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

Thursday, April 15, 2010

From Oh So Light to That's Gonna Hurt :)

Image from: http://www.ian-darragh.com/images/ian-darragh-gallery/horse-with-groom/3_1991_Spooked_Acrylic_on_C.jpg



I love my horses and I love my husband but sometimes, they can all be flakes! Last night, when I came home from a long day at work, I was delighted to see that the nice weather was still here and decided, of course, to get in some horse time. I went to the house, changed into my riding clothes, retrieved Morgan (my Dane) and walked to the barn.

Once I got there, I put Morgan in her outdoor kennel and headed into the paddock to see the horses. Tonight was Whiskey's night to be first and he caught me immediately. We played for a few minutes on the ground and then we practiced riding, one-reined, bareback. He was a bit argumentative about riding on the rail but, we worked through it and ended on a really good note. I've figured out something with him. He has his "I'm right-brained and cannot think" and his, "I'm feeling left-brained, defiant, and you cannot make me" moments. The big issue is, the behaviors are the same but the right-brain left-brain parts is what differ. It has taken me a long time to understand and be willing to trust what I think is happening actually is, and trust that I can work with the horse that showed up. Anyhow, I am finally there and he's quite a bugger at times. It takes a heck of a lot of leadership and patience to play with him hoping he does not go right-brained and snap. I have to be leader while maintaining the appropriate phase for this horse who is innately a right-brain introvert which requires a lot of waiting and patience.

Next, I decided to ride Lola. We played with several obstacles and then I mounted (bareback with the rope halter and lead). I rode Lola one-reined all over and she was so light and wonderful. This was probably one of our best rides. I would barely lift the rein, subtly point, and she'd go in the direction I asked her to go. If I used any leg at all, the phase was barely phase 1, lightly touching the hair. I was amazed and thrilled with our progress. At one point, she and I were just standing hanging out and then it happened. Rick started the truck and moved this huge dump trailer (that bangs and makes tons of noise) and although the horses had seen it all day going up and down the driveway, Fosse and Whiskey decided it was scary this time and bolted from the barn, down the paddock past Lola and I at a full, thundering, right-brained gallop. This took Lola and I both by surprise as we were just relaxing and enjoying each other and the weather and I'm sure you know what I'll write next, she also spooked!

If memory serves me correctly (it all happened so fast), I used one rein (on her right) to keep her from totally taking off and grabbed onto her mane, she spun around, I got a little off balance and while trying to keep her from taking off and trying to stay on, I think I may have kicked her in the side and thus, she moved farther from me to the left and in a motion that felt like slow motion, I fell to the ground (and was able to think suring that moment, oh boy, I am going off, that's gonna hurt) and Lola took off to the other horses. My two biggest concerns were not letting her take off with me on her and not being trampled. (I had a helmet.) I was not hurt, not really (although I will be sore--I hit primarily on the left side of my butt), however I was angry, at Rick, because I told him not five minutes before that there was a chance they'd spook and that he should wait. He said he would but then, apparently he thought that since he was not driving past us that it was okay (not aware of the amount of commotion he was making, period). Now my horses are fairly spook free but, they are horses and they all were a bit edgy today (perhaps the weather front coming in, they are in need of exercise, who knows, they are prey animals when you come right down to it).

After the fall, I stayed on the ground, steaming about Rick's actions, and also wondering if the horses would come over and get me. Fosse came over first and decided to stare at me and chew on my knee. Lola came up but only to the nearby tree and watched me from behind it (almost like she felt like she was in trouble). I got up, approached her, and gave her some scratches to assure her, she immediately loved up to me. I took her over to the big log where I usually mount, got back on her and we just sat there for a few minutes scratching her withers, petting her head, practicing lateral flexion. I was going to continue our ride (I had no feeling of fear or anxiety at all) but remembered Rick and the truck and dump trailer would be coming back our way and I had no idea when (and he had no idea what had happened) and I did not want a repeat of our earlier event. So, I ended our night with a few more scratches and dismounted. I took off the halter and chased the horses off in a playful gesture. I walked back to the barn and the three of them ran and bucked happily behind and beside me all the way. They were groomed and fed. I fetched Morgan and we took a nice walk (she ran here and there) back to the house. (Rick has apologized by the way, several times.)

I cannot help but think that I need to consider the emergency dismount more. I can do it in practice but putting it to work, it is not as perfect as it should be. I suppose it is because the moment is so fast. I do have to say had I not been losing weight and getting in shape, this could have ended in a much worse manner. Lola didn't run off with me aboard but, I'd have liked to complete the dismount more gracefully than falling to the side and hitting the dirt! Riding bareback has a great deal to do with it too--they are slippery (I didn't use the bareback pad). All well, I walk away with sore muscles and a little rope burn, I've been worse for wear!

One final thought is about something I read from a friend who posted a listserv message from someone she knows who is studying at the Parelli ISC in the Confidence Transformation Course. It was about what to do with your horse and how to proceed and be successful. These few lines really stood out to me and I plan to incorporate them into my horsemanship.

"Do MORE online than you would riding. If you are going to canter and jump when mounted, than gallop and jump BIGGER jumps online first."

"Anything you want to push with your horse, do online first instead of while riding. "

"You always want to jump your horse online first before riding because bucking is like jumping invisible jumps! So work that out online first."

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