Training the Mind of the Horse and Rider

Training the Mind of the Horse and Rider
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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!"


Fantastyk Voyager said...

I like reading about your journey with your new Arab girls. I am so used to having Arabians that I don't recognize the differences between them and other breeds anymore. It will be interesting to follow along as you discover the Arabian personality.

Rising Rainbow said...

Arabians are my love because of that connection they make with their people. It brings with it enormous responsibility because they are so smart and try so hard and can be so wounded if you abuse that trust. And they are the most forgiving horses in the world IF you are fair with them. They don't mind mistakes, just mistreatment out of meanness.

There are many differences between them and other horses. Enjoy your journey.

Greener Pastures--A City Girl Goes Country said...

That feels really good when they join up with you. The other day my daughter worked my horse in the round pen and when she was done, of course he started following her. She decided to walk faster. He walked faster. Then she started jogging and Harley started jogging after her. She ran faster and faster and faster and Harley followed her at an extended trot, almost breaking into a lope. It was so funny to watch, her running around the round pen and Harley running after her!

txtrigger said...

I think one thing you will find with the girls is, that you can't work on one lesson over and over and over...say, side passing. Work on it a bit, get it good, but don't ask for better in that lesson. Move on, come back to it. Where I found the "cold blooded" breeds, I could continue to work on it until I got it better in that one lesson. The Arabs seem to get frustrated, and will start trying different things, assuming they must not have got it right, so they will try "this" lol Go to something else, and come back, and they will usually pick up right where you left off, with little refresher course.

Horses Are Our Lives said...

Thanks, everyone. The Arabs continue to just want to please. I think I get along with them because I have had really sensitive QH's. And I have a really light hand and a really light touch And with Centered Riding, now I'm even getting lighter. Sometimes it's hard teaching them my ways when they are older, so I hope Allie comes along. Bonita is light already.


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