Saturday, April 25, 2009

Horse Play on a Cold, Wet Day!

It was cloudy and foggy and misty! It was not warm, either. However, I had extended an invitation to the Parker Parelli group to come over for some Parelli playtime. I tried to straighten up the play area, I dragged my arena and spread the manure. Only a couple showed up, which was just fine with me.

Tammy, Amy and I had a fun session! Tammy didn't have much time, which was a bummer. Amy brought red ballons! The theme was supposed to be obstacles and desensitizing. I brought out the ball and we just started getting something going. We started with the CAN YOU game.

I actually love that game because I try to be creative and sometimes I can get it done, sometimes we can't. I love that someone else throws an idea out and I can try it with my partner. Tammy's was figure 8 at Liberty. I've NEVER done figure 8 at Liberty! Z and I were just fine with that. Wow!

Amy's was put your hoof on a tire. I tried to do it from the end of the 22 to make it more challenging. We were pretty good with that too. Mine was to yo-yo over cavaletti's from zone 3. That was tough and Z and I couldn't really get it done. The back from zone 3 was not good enough with the obstacle. There! Something to go work on!

We also played find your owner and Z's stick to me was truly awesome. She didn't leave me once. We trotted, we cantered, we chased off other horses and she was always right there. Another Wow! moment for me. I brought the ball into the arena and we kicked it to eachother. Tammy's horse wasn't so sure about that ball, but Molly and Z were fine with it.

Then, Tammy had to go and Amy and I worked with the ballons. I decided to play with Cowboy. I warmed him on first, since we haven't played in at least 2 weeks. He was a little high but he eventually came back to the ground.

When we started approaching the balloons, he wanted no part of it. That was ok, we did a ton of approach and retreat and after about 20 minutes, he was letting the balloons bounce off his nose and actually playing with them!

We then went for the water on my track. Amy's horse has confidence issues with the water and I thought Cowboy was ok with it, but he could certainly use the time partnering up with me. I tried to give Amy some coaching and her horse was eventually getting her front feet into the water. I would have liked to be more effective with her, but we were constrained on the track by the temp fencing. Also, the mud got the savvy string heavy and slow so fast.

All in all, a great day of growth for me, Cowboy and Zarah! I loved it!

At the end, my boarder came back with Gemini. She's leasing Gemini and it was his first show today. It did not go well with Gemini not acting like a partner at all. He bucked madly at the entrance to the dressage arena and Krissy packed him up and brought him home. We talked and I offerred to help her through this, she just has to decide if she wants to do it with him or not. I'm fine either way. I worry about the black marbles getting dropped into his jar from his experience with Krissy, but I like the opportunity for him to try things. We'll see...

Before I wrapped it up, I played with the head shake trick with Z. By George, I think she's got it! She's darn cute about it, too! She did not learn it quickly, but I already see the amazing effect it's having on her desire to be with me. I'll think about the next trick to teach her. She knows the hug, but that's so easy - just porcupine game on her neck. Maybe the nod or counting is next. Eventually, want to teach the bow and lay down.

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