Edu-ma-cation

IMG_0560Well hey there.  It has been an enjoyable couple of weeks.  The human has been around, and we have done some playing in the ring with fun trail rides in between. Yesterday she only played with me for fifteen minutes, then took care of all my bug bites, what a day.  Those darn bugs are bad with a capitol B.  I don’t know about you folks out there but the biting bugs really ruin my day.  No matter what my little human says, those bug sprays are just not working out.  She says she has a new one for me tomorrow, but she couldn’t test it at night because she is worried I might have a reaction.  Well, someone tell her I am having a reaction right now, to those pesky bugs! The rain today is sometimes helpful, at least it keeps all but the hardcore bugs away.  Yesterday in our short session the human seemed to have a plan.  I don’t know where she was all day, but she seemed really excited to see me, she even said she missed me AND gave me a treat.  It is nice to know you are loved 😉 She set her boundaries gave a couple scratches and then just hopped on.  She didn’t even tie the lead rope.  She had some new ways of working that rope but it all made sense to me.  We walked, trotted, cantered, and backed up all with that one rope.  I have to say it was kind of cool.  Not sure why she had to try it at 8:00pm, but it was fun none the less.  The grass is green, my friends let me boss them around, and my human makes sure I am fed.  Life is good.

Ymir

IMG_0585

Henry’s new sneakers

IMG_0578

Replacing the break shoes

Haha! Ymir, I have been learning and learning and learning.  He will be so impressed when I show him all I have learned 🙂  After our weekend clinic, I finally filmed and submitted my level 3 liberty and freestyle auditions. Fingers crossed they they will come back accepted.  The last couple of weeks I have also been working on Henry (the trailer).  He has gotten new break shoes, tires, grease seals, and I am on the search for a new latch for the screen door (harder to find than anticipated.  Whew, running all over to find parts and only having a couple hours after work has made this a slow process, but I am hopefully that Henry and the yet to be named truck will be ready in… wait for it… 24 days.  I can’t believe that in three weeks and a day we will hit the road for Pagosa Springs, and start the clinic officially 6 days later.  I now know the process behind replacing the break shoes, how to pack the bearings, and then put it all back together again.  However, I think I will let dad do the actual work; Ymir’s life depends on these wheels and now is not the time for me to practice!

IMG_0581

Henry is ready for Parelli

Yesterday I went to audit a 5 star parelli instructor teaching a clinic in NH.  It was phenomenal.  I came home yesterday night with 5 pages of notes and an ache to find out how Ymir would do.  There are so many little basics that you build your skills on, and it is nice to have a reminder.  It is also easy to get complacent with what you are doing and say “well that’s good enough”.  But is is really good enough?  The clinic is a level 3/4 clinic so all horses and people are confident with each other and the basics of parelli training.  Adding on the subtleties and making sure the horse is really connected and responding is so fascinating.  On the ground I learned how the 8 principals and 7 games are tied together, as well as different ways of playing and understanding those games.  In the saddle I was reminded to play with my horse with a single rein.  Does he follow my lead, or am I just pulling him in the direction I want to go?  Am I having a conversation (principal 3: Conversation is mutual) or is it one sided with me doing all the talking?  So home I went with a million things to try, and by golly don’t you know it, Ymir flies through everything I throw at him!  I was so impressed with how he responded and it was such a pleasure to know all the work that we have done is paying off!   I continue to learn, and as our journey across country grows nearer I am more eager than ever to take this course, and be immersed in the language of horses.

Amy

PS: I am still looking to raise a bit more money for fuel and places for Ymir to rest on our way.  If you haven’t already seen our gofundme page here is the link: Amy and Ymir gofundme

I also did a video of our journey 2007-present here is the youtube link: A Pony’s Tale youtube

Room to Grow

IMG_0488

Peak-a-boo

Oh Bother.  Another “fun filled weekend” according to the little human.  I will admit, it is kinda fun to get out and about, but don’t let her know that.  We have been cleared by the vet to continue!  With caution and proper farrier care, we should be good to go.  So, this past weekend we spent two whole days with a three star Parelli instructor playing on the ground and in the saddle.  I was nice to have company doing the same kind of thing that my human and I do most days, and there were new challenges to be conquered.  Sometimes I wonder just what that human is thinking.  During a time that was just the instructor the human and me, we jumped ONE barrel.  The silly human was just absolutely stuck on the idea we had to go OVER the barrel.  I mean REALLY! This barrel is no more than three feet across, sitting lonely out in the middle of the room with FEET of extra space on each side, and she wants ME to JUMP it!? Crazy human.  The object of the game was a bit intriguing though. If I jumped it, she sat on it.  HUH.  Well, that was mind blowing fun. We did some riding, and she tried to scare me, but I am a tough guy, nothing scares me… was that a noise in the woods?  Anyways, I am home with my girlfriends Molly and the devil pony (again)  and sadly limited on my food intake.  This barn must be just for diets, but at least I don’t have to wear that atrocious grazing muzzle.  If I look sad enough that silly human comes in just useful enough for me to maybe like her, and we go eat good grass for a while 🙂

Ymir

11067937_601206249981766_489855348970427671_o

A great clinic!

What a week!  Ymir and I have been learning and learning and learning.  First, the lameness.  So after yet another lameness exam it was discovered that, as far as we can tell, it is not structural damage.  However, even with paying more than double my usual for trims, my poor ponies feet are off on both heel and toe by a whole inch!  According to the vet, a balanced hoof should be equidistant from the widest part.  In other words, from the widest part of his hoof he should measure the same from that spot to the toe and wide spot to the (weight bearing) heel.  Ymir from his widest spot should measure around 2.5 inches both ways.  However,  from wide spot to toe was 3.5 and wide spot to heel only 1.5.  I guess I would be gimping around if I was wearing high heels that were three sizes too big too!  Poor Pony.  We are now on our way back to a balanced hoof, I hope with routine rasping and back to the home farrier (my wallet says thank you).

We then spent the weekend at Lazy Acre’s Equines taking in knowledge like sponges.  We were looking for reasons why horses misbehave and ways to get them back to us little pet predators.  First we did ground work.  The instructor has four steps to follow.

#1 Boundaries.  Can your horse back away from you, can they go left, and can they go right without you near them?  AKA are you safe?  If yes, move on.  If no, well work on it 😉

#2 Bond.  Your horse gives you a lot of his time, attention, and care.  Show him the same respect by scratching his itches, and being present in his space for a few minutes.

#3 Check and grow confidence.  This is where the reasons for misbehavior pop up.  Are they sensitive, dull, or oversensitive to visual, auditory, or touch stimuli?  What scares them, and why.  Then, work on what is oversensitive.  If you can’t find anything you are not trying hard enough or you have a million dollar horse.  I prefer to think mine is the second 🙂  There wasn’t much he was afraid of.

#4 Skill building.  So you can go back forward and side to side, but can you go side-ways?  Over a jump? In a figure 8?  Refining your boundaries and adding confidence to build skills in any way possible.  Can you stand on a barrel and have your horse meet you for mounting?  The sky is the limit.

I have tried to keep this in mind playing with Ymir this week.  Boy is it hard not to fall into old habits!  We have prevailed though, and tonight we finally filmed what I will submit as my last two savvy’s for level 3.  If I pass I will be officially good to go on our way to Colorado (horse and skill wise that is). IMG_0474 On that note everyone meet Henry:  My new to me used two horse slant gooseneck trailer that will be our home on the road for the three day trip across country.  I have booked horse hotels for Ymir in Ohio and Kansas, and the new tires are here for Henry.  Here’s to hoping everything goes back on well and Henry is travel ready in no time 🙂  A HUGE shout out to my Dad for getting Henry home, and fixing him up to be ready for adventure.  I will get back to why horses misbehave on another day.  Every day we get to play with horses is a day to learn and grow, I hope you get the chance to bloom with your horse this week.  🙂IMG_0468IMG_0475 (1)

Amy