What am I talking about?
Well, here's the story....
A few months ago, my girlfriend and I were discussing horses, and getting one for me, as her 2 were either lame, or too green for me to ride.
So, we started searching. And praying.
With our limited budget, we knew we had to be a combination of lucky, fortunate, and blessed, to find the perfect horse for me to own and ride.
My experience is very limited, but my drive to succeed is huge.
So, I needed a horse that was both very well trained, and very patient with a new rider, not to mention huge.
Boy, did we get the bonus plan!
We got Makana about 3 weeks ago. We found her locally, from a wonderful woman who was thinning her stable a little, and wanted to find great homes for her babies. Homes which would love and care for these horses as she would herself, or better.
When we brought her home, it was a bear to get her out of the trailer. Yeah, she doesnt like to back out of trailers.
Ever try to change your clothes in a subcompact car? Yeah, that's about how it was trying to turn a 16.2 hand, 1400# horse AROUND in a 3 horse slant! What a circus!
Well, we gave her a week to acclimate to her new surroundings and family, then saddled her up to toot around the yard a bit.
She was a little froggy, as it had been a while since she'd been ridden, but not obnoxiously so, which was what we expected.
How does this tie in with Natural Horsemanship? Read on....
Today, we took a little walk around the block so to speak, me on Makana, honey on Sam.
Both did well, but Makana was a bit squirrely still. Yes, I have LOUD hands still, and i'm still learning how to communicate with her effectively, but we're coming along nicely.
We went back to the round pen for a little schooling on basics of posture and communication. My girlfriend is also my trainer. If she wasnt so darn talented with horses, I would never have considered such a thing, but I can't argue the results she gets with her horses.
So, we're in the round pen, and Makana is being squirrely again.
So, she hops into the saddle, and gives her a tune up on western style, giving her some easy wins so we can end on a positive note for the day.
It merits mention here that we have been discussing Monty Roberts all week, pros and cons, and watching his videos on youtube, then talking about them.
We wrap up the round pen session, and the moment strikes me to do a join up.
Remembering Monty's video, and how he positions himself, the body language of the horse, and feeling like it's the RIGHT time for doing a join up, we get started.
Walk her around to the right....turn her...walk her to the left....turn her....trot her to the right....turn her....trot to the left....turn her.....head lowers....starts licking her lips....walk to the right.....turn her....whoa her......turn my body.....lower my head....looking away....i wait patiently......watching her from the corner of my eye.....she's standing....thinking about it.....i look away.....i feel her warm breath and soft nose on my hand......i stroke her head...almost in tears i'm so happy....i test the bond by turning gaway and walking....she ponders a moment....she joins me....i stroke her head and give her praise....
It's one thing to see a join up in a video.
Its another to watch someone else do it in person.
It's a LIFE CHANGING experience when YOU do it yourself, and your horse chooses to come join up with YOU.
It creates a bond between you and your horse that is unexplainable.
Today I woke up a man who owns a horse, and is learning how to be a horseman.
Tonight, I will go to sleep knowing that I am a horseman in training, with an amazing teacher, mentor, and that I have the most wonderful partner in my journey a man could ask for. My Makana.