Friday, March 29, 2013

Maraschino Week 2 and 3

Well Maraschino settled well after week one and he started making some good progress. The ladies at Liberty Ranch are really nice and patient and the good thing is, for me, is that is he's not right with something the next day they go back and fix it rather than say oh well he was fine with it yesterday lets move on.

What they have noticed is that by the end or middle of a session he's good with say for example the rope touching his hind fetlocks as he backs up, or the rope dangling over the cantle and down either side of his legs as he circles (and the rope touches his legs), but then the next day he finds it very difficult again to start with. They have the lariat rope over the cantle of the saddle and around his hind end... and also dangling lower. He needs to be able to go forwards and backwards with that pressure or into the pressure when backing up, without freaking out. Last time I watched a session - on Thursday I think it was, he was collapsing his back end like when you get cold water on their tail. They also roped a hind foot.

So - while it's not as satisfying doing it myself, and I won't be able to say he's been 100% Parelli'sed, I think what they are doing is good for him and will set him up nicely. I have some ideas of what I'm going to do afterwards to add my icing to the cupcakes :-).

Like they always keep saying - they want anyone to be able to get on him. And be safe - that's the key. I want to be safe. I'm certainly not one to ride them to calmness - who can do that anyway - don't they just ride them to tiredness?

I think he'll be set up really well once I get him home. And while I think perhaps sometimes they don't take into account the horsenalities so much (no one has done that better than Linda Parelli), I think they do really well at quitting when he does well and not quitting when he's scared or unsure. I think the main difference, in my opinion, would be in particular with Maraschino and his RBI'ness is they don't ask and wait - they ask then tell immediately - like what you'd do with a LBI - so Maraschino can get more emotional than perhaps I would like. BUT maybe that's what he needs right now... I mean you can't avoid it completely because what happens one day when you want to take him to a show or somewhere new right?

 He looks lovely in a western saddle!
He's got a little bit of grass to nibble on now so I'm happier.

Nice peaceful place for him to be. And only 8 minutes from my door. Yes I timed it.
I took Garbo there to ride for a morning clinic last Sunday to help him get used to riding with other strange horses, and it was great fun. Nice just going to a place we know well for a clinic as he doesn't feel uncomfortable off the back foot. He did a capriole thingy at one point but they had some great ideas to help me with that. Making it a nice idea to rest near other horses and away from them he was put to do some work. Also we had the herd bound issues with Maraschino being in the next paddock so it was good for all involved.

Maraschino will be watching a clinic this coming weekend too.

Here he is being introduced to the new cat on the farm.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Maraschino - Week 2 at Big Boys Camp

Well it's been a long week but it's gone fast. Maraschino has had 8 sessions now since last Tuesday (he arrived there Monday - he had the arrival day, then Friday and this last Monday off).

Each day I go and see him and give him some feed and some UDT. (Undemanding time). Sometimes he has time for me and other times he just wants to think (and eat). Today was a good day he licked me all over my face, neck, ears, while I giggled - he's so cute like that. He must have had a good session today. I haven't had a chance to ask about today yet.

So this past week he's been exposed to the flag x1000, a flank rope, tummy rope, a big western saddle, noisy bags, etc. Soon they will do some of the same stuff from the fence, before they get on.

Teresa said he was one of the most unbroke horses she's come across but he went pretty Right Brain after he arrived - his world was a bit topsy turvey there for a while after spending the last 5 years with me and my comfort zone place. I think he's catching up pretty well now.

He looks like a very grown up horse to me (for the first time) in this photo above.
Here's a wee video also.

 Doesn't he look cute in a western saddle!!
Awwwww - still my wee baby....
I told Teresa that it was a huge thing for me to trust someone else with him - and that the reason I got a young horse was so that I had no "baggage" with the horse. She understood. While they do things the Buck way - I can see why they do everything and none of it will do him any hard at all. So far so good!

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Starting Maraschino

So I've been fiddling around starting Maraschino at the speed of a snail, and since he's inherently Right Brain I was not being consistent enough - you know - not getting the 7 days in a row of anything - let alone what we needed to cover. I thought I could do it by myself but after I came off twice (neither time was nasty nor did I get hurt) I had a big think about what to do.....

I'd been thinking for a while actually because time was just vanishing - as it does.

The options were to send him to Russell in Hamilton - long way - plus I wouldn't be able to be involved. I still wanted to be part of the process.

There was not really a local instructor I could use, who I could have weekly lessons with...or anyone that was local enough to do sessions in a row. Not Parelli ones anyway.

Jool's had a couple of ladies at her farm starting horses and doing clinics. I'd thought about them as an option, but wasn't 100% sure. It was local - only two streets away - and they use Buck Brannaman methods - not too dissimilar to Parelli. It wouldn't be perfect - but I think it would be good enough under the circumstances - I mean - what were the other options? Take another 4 years to get no where slowly lol.

I spoke to my good friend about it - and she said some very sensible things. 1. I couldn't afford to get hurt - true. 2. I couldn't afford to lose my confidence - which had been happening. 3. It was close so I could stay involved - even pop down in my lunch break (lunch break??)... and 4. She'd seen a horse be started by them - both the process one day and the end result - the hose was a LBE - so I called Teresa up and discussed a few things with her. She made me feel comfortable enough to go ahead.

So - next problem - separation training or lack thereof - for Garbo! It was always Maraschino I was leaving behind so I'd ignored doing it with Garbo. Naughty me.

The night before we were due to drop Maraschino off I took him for a walk up the road and did lots of retreat.... Garbo was not that happy but not a maniac. I had planned to take Garbo in the float anyway.

So - I was a little nervous since I hadn't floated Maraschino for quite some time but he and garbo loaded like angels and off we went. He was put into a paddock of dirt - they don't believe in grass for horses down there -just hay so he's going to be thinner when he returns!

It's a lovely peaceful place for him. He rushed off a little on the float - not too bad... and I tied him at the float for a while while I saddled Garbo up - thought I may a well go for a ride. Mickayla came and led Maraschino to his paddock.

I warmed up Garbo and Maraschino was very very settled - but wondering where all the grass was lol. Garbo looked nice and calm so I got on and had a nice ride - we did some trot and walk and lots of transitions. I have not cantered in my new saddle yet! It's not as couch like as my NSC so still getting my seat so to speak.


It was a good session even though it was hard for Garbo to concentrate on anything expect grass since we're in a drought and the grass at home is not even 1mm long - so this seemed like Heaven to him.

After the ride I took Garbo back to the float which was about 200m away I guess and Maraschino started calling out and running around. We hung around going in and out of sight for a bit and then loaded. Jools said she would be there all afternoon so she would keep an eye on him. I texted later and they said he'd settled.

Driving away I felt like a Mum leaving their kids at school or kindy for the first time. He's had the last 5 years of his life with me at home, and the first year of his life wild in a 100 acre paddock with a herd of 30. So to let someone else "train" him was a massive step for me. But I think I'm lucky these guys are here, and so close, and it's still Natural Horsemanship - it's by far no means "normal" "breaking".

They asked I not be there for the first couple of sessions so I was dying to get back on the third day to see how he was doing - I had gone up each night anyway to see him and give him some chaff and seaweed. They commented he was hard to catch on the first day, and I explained his world was pretty upside down for him - new place, away from Garbo and I.... and he's Right Brain.

Anyway - they said he was hot, and sensitive and needed repetition and patience. Exactly. So that made me feel better. Although they are not doing it exactly the way a Parelli Professional would do it - none of what they are doing will do him any harm.

Each night he's pretty pleased to get his dinner. The rooster and the hens like it too - they get all the scraps he spills - wonder if this will stop him tipping his bucket over before he returns home.
This is the first session I saw - with Teresa. Getting him used the the flag. They also used the lariat rope as a flank rope this day too - lots of bucking one way and none the other side.

He calmed down after a few days - I went up tonight and Mickayla was using the flag again and he finally stopped snorting at it lol. He seemed much more himself in the paddock too afterwards. He's taken to licking me after his dinner which means I end up covered in left over dinner. :-)