...One of those SUPER AMAZING DAYS!!!!!!!
So yesterday I was at the barn for several hours, and because of the weekend the place was packed. Typically, that means I retreat to my little barn and my horse's pens and hang out with them, because with all these people around, if I do anything less than impressive I get looked down upon. I think.... Any of the minis running around may spook the big horses (there were 5 very right brain horses in the arena), people would just offer unwanted opinions on Xena... that leaves Mesa. Usually with her I even avoided going around them because her arthritis has limited us to just walking lately, and that's not anything people will respect. But this week, she got new glucosamine supplements!!! She's doing GREAT! I notice how she's had a bit more energy, so I decide to take her in to the round pen for some play time.
First I yo-yo her at phase 1 in to the corral. That got one person's attention. Then I take her halter off, and she puts her head down for hugs and kisses. After a minute, she layed down at my feet, while I snuggled with her head. That got another person's attention. After she got up, I went to get some brushes. When I came back she trotted toward me. I now have one person paying less attention to her trainer and more to me, and one person totally watching. So after some online play with circling on a completely loose rope, backwards, sideways, and improving our draw at the trot, I start some liberty. I had been working on getting a really good hindquarter yeild to get a bit more life at liberty, so we had a trotting draw working pretty well!! I sent her out on a circle since I could see she had energy, and woooow. She ran around like a young Arabian! Glucose is doing its job! She was prancing around, and doing that really springy, bouncy, Arab trot that almost looks like an exuberant passage. Tail up in the air, I just make eye contact and point and she canters off. I stay completely neutral in the center of the arena while she just canters, canters, canters, happily around the round pen. Once she slowed down a bit, I drew her in, played with our shiny new hindquarter control, and got reallly exuberant trotting stick to me! She left a few times, but thats okay, I didn't really want to be that close while she felt like letting off more steam anyway. Then we got a really good trot to backup transition, so we played with that. I played a sort of "million transitions" type thing, until by the end of the session, I could walk calmly, trot (a very fancy, prancy trot!) for exactly two strides, and back up. It felt amazing!!! Not only was it a serious confidence booster because nobody can say that Parelli doesn't work after that, but also because I rarely feel like I'm actually being interesting enough for my LBE. But that level of connection towards the end made me feel like I'm not a lost cause lol! Even when she's arthritic and limping around an arena, she'll still buck and tell me I'm too boring to play with online. I just need to be able to bring out more obstacles, get more creative, and lose all reservation of being in front of critical people. As long as I don't stir up a bunch of dust while trying to do something way beyond our level, and I can look like I'm enjoying my horse, I'm doing just fine.
While I was walking her back on rope with slack dragging on the ground, saying "I love my horsey!" every couple of steps, and her actually looking interested in me, I heard one of the riders in the arena point in my direction and whisper to another "I just want what she has!" Score. And this woman has her horse in training with a professional predator, and I can see that all she wants is a good relationship, she loves her horse. Hmmm. start locally and lead by example!
People hadn't quite all filtered out, there were still a few inside, so I kept playing with Mesa. I got some of our toys out, a bright yellow plastic bag, and a bag made from tarp material. She was skeptical of the bag at first, but after a few short minutes of approach and retreat, I could swing it over her head and tie it to her tail. Some other people came in, and I want to look respectful of them and their horses, since most others were afraid of the bag. So I balled it up and shoved it under the halter, between Mesa's ears. "K honey, hold on to that for safe keeping for me will ya?" I LOVE MY HORSEY!!!!! Once they had left the arena, I tied it around Mesa's leg and led her back to her stall. I think that made a good enough impression for the day, wouldn't ya think?
What next? It's raining today - perfect excuse to go out with an umbrella!!