Training the Mind of the Horse and Rider

Training the Mind of the Horse and Rider
Click on Logo (Original artwork by Lanie Frick for Messick Quarter Horses. Not permitted to be copied)

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Thankful for....

I’ve had another Thanksgiving meal today, with Jacob and Amber, almost 4 year old Caden, and 21 month old Tyler.  For thanksgiving, we were in CO with Sara, Jake, soon to be 4 year old Makenzie and 10 day old Kaytlyn.  Today, Kaytlyn is a month old already!  Today, we had a fun time with her cousins.  Today, we had our Thanksgiving meal here.  This is a great reminder that Thanksgiving can be any day.  This is a great reminder that any holiday, or special event, like birthdays, anniversaries, etc, can be celebrated on any day.

Today’s thoughts are on what we should be thankful for are.  I am so thankful for my 4 grandchildren and their health.  For Makenzie and her outgoing ways and ambition and energy.  For Caden and his quiet ways of figuring things out and wanting to know if we can play with him.  For Tyler’s laughter, his soft side, his tenderness, and not wanting his feelings hurt.  And little Kaytlyn, so young, so do we really know her personality?  But she is so calm, so peaceful, so content.  She teaches us a valuable lesson.  I am so thankful for all my family, my children, my SIL and my DIL, and my grandchildren.

Then there are our horses.  They teach us so much! 

The shake of their heads.  The stance.  The demeanor.  How, and why, they like, and how they don’t like certain horses.  And do you figure out the why?  I have on most of the horses, and then there is always a surprise.

Starlet, the boss.  Fought with Doc, a gelding who was gelded as a 12 year old.  They did not like each other for 3 or 4 years.  Now this year, they stand close to each other.  I think still figuring who is the ultimate boss.

Shaggy who isn’t a threat to any horse and every horse likes him.  From birth to 9 years.  No one fights with him.

Chick who could be a nasty show mare, but with a calm influence, shows well.  But she hates to be separated from her pasture mates.  And let’s all horses around her know that! 

The quiet yearlings who turn into monsters when new young horses enter their space.

The old horses who accept anything, some who move away from nasty horses and some who put younger horses in their place.

And the young horse who is bossy, pushy, fights with everyone and then meets their match with an older, mature, confident, mare or gelding, and teaches a valuable lesson.

This is most of my herd.  What is your’s like?

“Embrace the Journey!”

And Embrace your Horse’s Journey!

Saturday, October 27, 2012

My Mom's Sister and Brother

We are at an age where all of our aunts and uncles are aging.

My Mom's Sibling: 

Aunt Ann, Uncle Jr, and my Mom
My mom lost her sister a few months ago,

then about a month ago, her brother-in-law passed away.
This past Wed, her brother passed away.

My Uncle Jr was always goofing around,

and always laughing.
I will miss all of you.
And earlier in the week, a cousin posted that it had been 10 years since her father passed away.  (This would have been my dad's brother.  My dad was 1 of 3 boys, but the first boy was still born).

I had to change my weekend plans.  I was still having trailer tire problems and decided not to haul 4 hours away for the CTR in Kansas.  I just didn't feel like going.  Maybe I just need to stay home and think about my aunt and uncle.  And what my mom is going through.  My mom has some dementia.  I'm sure all this sadness is affecting her health.  You're in my thoughts and prayers, Mom and Dad, as well as my cousins and their families.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Fall Weather is for Riding

Time to get back to riding the Arabs and the Quarter Horses.  I'm still thinking of what name I should be using now.  I'm thinking Messick Quarter Horses & Arabian Performace and Endurance Horses.  I'll be having my website updated over the next few months, so I need to decide.

The Arabs,


I just love her head!

Bonita when I first got her,

and under saddle.  She is so smooth.

Shaggy, just love his trot!  He is for sale now.


Duke is fun to ride. Fantastic lope!

Duke as a 3 year old.  I need to get him back to looking like this, but he is 15 now, so we'll see.

And Sox, the 12 year old Arab gelding that I bought for the fall trail rides and CTR's. 
I can't wait to do the next to Open CTR's on him.  I decided to get him as he is more seasoned than Allie, and I can work on me this yearto go the distance.  Allie will be ready next year!

I hope you are getting some fall rides in too!  The wind isn't blowing as much as the last 2 days, so I should get a few rides in today!

I Cherish Your Memory

I cherish your memory.  Time has passed.  You were so strong, yet so delicate.  You were my little colt, orphaned at 1 month to turn into a tall black horse.  What a pistol as a weanling, yearling, 2 year old.  So small and so light on your feet that I could almost pull you over on the lunge line.  So graceful as a 3 and 4 year old.  So easy to ride.  Your lope was lovely.  I miss you so much.  I cherish the years we had together, even though so few, yet so meaningful.


Over the past 3 years, the grief has turned into pain, into heartache, into sadness and guilt and into so many questions.  Why?  Why now?  Why so soon?  Understanding comes in time.  I still don’t understand.  But I don’t grieve.  I am sad and my heart still aches.  But I can think of you without crying.  Even though a lump forms in my throat when I think like this.  I was able to hang a picture of you this year.  I have looked at photos of you and me.  Now I think of what we had and I don’t think so much of what we missed out on.  The good memories need to come so this terrible lump and tears forming in my eyes go away.  With time, comes acceptance.  I have accepted the fact that you are gone.  I just don’t like it though.  Sometimes, I catch myself just looking out into the fields and thinking and remembering.  I feel you there, even when I’m on a different horse. 

“Acceptance, though a hard thing to do, is an essential thing that helps you to improve in life. When you accept a friend as such with his plus and minuses, you gain friendship. When you accept a past deed, you prepare yourself to face the future, when you accept a situation, you become more comfortable. Acceptance is the essence of life and if we try to shun away from acceptance, life becomes a bed of thorns.

As K C Theisen said, acceptance is not submission; it is an acknowledgement of the facts of the situation. It also helps you to decide your future course of action. Those who accept things that cannot be changed are as wise as grass that grows in the riverbeds and those who refuse to accept are like trees there. When a storm blows, the grass accepts and survives but the tree falls to the power of the wind. Acceptance is an important character that we have to inculcate in us, to survive successfully in this world.”

I will love you forever.  I will miss you forever.  Until we can meet at Heaven’s Bridge and you can carry me home.  I’m not crying.  I look up to the heavens to watch you gallop by.

May 26, 2001 - October 10, 2009

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

1000 Miles!

I've ridden 1000 miles this year on my horses!  A group of us belong to the Distance Derby, where we are keeping track of our miles and hours.

Either in the fields or in the arena or down some trails, I've ridden quite a few different horses this year, but my main mounts were Shaggy and Savannah, starting in Jan.  I added Duke and a few rides on Starlet.  Then the Arabs, Allie and Bonita, joined the herd, and I put some time on them in May and June.  Savannah was sold in June, then by mid-July, it got too hot to ride, even during early mornings.  I started riding again last week, and added Sox, an Arab gelding, to the mix.

Today, I knew I was going to cross the 1000 mark.  I made sure I was riding Shaggy!  He has been my main mount these last 3 years.

I'm going to miss him when I sell him later in Sept.  I need time for the Arabs. 

But for now, I'll enjoy the cooler fall days, that are yet to come, and enjoy my rides on Shag in the fields and at the Centered Riding Clinic.

I just can't wait to ride the fields!

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Summer has been busy!

 Bonita, May, 2012

I haven’t blogged in ages!  This summer has been busy with horses and riding!  At the end of April, I bought 2 Rushcreek Arabian mares, to start conditioning for the Fall CTR’s.  During May, I was riding them, Shaggy and Duke, and through May and June, tried to bring in 2 4-year olds to be saddled and lunged.  This didn't happen every day, but I tried to work everyone a couple of times a week, and ride Shaggy and Allie and Bonita most of the time.  I was also riding Savannah, and did sell her in June.  The first weekend of June, I hosted a Centered Riding Clinic.  Through May-July, I was giving kid’s lessons when it wasn’t too hot and humid.  Even at 8-9 am, if I thought it would be too warm for the horses, who are lesson horses and out of shape, I cancelled lessons.  We didn’t have many July lessons, due to the extremely hot days.  I found myself inside sooner and sooner.  At least, I’m catching up on house things… some cleaning, paperwork, putting things away.  Why is it that I look at my dresser, and it keeps collecting “things” and I never get that cleaned off!  I need to put a box under my bed to put that stuff in to!

Time to take on a project!  LOL  For a few year, a different room was painted.  About 4 or 5 years ago, I finally took out 70’s kitchen cupboards and had the whole kitchen re-done, with new paint in the kitchen and eating area. Along with that major project, the tile guy finished our master bathroom tile.  This is a tiny bathroom, just big enough for shower, toilet and sink, and it had been tore up for a year!  Once we watched and saw how the tiling got done, we had the toilet and sink and vanity in within days!  Those 2 projects lasted my “let’s get something done” for a few years.
 But a few years later, the downstairs basement family room got new carpeting, as grandbabies were first starting to crawl.   The next year, the living room got new floors, and since we were down to the wood subflooring, the family room, which was directly under the upstairs living room, got some extra ceiling lights!  That room used to be so dark and 6 new lights sure made a difference.  Last year, the main bathroom was done by hubby and me. The 80’s wall paper, and underneath it the edges of the 70’s flower power wallpaper, was replaced by tile. We put in a very small jet tub that would fit and tiled the tub shower area.  And I was very pleased by how it looks!  Love it and my horsey home décor items!!!
This year, I turned to the office/exercise area. Not much exercising is getting done, but it needed organized.  Hubby has taken over some of the area too.  This room used to be the boy’s bedroom and was a great room for exercise equipment, but is too small for that and 2 office spaces. But I’m trying to make it all fit. 
But getting back to “summer has been busy” made me think about projects.  August is usually about when I start a new project, because it’s too hot to be outside.  July ended up being that month!  I still rode early mornings, but not even every week.  Hubby and I did go home the first week of July to visit parents in PA.  I did ride the 2nd week of July, and the horses were riding great after 9 days off.  But then the 3rd week of July, horses and I shut down.  They were hot and sticky, I was hot and sticky because they weren’t riding easy, so I decided if I had to work at riding, everyone was going to have a break!  Then my major project started.

I am, and have been, liquidating my tack store inventory for the last 2 years, since closing my store March, 2010.  I have been selling items in vendor booths at a few horse events, and reopened during the Christmas season the last few years.  I had discounted my prices and offered sales at 50-60% off.  Up until now, I had refused to offer more discount and lose money.  But I felt it was time to do just that.  I decided to sell items at 50-75% off online through Messick Tack & Feed Facebook Page. By the end of the 3rd week of July, I had tables lining my basement walls, and laid out all my inventory.  My clothing racks were already against 2 walls, with hanging clothes on them.  So I really only had to organize the T-shirts, books, caps, jewelry, kids item, Christmas cards and Breyer ornaments, Home Décor, and jeans.  The few items I had in storage in the barn, like cinches, grooming supples, first aid supplies, and a little bit of tack, and supplements were laid out on racks and tables in a room of the barn.  I was ready to see what I could sell.  And stay out of the heat on those 100+ days.  Check out the sales under the Photo Section!
Wow, the sale on the FB took off!  The minute I started posting photos of what the rooms looked like, I had messages as to what I had for sale and at what price.  I realized I needed to take close ups of each area, list the items, and put info and sale prices under each photo.  Easy to do, but time consuming.  For the last 3 weeks, that is what I have been doing.  Each day, or every 2 days, I tried to post new photos with prices.  The past 2 weeks, I took individual photos of all the jewelry, tank tops and t-shirts I had, and posted them with sizes and prices.  The Montana Jewelry sold out within a day.  Trying to keep up with messages and orders made for some long days.  But this is good news.  I see the piles slowly going down, yet I have a good selection of everything.  I don’t have all sizes in everything, but if not in one style, I have it in another style.
I’m looking at the whole picture now, from start of the tack store 8 years ago, until today.  And before that, I had feed sales.  Profit is still there.  If the use of social media would have been greater 4 years ago, or if I would have started using FB more, 4 years ago, (I’m not sure when FB started), I may not have closed the store.  I know I should have liquidated more items every Jan and Feb, when sales are at a slump after Christmas.  I should have offered more items at 60-75% off, just to move them, and make room for new items. 
Hindsight is wonderful.  Along with that, comes knowledge.  I’m a better businesswoman now.  Even if my business is turning another corner.  I’ve learned quite a few things from having the tack store.  I’m not sure I’ll deal with customers any differently, but I can understand customers better.  I’ve worked hard at helping customers find what they need and not what I could sell them.  I have always held that honesty and integrity and truthfulness is a must. 
I’ve been so busy, and have had very little free time.  I think within another week, I’ll be caught up on taking and posting photos, and then I’ll have some extra time.  I want to get back to blogging and posting informative articles and tips on my Horses Are Our Lives chat group.  I need to get back to working all these horses since we are having cooler mornings.  I want to get back to reading all these books I have and talking about them.  And I need to getting back to taking more photos to post on Sunday Stills, which I haven’t done all summer!  I’m not sure when I posted there last.  I miss it!  I miss that interaction. 
I did check FB this morning, and realized that I couldn’t take the whole day off.  If I hadn’t answered some messages, tomorrow afternoon would have been terribly busy.  I organized some piles of product that people were wanting and I can start invoicing more orders. This is after invoicing a large amount of orders last week, too.  
Then I sat down to blog!  It’s amazing when you finally sit down, and do nothing, how slow time goes.  I’m liking this. And I might just do this every Sunday afternoon from now on… when I’m not riding.  Those projects and chores will wait and be there tomorrow.   Time to grab a cup of coffee, lay my head back on this lounge chair, listen to the wind and the birds, and watch my horses in their lot.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Has it really been this long?

All summer.  I did buy 2 Rushcreek Arabs at the end of April and I have spent a lot of time with them.

May and June, I've been busy riding and giving lessons.  I could ride the cooler mornings.

During July, I think we had the hottest July on record.  Hubby and I went home to visit parents the first week of July.  When I got home, the horse rode great.   But the next week, hotter than ever, the horses were just not cooperating.  They were hot and tired too! 

I decided to set out all the Tack Store inventory and offer a 75% off Sale.

Time to end the store.

Time to move on.

If I ever dig out of the sales that accumulated this last week, I'll post more photos and I'll start to let you know what the next stage of Messick Quarter Horses will be, as well as the Arabian part.

Until later.. Nite.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Stretching and Exercising

I highly recommend stretching before you ride. There are a lot of good books and exercises to do while riding also! Start to incorporate a few exercises into each day's ride.

Equestrian sports and exercise. It would seem if you rode a horse, actively... posting, 2 pointing,etc, your legs would be in shape. I have a 10 session Groupon at Cross Fit that I started using yesterday.... oh, I'm feeling the thigh muscles today. The key is to get in shape, then stay in shape! I wonder if I'll do these warm up exercises daily, as its obvious that I need to!  Just the few minutes of lunging (and I think of lunging a horse when I say this, but it's not... leg lunges), 2 days in a row, and my thighs know it.  I think it will be easy to keep this going... If I remember all the variations.

One thing I will always try to remember is to lunge, with say your right foot forward, and turn your body one way, then lunge again with the other leg and your left foot forward, aand turn your body the same way as the first time.  With each motion that you do with your body, you are to do it twice, on each stretched leg. 

Make sense???

That's what I have learned the last 2 days... that and to wear longer gym shorts, maybe capri length, as now my thighs have a rash from the mats!  Yesterday, I did squats, situps, pushups and pull ups with the rings.  No rash this morning, but a rash has developed after I came in from outside.  I'm not on any meds, so no allergic reaction to the sun.  I've put cortisone cream on the rash so hopefully better tomorrow. 

Yesterday's exercises were the leg lunges, about 10 different types, then 40 squats, 30 situps, 20 push ups (which just about did me in) 10 pull ups and 500 meters on the rower.  I did this in 9 min 59 sec.  I was sweating, but I did go at noon yesterday, and no air conditoning at that gym!

Today was same leg lunges, then work with the kettle ball.  I was to swing the kettle ball from between my legs to up and just over my head (I never quite took it that far!)  I was to do 10 groups, and in between groups, i was to run/jog a short distance.  Starting with 10 kettleball thrusts, each group had 1 less kettle ball thrust until I was down to 1.  I did this in just 10 minutes.

I hope my legs survive the next 2 days, then I'm off Fri-Sun from the gym!

Thursday, June 14, 2012



Once, about 10 years ago, I asked God for patience. I'll never forget this. I went to work for a grade school, helping a child that has behavioral problems. I'm back to working with horses.

Then God gave me many horses to work with, some young and some older.  Now he brought me Arabs.  And I'm loving them.  To me, they are not any different than working with a sensitive Quarter Horse.


The horses are tied in the barn for a short time to help with patience.  Learn to stand still.  Learn to stand still when your buddy leaves.  Learn to stand still when you are alone.  Learn to stand still when other horses come into the barn or leave.


Some horses, like Honey, just need to learn to wear a saddle.  She is extra sensitive, and needs to learn to be comfortable with a saddle on her back.

Shaggy just gets to eat!  So he thinks.  He got to work on his patience today too.  He stands tied all the time, until he has to wait on some other horse coming and going.  He had a patience training time today.

Saturday, June 9, 2012

One chapter just closed tonight.

 One chapter just closed tonight.  I just sold Savannah, my TWH, that I bought to do CTR's after Finny died almost 3 years ago.  The people got along great with her! She even wanted to keep going up to the man.  He really, really liked her!!!

Like hubby said, "she wasn't the horse for you."  Finny was, and still is, a hard horse to replace.  Shaggy and Duke, as well as Starlet and Duster, AND the yearlings, and Chick, all have a place in my heart.  The Arabs, Allie and Bonita, are filling a void.  Allie is beginning the next chapter.  As well as Shag, and Duke, and Duster, and...

Every time a horse leaves, for any reason, it is sad. But there is a reason for everything, I do truly believe!  My belief is the only thing that kept me going after Finny died.  I still have a gulp in my throat just writing this.  I believe there is a purpose. I'm still waiting on God's timing on the "why" for Finny dying. 

That's a whole different chapter, and for now, I have to close a different chapter.  Savannah went home to a couple who just love her!  That is so neat!  The day started with her just riding well!  I rode her in the indoor arena to show them what she can do, gait, sidepass, pivot, forhand turn.  Then I took her outside.  She was perfect.  She never startled at anything!  Katie came out with her horse to show the difference with having a horse around, and there was no difference.  Katie took her horse back inside, and brought Shaggy out for me.  I rode Shaggy in a halter and leadrope and he did great.  I trotted him beside a beautifully gaiting horse. 

I am still astonished about how well Savannah did for this couple.  It was meant to be!
Until it came to loading her tonight! She did not want to go into their 2 horse trailer, so we delivered her.  She thought she was in heaven, in a shavings-bedded stall, with a stall buddy next to her.  It may take a few days for the horse to buddy with her though.  He was striking the stall at her.  She basically ignored him!

I will help Cliff with anything he needs help with.  He rode her so well when he came back to ride her.  I am excited that she is going to someone who loves her movement, her looks, her attitude.  I am excited that he found the horse to take the place in his heart that he lost a month colic also.
Maybe this is God's plan.  Finny left so Savannah came.  I found the person who needed a horse to love because he had lost his first horse love.

Hard lessons.  Harder yet to deal with a horse leaving us, and leaving a hole in our hearts.  Cliff was hurting and Savannah filled his hurt.

Maybe Finny left to help Cliff find another horse???

I need to think this way as it makes a reason for why Finny left me at such a young age.


Wednesday, May 23, 2012

It's been awhile since I've posted...

 On Shaggy at the FAMDR

Wow, it's been 2 weeks since I blogged!  With the nice weather, I'm outside more.  Conditioning 2 horses on longer miles plus spending time with 3-5 other horses takes up my day, along with paperwork and trying to post clearanced tack store inventory on facebook, which I haven't done much of that the last few weeks either!  I'll blame the weather!

 Views at Turkey Creek

This month has been a busy horsey month.  The first weekend, I went to Turkey Creek, Newcastle, NE to help judge a ACTHA ride.  A friend car and trailer pooled with me.  We both took our gaited horses and we were able to ride Friday evening after settling in, and Sat and Sun afternoons after judging.  We put on about 23 miles.

Covered pavilion at Turkey Creek

The next weekend was the NECTRA clinic, which I'll post what I remember doing.  Now, memory has to kick in! NECTRA is the Nebraska Competitive Trail Ride Associaiton, a division of NATRC,North American Trail Ride Conference.
Distance Derby Riders at the FAMDR

Last weekend started on Friday with the FAMDR, the Friday After Mother's Day Ride, which Tammy,, organizes.  I think there were over 100 riders, mostly women.  A few guys ride along as safety riders, but I think they come to enjoy the ride also.  We rode a 14 mile roundtrip stretch on a great trail from Valparaiso to Loma, NE.

This past Saturday a training horse went home.  I showed the owner what the horse was acting like walking around the barns, standing tied, being in the arena by himself.  She had brought her other horse, so we went to Branched Oak Lake, which is about 25 minutes from me, to ride the trails.  The training horse rode great.  He is a 9 year old part Arab, part Paint, and it is just his personality to be a little high strung when he is by himself.  The owner had ponied him as a youngster and worked him a lot, but he just remained goosey at things.  I hope the consistent month has made him calmer for her!

We had some rain Sat evening and night, but even though it dried up on Sun afternoon, hubby and I relaxed some.  We cleaned up some paperwork in the office, froze some of the strawberries that we had picked, and went to a gun show.  Well, he went in to the gun show while I did some internet work.

Lately, I've been posting more on my Messick Quarter Horse Facebook page, about the lessons and events I'm doing.  I'll have to get back to posting more updates here!  I have a Centered Riding clinic here in another week and excited about that.  My level 3 instructor is coming and I have 10 riders!

I've been spending a lot of time riding and enjoying the 2 new Arabs, Allie and Bonita.  Bonita has the sweetest lope.  Allie is starting to pick up speed at the trot and I think she is going to have a ground eating extended trot!

The review of the NECTRA Open Clinic was:

Open Obstacles at CTR Clinic
Clinician Cheri Jeffcoat, Past Open Rider


First, we came into the arena without horses to have a question and answer session.  Cheri gave her advice on what she would do at obstacles, preparing for obstacles, nutrition, etc.

Then we came into the arena with only halters and lead ropes on the horses.  Cheri wanted us to rub the horses all over to get them to relax.  A lot of what she said to do during this clinic will transfer to when you ride them.  The 10-15 minutes that we took to rub our horses set us up to have a more relaxing training time with them.

We walked with the horse, stopping, and we waited until the horse stopped.  We worked on leading and stopping from both sides.

We were to back the horse, without turning around.  Stop, walk backwards and have horse back.  We worked on both sides.

We were to walk the horse 1 step at a time.  This sets the horse up to take just 1 step when it is needed on the trail.

We walked over logs, stopping with front feet over 1 log, counting to 5, walk on. We were to lift the horses head and front end by lifting up on the lead rope. This will help the horse to lift his/her feet and not hit the logs.

We worked on having the horse do forehand turns by moving hip both directions, working from both sides.  We did the same with having the horse do pivots, working both sides to move the shoulder.  And we worked on having the horse side pass, working both sides.


Now, my memory has to kick in, but I think we did a mixture of walking and stopping, walking 1 step at a time, and stopping and waiting.

We walked and trotted over logs, lifting the horse’s head up as we go over the legs, to help the horse to lift his/her feet. We walked over the first 1 or 2 logs, then stopped and waited over the 3rd log. 

While trotting over logs, we were to be in a 2-point seat position as if we were going uphill.  Our lower legs were to be solid on the horse.  We were to hold with our thigh so our lower legs wouldn’t move.

I can’t remember if we practiced the pivots, forehand turns and sidepass while mounted. 

We did drag a line that was attached to about a dozen plastic jugs.  My horse wanted to see what others were dragging, but he didn’t like to drag it, as he went sideways.

We worked on straddling a log by the length of the log, which the horses wanted to step over it. 

We worked on opening and closing the gate, by asking the horse to back through it.

Everything we do on the ground with the horse transfers to when we ride!
What a great clinic!

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

A Quiet Evening with my Arabs

Tonight was one of those nights that I just wanted some quiet time with a horse.  Tonight, I had that quiet time with 2 horses.

Earlier, I rode a training horse and Duke.  I finished chores, then I went to spend time with Allie and Bonita. 

It's amazing how what you thought would happen, doesn't.  And then more amazing is when something better happens.

I've saddled, lunged and rode Allie a few more times than Bonita, just because she is a little bigger, and I thought was a little bullier, so any extra time I had went to her.  Today was no different, as I started with her.

I'm trying to get this "natural" horsemanship feeling brought into my training program.  "Feel" is what I've always tried to teach.  Now, because of Centered Riding and a few other things that I'm trying to learn, I take the time to really watch the reaction, and wait on the reaction, of my horses.
The first time I cinched up Allie, and I always cinch up slowly, she turned her head to nip.  Hmmm. Day 1 home.  We need to learn more about each other. Let's take the time to desensitize you more.  Next time, I'll spend more time rubbing her, like Lyle did when he showed her to me. 

Today, she was fine.  She just stood there as I saddled her.  I moved her hindquarters both directions, and every time I moved, she turned to face me, moving and crossing over with her hindquarters.  I took her off the leadline, and asked her to move around with the saddle on.  All she wanted to do was to turn and come back to me.  Ears forward, watching me, walking with me.  I think my stubborn filly has bonded with me.  A pleasant surprise.  And I'm liking her even more.

I brought her by the platform to mount, and she stands quietly.  I ask her to walk off.  I've decided to talk to her as I ride her, asking her what she needs me to do, telling her what we are doing, and asking her what she will teach me.  I forget about talking as much as we trot off, both directions, sitting and posting the trot, and riding in 2 point, which I will do a lot during competitions.  We only ride for a mile, but that was long enough.  I dismount, and I ask her to follow me over the platform.  She hesitates slightly but slowly extends one foot, then the other, and then walks towards me, where I stand on the other side.  Ears perked, coming willingly.  I turn her to walk over the platform from the other direction.  She hesitates slightly, then walks to me.  What a wonderful feeling.

I leave Allie in the arena when I open the gate to bring Bonita in.  Bonita was the quiet one, so light to ride.  She seems a little grumpy tonight (and I hesitaite to put human emotions to a horse, because it's not the same.  But something is a little different with her).  I rub her a little, but didn't ask her to move her hindquarters before I saddle.  She just doesn't seem as quiet as I saddle, and I make sure to ask her to move her hindquarters after I saddle.  Still not quite right, I took her off the line and ask her to move away as I free lunge her. 

She went off willingly, and wanted to crow hop a little as she went in to a little canter.  As I sent her away from me, Allie went with her.  Bonita loped off but Allie came back to me.  At one point, Allie came trotting up faster than I think she needed to, and as I put up a hand, she stopped right in front of me, actually in front of my raised hand, and I rubbed her forhead.  What a good girl.  She wants to be with me!  That is a good feeling!

Bonita, on the other hand, has decided to stay away.  Stopping by not turning towards me.  So I keep sending her away, until she turns to me.  It was funny to send her away, or turn away from her, and Allie is right behind me, so I rub her between her eyes, and turn back to Bonita.

Bonita has decided to turn towards me, and I walk to her, rub her between the eyes, and walk away.  She follows.  I attach the lead and ask her to move her hindquarters both directions.  She does.  Time to ride.

She is light and responsive, and moving out.  I had to tell her we were done, as she would keep trotting and going.

I also ask her to come over the platform.  She hesitates a little also, but comes.

I told Tom that I think this is different from Quarter Horses. If the QH didn't want to do this, they would pull back and argue, and you would need to spend time teaching them and showing them that this is ok.  These 2 arab mares hesitated, I relaxed but held the rein with a give and take, and they walked right over.

I'm enjoying these 2 girls.  They are going to teach me my next stage of horsemanship.  That is one of finesse.  They along with Shaggy, and Savannah, and Duke, and Duster, and Honey, and Dove and Fawn.  And I'll fine tune everything with Starlet, who I know so well.

I guess that means all horses will teach you something, no matter what their age is and no matter where you are at in your journey.

"Embrace the Journey!"

Monday, May 7, 2012

Love this type of evening....

Riding done.  Chores done.  Time to sit outside with a cup of coffee.

And while I was on the lounge chair, drinking my coffee, I heard the doves, which I love.  The cooler temps were refreshing, almost a little chilly.

I looked around, seeing all the new flowers that are blooming.

 The rose bush that was ablaze with blooms.

Hostas are loving the wet weather.

The perennials are loving this weather!

So many different shades of green.


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