Sunday, December 30, 2007

Water hole

It was a lovely sunny hot day today so we headed off to Royal Oak. Much to my surprise Garbo headed confidently for the water jump and went straight in when I asked him....

He had a great time!!

Then we went for a walk around the bridle path inhand to deal with some thresholds (alone) - this first picture says everything - we were under the willow trees and the sheep hide under there, and birds fly out of the river next to it.... - still never too nervous to take a bite of grass - nervous nibble....

The next day was alot better.... then we rode it too with someone walking next to us..... next step on our own....

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Posing for the camera

Check out the rhythm beads!

Sunday at Royal Oak

Well today turned out to be a very good day - we sold our house! So as at Feb 21 we are the proud new owners of 3.5 acres of land so we can build a barn and live in it until we build our house - and - have Garbo and Blue at home on a track system - yay!

So - digressing!....

Did some ground work and riding today.... Garbo remembers the point to point game so well that he just takes off towards the barrel at the end of the arena (so unlike the pre-parelli him!)... it's so funny.....

I tried some circles today too but he wanted to play point to point. Rode a bit with the carrot stick - this is up doing a downwards transition from trot to stop.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Saturdays adventures

I had a really good day today too. Made a bit of a breakthrough with Blue. He would not let me be behind zone 1 while I was holding the rope on the farside (near side not so bad) - let alone the Carrot Stick! You know he is so sensitive (or scared) that I can do circle game on a 22ft line, changes of directions, and yo yo without even holding the Carrot Stick. He will never be a 'make me' horse....he will never be one I need to tag!

Complete opposites Garbo and him. Blue is Right Brain Introvert and Garbo Left Brain Introvert/Extrovert!! Garbo is mainly introverted but getting more extroverted as he gets more confident.

Anyway so I put my hand (standing on the far side zone 3) on his back while holding the balance of the 22ft line in my other hand with quite a lot of slack in the rope, and he just kept backing up and turning trying to face me - no way was he going forward if I was not in front of him. After about 10 minutes (and some on the other side reasonably successfully) he would take one step but turn towards me at the same time - so I had to drive his nose away from me (lifting my other hand towards his nose) - of course he still didn't go forward until finally he took a step and I rubbed and stopped. This went on for another 10 minutes. Then I led him for a bit till he started licking again, then we did some yo yo - he thinks if he is on the end of a line he must circle NOW, so unfortunately I had to do a few phase 4 shaking of the rope to stop him doing that half way through yo yo. Then he got the idea.....

Then I went back to zone 3 on the far side and managed to get him walking round nearly 1/4 of the paddock (not too far from the gate!) - so I used driving his nose again to get him to go away from the gate for a period of time and stopped when he had made some good steps away.

Then I rubbed him all over with the rope (slowly) - he was very jumpy - esp on the far side past zone 3.....but I persisted and stopped when he was still.... trouble is I had to be careful he wasn't actually scared and going introverted. Phew he licked finally......

Then we did some circles - just half a circle and come in - then the other way...he is always asking to come in like that Paint on Level Two dvd with Linda (Garbo doesn't do that - he just comes in regardless!)..... and then the other way - of course makes sense now why going to the right is harder for him....

I also noticed he would go faster when the slack in the 22ft line would drag on the ground - so I decided to walk him round the paddock with me leading him and the rest of the 22ft rope dragging along beside him until he was better - from both sides!

So after about another 20 minutes - he was licking and YAWNING - first yawn. So I ended there and untied him - put the rope and halter on the ground and gave him a rub all over.....he sniffed the lead rope and halter and then off he went and did a few blows and chased Alle! Funny. Alle is his paddock mate she is a 16.3 black warmblood mare - and he bosses her around. Go figure.

Oh - and after playing with Blue which one of the grazers told me must have been over an hour, I rode Garbo - he is a bit itchy and grumpy from grass allergies so I need to get some more herbs for him, but I watched all of the DVDs now from Liberty and HB and there was one where they had to wipe the snotty look off the dominant horse's face - so I did that with Garbo today.

He was trotting beside me in the arena (stick to me) and his face was like "what the f**k are we doing this for so I shook the lead rope Phase 4 and he stopped like Whoa Nelly!!..... then I asked for trot again and he had the same look so I did it again..... then he was ears forward sweet as pie.

When he is in his paddock and I take his feed in he has his ears back as he is walking beside me to the place I put the bucket....has always done it although like the Parelli Q&A this week - I can pat him while he is eating, and he is fine, no ears back at all.....only when I am carrying the food in his paddock (he is fine if I am leading him back in while holding the bucket)... so today I drove him away (waving arms at him) each time he did it - hoping like hell no one else saw what I was doing - they were already giving me those looks while I was riding in my hackamore..... and it worked - took about 4 goes but then he was like ears forward, ok Mum..... YAY!!

OK - my ride - I rode down the race (even past a new young filly that Garbo soooooo would have been keen on saying hi to - and risked her running along with us - but she didn't.... always nervous he will buck when others get excited.... but since doing Parelli none of the other horses have got excited when we ride down there!! Hmmmm how interesting!

Then we went into an empty paddock and I tried doing figures of eight on a casual rein but that was a disaster, then I tried sideways along a pole - got one step.....then he took a bite of the pole!

.... then just did a couple of point to points, tried doing tit for tat but still have this niggling fear that he will go to a corner and spook and do a 180 and run back to gate..... he has done that ONCE before when a pine cone fell out of a tree (a really high tree).... so we just walked back to the barn, past the horses, and the filly and he was so good. So apart from the things I was trying to do which didn't work today - well I tried.... hey!

Always tomorrow!

Saturday, December 8, 2007


After spending some time improving our changes of direction and sideways online today I saddled Garbo up and put his beads on and we went riding. I stood on the side of the arena to get on and realised I had forgotten something so left Garbo there and went back to the stable. I headed back to him and he was just standing there looking at me - so sweet.

I had some trot poles still laid out and we trotted a bit over those. We just headed off towards the other end of the arena and he offered trot (this was so not normal 5 months ago) - and then he offered canter, and kept offering canter. The only hard part for me was the circle (turning) I keep leaning in - I have to remember to keep my focus above my shoulders (weight to the outside).

It was so much fun.

Then I got off and put the rope over his neck and ran around the arena and he followed me and stopped when I stopped and trotted when I ran. We did this all the way back to the stable.

No bucks now since August and no lameness either.

Didn't get to work with Blue today - time just flies! Tomorrow!

Monday, December 3, 2007

Rhythm Beads

Today we tried out our new beads - they are wooden and they match Garbo quite well. He wasn't too sure at first when I tried putting them over his head but he was fine with me hanging them over his ears - so off we went for a ride. I think the part that annoyed him was the mane clip...I shall have to get inventive.

My rhythm beads you ask? Well I like the sound and the look of them (secretly always wanted to be a red Indian) - here are some google reasons!
  • Modern rhythm beads emulating the beads, bells, shells and feathers worn according to the American Indian customs – intended to both attract good spirits to the horse and rider and protect them from evil spirits. The eagles feather, for example, was said to aid the sharpness of the eye and make the horse fleet of foot. The make up of the necklets also identified tribe, warrior status and chiefs.
  • Beneficial qualities of wearing certain colours to influence both the body and spirit – turquoise said to be a very powerful protective and healing colour.
  • The powers of crystal vibration affecting the body at cellular / subconscious level to both heal and influence the body both emotionally and physically.
  • The sounds of the bells aiding the horse and rider at a conscious and subconscious level to aid concentration.