Posts Tagged With: training

Independence

A baby sits at a table.

She reaches toward a crayon, grasping it in her chubby fist.

“Color on the paper, honey,” Mom says.

The child grows into a toddler.  She reaches toward a crayon.

“Hold it like this, honey,” Mom says. She corrects the child’s grip. “Color in the lines.”

The child grows, now able to hold the crayon properly.

“Make sure that when you color, use the proper crayon. What color is the sky?” Mom asks.

“Blue,” The child says.

Cappy has worked inside up until now. He’s learned his gaits and he’s almost ready.  Soon we’ll ride outside.

I’ve guided him step by step, trying to fill holes in his education gradually and without reprimand–only reward. I’ve started with a base layer of color and I’m adding to the masterpiece. I want to be certain if he reacts outside, it isn’t from fear/uncertainty/confusion about my instructions, which would only leave environmental concerns. If he’s upset over a tree, or a car, or another animal, I can deal with them once he’s obedient under saddle.

The baby boy is almost what I’d consider green broke. Once he’s ready, he’ll go home. Until then, he’s my canvas to play on.

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My Little Pony

   A gentle puff of air drifts from a pony nostril, tickling my hair. I giggle, enchanted. This little blonde pony follows me around, begging for attention. She even trots alongside the tractor. Once I’ve spread the hay, she places her head upon my shoulder at every opportunity, knowing this is the way to melt my heart.

   I need to spend some quality training time with Honey.

   The Christmas holiday has everyone rushing around, attempting to finish everything before time’s up. I’m included in that crowd. I have plans, big plans, for everything around here. However, I’m forced to push those aside and focus on the holiday for now.

   Therefore, poor Honey hasn’t been played with for almost a week. Perhaps tomorrow will be easier, and I’ll have a chance to work with her. A volunteer is planning to come and help with morning chores tomorrow, so there’s hope.

   The ponies are pleased with the weather. It hasn’t been cold for the last two days. Today it was 50 degrees inside the barn. I went for a day without my adult onesie–hooray! I feel like a kid in a too-big snowsuit every time I put it on.

   Today, a volunteer and I watered the girls and boys, built a tank insulater with sawed-up pallets and straw, and cleaned stalls. She also helped me put up more hotwire tape in the girls’ pasture. Senorita will not be windsucking in that pasture any time soon, as far as we can tell. I’m hoping that helps remind Senorita of what she shouldn’t be doing.  We’re trying very hard to save her teeth.   

   Lexi and Senorita are getting along very well out in the pasture. I put Honey there with them last night and today. Tonight, I put her in with Melody and Savannah. I wanted to introduce Misty to Honey, but I really like how well Misty and Braz are getting along. I don’t want to upset that dynamic. Braz is possessive of Honey, so I don’t want to cause a fight. I’d like Braz and Misty to become very attached to each other before introducing Honey to the mix. Then, eventually, I’ll put them all out in the back pasture.

   Melody and Savannah are very relaxed and happy. Both are now with Honey, and they seem content with just hanging out in their stalls and in the pasture.

   Coffee and Dusty are such good boys. I haven’t had any troubles from either of them, and they’re being very sweet to each other. 

   Life is good. Now, if I could just find time to play with my little Honey Bear, life would be perfect.

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Bear Back

Tonight, I had the best ride on Honey. I’d like to say she’s a pony, but that’s only the case for so long. Tonight I measured her at 14.1 hands high, almost 14.2–the cutoff for becoming a horse. Aww. The other questionable aspect of Honey is her hair. She is incredibly wooly, round and furry, adorable and cuddly–she reminds me of a Winnie the Pooh bear, so I call her “Honey Bear.” She’s become even more furry of late. I’ve kept her blankets off for the most part, so her hair has increased exponentially.

As I was finishing my ride, my lesson student arrived. She was shocked about the way I was riding. Not because I was doing something crazy, but because I was bareback. Bareback. Apparently at previous barns this was not a usual occurance. I was surprised at her surprise. It’s second nature to me to ride bareback, so I just climb aboard whenever I feel like it. Melody, and (when I owned her) Savannah were used to me climbing aboard with or without a saddle. Sometimes we’d go bareback, sometimes sidesaddle, sometimes western, dressage, or close-contact jumping. My horses never knew what to expect, and I prefer it that way. I think versatility is the ultimate gift you can give your horse. There are so many times that dressage moves can be useful in regular life. Other times western skills are important. I can ride Melody with a single rein, since she knows how to western and direct rein both.

In any case, I had a fantastic ride on Honey, and I’m thrilled with how far we’ve come. She’s easily giving in to the bit with the slightest of movements, and she’s chewing and licking constantly throughout our ride. She’s half-passing and side passing like a champ, and now we’ve gotten to the point that it’s not hard to get her to reverse on the haunches and stop on a dime. She’s so much fun. I’m thrilled with her.

 

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