Confidence and Dominance

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Looking snazzy in his new boots

So this week is February break for the school I work in and I am using my time off to watch as many hours of Parelli as I can.  I have borrowed Liberty and Horse Behavior and WOW.  I have dabbled in Parelli for a few years now, and I have learned so much from just two DVD’s (out of 9).  Each DVD covers one big topic with classroom time and demos with the Parelli horses.  For those of you at all familiar with the Parelli’s and their “stuff” Ymir is what they would classify as a Left Brain Introvert cusp extrovert.  For those of you not familiar this means that he is a dominant type of horse that is usually pretty confident and playful as well as one who asks the human “what’s in it for me?”.  Sounds like him doesn’t it?  Why do you want me to stand on the pedestal?  Oh well I guess for a carrot… Yep that’s him.  No, really, he is wonderful and as long as he has comfort, safety and play his number 1 want is food so carrots work…. most of the time.

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warm enough for a muddy ride yesterday

Watching Linda Parelli work with her left brained horses I realized that yes, some times when I ask for something he just gives me the equivalent of the horse-y finger.  Other times he is unconfident, or unsure of what I want and that sends him away searching again for the comfort and safety, the number 1 things horses are looking for.  Without meaning to I can put just the wrong amount of pressure to make him go WHOA lady, WHAT DO YOU WANT and search for a way, anyway, out.  This got me curious.  When was he being dominant and when was he just not sure?  We have always known that he is a bit of a worrier, it shows up the most at the canter or over jumps when he just throws himself forward hoping that everything goes well and going a bit ‘right-brained’ unconfident and fast.  If he is being dominant he should still look at me, maybe even coming closer saying try to get me, where as unconfident is looking/turning away and not being able to face the human that is asking for something confusing. It is a question of if he Can’t (unconfident) or Won’t (dominant) do what I am asking. Then, once you figure out which it is you can act in a way that will hopefully give a more positive experience for both you and the horse.

Another part of being a left brain horse is that Ymir gets board easily.  Also something we previously knew, but now it makes a bit more sense when he does something ‘out of the blue’ or decides to go on what dad and I call ‘auto-pilot’ both of which are frustrating.  Linda’s LBI (left brain introvert) shows this pretty clearly, and I could see how doing the same thing only shut him down when he already knew it like the back of his hoof.  On the other side when he was asked to do something completely new he went right brained and was no longer confident.  AH-HA!  I have seen this in Ymir too!  So now I now to use consistency when they are unconfident and variety when they are confident to keep them engaged and willing partners.  SO COOL!  I gave it a try riding yesterday after mounting, instead of walking off forward I asked him to back.  Mind blown.  He backed and then stood licking and chewing for a bit, thinking.  Thinking is one of his favorite things, either evil pony thoughts or something else I am not always entirely sure 😉

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BURRRRRRR

I just have one more question.  Is the weather Dominant or Unconfident?  I am sure looking forward to some consistency and warmer weather! Maybe in July?  🙂

150 days! But really who’s counting..

10378067_10153631025368012_900835622651013751_nHello there, me again.  It’s that time of year that I really dislike.  You know, when they leave the itchy scratchy blankets on for days at a time and my fur just wants to come OFF!  I know, it is really cold.  And by cold I don’t just mean chilly.  However, this darned blanket is just killing me, next time the humans get it off me, they will never get it back on I just can’t take it.  My human has been coming more regular and get this, bringing carrots every time!  She is trained!  (insert evil horse giggle)  We have been playing many of the same games over and over again in the ring, but we have also been going outside on fun walks and adventures.  I am looking forward to getting OUT more often.  My human and I haven’t done much riding but that doesn’t mean she doesn’t make me run around.  The other day she wanted me to go from a walk to a canter without trotting in between!  I know, shocker.  She had carrots though so all is well.  I think my human is also getting a little smarter. Maybe. She is finally mastering the art of subtlety.  she doesn’t have to use the big stick like a weapon anymore and she is getting better at directing me with her hands. I hope all these carrots keep coming, I might actually be enjoying myself when we play together.  Might.

Love and scratches,

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Poor Ymir.  He really is so itchy!  And his fur is really starting to shed now.  I come home so covered in “Pooh Bear” hair that it looks like I am the one that grew the coat!  Ymir has really caught on to sideways to the right and is gaining confidence to the left.  I am videoing my sideways and hopefully either freestyle or online level 3 on sunday and meeting with my mentor monday.  This upcoming week is my break from school and, because it is not most other people’s break I don’t have to ski either.  I can’t imagine what to do with a whole week!  Well, maybe I can.  I am currently house sitting at a home even closer to the barn so I guess I will just have to spend more time with Ymir 😉  I am really looking forward to having some day time to ride and play and maybe a couple of lessons here and there. As it says 150 (actually 149) days and counting until Parelli so Ymir and I should be getting our butts in gear 148 days until check-in because I was too tired to write this yesterday. Life continues and skiing calls for the weekend, but keep an eye out for those auditions and a lot of work this upcoming week!

Amy

For the Love of Carrots

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If only the human would bring me this. Garden haul 2013

As you all know, I love carrots. No, really, I LOVE carrots. I will do anything and I do mean anything for a tasty orange treat.  For the last few weeks those darn carrots have gotten me into more trouble than ever.  My human seems to have a new game up her sleeve every time she comes to play.  The biggest ones the last couple weeks were sideways over a pole and getting onto the trailer.  Now, let me tell you this trailer is not your ordinary trap.  It is long, think party trailer long, and sometimes holds our morning grain oddly enough.  The trap on this one is set sideways!  First you go in, then the humans ask you to step sideways and wham, the bolt slides shut.  It is terrifying!  Luckily for me my human isn’t very fast and I was out of that trailer faster than she could slide the trap shut.  Today there were two new games.  The first was going over raised trees.  I don’t know why she wants me to go over the trees and not around the darn things. They must have been sole survivors of the dragon’s wrath.  She set them up so they were just far enough apart I couldn’t jump but had to reach over them at a trot, tricky human.  Have I mentioned how much I love carrots?  Well it turns out that with a little extra effort I can earn a lot more carrots quickly.  I soon figured out this game and even put in a fancy trot and tail swish for extra effect.  The other game was a touch it game.  we have played this one before, usually the humans put out treats in different hiding places and run with us to find them.  I will never understand why the humans don’t just help themselves to the treats.  This time we played touch, click, treat.  So much fun!  And the human had to keep giving me treats even when I was just touching the orange not-carrot over and over again.  She thinks she is the one playing the game, HA! 🙂

Ymir

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Fur twins

Hello everyone!

It has been a busy couple of weeks.  Ymir and I are working towards sideways at liberty to finish of level 3 liberty audition as well as using the trailer to begin our level 3 online audition.  The trailer is going well, he has never been in a slant or off a step trailer and it has taken a good amount of time going in and out to get adjusted.  He did finally figure out the step now and I am working towards being able to shut the partition, lots of friendly game while inside the trailer.  He did really well today going over the raised ground poles and was even doing walk- canter transitions on the circle!  I was pretty happy with him considering the amount of time I have had lately.  In the last two weeks we have had about two feet of snow fall and the temperature hasn’t been above 25 degrees in weeks.  Needless to say, not the best weather to be out and about in.  Ymir is shedding, which means about 6 months till summer.  I truly think that it takes him 6 months to grow his winter fluff and 6 months to loose the last of it… I have not been able to take pictures lately due to the cold killing any battery using device, so you will have to deal with a ‘stock shot’ of his shedding a few years ago.  Maybe this year if I collect it I will have a nice stuffing for a good size quilt?  Anyways we continue to work hard and get better every day.  Stay warm!

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I know the mud covered look comes next… Oh Ymir

Amy