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, July 13, 2009

Me Too! (Getting Back in the Saddle)

Good evening all, I hope that your summer has been fun so far. Well, after as you now, due to unfortunate medical issues, I've been out of commission with regards to riding my horses. Well, I am finally riding again! Tonight was the first time and it went really well. Now, I warn you, it may be nothing extraordinary to you but, to me, it was fun and I gauge it as successful.

I played with Whiskey (RBI) on the ground and riding for an hour and a half! The ground preparation was quite extensive, lots of variety in the games, playing in the horsey playground (car wash, barrels, horse-henge, tires, cones, mailbox, etc.), in the round pen (cones, liberty, barrels, tarp), lots of mosey and grass munching everywhere, a visit to the horse trailer, saddling with savvy (several times--English saddle, Theraflex, Parelli Natural Hackamore), mounting and dismounting, and then riding. We worked on pushing passenger and ride the rail. I was very careful and diligent to use a long, long, long, phase one (to the extreme, as much as I could stand it (like I learned in level 2) and then he finally offered to walk forward and each time, the wait was less and less. If he'd stop, I'd just say, "me too' and did this throughout our ground play and riding, I said it aloud too, not for him, but for me, as a reminder to be patient. There was a little of the biting behavior I've talked about over the years but, I held fast, played with it using several strategies including (but not limited to), shoving my boot in his mouth--boy was he surprised, treats, flexion, and also used my reins to direct his nose elsewhere, I changed it up and kept him guessing, and we worked through it. Overall the ride was quite successful and I feel just great (I think he does too). We did very well at the rail exercise and passenger, figure 8's while riding need some work but, we will get there. Another thing to note is that I trusted him, no micromanagement, I allowed him to put his head down and munch a little, I used a casual rein (rode the buckle so to speak), and was his partner and leader, not a nag.

This all truly took leadership, patience, and persistence, definitely in the proper position and definitely taking his horsenality into account. The ground preparation was paramount I think and took about an hour for a half hour ride. Totally worth it.
Fosse (RBI) and I played next and he got about an hour of my time, equally divided between ground play and riding. We did much of the same as Whiskey and I except I rode Fosse bareback at first and later with the saddle (all with the hackamore). He was simply excellent and in addition to ride the rail and passenger lesson, we also worked on riding figure 8's, backing, disengagement of the hindquarters, etc.
I really am happy to be back in the saddle but firmly do believe horses are about way more than riding--just meaning that I completely enjoy them in all of our encounters.


Anonymous said...

What is RBI???

Michelle AKA arabhorselover1 said...

Sorry, I let my Parelli vernacular get away from me...

RBI-right brained inteovert
RBE-right brained extrovert
LBI-left braained introvert
LBE-left brained extrovert