I've been making as much progress as I can lately, weather permitting. A tornado warning every other day is less than helpful. Anyway, I had another epic realization the other day that I felt like writing about.
So my friend recently got her first horse - a ranch broke, calm, RBI gelding. He's the type that had no relationship with people, but is just a little angel. He does it all without objecting, and if he's scared his eyes just get bigger and bigger, but he won't move. He's quite literaly the perfect horse. Welllll....... he was.
He has a foot injury from someone improperly shoeing him before she bought him. He's such a little love though, when we went to try him out, I rode him up and down hills and trotting in circles, and he just trudged along with a slight limp. Anyway, she basically gave him 2 months off. She did a little bit of Parelli online level 1 with him, but she took multiple trips back to LA, his foot was still sore, so it was prettty much minimal. He basically got brushed and spoiled with cookies. The other day she got a saddle, and his foot is fine now, so we decided to see how he would do. He was a BRAT!!!!!!! And you know, those ranch broke RBIs are usually the type that you can let sit for a while and then pull em outta the pasture, and they are still perfect. On the ground when I went to back him up, he bit me! Every time! he's totally nippy now. When I got on him, since there is food outside the arena I didn't exist. He tossed his head any time I picked up the reins, and started spinning around to avoid my legs. He pulled the reins out of my hands multiple times, and he was just all around awful. He did the same bareback, so I'm sure its a relationship issue rather than saddle fit. She got the widest saddle she could find, and it fits him beautifully. I'm jealous! Anyway...
It took me 10 minutes of phase 1 cues to back him into the stall and keep my limbs attatched. His even more of a RBI owner pretty much threw the rope in my hands and backed off. It felt like playing with a problem horse. It kind of reminded me that when your horse spazzes out, all bets are off, all previous reputations no longer apply, and you just adjust to fit the situation. The next day I treated him like I had no clue who he was, brand new horse, and did ground work in the round pen before saddling him. I guess it was just that little bit of moving him around to re-establish the missing leadership. And the fact that there's no food in the round pen. But he was perfect! He was listening to me every subtle cue. He didn't test me once. So I felt confident to put my friend back up on him... and she said now there's the horse we bought! Funny how that works.
I see this lesson seeping into my own life as I adjust to fit situations with people, without regard to any preset expectations. I think that's why my circle of friends keeps coming to me for help. I mean lord knows I don't know more than any of them about life, some are even older, it's just the Parelli pschology + being present with people that gives me the right perspective. Horsenality/personality info and everything... when you can be 100% present and truly analyze what's going on, you can react appropriately. Hah, adults are people who practice making simple things difficult. Perhaps Parelli studies keep you forever young? :)
Xena's hives have been totally gone for 2 weeks now. I'm thinking it was the shavings, because they cleared right up when we changed her to paper. She's been running herself around in the round pen every day. I'm pretty much going over old material with her... I haven't quite decided why. Maybe because I'm afraid to get hurt if I expect her to be calm with something that she's not, and partially because level 2 is the one level that I've only ever blindly groped at, never had any specific study. It seemed easy enough, as it was with my other 7 and the thoroughbred I took to level 3. It seemed like just the empty space between levels 1 and 3. I can't even tell you when I really "did" level 2 with Ghost, or Mesa. It just came softly without fumbling and getting stuck and nervous. With Xena it just seems so confusing because there's a higher bar for her. WIth my others, I just wanna have fun with them. But she's got to be "my" horse that is attatched to my name when I become a Parelli Professional. I have to take her to the ISC to study with. She needs to have a perfect foundation. I can't be expecting to ride with Walter Zettle and then pull a a dragon out of the stall one day. How RBI am I, staying still rather than moving forward to risk failure. My friend with the above horse is bringing over her level 2 today, so I have a map. I have the new level 3 and 4 that I've been using on Mesa and Ghost. Hopefully I can fill that gap quickly, because when your horse turns around to push the round corral gate open with her butt, you know she's done the same patterns way too many times. LOL!
Between tornado warnings today, I took her to the front pasture to get rid of some of the grass that very picky Mesa left. It was so peaceful I lost track of time, out there in the field leaning up against her, like time no longer matters. I always feel that way around her. When it's just the two of us, we are the only two creatures in the world. She's kinda magical. I love my horsey!!!!