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

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Wow, we have a lot of work to do (I mean play, lol...I think.)

I was able to spend about 90 minutes playing/training/riding/working with the horses tonight.  I was lying in bed awake most of last night thinking about many things including riding Whiskey (got all of 4.5 hours sleep).  I realized that I hadn't played with him at all in so long let along go for a ride.  We used to take rides in the National Forest, at home in the mountains, and in my outdoor arena.  This was years ago in Virginia.  Here in NY, for years, I truly believe a lot of my horsemanship activity got lost in the shuffle....relocating and starting over will do that to you and let me say that time flies before your know it. I feel sad and happy all at the same time.  We have a much nicer facility coming together but I missed so many things with my Virginia horse friends and have not made quite the same connection here.

I came home after a full day at work on so sleep, had to take my 15.5 year old dog Daisy to the vet before work and pick her up afterward (dental surgery), dinner with my in-laws, and then out to the barn.  My mother-in-law was kind enough to clean up and sent me on my way and we had leftovers (my husband's contribution). My father-in-law and I joked, as we do all of the time, saying, "where's the pie" knowing full well it was non-existent.

My first task was to lock up the golf cart, buildings, and the chickens.  I then cleaned stalls, filled water buckets (and did hay and supplements after play time). Then out to the paddock to play.  I put Whiskey on the 22 foot line and practiced patterns and impulsion with him, we were totally connected as if we had been playing every day! After about 5 minutes or so of this, I saddled him with the bareback pad, put on a natural hackamore, and mounted. I sat there for a bit practicing flexion and making sure we were still connected.  Whiskey is a RBI and can be very tricky. I was very careful to use phase 1 asks to get him to move forward.  At first, he was a bit resistant and tried to bite my leg (this is not new). I just used my reins to stop the behavior and continued the ask, waiting for a response.  First, I increase my energy, then a lift of the reins, then, a smooch, and lastly a squeeze. I try to get a response with the energy but sometimes have to use the other cues/phases. Anyhow, once we got going, we we able to ride around the playground.  I felt a little nervous for some strange reason, but kept at it and we fell back into the groove together. We have a lot of work to do but starting up together again, as partners, was really nice.  He is a gorgeous mover and lovely horse (when his emotional fitness is in tact). The other horses were hanging around with us by the way which made for an interesting herd dynamic.  He became more powerful with his human partner aboard!

Lola, this is my BIG issue and big horse, lol (she is like straddling a coffee table).  We had a brief, quiet online session and then I mounted her bareback, thinking all was okay.  I was incorrect but was able to luckily sense that we were going to have an issue,  I dismounted.  Back online, I realized that the "quiet" horse was a ruse. I started working with her again but used a phase one and then proceeded very quickly to phase 4 making her really move her feet...wow was she surprised  but, responsive.  It was a wake-up call and a leadership argument we needed to have.  Then, we ended up having another situation like the other night, she reared, pulled, and was truly trying to make me move my feet.  I stood my ground and was polite and in the correct position and continued to ask for what I wanted.  When we ended the session, she and I were connected.  She and I have serious leadership issues that were solved sometime ago but, the issue has started all over again due to my lack of working with her.  Part of me feels frustrated and tired but I love a challenge and am not giving up on her.  If I can deal with Whiskey, Lola should, in theory, be a piece of cake.  I just need to take the time it takes and it seems that these days, I am finally having the time again. My hope is to get the leadership issues dealt with on the ground again and then start riding her again. I think there is a partner in her, I just have to find her again!

On a personal note, I think that I need to work on myself too as I am part of the puzzle! Oh, how I miss my active Virginia play group...it is nice to have people to bounce ideas off of and people to push you (and people to push). :) 

My plan of action  is to get out the puzzle maps, redo horsenality profiles, and review the basics.  Particularly with Lola, I may look at the colt starting videos again to find clues and to treat her as if she is a newbie.  It may be a good way back into her heart and a way to truly rekindle our relationship and leadership dynamic.


Randal said...

This is great!

Michelle AKA arabhorselover1 said...

Thanks, Randal. I hope you continue to read and visit!