Sunday, August 31, 2008

See this pile of clay

Well - I am going to cover it in top soil as soon as I can get a wheelbarrow in there, and plant grass on it and some horse herbs and it will be my Parelli hill - since this middle paddock is going to be my play area.

I stood on top of it today and Maraschino came rushing over to join me up there. We stood up there for ages with me rubbing him.

Planted some flaxes around the septic tanks yesterday (hence the photo)... I want to get it to a point where I can remove the tape and the horses won't go in that area.

We didn't do much today - it was really windy so the boys had a day in the paddock, I brought them in about 3.30pm for a groom and then gave them their dinner.

This is Maraschino looking at the silly pony (his words) next door running around hoping for some food.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Figure 8

I don't have the patterns DVDs yet - but today I decided to try figure 8 with moth my boys - around buckets in the washbay.

Garbo got it pretty quickly and hesitated slightly when going past me from my right to my left, and Maraschino had trouble going from my left to my right at the same place (closest spot to me in both instances).

I read on the latest Parelli email that the lady commenting on the Patterns DVDs had tried Figure of 8 with her LBI and he really enjoyed it - Garbo seemed to as well.

Looking forward to trying it with barrels in the paddocks. They are nearly dry enough.

This is Garbo playing Figure 8 with Maraschino!!

Yes, I left covers off and Garbo has a Mud Bath.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

After a lovely day of new grass on what was like a summers day today, I went into the middle paddock to get the boys about 4pm.

I haltered Garbo and thought Maraschino would just follow - and he did, adding in a bit of a spring buck and canter on the way up the hill... Garbo tried running forward on the 12ft line (with me on the other end ) and then realised I was attached/he was attached, and he turned and faced me. I bumped the rope and he calmed down straight away. Maraschino was intent on having a run and I just let Garbo have a long rope and reminded him politely to stay beside me no matter what. He did - he is such a good boy. It will be great when it's even drier and they can have a good run around. Mind you by the look of some of the paddock they have been doing a bit of Spring Fever action.

I tied Garbo up in the wash bay and Maraschino went into his yard (very cute) and so I gave him his apple and shut the gate.

Then I took their covers off and groomed Garbo - they both fell asleep in the sun. Garbo was in a very good mood, amazing what a bit of grass can do!! We even had some cuddles.

I then spent a bit of time in Maraschinos yard and he held his head low and gave me a cuddle too. So nice having content horses.

They didn't eat all their dinner and have been very quiet (usually indicating snoozing) in the yards all night.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

2nd sunny day

Well today we had some more sun, shock, horror!

I did lead by the leg with Maraschino again today and managed to do it without 'leading' him from Zone 1 as well, ie just pressure on his leg. You could see the light bulb go off in his head actually.

This is Maraschino's little security blanket - he bites my zipper end on all my jackets and holds it in his mouth.

He still has it in his mouth here...

Monday, August 25, 2008

Rope leg tangle

Maraschino got his leg over his lead rope again today while tied up. As soon as he feels thre pressure on his leg he backs up - which makes it worse, so he backs up more, until finally the baling twice breaks (that the rope is tied to).

So guess what we worked on today??? Lead by the leg. Initially he just went backwards with any pressure on the rope so I just led him round like Pat did on last months savvy club dvd, with the rope round his leg at the same time. Slowly I began putting a little more pressure on the leg rope at the same time. He was holding his breath a bit and did a big swallow afterwards, but he manged a couple times round the wash bay... then he had a rest, and licked, and then we did some on the other leg too.

I am going to do it every day for 7 days!

Saturday, August 23, 2008

3rd post for today!

I heard Maraschino jumping around in his yard about 3pm after putting them in there about 2pm when the rain started (after an hour of long grass). I think Maraschino had decided he wasn't finished eating grass!

After talking on Google Talk with Cilla last night I had a think about what I needed to do in my session with him to calm him down and yet not make him introverted. Isn't it great how you can talk to a Parelli friend and they have fresh eyes and ideas... and in turn it makes you lick and chew. Thanks Cilla.

So - we started with back in and out of yard initially rather than just leading him out - we did this about 4 times and then one step forward, one step back. I can do all of that at Phase one, Phase two if he gets stuck.... complete opposite to how Garbo was initially.

Oh - we had a break in the rain too!

Once in the wash bay (Garbo stayed in his yard and took notes) I did friendly without the carrot stick as Cilla suggested. He looks at me very suspiciously sometimes so I worked on any areas he didn't like me touching, lightening my pressure (touch) on his uncertain areas (near his hooves)... he started licking and chewing which was great. We spent ages just playing friendly and he seemed to really appreciate it, he gave me lots of cuddles - he is such a smoochy horse.

Then I tried friendly with the 12 ft line, just popping it over his neck and pulling it back over and back again... after a bit more of that he started yawning! About 6 yawns. He is so funny when he yawns he sticks his tongue way out - it's hilarious.

Then we did some polite gentle sends and he did a whole circle at walk!!

Then I asked for move your FQ and HQ porcupine at phase one and focussed over the top of him (even though I can't quite see over his withers!!).. and he moved a whole circle both ways - yay.

Then we stopped and waited. More yawning - about 10 more, and then head down and he licked my hands for so long Garbo thought he was missing out on some treats (ears back).... he seems to do that for comfort (Maraschino not Garbo).

And - it's been all quiet in the yards since.

Thanks for making me think Cilla!!

Then I did a bit of circle with Garbo since I have figured out how to do it in the wash bay with a pole in the middle! And some yo-yo and that was all for him.... sorry Garbo.

Worried turns to phew

I took this video today as well. It shows Maraschino a bit tense (how he looks) while I was filming and friendlying as well...and then he relaxes (breathes)..!!

Notice also in the photos above how much better he is standing. Jools trimmed his hooves and they were all uneven and he was wearing them oddly - and couldn't stand under himself on a he can and he is standing better.

Confident side

Here is the confident, cheeky, curious side of Maraschino - taken today also.

Garbo meets Cino

Cappuccino - or Cino for short was looking like he wanted to look outside today when I came in, after putting the boys in the yards. So I picked him up and showed him the other side of the door - Garbo was looking at him with the cutest face and ears forward.

So I took Cino closer and they both reached out with their noses to sniff each other, they had a wee sniff but them Garbo let out a breath and breathed heavily on Cino and Cino hissed at him...

Garbo was so gentle though.....

Now you see why I did the feather duster friendly game.!!

40 hours of no rain

Yep - we made it to 40 hours of no rain and I actually saw things drying out - so there is hope! I was watching the rain radar and left the boys out till it looked like it wasn't far away, then I took them up by the boundary fence for some long grass. They were both on a 12 ft line (each) and they were really good - even when the neighbour's dog came over to the fence (I glared at it) and their little pony..Garbo said hello very politely... it was quite cute because there is quite a difference in size - I was expecting a squeal from the little guy.

So that was all we did today.

When Maraschino saw the goats he would touch my hand, very cute, but other than that he was supremely calm. He came up to me when I went to bring him in from the paddock too.

The rain is here now and will be here till Wed - BLAH

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Driving Maraschino

Today I taught Maraschino how to move his FQ with driving. The carrot stick connected a few times before he got it but boy did that make him lick and chew - and then later yawn so much - the most I have seen him yawn. We even got a little sideways.

With Garbo we got 8m of backwards by the tail... tried turning him round the corner backwards too but he got confused! (awww)..

What else did we do.... lead by the leg and gave him a treat when he did it... that worked well. I used treats with Maraschino today too - it really made him relax a bit more with extreme friendly!! I can jump up and down with my hand on his wither (both sides and facing Zone 1, and Zone 5) about 30-40 times now....

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

1am Parelli session

I woke up at 1am to noises from the yards (we sleep in the barn at the moment while our new house is being built, and the yards are backed up against the lounge wall). I heard snorting and blowing and noises like running from one end of the yard to the other. I sleep naked so threw my jacket (which hangs on the door to the washbay) on and went outside in the freezing cold with no pants and barefeet to see what was going on (as it seemed urgent)!! Yes, don't imagine it!

Garbo came over to me and snorted, then ran back towards the end of the yard - quite fast...quite panicky, and then would look to the north east of the property. I came back in thinking it wasn't life and death but it didn't stop so put some track pants on and my gumboots this time and went into Garbo's yard (Maraschino seemed to be just following what Garbo was doing but didn't seem upset). Garbo wouldn't stand still and raised a leg at me and at Maraschino if either of us went near him.

So I got his halter and pinned my ears back to get him to allow me to halter him. Once I did he was trying to run around still so i immediately yo-yoed him back...he argued and tried to rear and rush at me, but I stuck my ground. Finally he backed up to the wall end of the yard and licked and chewed. I yo-yoed him back and forth about 5 times, and then did some head down, and then went back inside as he was calm and had forgotten what it was he was doing before I arrived!

Boy - Hope I get a better sleep tonight!

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Wash bay confinement

More rain last night so more playing in the wash bay!

Managed to jump up and down beside Maraschino today with my closest hand on his wither and I did it facing Zone 5 (standing in Zone 3) and facing Zone 1, on both his left and right sides - without his moving backwards which was great. I kept jumping until I saw any sign of no introversion - ear flick, or inside the mouth lick!

I was really pleased.

Managed to get the feather duster on Garbo's legs without him going backwards too.

Did some more work with the umbrella, Maraschino came and checked it out while it was open and the pokey thing on the end poked him in the nose and he jumped. Funny.

Oh - after doing lead by the leg with Garbo the other day - looked up today and saw Garbo had his leg in the air over the top of his lead rope... just waiting calmly for me to come and untangle him.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Ears back

Since we haven't been out much, and normally when I bring Garbo in for a groom and play etc, the little guy is there too (Garbo not impressed about that)... and he has been mugging me for treats and sticking his ears back (at me and at Cherry Boy) if I don't give him any (I don't if his ears are back).

Maraschino also has been eating Garbo's tail!!!!!! Eeek! Looks like someone has attacked him with scissors! So when ties up Maraschino likes to lean on Garbo's back end and snuggle in which aggravates the hell out of Garbo - so it's my job to move Maraschino away. I had to drive him back several times and then make contact with his nose when he ignored me - which sent him back at a great rate of knots. After that he was a little reluctant to come to close to me.. Gosh he gets so offended.

I did some squeeze game in the wash bay with Garbo and popped him on the bum when he looked out over the farm instead of turn and face.... that woke him up! It was too windy to use the carrot stick and plastic bag today. More rain coming.... one day I will be posting saying we need rain! Not anytime soon though.

Just an extra photo from the one day of sun in the last week!

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Double yo - yo

Thought I would try yo yo with both my horses at the same time. Funny thing was that if Garbo was already back, he would keep going because I was still asking Maraschino...

Not good camera work since it was just me and a fence - but you get the idea.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Sunday - Sun Day

Well the name given to the day of the week today was apt. It was sunny all day and such a nice change.

I had some more great sessions today with both horses.

They both had some apply sauce.... with Garbo initially shaking his head but when he saw Maraschino coming towards me as soon as he saw the syringe and grabbing it, so Garbo thought hmmmm.. and sniffed it and allowed me to put it in his mouth and empty the syringe. Then I gave one to Maraschino as a treat!

While Maraschino was tied up to the hitching ring, I was doing something with Garbo and before I realised he had managed to get his leg over the rope and in a loop, then he pulled back! Luckily it was a slow reaction but still too fast for me to help... he was a bit jumpy afterwards (the baling twine gave way before his leg thank goodness) but otherwise unscathed mentally, emotionally, and physically. I had to give him a big hug after that... and he just leaned on my shoulder - he is so smoochy.

Started with the umbrella because I looked at the new Levels Self Assessment sheet on the Savvy Club site and it said L2 I should be able to open and close an umbrella next to Garbo. Initially he wasn't keen to follow me with it but in the end he was checking it out and I could open and close it with a reaction - just need some more 'relaxation' practice this week with that. Maraschino checked it out as well and when I had it open on the ground he picked it up by the handle and frightened himself a bit!

Then I got the carrot stick out and put a plastic bag (flag) on the end. Like in the Level 2 booklet I started shaking it gently next to Garbo - he was not very impressed so I did what the book said and walked backwards with it - Garbo hesitated and then came forward, so I stopped shaking the stick. We did this a few times until he sniffed it.

Meanwhile Maraschino was following us trying to see what was going on. I am thinking maybe he is more LB more often, than RB. !!

After a short time of releasing when Garbo relaxed or came towards or looked at the bag, I was able to touch him on the side (see the video) with it. It was hilarious at the end of the video after I put the stick down to turn the video off - Maraschino picked up the stick and drove Garbo backwards with it!

So funny. You can hear me giggling!

Then it was using 'release' to do some serious stuff like spray vinegar/baby oil on Maraschino's legs and put cream on his mud fever.

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Another rainy day in

It started raining about 5am and didn't stop raining steadily until about 10am I guess. I left the boys in after that because it was still cloudy and the grass back to it's sodden state.

I spent a good couple of hours with both of them in the wash bay doing various Parelli things.

Garbo had some apple sauce wormer, while Maraschino was looking longingly at the syringe saying where's mine? This made Garbo more interested in the syringe as if he was saying 'hey maybe this guy knows something I don't'. As Pat says - make sure at least 6 out of 7 worms are pleasant tasting. It's the negative association with the taste they don't like. Garbo wasn't shaking his head as much today and I got a whole syringe in nearly - and Maraschino had the left overs.

I also did some extreme friendly with the carrot stick and savvy string - Maraschino was just loose in the wash bay getting used to the 12ft rope hanging over his withers. I accidentally hit Maraschino with the end of the popper during 'helicoptor' with Garbo - but he is so keen on getting in on the action this week. Then I slapped the ground around Garbo with the savvy string and Maraschino was really good too! Cool!

I have to move him away from Garbo alot as he wants to hug him constantly. So I worked a bit on Maraschino alone while Garbo had a break with some hay. I did lots of friendly with tossing the carrot stick and savvy string over his neck and body, and some back up - especially when he thought he saw something scary and Garbo wasn't around to hug - he tried to hug me so I only had to use Phase 2 to get his to back away and then he licked and chewed. His confidence seems to be improving by the day. Even his haltering and un-haltering is getting better.

I groomed them both, and the ate hay together quite nicely which was nice to see. I decided now would be a good time to move Maraschino to the middle yard so he is next to Garbo, now that they know each other a little better and there is no #3 anymore (well Maraschino has moved up a slot by default).

Managed to get the feather duster on all of Garbo's legs all the way to the ground without him moving backwards - big step!

Started to try holding his tongue but it's a slippery devil. When I came inside I found that section in the booklet so I will try again tomorrow.

Going to try the plastic bag then too (on end of carrot stick) as I have read up in the Level 2 booklet on what to do.

Friday, August 8, 2008

Apple sauce wormer

Today we did two things...

Lead by the leg and worming practice.

Firstly the apple sauce worming.... as soon as Garbo sees a syringe he shakes his head up and down... so I had to get it close enough for him to accidentally get some apple sauce on his nose.
I managed to get 1.5 syringes into his mouth in the end - still with a little shaking...and Maraschino had half a syringe - he just bites the whole thing!

Then we tried lead by the leg. While I had the rope round his leg holding it out to the side, Garbo would look away or straight ahead, and I waited, then he finally shifted his weight and took a step. The front right leg was fairly easy but it took a little longer with the left front..but he took three steps with both legs to the side. So I was really pleased with that.

I have not been doing big 'sessions' with Maraschino - mainly just tying him up at the same time as Garbo morning and night while I;

Morning; change covers and spray legs with vinegar and baby oil
Evening; change covers, wash off mud off legs, grooming, putting on mud fever cream, and any Parelli tasks.

So while I am doing that I do body blocks, move him away from Garbo (he loves crowding him and Garbo hates it), and a little bit of yo yo . I have also spent alot of time grooming him and massaging his tail because he has a very tight tail (clamped and J).. and that seems to be working well. He hasn't gone introverted for a week now. And he has not pulled back on the rope while tied up either.

All good.

Still getting showers on and off - looking forward to Sunday - sunshine all day apparently.

Monday, August 4, 2008

Monday sun day

Well kind of anyway. The sun was out for about 70% of the day interspersed with heavy and light showers.

My friend's friend's Dad passed away today so she couldn't come and help with Maraschino as she needed to help her friend out with her horses.

So we were all groomed and ready for our walk when I got the text and I thought - well I don't want to stick them back in the mud again... so I had to make do.

Garbo seemed happier to be groomed today and I also groomed Maraschino in between times. Maraschino was really good - I haven't tied him for very long so I just put the rope over the rail and he usually just stays there.

I stuck some molasses in a syringe to practice paste worming ( I have never managed to worm Garbo orally and always taken the easy route and put it in his food).. as soon as he saw the syringe he started shaking his head so I can't get it near his mouth. I let him sniff it but he wasn't fooled. I managed to get him to lick the syringe but only briefly got the end of it far enough in to do much with - but it was a great start.

We did some extreme Friendly with the carrot stick over his head and hitting the ground, and then did friendly with carrot stick and savvy string so Maraschino could see.

Then I got the feather duster out!

Garbo hates the feather duster.!!

For some reason he hated it on his legs so I had to start on his neck and slowly try and move towards his legs. Then he would spend ages sniffing it. We made a little progress and it gave him something to think about anyway! So perhaps today I was a little more interesting even if we didn't get to go for our walk.

I tried the syringe with Maraschino and he tried to stick the whole thing in his mouth! Didn't worry him at all. He wasn't phased with the feather duster either.

I played friendly with carrot stick and savvy string and Maraschino went a little introverted, I slowed down, then when he tried to move his head away from me while the string was going over it, I pulled his head back gently and he went a little right brain, tried to run forward to Garbo, so I bumped the rope and he panicked more, so I had to do it again to stop him running to me for reassurance as well. Then he stopped and licked and chewed. I told him that it's fine to react but it's not ok to run into me.

When I was rubbing the feather duster on Garbo Maraschino came up to him and started licking him. Garbo gave me that look like 'get him off me'. It was very cute.

Then I did some friendly with the 12ft rope on Maraschino.... he is getting better, sloooowly.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

My side of the deal

I think I have let Garbo down this last few weeks.

It's been muddy, raining and windy - so I have only had a few fine spells and a concrete wash bay to do some brief sessions with Garbo and Maraschino. Of course Maraschino is just starting Level 1 so most things we can easily do in that space. But poor old Garbo - all we have been able to do is yo-yo, driving, friendly and a little bit of squeeze. Not really very exciting and I found myself basically doing these to adjust his attitude as he's been a bit pushy and impatient while tied in the wash bay.

So then I end up feeling like all I have been doing is telling him off.

He hasn't been to the forest for 12 months, I would like to take him soon inhand but I need to teach Maraschino to be ok alone first. He hasn't been off this property since the day he arrived actually (April 18)!

This afternoon after having a day in some sunshine finally and some grass, he was bucking and showing off for the neighbour's mare, and then when I brought him in he was calling out to her. I took this really personally and took it as he prefers to be with her over me.

So I texted my friend and asked if she could play with Maraschino tomorrow for 30 minutes and Garbo and I are going for a walk down our road. I need to be more interesting again. It's so hard with all this rain and mud!

Once the ground dries up (it would take two weeks of sunshine non stop) I will be able to do more with him again at home including parking the float in the paddock and working on loading (without me leading him in).

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Wet Saturday

Well it's the weekend and again it's raining. Not quite as bad as last Saturday which seems like an eternity ago! So I planned on keeping the boys in today for two reasons;

1. It was due to rain alot
2. The track is looking a bit worse for wear - water logged and pogged now too.

The track - the hay at the beginning is my mouldy hay soaking up some mud.

The middle paddock looks ok but actually it has 3 inches of water on the surface!

So I also decided I would play with Maraschino today as well so he didn't get worried again about being in the stalls (or have too much energy or both).

I had to have a nana snooze myself after breakfast and doing the yards and we had managed to avoid most of the first front of rain.... so I got up with a plan (it was lunch time) of playing with Maraschino - opened the door and he was lying down alseep too! I snuck back in and waited a while longer.

Then I took some time to halter him.... he sniffs the halter and then as soon as he sees you don't have a carrot he backs up and or puts his head up and gets all 'no you can't halter me' - as soon as the first part is on his nose he's fine..... I had not been doing it the way Pat says to - by putting the halter over his neck because that was spooking him (working on that too) so I put the rope over his neck to put some the slack into the halter, then I managed to get the halter over his neck.... then I played a while with that and got his nose in. The other thing he kind of reacts to is doing up the knot - one day I accidentally flicked him in the face with the end as I was un-haltering him..... so I flicked the end around alot until he turned his head towards me, then I stopped, and did that a few times until I did it up.

Walked him a whole 9-10 steps to the washbay (concrete) and we mainly played with the carrot stick and savvy string today. I got the CS around his ears and face, and then managed to get to the stage where I could hold the CS over his head and swing the SS round to the other side of his neck and drape it back towards me.

He thought initially (especially on the far side) that the carrot stick over his head and moving meant driving game but he got it in the end. After that he was turning his head with every drape and biting the carrot stick gently.

We played a little in his mouth as he eats both ends of the carrots stick.

Did a little Yo Yo - Garbo helped when he decided he wasn't doing it right (that made Maraschino lick and chew!).

He is so funny with his introversion and his mouth and tongue. He gets his tongue all wiggly and sideways and licks with his tongue way out the side sometimes.

Still very hard to one point while I was doing the savvy string over the head and drape back over neck he started eating a pile of hay I had in the washbay.... hard to know if he's secretly an LBI!

Oh - and we accidentally did circle game the stall just after I haltered him I played a bit with putting the rope over his head and it got caught on his ear and he circled round me a couple of times at walk. OK so that's not really LBI but not really extreme RBI either hey.

Anyway - wait works for both, food seems to work for him so I'll keep on keepin on.

Friday, August 1, 2008

Enough sun for a small play today

When I got home Maraschino's neck cover (combo) was undone and flapping around so I went down (he didn't care much) and did it up and then they both followed me through the sodden track back to the yards. I opened the wash-bay and they both came in. I had the idea that I would wait for the mud to dry and brush it off as they say hosing removes the natural oils (mud fever) but it took sooooo long to dry so I hosed Garbo's legs. The scabs have all gone but they are a bit pink looking.

Anyway - tied both of them up and took their covers off so that they could relax in the sun on the concrete. Got a hay bag for them to share and they shared nicely which was good. I wiggled my finger at Garbo a couple of times when he looked like he was deciding to be dominant towards Maraschino. Maraschino was calm as a cucumber today - he let me brush him all over and wash some of the molasses off his face! (Yard toys).

Then I got the carrot stick out and make a pattern with the carrot string over the top of him, with the savvy string hanging on the far side, and then draping it back towards me over his mane, did this about 20 times before he turned and looked at it. Then we did some friendly again and some squeeze game for the first time (between me and the wash bay wall). We did a little bit of yo yo and 'back when I back' which he didn't understand entirely, but good progress.

Then I tied him back up to finish grooming Garbo and he licked and chewed for quite a while. So - needless to say - calm in the yards tonight. Yay.
I am keeping them in tomorrow because more rain is due and the paddocks are just so wet - so I may have to get Maraschino out a few times and have some play time.