Saturday, January 30, 2010

Small but fun things!

Today all I wanted to do was get out and play with Prince. I REALLY wanted to spent some time with him. So even though it was something like -17 I went out and played.

I decided not to carry my halter into the corral with me and so I left it on the fence and climbed in. I ended up played at Liberty with Twosox for a little while. Since just yesterday at our Parelli playday we watched the Level 3 Liberty DVD I had some new ideas of what to try with Twosox. So we did a couple of the things Mr. Parelli showed. First we just did some friendly game then I asked Twosox to move his hind quarters for a full circle then when he gave me his other eye I drove his forequarters. He did really well with that. After that we did a little bit of extreme friendly game. That didn't bother his at all. Then the last thing we did was a little bit of leading by the leg. Twosox wasn't quite sure what to do but he figured it out for the most part. I was really proud of how well Twosox did. We didn't do a lot but considering we were in the corral and he could have left....

While I was playing with Twosox, Prince was just looking at me and watching us. So it was really easy to get him to come to me. I didn't halter him for a while. Once he came over to me, we stood together for a while while I was helping my mom. Then we played a little bit at Liberty. We did leading by the tail, porcupine game on the hind quarters in a full circle, yo-yo's and some other stuff. Then we went over to my halter and I haltered Prince. Prince practically put his head in the halter. After I haltered him I found a good itchy spot so I scratched it for a while then I switched to the 22ft line..... our brand new, perfectly clean, 22ft line. It is SO nice! Prince decided that he would get it dirty first and started chewing it. It was funny!

The other day my mom and I measured the difference between the new 22ft line and our other one. Our older one is about 2 1/2 ft shorter than the new one! I couldn't believe that it was that much shorter! It was incredible!! I had a couple things that I wanted to play with while Prince and I were playing but I decided to play around in the corral for a little while first. First I asked Prince to climb up on the pedestal while I was about 15ft away and the I asked him to put his two front feet on the one pedestal and his back feet on the other. The first time he didn't quite get it but on the second try he did. The whole time we were playing I was trying to keep the belly of the rope on the ground. It was amazing how light and responsive Prince really was and how little I had to do for him to respond!

After a while I sat down on a tire and then asked Prince to walk over to the tree that was about 22ft away and sniff it. All I wanted Prince to do was walk over but he offered to go sideways over to it. So I took what he offered and the end result was the same. He sniffed the tree then looked at me and asked a question. When I brought him in the look on his face was priceless!! Then mom gave me some little challenges to try! First she wanted me to sit on the tire and send Prince sideways over a pole that was maybe 10ft away. Prince did that really well and for 90% of the time the belly of the rope was on the ground.

The next thing was to circle Prince around me (while I was still sitting), get him to walk over the pedestal and then on the second time around stop him on the pedestal with out looking or using my rope (The pedestal was behind me). The first two times Prince stopped right on the pedestal so I just softly sent him on again. But the third time he walked right over it and didn't break gait. So on the next part was to stop him on the pedestal... it wasn't hard because Prince loves getting up on the pedestal. All I had to do was time it right and then I relaxed and he stopped. It was really fun! After that we just spent some time hanging out together. Prince lowered his head almost to where it was in my lap and just kept it there! It was really special!

Then my mom thought of another challenge. She wanted me to climb up on the fence and then get Prince to jump over the small jump that was right by the fence I was one. So we tried it. I backed Prince up so he could have some room. I decided to back up all the way up to the end of the 22ft line and ask him to touch the gate with his tail. Prince used to have trouble with backing into things but now he is fine. Then I asked him to jump it. At first I wasn't sure how to get everything right so Prince wasn't sure what to do. But after a couple tries he got it. It wasn't a beautiful jump but it wasn't to bad. Then my mom asked me to get Prince to put his right hind leg on the really small tire.... while I was still on the fence. So we were off. I was actually surprised at how fast Prince caught on! He didn't get it perfect... he only got his hind foot on the tire but we figured that was close enough.

The last thing was mom wanted me to get Prince to straddle the pole (about 15ft away from me) length ways. I sent Prince over to it and at first I was going to just ask him to go sideways over it but then when he put his front to feet over it I decided to ask him to move his hindquarters over and then pivot and bring his front end around. I wasn't sure if Prince would bring his forequarters around and not move his hind legs but I was really really soft and he did it!! He pivoted about 1/4 a circle and when he had his one front leg over I relaxed and he stopped. It was perfect! The look one his face was really cute. He is so smart!!

The was were we ended. Both mom and I were getting cold. Prince stayed with me for a couple minutes before leaving but then he came back to me! It was so sweet! So I gave him a scratch and a treat and then left. Even though I didn't get done what I had planned it was SO much fun! our next play with will be even better I am sure! :)

Hopefully it will warm up soon so it won't be quite as cold ;)


Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Doing the unexpected...

Today I went outside to play with Prince... but I was prepared that he was probably going to not want anything to do with me. So I decided to do all everything that Prince wouldn't expect.

So to start with I went up to the riding ring and talked to mom for a little while then went and gave Ruffy and Twosox some attention.... plus some treats.... that got Prince's attention. He came up to me and wanted some so I gave him some then didn't pay any attention to him. I went back up to the riding ring and Ruffy followed. So I spent some time rubbing him. Then went down to the corral and rubbed Twosox then I really softly asked Prince to move his hindquarters over. He did and then stood there looking at me. After a couple minutes I really softly asked him to come to me. He slowly wanted over to me but I didn't touch him until he touched me. I sat on the one pedestal and we just spent some time there then I started massaging Prince's legs. I did all four. Prince lowered his head and relaxed. Then he started sniffing the halter. So I picked it up and started rubbing him all over with it. Then Prince bent his head around (I was in the same position I would be in if I was going to halter him) and kept it there. So even though I wasn't planning on haltering his I put the halter on and then kept on rubbing Prince.

After a little while I picked up the rope and just started swinging the end of it. Prince was bothered by that a little bit so I kept with it until he stopped moving around then I stopped. After that he was fine with it. It was a "How interesting" though because Prince has never had a problem with it before. Prince offered to stand on the pedestal so I took it then I asked him to move his hind quarters over using the porcupine game. He was really light!

Then I asked Prince to back out of the corral. He got a little confused and climbed back up onto the pedestal again then he put all four feet up. But in the end we got it and backed about 20ft with me in zone 5 and I didn' t use the rope once! Just the carrot stick and then at the end it was just my body. Prince was so light!

I was trying to think of a different way to get to the hill so I decided to ask Prince to back through a little gap between a rock ledge and some trees. The horses have a path there anyways so I knew he could fit ;) Prince did really well and had a big lick and chew over it at the end. I didn't really have a plan of what I wanted to do when we got up to the riding ring so I decided that we would play around and see how much we could do with the belly of the rope on the ground (it was a 12ft line also). We played stick to me part way up the hill and then did zone 5 driving up the rest. Then instead of going right in I sat on the bottom rail (the top one is broken) and we stayed there for a while. Then I asked Prince to step over the board and into the corral but stop part way so that his front feet where on the inside and his back feet where on the outside. At first he wasn't to sure about it so it took a couple tried until he figured it out and was able to do it. He did really well considering he the ground is quite a bit higher in the riding ring then on the outside and so he had to step up and over the rail.

After that I asked Prince to go sideways over a barrel while I kept my feet still, then we went and played around with a tire. I asked Prince to put both of his front feet into it and also just his one back foot. It was a little harder for him to figure out that I wanted his back foot in but he figured it out. The whole time there was slack in the rope. After that we did some circles... but it was a little bit different this time because I asked Prince to stay walking and then walk over the pedestal each time he got to it. At first he would stop on the pedestal each time he got to it so I would just softly ask him to go again and he would. At first his had a look on his face like "Great . Circles." But after about the second lap he started getting connected and the look on his face changed completely. He kept the belly of the rope on the ground the whole time and even started blowing and his head lowered. It was really interesting to see him figure out the puzzle. A couple times when he got to the pedestal he would climb up with his front to feet.... then his hind legs..... then he would walk over it. Thinking his way through it the whole time. It was really neat to watch!

I stopped when he was able to walk over it with hardly a hesitation at all. The whole time he kept the slack in the line and the belly of the rope on the ground. Even when he offered to trot a couple time the rope didn't come off the ground. So that was a huge improvement from last session!

After a long rest I took the halter off and Prince and I stayed there for a while spending some undemanding time together before I opened the gate.We didn't play long but it was a really fun session. It was amazing how light Prince was! So hopefully Prince enjoyed it as much as I did! :)


Sunday, January 24, 2010

Undemanding time and Twosox play

Yesterday (January 23 2009) I went out and caught Twosox. I didn't really have anything I wanted to do with him so I just took him over to the manger and let him eat. I could tell that Prince wanted nothing to do with me so I ignored him. I didn't do a whole lot with Twosox. After he had eaten for a while we went and played around with some different things in the corral. We did yo-yo's, sideways (towards and away), Touch it, and some other things.

Prince was doing everything to ignore me. Every time he saw me coming he would walk away... hmmmm how interesting. So once Twosox and I were done playing (but before I let him go) we walked over to the manger where Prince was and I just asked Prince to turn and face me. He did it really nicely. All I wanted him to do was face me then I left him alone. I then sat on the ground and un haltered Twosox. They both stayed with me and then Ruffy came over so I was in the middle and had three horses around me. It was a neat feeling! As long as Prince was facing me I left him a lone. One time he went to back and eat so I just drove his hind quarters and he faced me again. About 10 minutes later he started getting curios and started sniffing me all over. Then all three horses fell asleep. It was cool. After about 25-30 minutes I got up and left.

I was glad that Prince showed some interest in me. I am thinking about maybe doing 15 minutes of undemanding time every day with him for the next week or so. Something has happened to our relationship... and I want to get back to where we were!


Saturday, January 23, 2010

Prince and Twosox play time...

January 21 2010

After lunch I went out and caught both Prince and Twosox. I wanted to try playing with both of them at the same time. We played around in the corral for a little bit before going up to the riding ring. We did yo-yo's, circles, Touch it [each horse standing on a pedestal], sideways and some other stuff. They both did well. Prince wasn't to sure he wanted to participate but he still did well.

Then we went up to the riding ring. One thing I noticed right away was that Twosox was WAY lighter then Prince. I knew that Twosox was light but when I compared the two it was a huge difference. Of course Twosox being a more centered RBI and Prince being a LBI there will be a difference. So I had to take a couple minutes and play with Prince to get his mind engaged and in tune with me. Then we went and did some traveling circles and jumping. It was interesting... fun but interesting. After a bit I decided to let Twosox go and then continue playing with Prince. I had a couple things I wanted to play with so I let Twosox go and then came back to Prince. I was only on a 12ft line but that was perfectly fine because Prince and I played with Rhythm, relaxation and connection on the circle. At first Prince was pulling and there was NO slack what so ever. So we did some spirals and some different things then Prince softened and started really getting connected with me. Prince's trot softened as he figured out how to use different parts of his body to circle on a smaller circle. Then we did transitions walk/trot/canter/stop/back-up. Prince then started putting more and more slack in the line and by the end the belly of the rope was on the ground for 90% of the time. It was REALLY cool! That is something we will have to keep playing with until it is consistent.

It is interesting because Twosox will circle with the belly of the rope on the ground and I didn't even have to ask for it but with Prince we have to play with it and get his mind totally on me (or at least more on me and anything else) before he will put the belly of the rope on the ground. Especially at the canter. It is fun to play with it and see Prince getting mentally collected to the point where he can circle on the 12ft line, w/t/c and have the rope on the ground. We also did some Change of directions. At first they were a little sticky but after a couple Prince would keep the belly of the rope on the ground from start to finish. Hopefully that will transfer over to when he is on the 22ft line :) We also did some Stick to me at the walk/trot/canter. Prince is getting even better at our Stick to me at the canter. He will canter about 6ft from me now!

After that I felt that Prince was ready to ride so I decided to try our mounting by the neck. The first attempt would have been perfect if I hadn't fallen off the other side.... I guess I jumped to hard even though I landed on Prince's neck okay I slid off the other side. Poor Prince. The next time was much better and I stayed on. Prince took a couple steps forward but other then that it was great! Or at least it felt great... I am not sure how it looked... ;)

While we were riding we did Follow the rail, Point to point, Figure eights at the trot [first time ever doing them while totally bareback], Sideways [getting Prince straighter while going sideways], Dragging the sled which was really fun, we even trotted a bit! We did some other things also. One other thing we did was I want to start standing on Prince while he was walking so we took the first step and I knelt on him and asked him to walk we walked for about 10ft then stopped. Prince wasn't quite sure what to think about it and once he put a little buck in [very little] but I think that was just because he wasn't sure what he was supposed to do. It was fun though!  We also played around with pivoting on the hing quarters. Prince is getting a lot better at that and I found that he does even better when use a supporting rein. 

So all in all it was a really good play time. Prince and I did A LOT in our ride. It was fun. The weather has been incredible also. It was been warmer and sunny. So I can't complain! :)


Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Prince trim and play time

This morning I trimmed Prince. Before I started trimming him I played a little with him. We did some sideways, spins and circles. While Prince was on the circle I put the tarp in his way. My goal was to have him trot over it with out breaking gait each time he came to it "Don't change gait, don't change direction, look where you are going" He trotted over it twice but on the third time he broke gait but picked it back up once he was over it. The next time he trotted over it.

Then I changed the game and wanted him to stop on the tarp. It took a couple tries for him to get it, I wanted him to figure out the puzzle "Don't be the ministers of no but the ambassador of yes" (Or something like that) On the third try Prince figured it out. The look on his face was perfect! He looked at me like "Did I get it Keri?"

I had to stop and let Prince move his feet a couple times while trimming him. Near the end I gave Prince another puzzle to solve. I had asked him to move his hindquarters over a little while I was standing in zone 5 but he didn't understand and took a couple steps forward and then turned and face me. So I decided to ask him to turn back the way he was facing and then bring his hind quarters over towards me and back to where he was. It took a while but it was fun! Prince figured out what I wanted in the end and I was able to finished trimming him. It was fun! :)

Well that is all for now. Until next time...


Figure eights, change of directions, scarry sled, Liberty, Follow the rail.....

Twosox and I had an AMAZING play time this afternoon. It was so much fun! Each play time just gets better and better.

Today we did Circles, Change of directions, Transitions, Stick to me, Touch it, Leading by the tail, Sideways, drawing to me at the trot and lots more! Twosox was asking loads on questions the whole time and was offering so much!

We played on the 12ft line for a little bit to start the session. We did some falling leaf, squeeze game between the orange sled and the fence while Twosox was circling. Then we did some Stick to me walk/trot/ back up. Twosox was really responsive the whole time.  We also did some Touch it on the 12ft line. Twosox climbed right up on the pedestal with all four feet to no problem. It was so much fun!

Then we switched to the 22ft line and played with Transitions and Change of directions. Transitions were really good. Change of directions need a little bit of work but it was still fun! Twosox was really playful and one time when he bucked the rope got caught between his legs. I just leg go... fortunately the gate was closed. Went over and stood by the gate not sure what to do next. So I walked forward a couple steps and then asked him to disengage his hind quarters and face me, he did and then started to walk towards me so I started running backwards and he came trotting almost all the way across the corral to me! The look on his face was priceless!! It was so cool!

After a little rest we went over to the sled, Twosox sniffed it and checked it all over then I started dragging it. At first Twosox wasn't sure what to think about it so I just let him follow me at a distance until he got used to it. Pretty soon he was fine with it and was able to follow closely. Then we went and did Figure eights. Two complete figure eights to be exact. But THEY WERE SO AMAZING!  Twosox trotted both and didn't look away once! It was wonderful! I couldn't believe that our Figure eights are actually pretty much fixed! Twosox had a big lick and chew over that and we just spent some time hanging out together. Twosox had his head really low and was totally relaxed.

Then we went and did some Liberty... Stick to me walk/trot/ back up etc, Circles, Touch it, hindquarter yields, forequarter yields and some other stuff. Twosox stayed with me the whole time. Our draw is getting SO much better. I wanted to see if Twosox would go sideways over the barrel but he didn't quite understand it but that was okay. Since he was between me and the barrel I asked Twosox to come towards me and he JUMPED the barrel and then trotted into me!! It was so amazing! Twosox is a totally different horse ever since I have stopped treating him like a complete RBI and more like a very sensitive centered LBI.... we are both having WAY more fun also!

I had a sudden urge to ride Twosox so we went over and put the 12ft line back on and tied them into two reins, checked out lateral flexions and then I climbed on. We just stood there for a while then we walked off a long the rail and did one complete circuit of Following the rail. I only had to make about 2 corrections. Not bad for not having ridden in a couple months. Twosox was really relaxed the whole time but was still very sensitive and responsive. At the end, before I got off, Twosox had a HUGE lick and chew and started yawning and that was really good for Twosox! He was even fine with me sliding off him, normally he will jerk his head up no matter how slow and soft I get off him. Today though he was fine and it didn't bother him.

*sigh* I am so happy! Each time I play with Twosox I can hardly wait to play with him again! I love him so much and I am so glad God gave him to me! He knew exactly what I needed and I couldn't imagine my life with out my two wonderful horses!


Monday, January 18, 2010

Winter fun with my boy!

Today my surcingle and winter riding gloves came in the mail. We ordered them before Christmas but the gloves were on back order so finally they came in! So this afternoon I went out and Prince and I had a lot of fun!! I grabbed a sled and tire to keep the sled from flipping all over the place.

Prince did SO well! I was really proud of him. While we were in the corral I got him used to the different sled [this one was plastic and the last one he had following him was wooden]. It didn't take for Prince to be okay with the sled following him so then we went up the hill to the riding ring. Prince was a little unconfident when we started trotting. So we did lots of walk/trot transitions then he was fine with it all.

After a while I hooked the sled up to Prince [before I was just pulling it]. He was fine with pulling it. Then we switched to zone 5 driving, while Prince was pulling the sled. We did lots of transitions and other stuff just so that Prince knew that it wasn't about the sled. He did really well with that and was in tune with me the whole time. I felt that Prince was ready so I asked my mom to lead Prince while I was sitting in the sled. It was SOOOO much fun!! At first they just walked and that was fine. I had to hold onto the ropes instead of them being tied to the sled because the handles weren't strong enough to pull me. Then Prince started trotting. It was a blast! Prince was fine with it all. Then they kind of took the corner a little to quick and I went flying off... oops! I didn't break anything so I was good!

I figured out how I can get it so that I can ride in the sled and drive Prince at the same time. So next time I might just try it! It will be a little weird directing Prince from ground level but it should be fun! I think Prince is ready for it. I don't know what we will do once the snow it gone... I will have to find something with wheels! :) But for now I am not worried about that. We will just have fun while the snow lasts!

Unfortunately I don't have any pics :( Next time!

Well that is all for how!

Saturday, January 16, 2010


Right now it feels like Twosox and I have gone from Level 2 to Level 4 in just a week!!

I played with Twosox today. It was so much fun! We only played for about.... 30 minutes but I think it was probably the best 30 minutes we have EVER had. 

We started with some Touch it then went and did some circles. Twosox is really starting to get in tune with me on the circle it is amazing. We did some transitions, change of directions, spiral on the circle, and some traveling circles. Twosox even cantered over 1/2 a circle confidently!!!! It was so much fun!!

After that we did some sideways, leading by the tail, stick to me, drawing to me at the trot and some other stuff. Then we did Figure eights. They had improved a lot since last time so that was good. This time it went much quicker and then Twosox gave me two AMAZING figure eights!! He didn't look away when he was coming around the right barrel and he trotted most of it and offered to canter once also!! I was really proud of him. 

Then I set the barrels on end and put then in between the fence and the tractor tire that is standing up. I didn't really expect Twosox to jump them... but HE DID! I couldn't believe it! The first time he jumped them from a walk. I don't know how he did it but he did. He knocked the barrel over but it was still amazing. So I brought him in and gave him a long rest then I sent him back out and asked him to do try again. This time he was even better and jumped it perfectly! He trotted up to it and jumped right over them! It was incredible! Twosox had a big lick and chew after that. Then I let him go. I was so proud of him! I can definitely see the left brain side of Twosox. It is amazing the difference in him ever since I changed! 

When I let Twosox go he stayed with me for a while then he left. We are having so much fun now!


Thursday, January 14, 2010

What a day!

Wow! Today was a really good but busy day! I trimmed Twosox this morning. He was almost perfect! I was so proud of him. It took me less than 2 hours to trim him. On average about 20 mins a foot.

After a late lunch I went back and to play with Prince. I told myself that the next warmer day I wanted to saddle Prince for the first time this winter. I didn't expect it to be above freezing though! It was wonderful. It took me a while to catch Prince... he decided to run all the way to the back field.. I am not sure why exactly he did it. It could have been a number of reasons but either way it happened. On our way back we did traveling circles, sideways, and we backed part way down the hill. It was fun!

Once we were back in the corral I saddled Prince and we went up to the riding ring. I switched to the 45ft line and we did some Stick to me w/t/c, circles [close range, spiraling in etc], change of directions and transitions. Prince did really well with them all. He didn't even buck! Which for him is good because in the summer if I didn't saddle him every couple days he would become a bucking bronco. We did a couple other things like Touch it, sideways and at one point I stood about 35ft away from a barrel and I sent Prince over to it then asked him to jump it! It wasn't the most beautiful jump ever but he did really well! We also did some drawing in towards me a the trot! 

One thing I discovered is that he has put on weight..... not something I want to own to but I guess it is a LBI think... ;)

We played just long enough for me to feel confident that Prince was ready to ride. So then I mounted up. Since I have been riding bareback for the last 2 months I wasn't sure how it would feel to ride in a saddle again. But my wonderful saddle was... well... wonderful! It was nice to ride in it again. We started off with some Follow the rail then we did some Sideways, 9 step back up, direct and indirect rein, point to point and some other stuff. Prince really wanted to move so I decided to switch from Follow the rail to the A Million Transitions pattern. It was SO much fun! While we were doing the pattern we played around with trot departures and then trot to halt transitions. At first Prince wasn't to happy about having to leave at a trot but once he realised what pattern we were doing he got REALLY interested and REALLY in tune with me. Everything was at a phase one maybe a phase two but most of the time it was really soft.

Riding bareback so much has helped my riding. Especially in the sitting trot department. It was a lot easier to sit Prince's trot in a saddle. Another thing we did was we played around with transitions in the trot. Prince wanted to faster so we would trot fast for a couple steps then slow down to a nice slow trot then a faster trot etc. It was fun!

We ended with riding some circles... well about 4 to be exact. Prince and I being left brain don't like circles to much. We started out with circling around the pedestal but we kept running into tires and things that were buried under the snow. So then we went over to a pile of manure and did about 3 circles at a trot around that. That was much easier. Then we went to the center of the circle and rested there. When I took the saddle off there were NO rub marks or ruffled hair. I was happy!

After I unhaltered Prince we played at Liberty for a bit. We did some Stick to me, Touch it, then I put my savvy string just behind Prince's ears and asked him to follow the feel. Prince was amazing! Once I opened the gate Prince didn't want to leave me either!! I was a little surprised considering how the beginning of our play time went but it was a nice surprise! Prince just kept following me! It was a really nice way to end our play time! When mom and I came down from the riding ring Prince came over to me again and stayed with me until I left. He is so sweet! :)


Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Just playing around.

Since I am supposed to trim Twosox tomorrow I decided to play with Prince today... I decided that instead of catching Prince, going up to the riding ring, playing, then riding etc etc I would just go spent some UD time with the horses and do some little things with Prince here and there. So I went in to the corral halter and carrot stick in hand then walked over to the manger and just sat down and hung out with the horses for a bit. Then I remembered that Prince had two big knots in his mane... that's what you get when you have a REALLY REALLY long mane.... so I started the big process of untangling it. Prince thought that it was as good of time as any to take a nap so he slept on while I took the knots out. Well now all the knots are out but it looks like someone put curlers in Prince's mane and left it there for about 3 weeks!!!! It is interesting... hehe ;) 

After that I layed down in the manger and watched my beautiful horses eat. It was fun! Then after a while I was starting to get cold so I got up and walked over to Prince who just so happened to be lined right up to the manger. So I played some friendly game in zone 3, then I put my leg over Prince and slid on. He wasn't to happy about it though. So I just rubbed him and then slid off. Now me being me couldn't end it there so I got back up on the edge of the manger as if I was going to get back on again. Prince pinned his ears so I just rubbed him until his ears went forward then stopped.

I knew I shouldn't fix the problem while Prince was bridleless so I got my halter and haltered Prince then started the process all over again. This time Prince was much better so I got on him, rubbed him then got off. I did this three times just to make sure he was happy with it all again. Then I let Prince go. After that all I wanted Prince to do was move his hindquarters over a little so I could get out but he thought I was asking for sideways so we went sideways for about 20ft before he stopped and moved his hind quarters over. So then we played with that until Prince understood what I wanted. He figured it out quickly.

Then just for fun I put my carrot stick and savvy string around Prince's neck and we went up to the riding ring to see how my mom and Knightly were doing. Prince followed REALLY nicely. We did some stick to me on our way up the hill then we stopped right outside the gate and spent some time there for a while. We did a little bit of circling game at Liberty right on the hill. It was really close range but it was fun!! We did a couple other things while mom was letting Knightly go. It was really cool though because Knightly went right down the hill when mom let him go and I had "let go" of Prince, I wasn't didn't have my carrot stick and string around his neck, but when Knightly went down the hill Prince just stayed with me and then he started looking after Knightly as if he was going to leave but then he looked at me and asked a question as if he was asking if he could go. So I just softly pointed down the hill and then he left. It was really neat though!!

It was really cold... -20 something with the wind but it was still a lot of fun!! Hopefully tomorrow is warmer so we won't freeze while I am trimming Twosox!! :)


Zone 5 driving ans Stick to me

I played with Prince yesterday morning (January 11 2010). It was actually warmish out!!! Something like -3.... it was so nice!!

Prince didn't want to be caught. I mean I could have caught him but he would have just tolerated it. So I decided to play with it a little. I put the halter and rope around Prince's leg and then sat on the edge of the manger and we did some leading by the leg etc. Then Prince decided to take off. So I let him go and then we played the catching game once Prince caught me I walked away and he followed me. So then I went to put the halter on but decided to just tie it around Prince's neck instead of putting it on the whole way. So we then went and did some sideways, spins and a couple other things. Prince wasn't quite sure what to think about the whole thing but he responded perfectly to everything I asked him. Before we went up to the riding ring I finished putting the halter on then we played some Stick to me up the hill. Normally we run up the hill or something like that so this time I decided to see how slow we could walk up the hill. At first Prince couldn't figure out what I wanted but then he caught on and we walked really slowly up the hill. It was so much fun!!!

Once we were in the riding ring we did some Stick to me... walk/trot/canter/ backup. Prince would start cantering almost as soon as I started cantering in my body. It was really cool but tiring.... all that running in the snow!! Prince was doing really well so I decided to do some two line zone 5 driving.

Prince did REALLY well and I was really proud of him. We started off with a little Touch it then we did circles at the trot and some change of directions. Prince is really getting the hang of those now. This time I let Prince have all the length of the rope. I was more confident that my rope handling skills we good enough that I wouldn't trip him up or anything ;) It was great fun!! After that we did some sideways [again I was at the end of the reins... so that would be around 22ft away from Prince or so] it was almost perfect! Prince did so well!!!

After that we went to Figure eights..... the dreaded figure eights!! They were actually really good. At first Pricne broke gait twice I think but he picked up the trot again when I asked. Once we got one good Figure eight at the trot we stopped. Prince was relaly in tune with me and we had a blast... one Prince remembered the pattern ;) 

I decided to stop there because it was a really good note to end on. I let Prince go and then we spent a little bit of undemanding time together. Then I let Prince go. It was so much fun! I can't wait to play with him again!


Sunday, January 10, 2010

Developing curiosity through Undemanding time

I have decided to start spending more undemanding time with my horses.... and cleaning manure up every day doesn't count ;)

I am not sure if I will have a schedule or just fit it in here and there we shall see. So today I took a lawn chair out into the corral and sat down. Twosox was the first one to come over then Ruffy then shortly after Ruffian was Prince. Prince and Ruffian stayed the longest... well they stayed the whole time I was out there. Ruffian started licking my coat and wouldn't stop so I let him lick on. And Prince just hung out with me. He put his head right beside mine and stayed there for the longest time before he started sniffing me. It was so much fun!!!

I think Prince and Ruffian were teaming up on me because at one point they were both literally inches away from me investigating everything. It was neat!!

Well I think I am off to watch the Level 4 Liberty DVD!!

Talk to you later!

Saturday, January 9, 2010

If feels good to have new arrows in your quiver...

Today I played with Twosox. Mr. Ron Pyne [who I had been emailing with about some issues that I have been having with Twosox] phoned today to talk to me about some new strategies to try with Twosox. Plus he had some comments about the video I sent him showing our main issues. So I went out this afternoon, very excited and I had some new arrows in my quiver. One thing he said was that Twosox is now more of a LBI... not all the time but he needs me to teach him more like a LBI now. 

Twosox was REALLY REALLY easy to catch.... he was practically begging me to halter him... I haven't played with him for a couple days.... well more like a week. 

We then went up to the riding ring to play. I was only planning on playing with our figure eights because it was live -20 something. But the opportunity came to do some circles, another thing Mr. Pyne gave me some strategies for. So we were off. I was definitely seeing the left brain side of Twosox. It was SO much fun!!! We did some traveling circles, LOTS of transitions [something Mr. Pyne said would help get Twosox's mind on me while circling], change of directions, Twosox even offered to canter a couple times! A couple times Twosox tossed his head, bucked etc and tried running off but I was able to hang on and play with it. I was having so much fun and I think Twosox was too!! It was asking loads of questions and was really in tune with me. 

I can't really pin point the change in me but there much have been some change because Twosox was even more LB then he was the last time we played. After the circles we went to Figure eights. I was prepared for what Twosox was probably going to give this time. Twosox didn't look away going around the left barrel but while was going around the right barrel... just like he did in the video, he looked towards the gate while he was coming around the barrel... so like Mr. Pyne suggested to do I brought Twosox in and gave him a treat.... why? So that he would have incentive to look at me instead of looking towards the gate. Hmmmm.... I never thought of that before!! So each time Twosox came around the barrel I brought him in and gave him a treat and a rest then sent him back out again. It took a while and it still is no where near perfect but when Twosox only looked away a tiny little bit when he was coming around the right barrel then looked at me with two eyes when I asked him to come to me I stopped and we ended there. 

It was really interesting thought because the whole time Twosox was being dominate. It was really fun!! I can't wait to play with Twosox again!!! We have a long way to go but I can see the light at the end of the tunnel now!!!


Circles, Figure eights, Point to point, Liberty, and more...

What a play session! Prince and I had a wonderful but very interesting play time this afternoon. I don't even know where to start!!  On our way up the hill I drove Prince from zone 5 on the 12ft line. He was really in tune with me and responded really well when I asked him to move over etc... considering I had an arm full of stuff I was taking up.

Once up there I switched to the 22ft line... the one we have to tie on [now pay attention this will be very important later... ]. Then we went over to the planted tire. I noticed that Prince was a little.... "unsettled"... if that is the right word so I played with the horses that showed up and instead of going onto what I had planned we just hung out together for a bit. Then I asked Prince to back between the tire and fence and over the pole that was half way up [one end on the fence rail and the other end on the ground :)] Prince had a little bit of trouble at first backing over the pole but then he got it and backed right over it. Prince was about 21ft away from me by this time. After that I stood on the tire that was standing up. Prince go worried. By this time I was really wondering what was up. I had stood above Prince before and he had absolutely no issue with it. So I just did a lot of friendly game until he relaxed a little then I asked Prince to go over to the pedestal... well that was what I asked for but Prince offered sideways so I took it, he went sideways over to the pedestal then I asked Prince to put his back feet on the pedestal. He did really well. At first he was trying really hard but just wasn't sure exactly what I wanted. I rewarded the slightest try and he put one foot on it then got a little stuck so I brought him in and gave him a rub then sent him back out to try again. This time he knew exactly what to do and he put both of his back feet on the pedestal. And from 22ft away while I was standing on the tire... not bad ;)

After that we went to circles. I stood on the pedestal and sent Prince out.  He offered a really nice close circle, with slack in the line.. and I mean the belly on the rope was on the ground. It was really cool!! I asked for a couple change of directions here and there then let more rope out so Prince could go farther out. I noticed that Prince could circle easier going one way then the other. So I took a mental note of that. Another thing I noticed that was almost every time I asked Prince to a change of direction as soon as he would feel the pressure he would go faster... and not just on the change of directions just when he was circling and I asked him to circle closer to me he would speed up almost like he went RB. Also Prince couldn't look at me when I was backing him up.... so anyways after I got one nice change of direction I brought Prince in. Then while he was resting I remembered that for the last couple play times I have used the 22ft line with the clip on it and I remembered what Mr. Parelli said about coil tension and how it makes horses really uncomfortable and we don't even know it!! So since my mom was done with the 22ft with the clip on it I switched ropes... and you will never believe this!! As soon as I put the other 22 on Prince started licking and chewing, yawning, lowering his head and he was a totally different horse... well he was a totally different horse to what he was earlier... he was back to my normal Prince.

I then sent Prince back out on the circle to test my theory.... and it was really interesting. Prince was relaxed, he was responding to the pressure instead of blowing through it, we got some AMAZING change of directions, Prince could walk and trot on a close range circle no problem, canter with slack in the line and maintain the canter. It was really, really interesting to say the least. I was really glad to have my normal Prince back that was for sure. Prince and I did a little bit of traveling circle at the canter. Prince likes cantering on a traveling circle a lot better then when we are standing still but we have to get good a both so we practice both!! But only the traveling circle when we aren't going to run into anyone else ;)

After that I put my 12ft line back on and it was onto mounting from the neck. The first attempt wasn't very good. It was more my fault because I didn't land right on Prince's neck... but the second time IT WAS INCREDIBLE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I landed right, Prince knew exactly what he was doing, and this time he really put effort into doing it. I felt a HUGE amount of power lifting my up. It was an amazing feeling!! It really helped that I had my coat on also because it took some of the friction away. We rested for a while before heading off. I was planning on doing follow the rail bridleless but then when I saw that my mom had set the barrels up for something she was doing with Knightly I thought that I would take advantage of them [while not getting in her way of course] and do some point to point at the trot. Prince and I haven't done that in a LONG time so it was fun. After the we trotted to one barrel Prince knew almost exactly what he was supposed to do. We trotted a couple times back and forth and I hardly needed to correct Prince. Then one time my mom called me over to see something.... both Ruffy and Twosox were lying down, in almost the exact same position, about 10ft from each other sleeping. It was so sweet!!! 

On our way back to the barrel I am not sure what happened but Prince pinned his ears [did I even tell you that Prince is really cute when he pins his ears ;)] and did a little buck. I stayed on and we kept going. Then on our way back to the other barrel [after we had had a rest at the barrel we were going to] Prince threw in two more little bunny hops. It was really funny actually!!! I mean if I had come off I probably wouldn't have been laughing and I don't know why I had smile but anyways. I didn't feel the need to get off so we kept on going. Then took a rest at the barrel we were supposed to be trotting too. Then we headed back to the other barrel. Prince didn't buck this time, which was good ;) buck I decided to switch the game up a little, instead of resting at each other barrels we would trot to the one barrel, walk around the end and then trot back to the other barrel... a figure eight... but with out Prince knowing it ;) You see since both Prince and I really don't like riding Figure eights I figured this way it would be fun for both of us. We did a couple of these and Prince really was getting the hang of it so we stopped. While we were riding here and there I would stop using my reins and just use my savvy string. Prince did well and was really light. 

After I got off Prince we played at Liberty a little bit. Prince wasn't convinced that he should stick with me. It was fun though! We did some Stick to me [w/t/c], close range circles, draw to me at the trot and some other stuff. I set the barrels up in the corral and asked Prince to jump them but he decided not to and took off. We played around with that a little but Prince didn't want to so I put him back online and then he jumped them. Prince was being a little lazy though and when he jumped the barrels he knocked one because he wasn't putting a whole lot of effort into it. So then there was only one barrel left. I asked Prince to jump that one. At first he just ran around it. But then he figured out what I wanted and jumped right over it.

We ended there. I took the halter off and then sat on the tire and we did some undemanding time. At first Prince went over to the gate but then he came over and sniffed me out and they stayed with me for a while before I had to go. It was fun!!!


Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Maintaining gait, bowing and zone 5 driving...

January 4 2010

Prince and I had a wonderful play session. I didn't have a whole lot of time to play but I really wanted to play with him so I went out. We only did a couple things.... but they were big.

We did maintaining the canter on the circle. Prince cantered 4 laps and only broke gait once but picked up the canter again. It was really cool because the snow was fresh so you could see that Prince cantered a perfect circle!!! He got a LONG rest after that. I was so proud of Prince!!

After that we played around with bowing. This was our first official time of doing it. Prince caught on really quickly. After a couple minutes his knee was about 3-4 inches from the ground and he was stretching really far. I guess it was easier because he is food motivated ;) Prince did really well it should be interesting to see how it progress over the next couple play sessions!!

The last thing we did was zone 5 driving with two lines. We haven't done this in a LONG time. We have done one line driving here and there but not with two lines. We started out and some Touch it then we did some circles, walk/trot, stop, and change of directions. Prince did REALLY well. I had my carrot stick with me so that helped too. Before Prince would not respond to the reins when I asked him to go faster he would do everything else but that. So having my carrot stick really helped. We also did sideways towards me. I was really surprised at how light Prince was. He responded so well!!!! It was amazing!!

Even though we didn't play long it was an AMAZING play time and I can't wait till we can play again!!


Saturday, January 2, 2010

Have your way by Britt Nicole

This is my theme song for... well....right now.

Feels like I've been here forever,
Why can't you just intervene?
Do you see the tears keep falling
I'm falling apart at the seems,
You never said the road would be easy
You said you would never leave,
And you never promised that this life wasn't hard,
But you promised you'd take care of me,

So I'll stop searching for the answer,
I'll stop praying for an escape,
I'll trust you God with where I am
And believe you will have your way,
Just have your way,
Just have your way,

My friends and my family have left me,
And I feel so ashamed and so cold,
Remind me you take broken things,
And turn them into beautiful,

So I'll stop searching for the answer,
I'll stop praying for an escape,
I'll trust you God with where I am
And believe that you will have your way,
Just have your way,
Just have your way,

Even if my dreams have died,
Even if I don't survive,
I'll still worship you with all my life,
My life, yeah,
Whoa, oh, oh, oh,
Whoa, oh, oh, oh
Whoa, oh, oh, oh
Whoa, oh

And I'll stop searching for the answers,
I'll stop praying for an escape,
And I'll trust you God with where I am,
And believe that you will have you way,
Just have your way,
Just have your way, yeah
I know you will,
I won't forget,
Whoa, oh, oh
You love me,
Have your way,

Happy New Year and God Bless!!

Mounting by the neck, energy, snow, and more!

December 31 2009

Today Prince and I had an amazing play time. We started with played with the ball a little. Prince did really well and pushed it around. Then I bounced it all over him, I stood in zone 5 and bounced it on him and behind him. He was fine.

Then we went up to the riding ring. Prince had SO much energy!!! It was a lot of fun to play with. We did some traveling circles then we played with maintain gait on the circle at the canter. Prince cantered 3 circles with me in total neutral. We then played with our transitions and change of directions. Prince was really in tune with me. Our change of directions were a million times better!!! We did some really fun transitions... canter to walk then back to the canter again. Prince was amazing!!

After that I decided to play around with mounting by the neck. Prince did really well with me bouncing  while he head was low and then jumping up but then once I was up there he had no idea what to do. So it took a while to help him figure out not to turn his head away. Then I decided to try putting him closer to the fence that way he would have a natural barrier there so he wouldn't turn his head. That helped a lot. The first coulpe onces were messy... it didn't help that Prince's mane is so thick that I couldn't slide down. Oh well. After about 3 successful mountings. They started getting a lot smoother!!! It was a lot of fun!!! Each time that we got a successful mount I would stay on Prince but give him a really long rest then get off. One time I wanted to ride over to my coat so I, with out picked up my reins, turned my eyes, belly botton and then just put a tiny little bit of pressure on with my outside leg, as soon as Prince felt my leg he turned his head, and then turned in the direction I was asking. It was amazing!! We then walked over to the fence and I relaxed and Prince stopped. It was really cool!!! Then I got off. Prince is getting really light and responsive!!

After we were finished playing with mounting by the neck my mom and I played with both horses together. We started with the circle game.... but first we had to get keep Knightly on his own side... :) I was standing behind mom and had just backed Prince up then Knightly decided that he wanted to take off so I started swinging my carrot stick so that he would stop... then he tried going the other way... so I switched sides and did the same thing... well the look on his face was PRICELESS!!!! He just stood there mooping... and Prince just stood there like “What happened??” So then we were off on the circle... well it was supposed to be the circle game but you know..... with two LBI thinks don't always go perfectly ;) hehe It was a lot of fun though. Prince took off on the circle at a canter and Knightly... well he didn't quite see the purpose in circling around with Prince. Then (poor Prince) Prince's rope got caught under Knightly's tail... and.... so.... yeah. It was funny!!! Once we got everything sorted out we started again. This time things went WAY better. Prince and Knightly decided to stay a little bit farther apart and that seemed to work really well. Once we got a couple nice circles we both started walking over to the barrels. Prince jumped it first then Knightly. They are so handsome!!! Our two jumping boys!!!

Then we brought them in. They were so cute looking at us!! Then we each sent our LBI over to the pedestal. Prince got on first but he was trying to be greedy and stood right in the middle so I moved him over then mom sent Knightly up. It was a perfect match! Prince is wide and Knightly is thin!! Just right!!

After that we took the halters off and played at Liberty a little. Our goal was to get the horses to go around the outside of the arena and then I would ask him to come to me and keep Knightly going then Mom would ask him to come to her. That was the goal.... but first we had to fix the “go around the outside of the arena” part first. Some how the horses missed that part!! hehe Plus the part about not changing direction!! After a little bit we got it going right. Prince stopped chasing Knightly and Knightly stopped trying to stop and go the other way. Acouple times they jumped the barrels too!! All part of there responsibillity to watch where they are going right? :)

Once everything was going smoothly and we got a couple good laps around the riding ring. I disengaged Prince. As soon as he saw me bend over just a little bit he came right into me. It was so cool!!!! Last time mom and I played with both horses at the same time Prince was to busy having fun chaising Knightly to listen to me. But this time he was paying attention!! Knightly stopped and looked at me when I asked Prince in so I sent him on and he went right to my mom when she asked him to come!! It was SO much fun played together!!

It was a perfect end to 2009!!!