came. It was SO nice not to have to walk through the wet bushes to go get them!!

Prince came right up to me and stayed with me while I caught him. Then we went and did come stick to me, long distance yo-yo and sideways games, Then Prince really wanted to move his feet so we did some traveling circles at the trot and canter. Plus every once and a while I would ask Prince to do a transition downwards just to keep him mind of me. He did SO well. Our last play time really paid off!!! Then every once and a while I asked Prince to change direction. Those were really good too.

After that I asked Prince to put his two in front feet in one hula hoop and his back feet in another one. At first Prince didn't know what I wanted and he was moving around a lot but then he figured it out. It was fun!! We then did sideways over a log. Prince did really well while it was only one log but then part way across when the two logs over lapped he wasn't sure what to do. So we played with that till he could go sideways over them both.

When we were done that we worked on our circles. Prince wasn't paying any attention to me and just running around. So we did LOTS of transitions. Those really worked and he started softening and slowing down in what ever gait I asked him to move at. We did some really cool canter to walk transitions, canter departures and lots more!! Our change of directions are getting there. They aren't perfect but at least Prince isn't running off when I ask him to change direction. One thing that I noticed was that I need to do lots of transitions and make sure Prince is paying attention to me and then I can do some change of directions. Interesting.

Then we went back to the corral. I saddled Prince up and we went up to the riding ring. On our way back to the corral we played stick to me. At first Prince wasn't in tune with me but by the time we got home he was in harmony with me and mirroring me. It was so cool!!! When we were up in the riding ring we did figure 8's, Touch it and then just to make sure Prince didn't have any buck in him I asked him into the canter. He bucked at first but then after the first couple stride of canter he stopped bucking and was fine. Our transitions were even better then they were in the turn around. He was AMAZING!!! We got a flying lead change too!!!

Then I got up and rode Prince. All I wanted to do was work on some small stuff and refine our riding. Normally all Prince wants to do is trot, trot, trot but today he was in tune with me and listened SO well. We only did a little bit of trotting but most of it was just walking. For almost all the ride I just used my savvy string and carrot stick. I had my hackamore on as a safety net but I didn't need. We did sideways, some trotting, direct rein, backing up, point to point, carried and dragged a bucket, and lots more all with just the savvy string and carrot stick!!! I was SO proud of Prince. Near the end we did some figure 8's. I switched to holding my reins just in case I needed them but I didn't Prince listened to my body and carrot stick so well. We did some REALLY, REALLY nice figure 8's. They were AMAZING!!!!

I put my vest on a fence post before I started riding and also tied my 22ft line to a bucket. So when we were riding I rode over to my vest and put it on then took it off. I also rubbed Prince with it. He did really well. We have to work on dragging the bucket. He did pretty good but got kind of worried about it following him. That is okay though. We were able to carry it and he was fine with that. Prince was so in tune with me that near the end of our ride if I wanted him to turn he would turn with just me using my body. Plus when I would ask him to stop all I need to do was relax and he would stop right then and there. It was so cool!!!

To end our ride we did some sideways both way but I used my reins because Prince was drifting forward quite a bit. He did really well but I just needed to ask him to move his hind quarters a little bit more because they were lagging a little. After that he did sideways beautifully!!!

It wasn't a super long ride but it was VERY fun!!! and we got a lot accomplished!!


Thursday, August 27, 2009

Patience and Persistence pays off with Prince and Twosox

The weather this morning was SO nice that I was able to play with both Twosox and Prince.

I started off by playing with Twosox. I picked out all of his feet. He was a little bit unsure about me handling his back feet but pretty soon he relaxed. After that we worked on our walk/trot transitions and change of directions. The whole time there was lots of slack in the rope and for 90% of the time the belly of the rope was on the ground. Twosox is SO light and was paying attention to me the whole time. All I needed to do relax and maybe lift up my carrot stick and Twosox would slow down and if I wanted him to speed up all I had to do was lift up my life and he would speed up. It was amazing.

Our Change of directions are getting REALLY good. Twosox will pivot right into the ground and go the other way. It was amazing! I have never seen him be so athletic!! Then we worked on jumping one barrel. I put it right up next to the fence. At first Twosox wasn't to sure but then figured it out and would jump it from a stand still no problem. It was amazing how many questions Twosox was asking me. It was great!!

Then we took a little break and just spend some time together hanging out. I didn't want to overwhelm Twosox so we didn't do any more Online stuff. We did a little bit of Liberty at the end. We did some Sideways with out a fence, yo-yo games, Driving and some circles. Playing with Transitions Online really payed off because they were AMAZING at Liberty. Twosox was so in tune with me that when ever I asked him to do something it was light and he responded so well. He even jumped the one barrel twice and I was at least 10ft away!!! Our draw keeps improving. Each time it gets a little bit better. I am making sure to keep my Liberty sessions sort but also effective. So that we make a little bit of progress each time and it is really working.

After I had let Twosox go I wanted to quickly work on some Transitions and Change of Directions Online with Prince. Playing with Twosox and seeing how light and responsive he is has made me realize that I need to really work on Prince's and my Transitions and Change of directions.

So I went and got Prince. We played stick to me while we were running up the hill. Prince stayed right beside me the whole time. Then once we were in the riding ring I sent Prince over to the barrel that was still by the fence. He jumped right over it from a stand still!! That was really good for Prince because normally he will knock it when he is going over it. Then I sent Prince out on the circle. It took a while of playing around but finally we got it all working and our Transitions go really good. We ended up doing transitions on a shorter circle so that I could be effective then once Prince was paying attention and they were going better I let out a little bit of rope and we did some walk/trot/canter, both downward and upward transitions.

One thing that I noticed was that before when we would do transitions I wouldn't stick with it long enough so Prince never got better. So today I made sure that we stuck with it until our transitions were consistent. Then we worked on out Change of directions. They were [to my surprise] not that bad. I think that they were better because Prince was actually paying attention to me because of the transitions we were doing. We even got 2 flying lead changes!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! It was SO cool!!!! At the end Prince was doing so well and I was confident that our Transitions and Change of directions were better then what we found them when we first started. I am excited to see what they are like next time.

So the lesson I learned today was that I have to be PERSISTENT!!!!!! Keep with it until there is a change. Like Mr. Parelli says "I have never seen it take longer then two days" So stick with it!!

Here are some pics....

Take a look at that mane!!! 
Who could resist that face??
Don't they make a great pair??
Well that is all for now! have a great day!

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Riding out...

August 24 2009

Prince and I played and rode in our back field. He did so well.... except for when he took off running and went all the way home and I had to go back and get him. But other then that everything was fine.

We even played on the 45ft line for a bit. I was surprised at how well both Prince AND I did considering it has been a while since we have played on the 45. Our riding ring is to small and it gets dangerous because most of the line ends up around my feet.

We started by playing on the 22ft. We did change of directions, transitions, sideways, and traveling circles. Then we switched to the 45ft line. We did some more circles but I let Prince go out farther. He did REALLY well. Before we would totally loose connection and then we couldn't get anything done so it was great to have Prince's full attention on me. We did some really cool canter to walk transitions. Prince caught on really quickly and responded to my energy and did them almost perfectly!!!

Then we did some Figure 8's. We started like we normally do and since they were going so well I started moving farther back. I ended up about 30ft from the tires and Prince was stilling doing the Figure 8's PERFECTLY at the trot. Prince did it mostly himself. I was a lot of fun!! After that we did some Touch it on at about 30ft away. Prince knew exactly what to do so we didn't do that for to long.

Once Prince had all of his bucks out [if I don't have the saddle on him for a while then put it on him he will buck into the canter] so when he wasn't bucking anymore I got on. We walked around for a bit then did a little bit of trotting. It was only the second time that I had ever ridden in the field and the first time I didn't do any riding I just go on and left for home. So this was the first time we actually stayed in the field to ride. It was SO much fun.

My mom set up a question box so we rode that for a bit. Our riding ring is now to small to have it in there because of the round corral so we had to put it out there. At firs Prince didn't want to be directed but soon he figured that what I was asking him to do was pretty interesting. He was AMAZING!!! That was only our second time ridng the question box and Prince did it like he had been doing it all his life!!! I wasn't going to ask him to trot but he offered it a couple so I took it. It is so easy to ride his trot now. I don't even have to think about it.

We had a little bit of trouble when Knightly left, Prince wanted to go with him. I bent him but he started going sideways even with his ehad bent around. So as soon as I had the chance I got off. He then settled and I was able to get back on. Prince started to leave againg but I bend him then asked for him to disengage his hind quarters then he relaxed and we headed back to what we were doing.

After we had ridden we done riding the question box I wanted to ride home but I just wanted to ride down itot he lower part of the field. For some reason I have always wanted to do that. I don't know why but anyways I did. We walked down the hill, trotted across the flat stretch and then the plan was to trot up the hill but Prince decided that he wanted to canter up it. So before I knew what was happening we were cantering!! I can tell that I am going to need to get a lot more fluidity to ride that canter but I just keep telling myself that just like the trot it will feel really bad at first but after a while it will get better.

So then we rode home. We really need to take a saw out and cut some of those branches so that were is a little bit more room for me to fit through. You can tell that we have short horses because all of there paths are REALLY short. Oh well I only got smacked in the face.

We had to go up one steep hill on the way home. It was totally amazing to feel all the power of Prince pushing himself and me up the hill. It was indescribable. Then I wasn't to sure how it would go going down the hill but again Prince took it all in stride and walked down the hill no problem. What a wonderful horse!!!

We then trotted the rest of the way home. Then went sideways over to the gate to drop of the 45ftline that we were carrying and then I got off. It was really an amazing ride!!! Next time should be really fun too!!


Saturday, August 22, 2009


This morning I played with Twosox. He did really well. We didn't do a whole lot but that is okay. We worked on our Change of directions at the trot, Transitions [w/t/c], and Zone 5 driving. When we were doing Zone 5 driving we did Figure 8's, Weaving, Touch it, and even trotted a little!!! Twosox has come such along way!!

Then we went to Liberty. We did some circles, stick to me, Porcupine games, and yo-yo games. It was only the second time Twosox and I have ever done the circling game at Liberty and he did REALLY well. Our draw was a million times better today!!!! Twosox would come right to me with no hesitation.

I am making sure to take it slow and not do to long of Liberty sessions and I think it is paying off. Twosox is getting better every time!!!


Online, Liberty and Freestyle with a LBI

August 19 2009

We had some people come over to visit and after we had visited for a while they wanted to see what we are doing with the horses. So I haltered Prince and we all went up to the riding ring. Prince and I started by played Online. We did Touch it with different zones, sideways towards and away from me, leading by the tail, zone 5 driving, and circles. Prince did so well. He was amazing!!

Then I set two barrels on end and asked Prince to jump them. This was the first time that I had asked Prince to jump only two barrels normally I have three lined up. Prince jumped it perfectly!!! We did that a couple times, the last time Prince jumped it he knocked over the out side barrel but that was no big deal. So I disengaged Prince and brought him in. After a short rest I backed him out again and was going to send him sideways but Prince took off on the circle and offered to jump the remaining barrel that was standing up!!!!! It was AMAZING!!!!!! I think I was the most surprised by it. It was incredible!!!!

Then we played at Liberty. Prince wasn't the best but he still did well. We did some circles, sideways, Touch it, sideways over a barrel, drawing in at a trot, and Transitions. Prince left twice but he always came back.

After that I climbed on bareback. It was interesting because after I had finished riding and was inside the house it kind of hit me that I had just ridden Prince. I guess I just figured that I would have some sort of confidence issue since I had just fallen off Twosox the day before.

Anyways. Prince and I did Figure 8's, Follow the rail, Point to point, trotting, Sideways, and 9 step back up. I am getting addicted to riding bareback!!! Prince was again, amazing!! Right near the end he offered to trot so I took it and we trotted for a bit. I was really surprised that I could ride Prince's trot bareback and not feel unbalanced. It was great!! Really comfy too!

I have something to work on the next time I ride too. I was trying to get Prince to put all four feet in the pedestal while I was on him. He has some it before but this time he didn't want to or didn't understand what I wanted. No problem. We played with it for a while and almost got it but not totally. So I just left it at a good spot and got off. I will know what to work on next ride! :)

Considering I wasn't planning on played with Prince he did incredibly well. I was so proud of him!!


Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Scary rabbits that hide in the woods....

So you may be wondering what is up with the title.... well let me explain.......

On Tuesday I played with and rode Twosox. We had an amazing play time on the ground, we played Online and at Liberty. We had a great ride too.... until the scary rabbits that were hiding in the woods decided to pop out and freak Twosox out, which made him jump sideways 10ft and in turn made me go 3ft the other direction. Yes ,I successfully had my second fall in my three years of owning horses. Not bad I would say. I didn't hit my head, thankfully but when I landed on the ground I landed on my arms so when ever I lift of push down on something it hurts, plus I am pretty sure I got whiplash so my neck is hurting but other then that I am totally fine. The best part of all is that I am not suffering from any lack of confidence. After I was able to breath again and after checking to make sure Twosox was okay I got back up on Twosox. Now I would NOT have gotten up again if I had felt even the tiniest bit of fear or lack of confidence but since I felt totally relaxed and confident I got back up. We just stood there for a couple minutes that I asked Twosox to walk forward a couple steps then I bend him to a stop and got off.

Now before all the above happened everything was going very well. Twosox and I did transitions, change of directions, stick to me, Touch it, and sideways while we were playing Online then I decided to try some Liberty. Since I knew that our draw wasn't the best we just did close range things. Twosox will stick with me but when he gets more then about 5ft away from me he get unconfident and isn't really sure what to do. So we did different kinds of friendly games then we did some porcupine games and a little bit of driving. Plus some Touch it. Twosox did really really well. I was really proud of him.

So then I got on. Now before I got on I realized that I was wearing running shoes so I got on but I didn't put me feet in the stirrups. Now the interesting thing is that when ever I have ridden in my Wintec Wide before it hasn't been as comfortable as I would have liked but since I didn't have my feet in the stirrups it was amazingly comfortable. Hmmmmmm How interesting!!!! So after a little bit of experimenting I found out that my stirrups were to short and so that was what was making me feel uncomfortable when ever I rode.

For the whole ride I tried to use as little of my reins as possible. Twosox did really well and responded so well. We did some figure 8's and follow the rail to start with. The figure 8 pattern is SO much better then last time we did it. Twosox responded a lot better to my carrot stick and wasn't as impulsive. We only rode in the round corral area. Twosox seemed to do much better in the smaller area.

Pretty much all of what we did was at the walk. I want to focus on getting Twosox really confident at the walk then we can focus on the trot. So we only did a little bit of trotting. It was interesting though because I have only ridden Twosox's trot bareback once so even though I was riding in a saddle this time I didn't have my feet in the stirrups. It wasn't to hard to sit but it was a little bouncy.

After that we played around with some carrot stick riding. I had my savvy string on my carrot stick so that was new for Twosox but he did really well. I did some extreme friendly game, that was new too. Twosox did so well. I was really proud of him.

Then that is when the rabbits decided to come out of hiding and spook Twosox. It was actually a good time to fall off.... if there is ever a good time to fall off a horse ;) because I didn't have my feet in the stirrups and I wasn't holding my reins so I couldn't get caught up or anything.

So after I had recovered, gotten back on and walked around for a bit then gotten off I decided to do a little bit of undemanding time with Twosox. He stayed with me for most of it then near the end he left, went over to the pedestal and climbed up on it. I didn't see him at first because he was behind me but then I looked over and there he was standing up on the pedestal looking at me and asking a questions. He was so cute!!! What a special boy!!!!

So all in all it was a really good play time. Twosox is coming a long so well!!!


Monday, August 17, 2009

Liberty at last!!

So this morning I wasn't planning on playing with a horse... I was going to cut the grass but then I decided to quickly say hi to the horses and then set up the round corral in our riding ring. Prince came over to meet me. We we spent some time hanging out together then the other horses came over.

After spending some time with all the horses I grabbed the pickets and electric fence wire and headed up to the riding ring. I have been putting off doing this for so long because I didn't want to make our 100x55ft riding ring even smaller by putting a round corral in. But it needed to be done so I did it. I even turned it on so that Prince would get zapped once then not go through it when we were playing at Liberty. So after that was done I just had to try it out right? I couldn't leave it not being used so I went down to the corral and caught Prince. We did stick to me up the hill. It was really funny because there was a small tree branch that was lying on the hill and there was this little branch sticking up from me it was maybe 1 1/2 inches around and so when we were trotting up the hill Prince jumped it!!!! I couldn't believe it!!!

We played Online for a bit. We did some amazing Transitions and Change of directions Online, I asked Prince to jump one barrel lying down. At first he as like "Do I have to?" Each time he got a little better then the last time he jumped right over it, didn't even touch the barrel then he turned and faced me and asked a question. What a special boy!!!

Our leading by the tail is getting so much lighter!! Prince will back up lightly and quickly. Is is great!! We are now working on drawing backwards from zone 5. Prince will do about 4 steps then stall a little bit. But we are getting there.

Then we did some Stick to me, sideways towards and away from me, circles, transitions [which were AMAZING! Prince was SO in tune with me all I did was relax and he would slow down and our upward transitions were totally cool too!!!] We also did change of directions, leading by the tail and Touch it at Liberty. I think I will have to keep our Liberty sessions a little shorter then today's.

After we were done playing at Liberty Prince and I played around with mounting by the neck. Prince was totally fine with me jumping on him neck but as soon as I was on his neck he would lower his neck even farther and I would slid down. It was funny! We kept playing with it and I was able to get up about 4 times successfully!!!! A couple times he would walk forwards a little bit not bad for the first day!!

Then we rode around for a bit. We didn't do to much. Prince was responding SO well to my body and I hardly had to use the reins. Now all we have to do is get our stopping better then we are ready for brideless!!! Hmmmm that doesn't sound quite right....a LBI that needs help stopping.... hehe but it is true! Prince will go and go and go but stopping is what we have a little bit more trouble with. Oh well I love having something to work on!!!!

It was SO hot when we were done playing. But thankfully the bugs weren't to bad. We are getting our summer in August! It is supposed to be cooling down now not getting warmer!!!! Oh well, as long as September is fall like I will be happy. I don't want it it to feel like the middle of summer on my Birthday ;)


Thursday, August 6, 2009

So much energy!!!

Since I played with both Prince and Twosox yesterday I decided to play with Ruffian today. I haven't played with him in a while so I thought it would be fun. Fun isn't even enough to describe that horse!!! HE IS AMAZING!!!!!!!!

It took me a while to catch him. He was being rather playful. Much have been the weather because LBE are NEVER playful right??? Just joking. Ruffy is always ready to play. After I caught him it started to rain :( I didn't want to give up so we kept playing. Fortunately the rain stopped and it was the perfect temperature to play.

When we got up to the riding ring I let Ruffy get some of his energy out. I normally just let him run around in circles but we do lots of transitions, change of directions, sometimes we will do a traveling circle game, I will throw obstacles in his way etc so he never is just running around in circles. The nice thing is that while Ruffy is running he isn't pulling on the rope. It makes it so much nicer for my arms!!!! Even when I asked him to gallop today he kept the slack in the rope. It was great!!!

I love watching Ruffy running and playing! He always looks like he is having so much fun!! After Ruffian had run around a little bit and I knew he could probably keep his mind on something a little more challenging. We then went over to one of the barrels and I asked Ruffy to jump it. At first he just walked through it but then he got really interested and tried really hard to figure out the puzzle. After a couple tries he got it! He jumped the barrel from a stand still too!!!

After that we did some figure 8's. Ruffy did them PERFECTLY!!! I think it really helped that my energy was up and we did them really fast. Ruffy then started asking questions and was SO interested and willing to try for me. One thing I really had to make sure I didn't do was make him wrong for something. At the beginning of our play time I caught my self doing that. But it got easier ans easier just to take what he offered and make it my idea.

There were two barrels lying near the fence. So I put one in front of the other and asked Ruffy to jump them. To be honest I didn't really think that Ruffy could jump the barrel from a stand still seeing as it was really wide but Ruffy never stops amazing me, he jumped it, from a stand still, like it as nothing at all. He even made good air on it!!!

So after that we worked on some zone 5 driving with one rein. We did it a lot the fence so it made it a lot easier. Ruffian did so well. I am really proud of him. We walked around did some back up, turned and more all with me in zone 5. Ruffy listened so well and was really in tune with me.

I decided to try an interesting squeeze game and I asked Ruffy to back between the barrels and the tractor tire that is standing up and at the same time over the log. The gap was about 1ft wide. Ruffy backed up to the barrels but wasn't sure about backing between the barrels and the tire so I sent him around and asked him to come through the gap first then back through it. He did much better and understood what I wanted. The whole time he was asking me questions and trying so hard!!!

Since everything was going to well I decided to get on and ride around for a bit. Ruffy wasn't to sure about me lying across him, he would back up a couple steps then stop, so every time he stopped I would slid off. I didn't rush it since Ruffy is still technically only green broke. After about 4 times Ruff stood still while I mounted. He did so well. We stood there for a little bit then we just started walking around. Ruffy seemed relaxed..... seemed being the key word. After I had ridden him around a bit and gotten little success. Well we had some success but Ruffy was really stiff, tight, wasn't listening to pressure, would only walk a couple steps then stop, our lateral flexion wasn't very good. He would bend but I felt like I was more pulling his head around. So I stopped and re-assessed the situation. As we were standing there I was looking at Ruffy and it hit me. He had pretty much shut down and gone internal. Yes that is right.... the playful, smart, sensitive, confident, fast LBE on the ground was now tense, slow, tight, non responsive RBI. Hmmmmm..... I should have figured it out sooner then I did because in new situation or in learning situations Ruffy can go internal.

So with this new information I changed my strategy. I slowed right down and waited. If I needed to help Ruffy through something I did and we made really quick progress. Ruffian started to respond really well when I asked him to turn, go or back up, our lateral flexion be MUCH lighter and all in all Ruffy seemed a live!!! Before he seemed like he was just walking around aimlessly not really sure what he was doing.

We ended by standing on the pedestal. I was so proud of Ruffy. I am hoping to be able to ride him more and get his confidence up. I think that once he gets used to being ridden more he will not be so unconfident.

I had so much fun playing with Ruffy!!! I can't wait to do it again!!!!


Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Getting my energy UP for my LBI?!?!

Yep that is what I had to do this morning when I played with Prince.

When I came back down into the corral after playing with Twosox Prince came over to me!! That was a nice surprise!! We went up to the riding ring. I sat on a rock and hung out with Prince for a couple minutes while my mom was finishing her traveling circle game with Knightly, yes it takes up almost all of the riding ring.

Then Prince and I went into play. We started with some circles. All I asked for way 4 laps at a trot. Prince did that perfectly. He only pulled on the rope once or twice but other then that there was a lot of slack in the rope. I am trying to have around three things that I would like to do with each horse when ever I go out and play. That way it is interesting for me and them plus we don't get caught up in to many circles ;)

I then asked Prince to back up to two tires that were stacked on each other. It as so funny because Prince backed right up and then put both his back legs in the stack of tires!!!! It was so funny to see the look on his face!!! So I came to the conclusion that Prince isn't really bothered by things in zone 5 ;) hehe We backed up to the tarp, the barrels lots of stuff!!

Prince and I then went and I asked him to jump the one barrel lying down. Prince had so much energy and was offering lots of stuff! Everything but jumping the barrel. After a couple tries he made it!! Prince is such a quick learner!!!

Then I wanted to quickly work on out Transitions. Prince was amazing yet again. Our change of directions still need work but it will all come in time. They were really good but I guess they fell apart.... well I KNOW they fell apart. That is certain :) They are fine at the walk so we just need to play with them at the trot then all should be good. Prince gave me one REALLY nice change of direction at the trot so we stopped with that.

Then we went to figure 8's. Those were really INTERESTING!!!! Prince had SO much energy and was flying around, totally ignoring me. I was like "what do I have to do to get your attention??" Then I realized it!! I still had my energy at my normal level for Prince. So I really had to get my energy up. I had to match his and go 4 ounces over. Once I did that things started to change for the better. I was really surprised how much I had to bring my energy up. Prince was sweating a lot. Poor guy :( We finally got some REALLY nice and smooth figure 8's. They were amazing.

We did some stick to me. It is so much better since yesterday!!! The only complaint I have is that when ever Prince caught up to me the bugs suddenly got really bad ;) I wonder why?? lol After we did some of that I got on and rode. I stood on the pedestal and jumped up. I haven't done that in a while. I am kind of glad that Prince is short! Makes it easier!! Prince is SO comfy bareback. I had forgotten how comfortable he is!! I didn't want to do a lot and it was getting warmer so I didn't ride long but we worked on refining out indirect and direct rein, 9 step back up and sideways. We did a little bit of trotting too. At first his trot was really bouncy but then he slowed down and gave me a really nice trot!!

Then we did some point to point. Prince wasn't interested at first but soon he got really good at following my focus and stopping when I relaxed. It was great!!! At the end Prince was responding well and really in tune with me. It was fun!!

Can't wait for tomorrow!!

Incredible, simply incredible.

Today... more like this morning was simply incredible. It was a beautiful morning weather wise. It felt like fall!!!

I played with Twosox first. Knightly and Twosox were in the shelter when I went out. So I went to see Prince and Ruffy then I went and sat in the shelter with Twosox for a while. He wasn't to sure about me sitting on the rails in the shelter but after a bit he relaxed. I decided to halter him while I was sitting there. Yes I am lazy ;) After I haltered him we just spent some time hanging out in the shelter. Twosox wasn't totally confident so I just waited till he relaxed.

Then we went up to the riding ring. We started with some Figure 8's while I was standing on the pedestal. The barrels were about 15ft away from where I was standing. It was hard!! Once Twosox got the pattern it was a little bit easier. Then we got the hang of it and it was fine.

When I brought Twosox in he came right in confidently then I ask him to step up onto the pedestal with me. He did! Then I just spent some kind playing friendly. I noticed that Twosox was only tolerating a lot of thing i.e. the extreme friendly game. Even in other things he wasn't really confident, he wasn't scarred, kind of on the edge. Now I don't know if it was just today or if he is always like this but I just didn't notice it. Either way I played with the horse that showed up. We spend quite a while on the pedestal. I wanted to wait till he relaxed. After a little while he finally did then I started doing some extreme friendly game. Twosox was a lot more confident. Good thing I didn't accidentally hit him ;) Then I got off and asked him to step up with all four feet. Twosox used to have some trouble with this but today he climbed right up. He had comes o far!!

Then we went and played some Touch it, from zone 5. We went over to check out the ball. Twosox wasn't to sure about it at first but then he touch it then looked at me and asked a question. He was SO cute!!! Our draw is getting so much better!! That is really the only thing that I am waiting to get better before we got to Liberty.... plus I have to wait till the deer flies go away so we can go down to the round corral.

Since zone 5 driving with one reins was going really well I tied the 22ft line into 2 reins. Normally I use two 22ft lines but my mom was using the other one. No problem. I wanted to try this anyways. Twosox did so well!!!! At first we just did Touch it. I wanted to let Twosox get really confident with me behind him. He is okay with me there but I want him to be REALLY confident before I ask him to do a lot of complicated things. I figure that Touch it will be great because in doing it Twosox still has to listen to me and be directed etc. Twosox was doing so well that I decided to try some figure 8's.

WOW! He did SO well!!! He responded so well and was so in tune with me. It was amazing!! We took a long break after that. He licked and chewed about that and was really relaxed. It was nice to see Twosox really truly relaxed.

Then I asked him to go to the pedestal and put his front two feet on it. Twosox didn't want to. he would walk around it, go crooked etc. I didn't read it at a confidence thing. But it wasn't really being dominate. So we played with it. Every time he got up on it I would give him a long rest then go do something else and then come back to it again. Every time it got better. Then by the end he walked up to it, straight and climbed up. That is were we ended.

I sat down on the pedestal and we spent a little bit of time there. Then I took the halter off. We stayed there for a little bit longer. Twosox is so sweet!!! Since it was so nice out I decided to play with Prince. But I will have to type that later. I have to go.


Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Wow, what a session!!!

Yesterday I was trying to brain storm and figure out why I am not having fun with the horses when I play with them, or if I do have fun it is only when the horses do something totally amazing and even then it doesn't feel right. Finally it hit me like a tone of bricks.... What is the opposite of fun?? Normally it is being bored right?? You got it. So I don't really know why I didn't figure it out before but that doesn't really matter now.

I am not bored when we are riding because we are advancing and having a blast on Online it is a different story. I am totally, with out question bored!!! So it goes with out question that if I am bored, me the leader of my herd of two, how does my horse feel??? Yeah......... so before I went to bed last night I figured out what I was going to do. Prince was up for me to play with [I rotate back and forth between Prince and Twosox] so I wasn't going to ride him, I didn't need the pressure of making sure he was safe, in tune etc and I wasn't going to do any circles. That way I was challenged to do something new.

So out I went, really rather excited about the idea of playing with Prince. It is such a nice feeling to be excited once again!!! Before I haltered Prince I spent some time rubbing him. Then we went up to the riding ring but I was in zone 5 and instead of going into the riding ring we turned off on one of the side trails and went up the REALLY big hill.... this picture should give you an idea of what we went up....

Plus we have to go up this hill when ever we play in the riding ring. It isn't quite as steep where we normally go up but almost. So Prince and I walk up that with me in zone 5. It may have been crazy but it was fun! Prince was really interested. Then we walked around and found some grass. Then went into the riding ring. JFYI the riding ring is at the top of the hill and to the right.

Then I put the other 22ft line of Prince and I did Figure 8's, Touch it, sideways, back up, and lots more all from zone 5. Prince was totally incredible!!!! I made sure to stop when we were both having fun, and before it because a job. Prince was totally amazing when we did Figure 8's. Normally he pulls and it feels like I am forcing him around the barrels. That wasn't the case today. He was as light as could be and was willing.

Then we did some leading by the tail, Prince is getting SO light!! He responded to the slightest pressure and backing up about 10ft, just with me holding a couple hairs!!!! It was kind of funny because I asked Prince to jump one barrel lying down he walked off with this look on his face like "oh great we are going to do MORE circles or figure 8's" I totally understood how he was feeling!! But I wasn't asking him to circle or do a Figure 8. Pretty soon he was really interested and started asking questions then just like that he jumped it. It was AMAZING!!!!

The whole time I was having a blast and Prince was asking questions, totally in tune with me and we were both having SOOOO much fun!!! My mom had set up two jumps about 20ft apart and she asked Knightly to jump then both. So once she was done I stole her idea, well not really ;) Prince did it like he had been doing it for years. So I put the two jumps about 10ft a part. Prince leaped right over them both. It was interesting because since I said that I didn't want to do any circles we did it off of a squeeze. Prince did amazingly well but it was still a little bit of a challenge because normally Prince does it off of a circle where he can get some speed before he jumps. At first Prince was a little uncoordinated so I kept sending him over until he did it both ways and wasn't stumbling over the jumps. It was fun!!!

We also did some sideways towards me. Prince was PERFECT!! He came perfectly sideways towards me. His hind quarters weren't lagging at all!!! Then my mom and I played stick to me. We did it with her and Knightly first. Knightly had no clue what to do. Prince as a gem. He didn't even step on the ropes like he used to do!! He just follow me around. After a while Knightly started to catch on. He will get better in time.

Then it was our turn!! Since my sister and I have played stick to me before and I know Prince knows it I said that we can be a little bit more particular. I wanted Prince to be right side me, his neck at my shoulder. I think he only left me twice but he always came back quickly. Then we started to refine it. Prince did so well. My mom almost tagged him once and after that he knew she was serious so she stuck right beside me. Walk, trot, back up and even canter!!! At first Prince didn't really think my mom was serious enough so he wasn't trying really hard but then after she almost tagged him that time he knew where the comfort was.... and the oats ;) hehe

I was kind of thinking of climbing on Prince bareback but by the time we were done it was hot and the bugs were getting bad. Next time.

It was such a fun play session!!! I couldn't believe how much fun I had!!! It is kind of hard to keep thing interesting when our riding ring is small and when two people are playing it is like we each get about a 50x50 foot space to play in. So it is hard. But I think with a lot of work, thinking and imagination [something I do NOT have] I think I can make it work.

Anyways... on a different note.......

I finished Sense and Sensibility. My fifth book since December. Well six if you count the Nancy Drew I read some where in between there ;). It was a short read after Wives and Daughter which was a 600 and something page book. I am now going to read North and South. But there are a couple things I have to get done for other people first.

We had a really bad thunder storm this afternoon. Perfect for reading. We were [and still might be] under a tornado warning, plus a severe thunder storm watch. Scary! Well not really. I like thunder storms.

Anyhow that is all for now.


Monday, August 3, 2009

Lots to think about.

This morning I played with Twosox. It was really nice outside so the horses weren't in the corral. Mom and I went out to find them. They were in the turn around. They all came to meet us. Prince trotted up!! What a sweet boy!!

Then they went home so we followed them. I caught Twosox and saddled him up then went up to the riding ring. We played with purity of gait on the circle and figure 8 pattern. I watched for when Twosox relaxed and settled into the gait. On the circle it didn't take long. He relaxed and his trot softened a lot. So then we went to the figure 8's. It took a little bit longer but we took it slow and just did it at the walk until he was arching his body around the tires and doing it really nicely. Then I asked him to trot through the middle then walk around the tire. Once Twosox got that we stopped.

Then we played at Liberty a little bit. We did some stick to me, Touch it, sideways, and circles. Twosox was great!!

Then I got on and rode. Started with some Follow the rail. I didn't hold my reins, I just used my carrot stick. Twosox did really well!!!! After that we went to figure 8's. Twosox wasn't in tune with me at all and wasn't paying attention so we went just to circling the tire. It took a while but finally Twosox was doing better so we went back to the figure 8. He did much better. It still needed some work but we were getting there. After that we did some point to point, really played with focus and trying to get Twosox listening to my body more and less to my carrot stick and reins.

After that was going better we played with that Question box. At first Twosox was wondering off and not interested at all but then he started catching on. It took a while but he started to get the pattern. But then we needed to work on him not leaning on my rein. He would be walking on the circle but he was pushing a lot and I kept having to put him back on the circle. So I my played with my body positioning and then when ever he started going off the circle I would pick up my rein and ask him to go back on the circle but I would also ask him to move his ribs over. This really seemed to work better. Twosox started to stay on the circle and I had to correct him less.

So then I asked him to trot. Twosox would trot about 3 steps then break gait. So since I didn't want to have to work on getting him to trot and keeping him on the circle we switched to following the rail.

I would ask Twosox to trot, we would trot a very short distance then he would break gait, I would let him walk a couple steps then ask for the trot again. Twosox started trotting longer and longer. It is getting so much easier to sit his trot. If I don't think about it then I am fine!! Plus having a good focus helps ;)

Then we went back to the question box. Twosox did really, really well. His circles were so much better.

After we were done that we wanted to work on Twosox backing up straight. I noticed that he wasn't backing up straight even thought he normally does. So we played with some yo-yo games. I would ask him to walk then after about 6 or 7 steps I would ask for a 9 step back up. At first he wasn't backing up straight but pretty soon he got it. We did it by a fence so that he would have something on the one side to help him. That seemed to help a lot. We also worked on backing up with no reins. Twosox caught on so quickly!!

After we were done I took the saddle off and we just hung out for a bit. I don't know why but I didn't feel the same as I normally did. I felt like I was being forced to go play with my horses even though I know there is no one forcing me to go play. I don't know why I felt like that but I don't like it. Maybe I will just do some undemanding time with the horses.


Saturday, August 1, 2009

Poncho and Freya

Yesterday was amazing! At the play day I played with Freya and Poncho.

Poncho was up first. I am not really sure what his Horsenality is. I am thinking maybe a mild LBE that goes RBI when he is learning. But I am not sure. He could be a totally different horse when someone else is playing with him.

He was super easy to catch. That was nice! Catching horses is not my strong point. My horses are so easy to catch. The first thing we worked on was keeping out of my space and disengaging the hind quarters. A couple times he tried walking away... probably used to a web halter. Well he quickly found out that he can't lean on rope halters :) Once we got disengaging the hind quarters and "stay OUT of my space" going really good we did some friendly with the carrot stick and string. He was really good with it on the left but he got kind of worried about it on the right. This is were he was really close to going introverted. He would take a couple steps away but then stop. So I would rub him with the carrot stick till be some how relaxed then I took it off. Pretty soon he was okay with it.

Then we did some porcupine on the hind quarter, chest and nose. Poncho is SO smart! He was moving on a phase 1/2 the second time I ask him!!! Then we did some driving from zone 3. But it ended up being more like zone 2 driving. He had a hard time going a head of me. But he got it figured out pretty quickly. When I let him go after we were done he stayed right beside me and then when I walked away he started following me!!! It was only for a couple steps but it was really cool!!!!

After I had played with Poncho I played with Freya. She is totally different then Poncho!!!! We did a little bit of friendly before I started. Then the other horses started running around on the other side of the fence and Freya went RBE. She was running around so I had to first match her energy so she would notice me then I put her on a "spot" and every time she left her 'spot" I would do what ever it took to put her back. She pretty quickly figured it out and started relaxing and paying more attention to me.

Freya was calmer but still ready to go right brain at the drop of a hat. So we did some figure 8's. At first she was trotting around and not paying much attention but then she calmed right down and started thinking about the figure 8. It was getting better but I was looking for her to stop running off when I asked her to go in between the tires. So we kept at it. We stopped when she was doing them almost perfect!!!!! We even got some really nice, left brain figure 8's at a trot!!!

So then we decided to play with jumping. I wasn't expecting Freya to jump so quickly but she did. At first we did some squeeze games in between me and the barrels. I noticed that Freya would go through the squeeze okay but as soon as she was through it she would run forward..... hmmmm I tucked that away as something to pay attention too. I was SO thankful for my power position. When we were watching the video footage that my mom taped I looked like a kite on the end of the lead rope!! But Freya is SO much better then what she was like when I first played with her!!! Once Freya was doing better with just the squeeze I sent her up to the barrels. She took one look at then and jumped it.... then ran off scarred. I was so surprised that she jumped the barrels!! So now the task was to get her more confident once she was over the jump.

I decided to ask her to jump again. She did the same thing. So I kept playing with it. She was slowly getting better. She would stop, turn and face me a lot sooner and not pull so much. Each time she got more and more confident jumping the barrels. You could just see the change. It was great!!! We ended when she jumped the barrels, stopped, turned and waited. It was perfect!!

Then she licked and chewed a lot. We also did some sideways with out a fence and Touch it. I was going to play with the tarp, Freya will not cross it. But I decided to end there because it was a really good note to end on.

I had lots of fun!!! It was great!