Well I was told I should begin one of these, and here it is!
Two years ago I bought a palomino paint, Marshall Cahills Star.
A year before that I had just met him, he was a newly castrated 4 year old. After he healed, and got use to 13 year old me, always bugging, brushing, and messing with him I rode him in the round pen. Oh man... best day ever. I knew I was in love with this stubborn, gorgeous horse. From then on, almost every day after school I visited this horse, rode him, and took care of him as if he was my own. This continued for a year, in that time I got a job at a Auction House in my little town, which lead to my forever dream of own a horse. I soon found out the own of Cowboy was a friend of my father's. He had been boarding him and two other geldings at that farm I visited and helped at. And I asked him about buying Cowboy, "Well, it'll be about 500$" he told my father one day at work. Once my dad told me, I didn't care what so ever how much it was, I wanted Cowboy. So I saved up my money and Cowboy was mine 03/25/2012.
From then on, I began the dream I had kept since I was about 3 years old.
Went for a hour ride yesterday (which is entirerly too short, but I can't ride till my dad gets home and he got home at 4:25 pm it gets dark a hour later..). The wind was strong and really friggin cold! But the day was great, my dad let me stay home from school so I spent most of the day playing with Cowboy in the pen. Did a bit of a join up, made him back up with a little pressure to his neck with my finger, the lightest of pressure! And of course the word, "back" repeated till I was satisfyed with his response.
After I went inside for a couple of hours, I came back outside. This time Zeus followed me into the pen and we joined Cowboy( Zeus is a 4 year old paint who belongs to a neighbour of mine, he's the pasture buddy for Cowboy). I made them run together around the pen, and something amazing happened (to me anyway).
I was making Zeus move about the pen while Cowboy stood in the middle. I was pretty much walking around Cowboy as Zeus trotted, and loped about the pen. And Cowboy, who follows me like a dog, started to turn his body the same directon as Zeus and I did. I was working two horses at the same time, it was mindblowing. But Cowboy biging left sided, had trouble following to the right side.
Back tot he ride, it was great! But I have yet to work on Cowboy picking up his feet as he moves, he's lazy and drags them, leading to TRIPPING.
I plan on getting some of my wooden posts in the pen setting them 6ft apart, and making him learn to pick up his dang feet.
Well that's all for today... Hopefully saturday Ill ride with barrelbeginner (Stacie) for about 4 hours maybe (:
Two days ago, Saturday, I rode at 7 am. My horse loves to stand in the back of a 35 acre pasture. So I walk up there to go get him and, of course, he knows what I'm up to. So with his tail sailed he gallops away. So me being stupid I run and throw my reins and halter at him... but I realize... he is circling back! It was as if we where doing join up in a round pen. So I take advantage of this, and make him go again, but this time I'm standing and just clucking and holding the halter, throwing the reins. He rounds about 2 more times, and I move to face his head, not his rump. So he turns, and I repeat my movement to his head, he knows to stop now. Then I softly talk to him and move to him, pet him and put the halter + reins on. WOW! That has never happen before!!
We walk home (can't jump on his back bareback, because I'm a white girl, and can't jump...) and I saddle him and ride for about 40 minutes in the pasture I caught him. Then I open the gate to the front pasture and Ride in this like 3 acer front yard haha. We cross the rode to my neighbors and cross back (getting used to the rode). Well we caught the neighbor's llama's attention and Cowboy was NOT sure what the heck it was but it was obviously going to eat him. Cracks me up, he's afraid of LLAMAS bahahaha.
Today I got home at 4:30 pm, drove my stupid truck out to the pasture with my mom, chased cowboy with it, caught him, and mom drove the truck home. I used the bumper to get on bareback before she left. It was a good 5 minute-ish but I was in big trouble once I got home.... The tire was ripped, there was a flat, and my ass was in deep trouble.
So I dismount, put the halter up, gave him a treat for being so good. Then I walked off and went to find the ring to the tire. Well in my crying, upset rage I find it and walk back home, and Zeus and Cowboy come to me.
Let me tell you this, its RARE for Cowboy to really care about anything... But as if he understood I was up set... He came right up to me, ignoring the shiny object in my hand, and rubbed his head and nudged me... Astonished, happy, and laughing, I felt like I had a true connection to him.
It was amazing, a day to remember, my horse actually cares... I feel so speechless, he's never done that.
Tomorrow will hopefully be as good as today was, or better(:
Well today I'm currently at school, but I've been thinking of what to do with Cowboy today. This morning I went out to the pasture to water the horses (but the hose was frozen, luckily there was still enough water to last till I got home). Well they had slept by the gate, it was rare but so awesome to see them this morning. I fed them bread and loved on them.
I decided Im going to do ground work today, it has been awhile since I stood in the pen and just worked with him with out riding (bad, I know).
So with this thought in mind, I remembered something off RFDTV, I watch Pat Parelli. I remember the 7 games, I understand some of his methods are odd and I've heard bad about him, buy the 7 games actually make sense to me. I am very excited to try them out when I get home today
Yesterday was a disaster, it got dark so soon ): But I did some ground work, side passing. It went okay but Cowboy was confused way much on how to do it from the gound. I got on his back (I can not jump on his back to save my life, today my arms ache >.<) and made his side pass, he did better than when I was on the ground. I rode him at a walk (all at dark with barley any moonlight) just talked to him.
Sad part is I need to study more on the Pat Parelli games, I forgot them by the time I caught Cowboy and started to work him :(
Yesterday was a poo day.
Im home sick today, I really don't feel good today, but figure Ill be out there for a bit before dad gets home. If not, tomorrow I'll do more ground work. Study up on the 7 games.
Natural Horsemanship, its been on my mind for years, but not in my ground work.
My dream for ever has been for me and my horse to be partners. Im not crazy for the whole, "Im boss and your my slave" relationship... I understand it but there is a better way to get past things.
I've noticed as I work with Cowboy, he doesn't want to work, he wont play, and he doesn't really participate. But over the years I've been around horses, I thought this is the way of horses. I was worng and I've only started to take note to that. I thought it took a special person to be connected with a horse, but it only really takes a person who understands.
Cowboy's personality or should I say "Horseanality" (some Paralli vocab haha) as far as Im away is lazy, stubborn, the "Oh is that you calling? Oh this patch of grass looks tasty maybe Ill just ignore you and munch on it..."
But when I'm not near him... when his a horse out on the land... he's different. His horseanality is being very curious, and running! Oh boy does he love to run, his tail flagged high, his stride is longer, and even when he's at a slow lope he skips from side to side looking over his shoulder to see if your in pursue of him. Basically this, with me - bored and tense | out free - happy and alive
My horse rarely comes to me, and I hate that. I've read storys of other's horses actually wanting to play and go for a ride, putting their head to the halter, walking up to their person, and playing! I want to learn this so bad. I want to be able to read my horse's body language, to be partners with him.
I need to take note about how he "thinks". In that article it asks about how he needs to think and I realize, I really have no clue.
I have noticed though, he is a fast learner. He doesn't spook easily, he isn't the first to run at a unfamiliar item. So I believe he is a left brain
I also need to stop tricking him, he's smart and knows when I have the halter behind my back, and after a try of coaxing him with treats he knows what I'm up to if I try it again.
Another telling from the article "When your horse gets you to move more than he does, you’re losing the game!" this reminds me of when I was trying to catch him in the pasture and I was chasing him, then I realized I could use what I used in the round pen.
There are a lot more articles on that website that are very interesting!