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Kaimanawa's @ Tumai's.

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        06-24-2007, 06:26 AM
    Green Broke
    What a naughty bunch.

    Glad Sweetie's on the mend (((BIG HUGS)))
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        06-25-2007, 07:30 AM
    Well today is Monday......Day 15.
    The colts are starting to find enjoyment back in their lives now, I spied on them as they were racing each other on the flatest part of there paddock as Jack stood in a high spot refereeing the game. Jack takes his job seriously and is surprisingly affectionate towards them but hands out a growling in the same breath. They follow him all over the paddock, if he eats they eat, if he drinks they drink and when I remove him for yarding he packs a wobbly, they pack a wobbly and when he is returned to the paddock a few hours later he is quick to set any wrongs right and then settles in for some mutual scratching which the colts love and sometimes they just stand with heads rested on his back enjoying the scratch they are receiving.
    I have now enforced a new rule at feeding time and I have a long stick that helps everyone to see the rules.....when I am feeding out the hay no-one is allowed inside the length of the stick which I am holding and if the rule is broken then the breaker gets a poke with the stick....now don't get all upset and think that I am abusing them because I am not. They are not stabbed and nor are they whacked or hit with the stick they are merely poked and always at the shoulder and told "wait" and when I am finished preparing the hay the stick and I leave and they are told to "come up". Now there is method in my madness as I do not want a pair of boisterous boys to ever get the notion in there heads that they can bully me out of the food I bring them nor do I want them overstepping boundaries later on when those testosterone levels are rising, I am installing manners by asking them to wait which in my eyes is a precursor to Stop and then by telling them to come up I am installing them with a precursor to being caught. I have done all the haltering and leading that I wish to do right now so if I am to teach them anything else whilst they are left to grow it is manners using wait/stop and come up/be caught as my commands. I have used this method with alot of success and I know it will serve me well in the months and years to come. They were confused when I took the mornings hay and I only needed to touch them with the stick and they stepped back outside the boundary and this afternoon when I went out they stood respectfully outside the boundary and waited. It never ceases to amaze me how intelligent these little guys are. It did cross my mind that I should think of some names for them.

    I gave the girls my attention today....the paddock they are in is joined to the yards and my aim was to have them quietly walking into the yards and out of the yards in the same fashion. So I started with walking behind them all the while speaking about whatever rubbish came to my head and when they were on the straight towards the yards I changed my talk to walk up, walk up. What I'm trying to do is ellicit a go response because when I ride I ask them to walk up.........anyway all was well until we got to the gate.....Buttons is a cruiser, anything else is way too hard so I know she's happy to walk into the yards...Rosey worries a bit about things and she will go where you want but you must assure her that its all ok and so I talk with her until I see her shift and turn towards the gate, she's now happy to go......then there is Breakout....now here is a different kettle of fish so to speak. As far as she's concerned, no-one is blimmin going to make her do anything and that is that so she breaks from the other two hence her name Breakout and bluffs this way and I match her all the while talking to her and then she bluffs the other way...same again and then Breakout played her wild card and straight at me she came, I wondered for a split second if I should runaway but then I threw up my arms and told her not today young lady and she turned her shocked self around and into the yards she walked. Breakouts not the only one who knows how to bluff. The rest of the lesson played itself out perfectly for the magic three times and I called it a day with a huge fluffed up pile of hay.
        06-27-2007, 05:07 AM
    Day 17
    Yesterdays work was fairly quiet, no steps forward but no steps backward either......the colts responded to the boundary stick being merely pointed at them in the morning so in the afternoon I decided not to have it with me and they new it wasn't there and thought they might test boundary's so I pointed at them with my arm outstretched and growled for them to wait and they retreated back beyond my boundary's for feed time. Great! They have learn't that the association is with me and the verbal command....they will test it again later but for now I am pleased with there progress.
    I worked with Roses and now we are within a metre of eachother and she is starting to advance on me which can go two ways, either too me or through me but I chose to stop at the first advance, I want her to have some wins....build her confidence and make her feel in charge of her world...its not a competition but more a coming together of freinds, I want her to know that I acknowledge and respect her, and to know that I mean her no harm. Patience T, I tell myself....let her want to come to me.
    Today was spent off the farm and tommorrow will be too as I am taking a horse from the centre I am a director at to Massey University Veterinary Centre and as the horse will be sedated I will be away all day so there will be not much headway made. Its Ok as nothing will be lost, the girls will just have an extra day to think about things and they will have plenty to look at as we have people shearing our sheep this week and I am certain that they will have not had seen so many sheep together in one place nor so many vehichles use our driveway in one hit.
    I hear from Sharon and Heidi that Milly has developed an infection in her offside fore which is causing some concern so I hope to get a chance to look at her tommorrow as well and with my girls playing Netball in the afternoon I am starting to wonder if the sun will hang in the sky for at least an hour extra! Some days there are just not enough hours!
        06-30-2007, 07:31 PM
    Today is Sunday...again. I feel like time is running away on me and here we are at Day 21.

    My trip to Massey was successful in many ways, especially now that the poor ponies step mouth has been improved and she can now process her food properly! I am feeling very uncharitable towards the other directors of the riding centre. I have tried and tried to implement the simple and basic needs of a horse into their programs and for some ignorant high falluting reason they have allowed there own self importance to overlook that the vet who could do a simple float and instead choosing to use an equine dentist....which is fine if they actually got one....I know of three who operate the whole of New Zealand and they barely drive past little old Pahiatua let alone stop. Ironic isn't it to know Clemens Dierks comes to Pahiatua but not an Equine Dentist! Turns out that it was Vets (highly qualified of course) but nonetheless vets that repaired the ponies mouth. I am banging my head agains't a brick wall with this lot and really think my time could be better utilised elsewhere, and so my resignation from the board is in the pipelines. Iv'e made my peace with the riding centre horses and now I have to walk away.

    I managed to look at some photo's of Milly's leg that I collected from Sharons work and discussed them with the head vet at Massey and we both came to the same conclusion that she has done this before and it will be OK. Milly had developed an infection in her offside fore and right on the fetlock joint which she has nibbled and licked at and opened it up to relieve the pressure and is allowing it to drain. Since her feet havn't been handled yet the vet advised that we leave it alone and perhaps intervene if she stops the wound from healing. I spoke to Heidi Friday night and she informs me that Milly hadn't licked it at all that day so all is well! Sweet Milly is a clever Milly.

    The colts are doing fine and I have cut back hay from twice a day to once a day as I see they are going further afeild in the paddock and foraging for themselves rather than eating all of the hay I give them. They still come running when they spot me with the evenings hay and that high pitch nicker they give just makes you want to pick em up and cuddle them but I don't, as teddy bear horses never did anyone any good. I'm glad they are venturing out on there own and becoming a little more independent. Jack is to come in for the whole day tommorrow because I am going to clip him and start his program to get back into work....the season is almost just around the corner. Vicky will be brought in too so she can have a start as well.

    I worked with Roses yesterday and our space is now 1metre and she accepts my stick on her face so now I am looking at getting her to accept the stick all over her body. We were both behaving ((windy)) jumping at everything and at one point she decided she was outa here! I pulled it all together and insisted she stop and she did and faced up straight away. When I finished my lesson I turned to walk out of the pen and open the gate for her into the next and glanced over my shoulder and saw she was following me. She had no reason to leave as Buttons was on the opposite side in another pen but she did. I am gaining ground with her....My goal with this is to have her choose me, not because she has too because I take other options away but because she wants to. No ropes, no gadgets to stop her feet......only me and the communication stick as my extended arm and Roses in a very large hexagonalish yard....and of course our greatest tools....the mind of a horse and the mind of a woman.
        07-06-2007, 07:16 AM
    Well here I am at Friday evening...Day 26, and once again I am dragging the chain and playing catch up. I have been persisting with joining up with Rose and on Wednesday after what I felt was a difficult stage with her and I had decided to call it a day and turned away from her and immediately felt her follow me so I slow down and then even slower I step back into her space...no reaction from her so I turned side on and still no reaction and I notice the tell tale rested hind leg so I turn face on to her and place one stick on her wither and the other to the side of her face all the while moving the sticks back and forward and slowly inching toward her and before I knew it she was sniffing my fingers and then I was barely grazing her nose with my fingers and then softly stroking her face. What an amazing feeling and not an inch of tenseness from my little Rose. John and Prue havn't been over the last two days but that hasn't stopped me. Everyday since I have been in the yard with Rose going over the same routine except I am using one of the sticks to rub around her ears and over her face down her neck and on to her front legs and even to her girth area....I feel like the hens have come home to roost and all of my patience has paid off.

    I have realised that we are at week four and yesterday (Thursday) I brought the colts off the hill and down to the covered yards and handled them again and then let them stay in over night with Vicky and Jack whom I still havn't clipped because the weather is so icy cold and I am a big softy. I think they were all pleased to be stabled and it is lovely to have two supposedly wild colts yelling at me as I walk to the yards with hay. So for the next couple of days they will continue being taken to the paddock during the day and then brought back into the yards for the night....I am preparing to drench again in a weeks time and I think I will slip some floating excercises in too before they get sent out for another three or four weeks. When they come in next time they will learn to have there feet picked up, not that they need the farrier because they have the most tidy feet I have ever seen but an important lesson nonetheless. Obviously a helpful thing to know.
    I have to keep reminding myself to take my time and not to rush and to remember that a well thought out job makes for a job well done. And besides there will be enough to think about as everyone else needs to come in for drenching and I am planning to have the vet come and float teeth and the farrier to see to feet so the week will be busy enough. God knows I am itching to ride which is something that hasn't happened much lately and I feel a good hack out coming on At the moment I have to be content with feeding out hay and some get hardfood and working with Rose who is finally starting to put on some weight. The worms really take there toll and now I know why I have that distinct feeling of repulsion when I hear the word parasite.

    Tommorrow (Saturday) Morning I am playing tag along with Prue and John to collect another wild horse that they have found...a supposedly unhandled 4 year old mare....this will be interesting and as I have a little experience with collecting unhandled(sometimes....well the majority of times have been abused) I am not holding my breath...I am not sure why they have invited me along but a privilege perhaps and will make for a nice break away from the little monsters...ooops did I say that out loud of course I mean't my lovely children. Its the winter break at the moment and they are driving me a little balmy. Bless there little souls...I do love them dearly.
        07-08-2007, 05:30 AM
    Day 28....Today I realised that I am masking fear with patience....Yesterdays lesson with Rose was difficult and educational all in one, I had Rose with two sticks flanking her shoulders with ends resting up over wither and just back and forward in front of her face...square on in other words and less than a metre between us....now I have spent some time researching the body language of a horse and have learn't to pick up on subtle signs like ears looking, nostrils flaring and in Roses case the nearside nostril rises much higher than the other and the whiskers on her face follow suite, and also how the nerve endings in the skin around her shoulders will tick spontaneously when she is feeling crowded, which is different to the full body jump she can do when there seems to be nothing to have frightened her. She frightens herself most of the time. Right down to knowing that when she snorts her disgust at me that I am right to snort my disgust back....even if it is the shape of a full blown raspberry. Having dealt with unloved horses I have also learn't that the mostly hidden and used as a last resort stand and fight reflex will be used if pushed into a corner. I know that at any given second a horse could strike out at me and take out my leg or lunge forward and give me a face on bang or spin on a dime and deliver a series of unforgiving kicks. I know this doesnt happen often thankfully but does happen when all other avenues are exhausted like when flight is no longer an option. And lets face it, who in there right mind wants to have a go with that, so when Rose spends her time measuring me up and trying to find a weak spot in me which is where we are at as all other avenues are exhausted, she spots perhaps a little fear in the girls eye and spots something and steps forward to get a closer look and the girl second guesses herself and steps away. Rose found the weak spot in me on Saturday and I walked out of the pen the loser...not even confident to regain the ground lost.....

    I consoled myself with the fact that I managed to lead the colts onto the float for the first time and they walked on like gentleman and backed off just the same.
        07-09-2007, 06:10 PM
    Well here I am at Tuesday and playing catchup, I am glad to say that Sundays lesson was alot more positive.....having helped John and Prue with picking up this unhandled mare on Saturday which incidently turned out to be a Kaimanawa from the previous years muster just made me remember that the fighters come from fighting hands and Rose has no reason to be that way inclined so I decided that this lack of confidence devil on my shoulder can be put in a hole and I walked into the yard Sunday on a mission and really got in Roses face and she was as uncomfortable as ever constantly evading by turning her head this way and that and not wanting to look at me which is a little difficult when I have a stick either side of her face steering back to me. It ended a very positive lesson and I felt on top of the world.

    So then came Monday and Prue came in the morning to work with Buttons and as I said before everything is dropped when they are around. I have found some really lovely and GOOD freinds in Prue and John and I find there willingness to be honest just gives me such strength and I feel like I can conquer the world.
    So as the lesson went on I realised that Rose was putting up more of an evasion argument than the day before and I could feel mentally that I was losing so I had to make good timing to finish that part in the split second that she did look at me which was proving to be hard but I did catch that second and then I had a rest.
    The second time I went back to her, I went to her shoulder and very quickly I was touching her shoulder. Yes! Ended on a positive note.
    Prue worked with Buttons and I kicked myself for not having my camera because Buttons smelt and perhaps nuzzled her face and then if that wasn't enough Buttons stretched forward and smelt Prues hair and looked over her shoulder at me. I made a mental note to have camera ready Tuesday.
    Later on in the day I went for a stroll in the girls paddock and stopped half way down the length of it and who should be walking straight towards me at a decent walking pace only to stop directly facing me....Rose so I turned away and played follow the leader and she followed me all over the paddock..Buttons and Breakout followed respectfully behind but Rose wanted to be right up there with me. I ended that with feeding them and went about my other jobs feeling like I am finally winning.
    Well about an hour later I couldn't help but go back and before I could get in the yard Rose had walked in the open gate to greet me and it didn't bother her that I had the stick with me and she had all the choices to turn around and bolt back out the gate but no she wanted to see what I was up to, so immediately I put the stick on her wither and moved up over her head around her nose and under her jowles and onto the underside of her neck and stroked and then walked straight into her shoulder and reached out and stroked her forever...................what a feeling...I now feel like truly she is not scared of me and nor I of her.

    Rose is joining me up with her now.....when I walk into that yard and she looks me over, I feel like she knows everything there is to know about me and the last couple of days have almost felt like a trade off....as I feel like she is saying to me to ditch those insecurities and worries before you come to me and when you do...we will partners forever.
        07-09-2007, 09:27 PM
    Well it still Tuesday, Day 30. I plan to go and work with Rose soon but I feel the need to bury that Devil that's been sitting on my shoulder. You know the one.....he says things like this is out of your league T, remember all those times it turned to custard, like when you caused the horse to bolt or buck or rear....or the times you pushed that boy into a corner and he came out fighting and struck out at you, or the time your father ridiculed you for weeks because you tied the horse wrong and he pulled the fence down, or the time you got on the back of a mare as a ten year old and realised you were 16hands from the ground and crapped yourself and listened to your mother tell you that you were weak and the fact that the mare was only greenbroke shouldn't have mattered because you had been helping your father break in horses all along. All the things that ridicule and create self doubt and chew away at self confidence and self esteem.....all the things that tell me that I won't succeed.

    Well Devil...go back to your black hole where you rot in your self pity and moan about the tall poppies of the world, because this chicky is made of tuffer stuff than that and I will succeed....sure I have made many mistakes in my life and I am sure that I will make plenty more....but they are mistakes to learn from....not to bury myself with!!!!!!!

    I have so much....my family who love that the work I choose gives them the freedom to have me when they want and shower me with love, I have my horses that work with me and constantly reward me, I have a lifestyle and living that allows me to exist without want and I have two new freinds that are honest and kind and supportive enough not to judge me harshly when I hit a wall and encourage me to keep going and I have a horse who has changed the tide and instead of me being the healer....I am the one being healed.

        07-09-2007, 10:32 PM
    Of course you can Tumai! I can tell from what you've written that you know what your doing and your very good at it, you love the horses and I know that they love you. Just pray for the lord to get rid of that Devil, you don't need to listen to him! Don't let him tell you that you can't do this, you know you can, you just need encouragement Never give up on what you love no matter what, just keep trying and do your best and when you hit a wall, just take your friends to the stall and give them a good brushing and it will do you both a world of good. Never give up and never let ANYONE tell you that you can't, because you CAN!
        07-15-2007, 06:02 PM
    CRIKEY! Its been a full week since I last posted and once again I am behind! There are just not enough hours in the day!

    Well how to put this week into words........Here I am at Day 36.

    I have dragged myself out of the hole that I put myself in and come back with a renewed sense of self, Its funny how when you lose faith in yourself that you forget all the stuff you know and have done and only see where you havn't been.
    Rose and I have renewed our relationship too, which is helped by me changing some of my strategies. Firstly I have changed the yards we work in which is out of eyesight of the other horses and as its surrounded by trees on one side and a building on the other its also very sheltered. The yard is more evenly round although not perfectly round and easier to move around in for both of us.
    Previously Rose would scale along the fence trying to get back to her freinds but now in the new yard she has all eyes, ears and whiskers on me. Also previously we both behaved extremely windy, often feeding off of each other but now before we get down and work I freelunge Rose and insist on clean directions....eg if I ask to the right that's what I want and initially she would try and turn left half way through a round but its made me think sharper and to think about my position and correct this. This burst of energy warms us both up and fires off any nerves waiting to jump so when we get down to it we are both relaxed and tension free.
    I am stroking Rose on her nearside shoulder, neck, mane and up to her ear and every once in awhile I will go forward and graze her cheek which at the moment is still a bit much for her and on the offside her shoulder and up under her mane which always feels snuggly and warm. The communication stick is more important now I feel than ever because I feel Rose looking for it as a comfort and reasurrance, she understands that its not for hitting and almost takes guidance from it and I hear myself talking to her as if John were talking to me, reminding me of my position to her eye, and to inch in closer and not to do the spaghetti arm lean and put weight into my stroking which I am sure now is what was scaring her before and most importantly to break away before too little handling becomes too much. Our time is short and sweet but productive nonetheless and usually have time in the morning and afternoon and when we are finished I don't need to chase her through the yards back to the paddock because she follows me.

    On an awesomely great note....Prue has already put a halter on Buttons and is so close to doing up the buckle!! I feel a huge rush of excitement for her and have to stay out of the way because I just want to jump with joy.........and I know that would scare the crap out of Buttons. She's just a doll is Buttons and she gives Prue kisses all the time...I'm so jealous and happy too!!


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