"A horse is like a mirror, and it's reflecting what and who you are."

This is just a little diary of my horse life. I teach natural horsemanship and dressage. I am currently working on getting back to L4 Parelli after a car accident and surgery.

I suffered from a fear of failure, as things had not gone according to planned after my time off from my injuries. It had been an paralyzing disability (fear) but my healing is coming along nicely, and I hope to pass my level 4 before the end of 2011.

I don't know where I am going, but I am NOT lost!

I am now reviewing dvd's and books, and blogging my reviews. The link on the left in the categories (DVD Clinician Reviews)will take you straight to it. You will find links to the websites of all dvd clinicians I review and they are located on the left hand side bottom of page of the page. None of the clinicians or trainers I am reviewing, sponsor, endorse or authorize this site. For more info about them please click on thier link.

I hope you enjoy!

Savvy On,

I will be giving Savvy Star Ratings based soley on my opinion of it's value to a parelli student as such

***** Must own

**** Must watch

*** Worth watching, but you won't die without it

** Eh' take it with a grain of salt, you will have to filter alot

* OK, but there is better stuff out there to spend your time and money on

0 stars....skip it, it just isn't worth your time.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Taking Territory from the HERD! Muah ha ha

Well that was fun!  I think this is starting to sink in with Rose that I am the leader, not just another lowly member of the herd to fight over pecking order with.  I fed everyone, and had filled my pocket with cookies.  I came in, mosied around a bit, and Spirit and Miyagi were keeping an eye on me.  Snookie and Rose were not.....soooooo.....as the leader......I snuck up and bit her on the butt!  They both took off, and the munchkins stayed put.  I pushed on thier space a teeny bit, and they were off too.  Since they were hungry, they all tried to come back in, and I OWNED all the hay.  I invited them back in, and they scurried around instead.  I tried to approach Rose with her permission, backing off if she looked away.  It was too much pressure so I just went and gave cookies to the munchkins, who were more agreeable to let me approach.  So I had them follow me to the hay, and left the girls out to wallow in thier pitty party.  A minute of that, and they let me aproach, feed a cookie and take them back to the food.

I repeated it again, and this time Rose had her eyes on me, just as in the eye contact rituals.  She she didn't move, I pushed on her space and she and Snookie left, but didn't go to far this time.  I was able to approach quickly, give the treats and invite them back to my hay in a matter of a minute.  NOW, they were both able to FEEL me.  They started to listen to the pressure and understand that if they would just give me that respect....I would back off and not persue the ritual anymore.  Rose became very sweet and even left the hay to come and be with me for a few minutes.  She didn't even frisk me for a cookie.  Maybe she was saying sorry for being such a pill.

I feel the rituals at this time are important for me to do with Rose within the herd because of the Snookie dynamic.  Everyone knows, if you can get Snookie to do something...you are magical!

So that was a couple nights ago, I will try to play with them again tonight.
Savvy On

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Brent Graef clinic notes

Brent Graef Clinic Notes

I have to give the participants and my friend and I credit for enduring a very cold and blustery weekend. Deb and I didn’t get out of bed in time to be on time, and, and let’s just face it…..a girl has GOT to have her coffee! We made it about half hour late on day two. Would have loved to be there for the whole thing, and see the ground work on day one, but such is life….we didn’t. So here is what we got to see.

Ground work…

Definitely a big difference in this style and parelli style, but ….BUT….the two go together well. We didn’t get to see or hear any actual instruction on the how’s to do it, but got to see it in action by all the participants and their horses. There was a feel to them and a connection. I got to hold a horse for someone while she went to her truck, and her horse was stepping toward me to get to her stall and hay. I tried a back up the ‘brent’ way, and I will say her horse was light and responsive. Rather than a driving game, it was a porcupine, light feel on the line to back up. I also got to see a driving yo-yo without a snap, and was impressed that it wasn’t needed in this situation. I thouroughly inspected the “flag” and tree line lead and will be making the purchase for both. The flag stick is VERY light, yet very strong. I think it will be very beneficial for my shoulder. One thing I am noticing as a difference is the CALMness I see in everyone. The lack of DRAMA with the horses, is refreshing to see for sure. There was this amazing warmblood mare there, and Deb and I were drooling over wanting to ride her. She has had a troubled past, as many of our horses have, and she seems like she has taken to being natural like a duck to water. I would never have known she had such a history. There were very green horses there, and very well trained horses there. The participants ranged in age from about 10yo – probably 60yo. All seemed to be taking the information in and processing it well. I would have liked to see more ground work, but the afternoon did not disappoint me, so I will catch more dvd’s from giddyup-flix….he he.

During lunch we walked around and pet all the horses. What can I say, still a little girl dreaming of horses deep in my soul.

Snuggled in a blanket, freezing, Deb and I were the only auditors and on several occasions Brent spoke directly to us, letting us know what they had talked about the day before to get us up to speed as to what they were doing. I really appreciated that. Felt like friends. Gave me a warm and fuzzy feeling.

Mounted excersizes….

I have to say I was impressed with the mounted work. Some people had more trouble with it than others, or some horses found it more challenging than others, but I saw them all get better and benefit. As I said, there was a wide range of skill/experience levels there, both above and under the saddle.

Most of the exercises were at walk. A speed al could benefit from practicing more often. Timing and feel were at the top of the list for “must haves” There was no disconnection between horse and rider, harmony was nice to see. I didn’t see anyone in over their heads and none of the horses appeared to be stressed in ANY way. These may not be in the order they actually happened, but is to the best of my memory….and all are to supple and relax the horse.

#1 ~Disengage to follow through w/ front end:

In this exercise the hind end was asked to yield,(to the right) while not grinding the front end into the ground. Timing with leg (left) and same hand (left) was just as the inside hind leg (left) is leaving the ground, and it must cross the other leg while moving forward as well. Do NOT pull the head past the shoulder, keep ear tips level, front of face vertical to the ground. Keep contact, do not ‘drop’ your horse (rein). Yield hind end half circle, then…yield front end half circle to continue on in original direction of travel. To yield front end, as with the inside hand (left) just as the left front leg is leaving the ground and support with outside leg (right) just as front right leg is leaving the ground. Support with contact on outside rein. Do NOT pull your horses head to your knee or foot at anytime. Keep poll higher than wither was observed……repeat going other direction.

#2 ~Star pattern:

Walk 4-6 steps, back 4-6 steps, on last step, while backing ask front left leg to take a step to the left and repeat. Ask for the sideways step with the left rein just as the left front leg comes off the ground. You will make a star pattern in the dirt when done. Repeat the other direction.

#3 ~Fishtail/Fish head:

Fishtail~While walking in a straight line anywhere off the rail, keep the front end shoulders, neck and head, straight on the line, ask the hind end to step of the line to the left with the right leg just as the right hind is leaving the ground. The right hind should follow he track of the left front leg for a few steps, then bring the hind end back to straight with the left leg just as the right hind is leaving the ground. Repeat to the right. Make sure to keep your shoulders and hands straight.

Fish head~While walking a straight line anywhere off the rail, keep the hind legs moving straight on the line and move the forehand to the left using the left rein just as the left front leg is coming off the ground and support with the right leg. The front right leg should be just in front of the left hind leg for a few steps, then bring them back to the line, using right rein just as the front right leg is coming off the ground and support with the left leg.


Placing cones in a zig/zag fashion. Start at first cone (on left) to next cone (on right), ride just pass the cone a couple steps, halt, yield the hind end to the right, walk to next cone, ride 4-6 steps past, halt, rein back 2-4 steps, on last step, yield front to the right till facing next cone…..repeat. when done with cones, repeat the other direction. Will need 1 extra cone on one side to get both directions equal.



      x\ Hind end yield



/ x front end yield



       x\ Hind end yield



 / x Front end yield

#5~ Trot, side, trot side, trot side/side, trot. Basically trot from first cone to next, halt, side pass to right with pole in front of you, trot to next cone, halt, side pass to left pole in front of you, trot around next two cones, halt at third, side p ass to the left and back again pole in front of you, trot to next cone halt and RELAX!

|                                                      |
|                                                      |
|                                                      |_________x
|                                                                               |               
|                                                                               |
X_<______>_                                                  |
|                                                                               |                
|                                                                               |  
|                                                      x________  |
|                                                      |
X end                                             |
                                                       x Start

Hope my little "drawings" here came out OK, if not i will have to sketch something and scan it.

If your horse does not sidepass well, start with just a step or two of sideways.  Maybe use a barell or something else not jumpable, but also not long.
Savvy On

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Waterhole Rituals ~BFO~ part 2

I also had another observation, that I fogot about.

Waterhole ritual#2 saying hello.

So I have this mustang that I rescued on jan 1st. He was locked in a 12x24 stall for 6ys unable to be halter broke. I didn't want to throw him in with the herd until he was SOLID in being caught, AND since my herd wears blankies in winter due to no shelter, january is not the time to tell a horse that has had shelter for 6ys to suck it up and go without. i had no idea how long it might be before i could get a blankie on him.

I have been letting them be all together in the yard for the previous 6mos, and the girls were in LOVE with him. he however did not share the sentiments. but all was always well as there was grass to be eaten, and just no time for such things as strange geldings.

so it was about 6mos before i got the gumption to go ahead and let him in with them. Normally, Snookie is ALL over it, telling a new horse who is boss....HER of course......lots of squeeling and striking on her part. mostly show though.....but what a show it is. anyways, carolyn talks about how to approach a horse with thier permission. if they look away, to stop your approach and back away, then begin again. with all my parelli and other NH or traditional back grounds, this was not unfamiliar, but not something I felt was needed in most cases as my horse are almost always hard to get rid of, not catch. so i put him in there during feeding time, and spread the hay piles EVERYWHERE, so no one could dominate them all. he was out there for about 8hrs, and i did alot of observing. this was back in june btw, though nothing has changed since then when I turn him in with them on the weekends. Anyways....

I was shocked that NONE of the herd bothered him. they acted like he didn't even exist. you could see how terrified he was/is of them. And I think they saw it too.....once or twice Miyagi the mini mare or spirit the pony gelding, tells him where to go, if he walks up on them while they are eating. but other than that, NOTHING. I just have never seen MY herd do this, or any other horses for that matter, just plain let things be. But I also know, they have never seen a horse so afraid of horses either. I think they are doing just as Carolyn describes, and taking the time it takes to let him be ok with things, before they start telling him just how things are run around there.

I have to say, that this absolutely breaks my heart to see a horse who's needs to be a horse were so neglected he becomes terrified to be a horse. especially considering he was 3yo when captured. All the other skills required to be wild, he still has. you should see him scale the side of my rocky hill. he had not seen a hill in 7ys, but he looks like a mountain goat on it. my herd usually trips or jumps the hill to the ditch, not him, standing sure footed as ever a magnificent being could. yet he has NO social skills. He won't even inspect the pasture without me. he stands in the corner staring at the house waiting for me to come and get him. after a few months of this, he is starting to finally go to the water tank on his own with out me going to take him there, and the girls are in his corner right now, i THINK, instinctively to force him to venture else where, with out chasing him around it. Or could this be waterhole ritual #3, taking territory??  I think it just might be.  Maybe in a gentle and kind way, Snookie is taking his territory, so HE knows, she is the leader.  Meaning, there is a wise leader to keep him safe.....if he so chooses the safety of the herd.  watching them today, i noticed several times looking out the window, that he would be standing somewhere, and next time i look out the window, snookie and rose are standing there.  DUH michelle, of course it is WHR taking territory.....I am so glad to be able to witness this miracle known as the horse!

Just sad. I am glad that I am the "end all~be all" of his existence, but I really want him to be able to be a HORSE.

Savvy On

L4 Liberty play video

This was my last stand on PNH L4 liberty. Things had been going horribly wrong, and NOTHING had been helping Rose and I move forward. I told my self I would give it one last attempt, before giving up. At least for now anyways. On this day, of course the starts and planets could not possibly align for me, instead, they are all out of whack. Both girls were in heat. UGH…..and my friend had both her handsome geldings tied to the fence of the arena. So of course, they garnered more interest from my girls than I could. Snookie was in rare RBE form, panicing at the thought of Rose not being by her side. I actually have to give Rose some credit, that she was able to give me any kind of focus and attention at considering the distractions. She wanted to be with me, but only if I didn’t ask anything of her, such as fig 8 or weave, or circle, she would split, then come back. I was still OK with the arena work, but knew I couldn’t fight the forces that be, and went into the round pen. What you wont see in the video is the beginning part, where I was trying a new Parelli concept, of slapping the ground 3 times. Well it didn’t take long and my shoulder was KILLING me, AND, it didn’t take long for Rose to ignore it ALL. I was having to run out and tag her. Which was just NOT working. The more I did, the worse she got. So in the video, you will see the last time I tried that, and the rest is me going back to neutral, and more of a long phase one. Things got better, but it still is not what I would like out of our relationship, nor did I ever get the canter needed for the audition. I had given up on the idea of cantering early in the video, and was just looking for her to maintain trot and direction, and a bit of fig 8.

Since this video, I have expanded my horizons, and started the waterhole rituals, which are helping us get our bond back. I really feel disconnected in neutral, but that is the subject of a different post. For now, at least I she is finally started to respect me more, while accepting my affections.

anyways, here is the video, there is some good stuff in there, but hardly the bond I have been looking to regain.

anyways, here is the video, there is some good stuff in there, but hardly the bond I have been looking to regain.

Savvy On

Saturday, October 16, 2010

More...Rose's old L1 assesment

Talk about blast from the past. I was thumbing through a bunch of pics i managed to save before a computer crash, and low and behold some of my old L1 assesment was in there. I think this is from Linda's levels, and this is all there is. I believe, but can't really remember, that is is just a few months after I bought Rose back. So that would make it about 4-5ys ago. I think. anyways, this of course was back when you had to tape EVERYTHING. And I think the reason why I junked the riding, is after watching it, I realized I was no longer going to ride on my balance point. my feet were everywhere in this.....disgusting! Ptwey! Anyways, I decided to upload it for memory's sake.

Savvy On

Friday, October 15, 2010

Waterhole Rituals ~BFO~ humans really can immitate nature!

So I have had some ramblings about the water hole rituals, and I had a HUGE BFO the other morning laying in bed.  You know?? One of those times half asleep and half lucid, where I think we may actually be able to tap into our sub-conscience, and have some seriously smart discussions with ourselves.  For all I know this may have been a dream, as the thoughts slipped away from me as I awoke and bustled around getting ready for work.  In my waking mind, the thought had bounced around my head, like a frantic hunk of metal in a pin ball machine.  I was unable to rein it back, into this BFO, until today.  This will be long, but please follow along......

So Snookie, the herd leader, really is only concerned with her second in command.  She bonds tightly, and cannot be parted from her friend, without serious injury to herself.  As a retired 27yo, I accomadate this for her to the best of my abilty.  Never taking her friend from her, without dragging her along as well.  I had rescued Tigerlily as a pasture mate for her, 10ys ago.  Snookie was new to being an alpha, and went overboard at times in her dominance.  Tigerlily, quickly figured out that it was easier to just do what she said, than get an ass whopin the size of texas.  About a month after I got Tigerlily, I left with Snook for a ride down the road, and Lily freaked, fell and sliced her butt open with a hoof.  I have no idea how she got a hoof that high, but she ended  up with a 14' gash on the point of her hip, near the vulva.  We stitched it up, and the next day, her leg was the size of a old oak tree.  I watched Snookie, gently urge her across the 100' paddock to the water tank, and splash water on her to get her to drink.  I was amazed at the power and influence of a leader, and also the wisdom and compasion a lead mare can have.  My herd grew over the years with rescues coming and going, and some staying.  Tigerlily was there to keep my sweet gal content, and she was never worried when anyone left the herd, as long as it wasn't her baby girl, Tigerlily.

Tigerlily had a disease, DSLD, that progressed to the point of having to put her down 2ys ago, at the tender age of 9yo.  We had to sedate Snookie as I knew, she would not be able to handle it.  She had the rest of the herd to keep her company, but she was heartbroken, and screamed for about a month.  Calling for her, and moping around.  You could see the sparkle was gone from her eye.  Rose is Lily's half sister, and although at first glance they were hard to tell apart, they couldn't look more different than Seabiscuit did from War Admiral.  Lily was 16.2 hands and somewhat resembled a mule.  She had a roman nose, thin whispy mane and huge floppy ears.  She was the clumbsiest but sweetest horse i ever did see.  Rose 15.3 looks like a spanish horse, enough curly mane for 3 horses, dished head and as nimble as a working cow horse, with an evil streak a mile long.  Snookie tried hard to get Rose to be her buddy during her mourning, but Rose would have no part of it.  I watched for the first year, Snookie treat her like she did Lily, demanding that Rose go here or there with her.  Sometimes she would, but then once there, she would walk off and leave Snookie alone.  Then Snook would chase after her and gather her up again, and the cycle would repeat it self all day long.  Poor Snookie got quite a bit of excersize that year, but was almost always an emotional wreck.  I havn't thought much of it this past year, as Rose seems to apease her most of the time now, and they seem to both be bonded to each other.  BUT, I just figured that Rose was the one to finally give in.  Well my BFO, says no.....that is not the case at all.  Caroyn Resnick is a master for sure......listen to this.....

So a few months ago, I was video taping Cha'Cote on his first day with the herd.  Since he was pretty boring just standing in one spot, I thought I would try to catch on camera, Rose giving her self her morning shower in the tank.  She is quite comical, as she dunks her head in up to her eyeballs, and blows bubbles, then proceeds to splash water on herself until she is satisfied with her work.  as I stood there and taped, I noticed something that has had me perplexed for a while, till now.  Snookie came up and moved Rose off the water.  nothing new there for an alpha, but I noticed she was not using her old MO.  Which used to include alot of ear pinning, biting and kicking if needed.  But what she did was wait for Rose to take her lips out of the water, then took her drinking spot.  Then laid her head on Rose's neck and just waited.  Rose made several attempts to finish drinking and get in a shower, but Snookie patiently kept putting her head in her way, until Rose finally gave up and left and went back to the food as Snookie wanted.  For the last couple of months, I thought maybe Snookie was losing status and Rose was moving on up.  But, at a play day, I noticed Rose was COVERED in bite and kick marks. Hmmm, i think rather ROSE thinks she is moving up sometimes, but clearly not.  She has not been yielding to Snookie and suffering the consequences for sure.

So it has taken me a couple of weeks since getting Carolyns dvd's, but I finally figured it out.  Snookie is doing just as Carolyn describes, she has to court her herd, as well as them court her.  They will not follow her, if they hate her.  Rose did not respond to the leadership style that Tigerlily did, and thus caused Snookie to have to do things differently to get her way.  I cannot remember the last time she was rude to Rose, or chased her off the food, and infact, they eat closer than Snookie and Lily ever did.  Dang near nostril to nostril from the get go.  I know she is still leader, as I never see her yield to anyone, any time, for any reason.  Follow like a loon if they leave, but retreat from....NO!

So, at the moment, my BFO is just that, a blinding flash of the obvious.....but how to interpret this to my advantage with Rose is another matter.  Clearly the 7 dominance games were not only no longer yielding me respect, just the opposite.  I believe it is infact secret door game #8....the water hole ritutuals game that ONLY the leader plays......taking territory and eye contact......

Clearly, Snookie found a better way to improve her relationship with Rose, and cause Rose to WANT to be with her.  I need to pay close attention to how and what Snookie does, and how she does it.  She knows Rose better than I.  She always had her respect, but now she has her heart too.  And I should be nothing more than ashamed at myself, for not seeing this sooner.

Savvy On

Mom not doing well

So we got home from the hospital, late last night, after 7hours in the ER and then half hour drive home and half hour at the pharmacy, another hour to get her into bed...I am pooped!  She broke one leg and sprained the ankle of the other and is to not put ANY weight on her broken leg.  AT ALL, or she will have to have surgery.  I think it is safe to say, the she will never try to coast the car to the house with her legs hanging out the door.  My 12ys old son has been telling her it isn't safe.  Hmmm, guess kids can be pretty smart.  Age doesn't always make you wise.  So I will probably be forgoing a playday tonight, that I have been planning for weeks.  But my aunt will be here to help her, so I can still go to the Brent Graef clinic next weekend.

I wish I could be mad at her for doing something soooo incredibly stupid, but I can't.  I am the queen of doing stupid things and getting hurt, though it has been a long time, I have no right as a pot, to call the kettle black.

My mom has no savvy!

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Waterhole ritual #3 ~ Taking Territory ~

Well, what can I say, it has been a great couple of weeks.  What I could squeeze in anyways.  I had 2 major problems that needed fixing right quick, and the water hole rituals have been filling a long standing void.  i am completely amazed at the results.  I can't even imagine how great things will be once I rope off a 1-1 corral, for some 1/1 territory sharing.  I am scoping out the lay of my land, for a shady place to hang out, and then going to put in some step in poly posts and some non-electrified hot rope/tape.  I think from there we will make some amazing progress.



I spent 4dys sharing territory with the whole herd, and ending each session with 'saying hello' to each of the herd members.  On day 4, I felt we were ready to take a little territory from Rose.  So I fed them as usual, but a little further away from the fence than normal, to give everyone a place to go, if I needed to chase them off the food.  I was surprised and not surprised at the results.  Again 4 horses in the herd, ranked in this order.  #1 Snookie (alpha) #2 Rose #3 Miyagi #4 Spirit.

I made my way, ambling around, watching to see who was keeping an eye on me. Surprising Snookie did keep an eye on me.  As the alpha, I would have thought she may not think much of me, but apparently she knows, when I am around, I am the boss.  Not so surprising, So did Miyagi and Spirit.  They even moved thier bodies to keep an eye on me.  So I made sure not to direct ANY energy thier way.  And NO shock, that Rose payed NO attention to me what so ever.  NONE.  Sooooo...... I snuck up behind her and chased her off the food, and claimed it for my own.  Now.....everyone else took off too, as it actually took a smack or two with the lunge whip (getting reed soon) to get her to leave.  This bothered everyone else a bit, but they came back real quick.  Rose how ever knew the focus was on her, so when she started to walk back, I glared at her and said "NO, this is my herd, you want to eat with us, you better keep your eye on ME!"

As soon as I felt she had the message, I walked up to her, said hello, loved on her a bit, and then invited her back to the food with me.  No hesitation.  Back on the hay, I left, and ambled about the pasture a bit, again watching to see who was watching and who wasn't.  Everyone but Rose was a bit nervous, but kept an eye on me, so I waited before I snuck up on her and chased her of again.  The rest of them split before I even really got to her, but she needed another smack or two to leave.  They all huddled together, watching me from the corner of the pasture, as I stood in complete ownership of the food.  I fiddle around in it, kicking it around, checking out the fence, completely ignoring them.  "This is my food, I own it, and as the leader, I am not conerned with them.  they did what I asked, so I did not keep pressure on them by staring at them.  After about a minute or two, I gave them an inviting look, and motioned for them to join me.  Everyone came straight away, but Rose.  I think they all realized, that while we are a herd, Rose is the one misbehaving, causing disharmony, and it is she and she alone who must fix it. 

Again I went to her, loved on her, and brought her back to the food.  I ambled around the pasture again, and everyone had thier eyed glued to me, sometimes they kept thier heads down, sometimes picked them up so they could get a better line of sight.  Rose was not to sure about the whole thing, so when I walked closer to her she split.......But every one else stayed.....even Snookie.  That was a complete SHOCK to me.  They DID know, as a herd, that they were accepted by me, the leader.  That we were a herd, and that they were not to blame for Rose's lack of respect.  And since she is the herd bully, I think I may have heard Spirit and Miyagi, snicker a time or two as well.  But, I stood in Rose's spot in the hay, and payed no attention to her at all.  I then walked up to her, loved on her, brought her a handful of hay, and then left her there.  I left it up to her to ask politely to join us.  And guess what???  She DID!!!  She qietly and cautiously approached.  I ignored her and kept fiddling with the hay, just as Snookie does, when she is done "owning" all the food.  She stayed at the outer edge of the hay piles, and I made my rounds petting and scratching everyone, and lastly Rose.

Since that day, Rose has been screaming to me when she see's me.  Lots of soft nickers too.  I am bummed that I couldn't spend anymore time with her since then, but I hit a snag with Cha'cote the next day, and that is when he and I did the "sharing the trailer" thing.  Since he is still not in the herd yet.  I have to focus on him alone.

Progress Cha'cote:

We have played with the trailer almost everyday since the first sharing day.  Sharing it with him, with carrots, getting him to change his mind, that the trailer is just a horse eating box, has been helped emensly, just by hanging out in it, doing nothing.  Well me in it, him poking his nose in, checking me out for some goodies.

I am pleased to say, that he is loading again.....whew!  In fact, I can't stop him from loading now.  Like a nuclear meltdown, nothing on earth is going to keep him from going in.  However, once in, he spins fast and hangs his head out the back.  But that is ok.  One step at a time.  I decided, no, that it is going to be the first thing I do with him, when I take him out of his corral, so he is used to me just getting him and going.  So that when the day arives, when I want or need to get him in the trailer in a hurry, he is used to getting in without a half hour warm up.  He needs to be where he can just trust me no matter what. 

I am just pleased as punch that I found Carolyns water hole rituals, and am champing at the bit waiting for Buck Brannemans ground work dvd's to show up........

On the really cool side, I helped my friend teach her horse how to bow last night.  took somewhere between 10-15 min.  Gotta love those LBI's that will do ANYthing for a cookie!

Savvy On

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Sharing the trailer

Well, since the first time I took Cha'cote out for a drive, I didn't play with him for a few weeks, and certainly not wtih the trailer.  So when I finally did, he decided he is not a fan of a moving trailer, and basically refused to get in again.  At least for the first 50min.  So, he has missed out on two playdates because of me trying to not be direct line, trying to not be a predator, .......but man that is a toughy!  So I decided this week to try the sharring territory with him, a bucket of carrots and the trailer.  I got myself a chair, my "sharing territory" time book......"the faraway horses" by buck branneman.  Which I am enjoying very much.  I set up camp in the trailer and proceeded to read, and occasionally but a chunk of carrot in my book, when ever he would show interest in either frisking me, trying to get my attention, or put something else besides his head in the trailer.  If ever he move any foot even a teeny bit closer to the trailer, he would hear a clunk in the pristine pages of my book.  Lets just say that each and every page I have read, now has a brown, green or orange smudge on it.  A bit of slobber warping to the paper, and lots of dirt in the crreases of the binding.  There no doubt what page was read last, and I certainly have no need for a book mark.

We had a nice visit last night at the neighbors from a pair of lovely young doe's.  Cha'cote was not so thrilled with being in the trailer while they were there, but they sure were thrilled that he wasn't in his corral, so they could trim the weeds from the outside of his fence. In the end, I was hiding carrot chunks around the inside of the trailer for him to play "treasure hunt' with.  He seemed to think the trailer was a bit more interesting for sure after our time, and he enjoyed just hanging out with me there.  According to Carolyn Resnick, if they are pushy, they trust you.  For my shy skeptical boy, this is a good thing.  He was respectful and not nippy at all, and let me tell ya, he sure got ALOT of carrot bits the last couple of days.  I would have to say he is more respectful now than before in regards to eating things from your hand.  Lots of practice and lots of NOT pulling the treat away.  I just kept my hand in a fist, fingers down, until he sniffed my hand softly, and then I would turn my hand over to share the goodie.

I would like to take him to another playday soon, but am not willing to push him.  I have decided also to park my trailer in a more accesible "play" place, so we don't let so much time go by between sessions.  The pool is coming down tonight, at least we have started the slow draining process, and I hope to get some sort of "territory" pen contructed soon, for some 1-1 time with my fur babies!

Savvy On

Saturday, October 2, 2010

OLD assesment footage

I came across this footage of one of my many infamous L1 assemsents of the past. Of course back then, you had to tape each and every task. This is attempt #3 or 4, can't really remember now, it was soooo long ago. Story is.....there were sooo many times that either the horse went lame with one or two tasks to go, or the computer crashed and lost the whole dang thing, or the program changed. This is one that I had that was actually done, but I had not uploaded the whole thing to the net yet, and the computer crashed. Some of these clips were the dry run, and had been retaped.....but.....going down memory lane....I thought I would share.

Plus I joined a new meet up group, and am offering "horseless" people to be able to play with with the Snookster, since I have to bring her anyways.

I added a few pics of us over the last 20+ yrs. Those that I didn't lose in the computer crash.