About Me

My photo
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, June 14, 2010

May your horse reveal herself to you...PLAYTIME!

This evening I am happy to report that I had 1 1/2 hours of horse time after work and it was not raining! I started play time with Whiskey. He was a bit emotional making his gulping noises a bit and, cow kicking at times. But, I stuck to my principles and plans, using long phase one, lots of friendly, and had him finally thinking, not reacting, and offering to do all kinds of fun stuff on the ground. One particular task was to side pass with a large log underneath him, he offered to do it and looked fabulous! Then, I mounted and he moved forward very nicely expanding on what we did yesterday. I opted to not trot though because it had rained earlier and the grass was quite slick and muddy in places and I didn't want him to slip and loose his confidence (it took time to build it up today). In any event, we made more progress, had fun, and I am looking forward to another playtime (I think he is too).

What I really am excited to tell you all about it Lola! She was really revealing her play drive tonight, more than ever before! We started in the barn, I haltered her with the hackamore and started to saddle her with the bareback pad and she was a bit emotional but, the boys were crowding us. I moved them out of our space and she was still a bit out of sorts. I decided to walk her out to one of the logs and see how she felt. I feel as if there was tension and so, I decided to take the tack off and see what I had with her at liberty. I walked from barrel to barrel playing point to point with treats like we did yesterday (although yesterday was on line). She loved it and picked up on it immediately. Once I knew that she was with me, I started trotting to the different barrels and over the jumps, she came with me and was animated and having fun! We played chase around the trees, canter, here and there, total play drive! She was squealing, bucking (for fun) and I swear, smiling (and I was getting exercise)! At one of the logs, I stopped, she did too, Then I put one foot over the log, paused, put the other foot over. Then, I turned and looked at her as if to ask, what about you? She put one foot over, stopped, then the other foot. She waited, I gave her a treat, then ran off, she gladly pursued me! At one point, she saw the Fosse and Whiskey leave to the field and she left me, got worried about them, paced the fence but didn't call out, they ignored her. I just waited to see what she'd do and let her work it out in her head. She looked back at me (I was sitting on the log just waiting), and she perked up her ears and ran, full speed, sliding to a stop in front of me! I ran off towards one of the barrels and she came along. I was so satisfied with this play time that I decided to just go to a few more barrels to reinforce our time and send her to the field with the boys rather than ride as I wanted and end on a good, fun note to help with her confidence, and make sure she didn't have any expectations or preconceived notions. To my surprise, she didn't run away from me but stood there. I finally said goodbye and walked out of the area, she then ran out to the field.

Fosse and I played just a little out in the big field, at liberty. I worked on my phases and allow, used a lot of approach, retreat, and the catching game. He responded quite well and we had some undemanding fun. Throughout, Whiskey and Lola were checking things out and I intermingled play with them. When I started to walk away, Lola initiated more play! We mirrored each other out in the field, played the 7 games, went from here to there through the field, in the sand pit, up the little hills, leaving the boys. I even started running and she followed with the boys in tow! What a hoot! We were all running around together! I am so glad to be back to my old self, feeling playful, creative, and really having a ton of fun! Lola is totally revealing a new side I have only seen when she is playing with the horses...I guess she is finally seeing me as a fun partner to play with...YEAH!

2 comments:

Naturally Gaited said...

Sounds as though you've had a major breakthrough with Lolita!

I'd bet that between your rescuing her from the evil saddle under her belly the other day, and becoming more engaging to play with, you have chalked up major leadership brownie points! (Did I just say "brownie" and "points" in the same sentence? I must be hungry..)

Clare

Michelle AKA arabhorselover1 said...

Clare--

I think you are right! She really had fun and I realized her squeal this time was all about play, not defiance. I have to say there were a few times where she was trying to herd me but, I used the games and moved her along, showing her in a polite way that I was still herd leader, and she accepted it. When she realized the boys blew her off, she was like hey, someone needs to be with me! LOL Anyhow, it was a lovely time and I think I did well by our relationship...she sure made me feel great!

Regarding the brownies, yummy, I'll take some and I'd bet Lola would too (as long as they are not the recipe we made last week--oye)! HEHE

-Michelle