Thursday, November 6, 2008

Not riding and Marv Walker

I went out to the stables in the middle of the day for a long lunch hour (been putting in some serious night hours, so I'm due). I didn't feel much like riding, I've been fighting fatigue for a week and haven't wanted to do much.

Horses have been switched around the six different pastures at the stables. Canyon wasn't with his buddy, Woody. Woody has been standing in the horse trough (the one with the automatic waterer) and splashing his belly, then rolling in the mud. He looks like a crocodile, huge mud patches all over his body.

(Troughs. not just for bathing cowboys and shrinking boots.)

Maybe it's because the flies have gotten bad and he's part swine, or maybe he's just a horse that requires entertainment. Either way he's busting the floats so he had to move into a pasture with a hose fed trough instead. So Canyon was out with one of the sorrels. He also had a pretty good bite on him, which may be another reason Sharon separated him out. With Spirit gone, there's a shifting of herd boss and that's never a peaceful process.

They could learn something from the election and peaceful transfer of power. Fox news not withstanding.

Anyway, when I came out he walked up to me and was nodding away the flies. (Yes, I figured out he wasn't nodding in love. I found this out when I went out two weeks ago and every horse was nodding at me. They LOVE me! I am Queen! LOL)

I tossed a bareback pad on him and we went for a walk around. We sniffed at the tables and chairs (which weren't nearly as scary this time. I wonder if courage is building?) and did a warm up in the arena. Then we headed out the road and worked on courage, listening and leadership from the saddle.

As good as Canyon is on the ground, and as good as we seem to connect, he's not all the way there. This horse seems connected with me, but it's not there in the saddle. I can lead him into anything and he'll follow me around the arena, back, turn, everything without a touch on the lead line. But it's not translating when I get on his back.

I recently discovered Marv Walker, (in this picture) who I'm really enjoying reading. He's got a method called "the bonder" which has a few aspects different from Parelli and Lyons:
  1. you enter the round pen and remove everything from your horse. no lead line. no halter.
  2. you "push" your horse with the pressure of your eyes, body and attitude. I suspect I'll need my stick still.
  3. lowering their head is a big sign to look for. Canyon lowers his head almost immediately, so that's a good sign, I guess...
  4. you turn your back and make them come to you, then lead them around.
I'm going to give it a try in the next few days. You can get his info for free, and I just signed up for his email list. He even takes questions by PHONE. Can you imagine?

He's a big believer in pain causing lots of these issues and since Canyon had a dropped heel, I'm going to have him checked out by the horse chiropractor at the end of the year. I know he's a panic, but pain can escalate that. I know, my husband has chronic back pain and when it flares up, he responds over the top to everything.

So maybe it's an issue. Anyone have experience with back crackers for horses?

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