Saturday, September 11, 2010

Building a Bond

We had some torrential rain this week, and about 9 inches fell at our house in two days. Once again people were lost crossing low water crossings, just like this February.

When it rains like that, a bucket kicked over, trees falling from the weight of rain, puddles formed in 2 minutes rain, I stay home.

Thursday I went out to the barn to take Mireya to ride Cody and only had a few minutes to spend with Smokey. So I did just a bit of ground work in the parking lot, nothing much. I was struck by how little we lost after so many days. I had thought that with a young horse there would be a quick drop every time.

Back in the paddock I was taking some hay to the far corner for the donkey who is getting the run around from the Andalusian Yeshio. I'm not a big Yeshio fan. He's beautiful, but a bit bratty having spent too many periods of his life getting trained, then being left to sit - over and over. He bites when the trainer bends him to her stirrup and is very high headed. So much so I wonder if its a breed trait. He's pushy and challenging on the ground. I move him away consistently and he's finally giving me space when I come in the paddock.

Hopefully he sells soon. I prefer my little herd of Lily, Smokey, and Pepe.

Anyway, Smokey follows me around the paddock as if we are still joined up. He snuffs at my elbow, stands behind me at just the right spot. I am trying to pay attention to my body language so much more after watching Chris Irwin and finding that it works magic. Communication feels clear, like a stream of water flowing through us.

Yesterday we rode, and again I was surprised. I worked in the round pen because I presumed it was necessary. But the join up was immediate and our work in the saddle was soft and controlled.

Of course *I* still need the warm up to get my balance, my center, my hands.

We headed out of the round pen over to the field to work on circles.

Our trot circles outside the round pen are not very good in the clockwise direction, he swings toward the barn every time. In the other direction we're much more consistent. We work until we are turning correctly, then move on. Someone told me too much circling is not good for a young horse's legs.
We did a little trail work, we are no longer brushing too close to trees, Smokey and I have worked out a grazing cue that's starting to sink in (the "graze" cue works, the "don't graze" cue is a little less effective. lol).

Then back to the round pen to pick up our rope halter, dismounting from the off side for practice, and walk back for a wash down.

It's wonderful to be in this place, to feel so good, to feel the trust, to know this horse and begin to understand his idiosyncrasies. Having a new horse has been nerve wracking for me in the past, this time there were little moments of that, but they faded quickly. Maybe because I feel I know him, maybe because I have more support this time around.

Maybe I just know more and have regained some confidence. Whatever the reason, I glad to be in this place.


Jeni said...

It's a happy place isn't it !

Anonymous said...

Very nice - that feels so good.

Fantastyk Voyager said...

The good thing about working with horses is that it is like reading a book. They usually pick up right where you left off.

I'd like to see a photo of Yeshio. I do like Andalusians. I believe it is in the breeding to carry the head high and tucked.

Jessica Boyd said...

That sounds like a nice place--soft and confident. Good for you both!

Sounds like Yashio is defensive and you're probably right about the reasons why. Yo-yo training is probably as effective as yo-yo dieting. Poor guy.

Laughing Orca Ranch said...

You've come a long way Baby!
You deserve this beautiful relationship with your new boy. Enjoy!


aurora said...

Glad you are in the right place, it's priceless! As far as the Andalusian, conformation may be a factor - but it sounds like handling is the culprit.

Trailrider said...

I think you know more. Your experiences are adding to your knowledge, and little things that used to throw you off, you now recognize and are able to work through.