About Me

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North Lawrence, New York, United States
I can be described as lover of life, an animal lover, and lover of education. I am constantly striving for knowledge and learning opportunities. I've been around horses my entire life. I enjoy working with horses and their human partners through natural horsemanship philosophies, natural balance bare foot hoof care, reiki, red-light therapy, essential oils, aromatherapy, crystal healing, chromotherapy, flower essences, and more. I am a Usui Shiki Ryoho Reiki Master Teacher who offers treatments for people, horses, dogs, cats, and other creatures great and small. I also teach Reiki classes for those interested in learning how to treat themselves, their loved ones, and even their animals! Natural Horse Lover Farm is located in Northern New York between the St. Lawrence River and Adirondack Mountains. Heaven on Earth. naturalhorseloverfarm.com

Monday, April 20, 2009

Simulated Riding Exercises - How Interesting

After reviewing the March 2009, Issue 40 Savvy Club DVD that showed riding simulations, and thinking about the riding issues that I deal with Whiskey on a regular basis (the lack of impulsion and biting particularly), I thought I'd take a step back in his development and our relationship and use this technique. My thought was that I could redevelop this skill set and assess my competence and his comfort level and also determine if it was my actual riding or another issue like zone three or a lack of confidence on his part, perhaps a lack of respect for my leadership while in this position, or something like that. (FYI--Fosse never bites or carries on, actually I only experienced this with one other horse in my life but, at the time, I was not prepared or willing to deal with it and placed the horse in a new home (not just because of the riding issue but because she was beating the heck out of Whiskey too--her name was Stella)--she is doing great by the way.

OK, so back to riding simulations.

Day 1: I actually practiced all simulations on the DVD including those Linda used with Elizabeth that focused on fear and her feelings, using your rope, bending, emergency dismount, etc. on a log. It was quite an interesting thing to try out--the horses were certainly curious so it made for great undemanding time out in the field. Then, I did a few brief riding simulations with the horses and they both started out a little defensive in zone 3, Fosse more than Whiskey but by the end, we were more in harmony.

This log is a great horse simulator!

Day 2: I did riding simulations with Whiskey over the weekend, and he was remarkably the same as if I were in the saddle (biting, reactionary at times, other times, cool and fine, sometimes lacked impulsion or wanted to back up instead of going forward). I played with him on the ground first and saddled him with the bareback pad, used the halter and lead (made a loop rein). He started exhibiting emotional responses when he saw the bareback pad! This is really interesting because I have ridden this horse on trail with and without other horses, and don't have these issues. In the arena, another story. I continued the simulations and then switched to mounting drills without actually putting my leg over and mounting. I did this several times and he was really still and good about it. Rather than push things, I discontinued and did not ride. (I am not supposed to be riding , at the moment anyway, because of an impending gall bladder surgery anyway--although it did not stop me when I did riding and mounting simulations with Fosse, and then rode him bareback but, with Whiskey, I prefer to be 100% when riding him--he is a bit more challenging as you can see!) LOL

Day 3: This brings me to today. I did not saddle Whiskey but, I did practice riding simulations. When he saw the halter you could see he was skeptical. What is this all about? Very strange indeed. I am not quite sure yet. I found that he was emotional at times, defiant almost but, trying very hard. I was careful (I thought) to watch my phases and take time for him to lick his lips and process things, maybe not aware enough of my phases? He did try to bite a few times and he happened to run into a savvy string--lol. At one point he offered to trot (moreso out of defiance than will) and I trotted with him instead of stopping him--he was surprised so from then on, we did walk trot transitions too. For these three days, I was using obstacles and patterns by the way. I decided to play point to point between two barrels with treats as our final exercise and he seemed more motivated and impulsive without the biting but he did get a little carried away a few times at the trot. One time I said to him--"hey you lost your rider". LOL Perhaps he is more left-brain introvert than he had been before? Or he is switching back and forth between right and left brain while still maintaining an introverted horsenality but at a rapid-fire pace? I am not certain but this will definitely take more sessions and reflection, and another horsenality charting too. I look forward to working on this even more because I feel as if I have an even deeper insight to the issues at hand. It is like a psychological puzzle--well worth solving. (I am never giving up on Whiskey.)

Yes, of course, I could just get on, ride him, put up with it but, I'd prefer to fix the problem and keep the relationship in tact! (This is why Whiskey ended up in a Parelli home, with me, by the way. His previous owner saw him as a horse with special needs--he was supposed to show A-circuit Arabian shows but his owner way a mental/emotional challenge in him that made an environment like that a danger to him and the people around him.)

Have any thoughts about this? Please let me know! I plan to do the official horsenality profile and perhaps call the Parelli hot line (just two of the many benefits of being a Parelli Savvy Club Gold member). *Grins*

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