Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Day Two, L&HB

Another great day. We started exploring Horseanalities on a deeper level and in the afternoon did more observing. My horse likes me again. I have a camping chair and I've been sitting in her pen with her every day. Today she finally started to hang out with me again. My shirt was covered with hay mash snot and it was a good sign. At the end of the day, when I sat in the chair in the corner, she came immediately over to me and stood over me. It was so interesting that the first day and a half, she was aloof and distant from me. I have taken note of that and realize that she probably was too out of sorts to think of me as a partner. Interesting that she felt that way in a time of lots of stress.

Pat Parelli showed up today with Caton!! It was a great surprise to see him. He only stayed about 5 mins and talked briefly about the history of the property. Apparently, they now have leased 12oo acres so the ranch is growing by leaps and bounds.

Z is so comforted by the other horses, especially a bay Missouri Foxtrotter mare next to her. That mare is nowhere near as interested in Z's whereabouts, however. Z will call for the horses when I take her out of her pen and I can't take her very far without her being racked with worry. It's amazing to me that at home, I can ride this horse for miles and miles alone and here she is absolutely not a "go alone" horse. Not yet, at least. It's like we have to rebuild that confidence from the ground up in this new place. I also think I realize that instinctively, she's RBE. At home, she can be RBI and often LBI. She's complicated.

They gave us cards, similar to the cards that come in the L2 pack, but they cover in detail how to handle the horse that shows up. These cards are very useful. They tell me not to block zone 1 on an RBE and the best strategy is to take control of her feet, one by one if possible. I've kinda figured that out with Z, but I was glad to see that on the cards.

In her most worried state, she moves her feet a ton and she will try to take the rope from my hands by writhing her neck around. The faculty says that is a more left brained maneuver, often from a dominant horse. Z is a dominant horse. It seems dominance is not typically an RBE behavior. She's not being very respectful of me when I let her graze.

It's surprising the things that Z can't do here that she can do at home. She can't stand on a pedestal. She won't go through hanging vinyl strips. She bonks into me. At one point, I walked over the tarp and she was fine. An instructor praised us and I turned around to smile at him. At that point, my horse decided to bonk into me with her shoulder (a very RBE thing to do). Great! Perfect! The instructor laughed and said, "Watch that now!". Doh! Z loves to keep me humble. :-)

We talked about lots - "J-tails", prey animals frozen with fear, RB horses and Pat and Linda handling them at a tour stop. There was a horse that had created such a perversion with people, he had to be muzzled to be led around. He had taken people's fingers off and thrown men across stalls. Pat was called in to help and left some of his best to handle and help the horse.

Another thing I've known but haven't used... a horses ears are soft when they are relaxed and confident and hard and tight when they are worried and unconfident. I will try to start checking Z's ears sometimes to see if I'm reading her correctly.

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