Archive for August, 2015
I took all three horses into the round pen today. We (they) got to run around the round pen according to the rules-of-round-pen. Of course Lucky Star knows the rule of round pen, so when he asked to come into the middle with me three times, I let him. The girls ran around for a while. I stopped them and they were about 30′ away from me. I made the round-pen body language “sign” saying, “Come to me”.
One of these horses is a retired mare. Her life from her training start was not a good one. She was “driven over the edge” and became a crazy horse. Her distrust of humans was well developed because of her harsh “start”.
Her new-to-horses-beginner bought her after an amazing weekend with the mare. The couple visited the sellers for a weekend. They did everything with the horses. The new to horses other part of the couple fell in love with an amazing two year old. The two year old rode like an experienced horse. They went on trail rides. Both horses were fabulous and obviously well trained.. Both horses were purchased. When the mare arrived at her new home, the drug had disappeared and her new owner had a crazy mare. The other horse became a young green horse that fulfilled the “green on green makes black and blue” saying that us horse people are fond of regaling beginning riders with after they buy the wrong horse.
Thankfully, her new owners had just discovered Parelli and struck up an acquaintance with me. And what that means is Jenny and Tony Vaught became their helpers. The new green mare owner studied everything Parelli. The relationship of the crazy mare and the beginning rider was a rocky start. The couple lived twenty three hours away from the Vaughts.
Three years went by and the mare developed a deep trust and bond with her owner. They became an amazing team with a great relationship. But the owner told me that there were still some things that the mare had done that glorious weekend at the sellers that the mare still couldn’t tolerate.
Life was good and then the bug problem started. The mare became allergic to the bugs of her home state. She returned to Missouri and started her new life as a retired mare and also got to have a foal.
I took her before the last winter was started as my pastures had grass and she needed grass and my winter supply of hay. She blossomed with the grass and good hay. Her personality towards humans still was “You are human. I don’t trust you. I’m ignoring you unless you want to feed me.” One day when I was out with the horses, the mare came over to me and stood very close. Her body touched me. I looked at the mare and her liquid eyes made this statement, “You are a good human and I love you for taking care of me.” That was an awesome moment!
So, I have a new round pen, it is late summer and the story resumes. I had the horses stopped in the round pen after trotting and cantering around. When the mare ran around the round pen, her head was pointed to the outside. She was not interested in anything my body had to say.
Of course she knows the body language that the natural horsemanship people use. I made the body movement which translates into, “come to me”.
She was startled that I used the signal. I could see her thinking, “Susan knows how to talk to me! She talks to me like my beloved former owner! Her ears pricked forward and she trotted to me.
Fall on the ground and cry now!
Long long ago, I discovered that a round pen was a must-have when you wanted to train a horse. I put that round pen up far away from anything that would give me shade. Being young (in my late 40′s),I was out there in 90 degree heat with Sage, Velvet and the wild hackney ponies. I don’t how I survived that heat in the summer time.
Then the round pen became a corral backing up my barn while I traveled to stables with all the facilities, plus a covered, shady round pen.
The home round pen aged, as I did, and finally was fraught with rust. It didn’t have Aleve as I do, to get rid of that rust.
The round pen was taken down and is currently in use as a cow barrier somewhere in the near world.
Two rainy days ago, I have a new 60′ round pen with trees on the west and east side. I will have shade! It’s big enough to ride horses at a canter and just do about everything I need. Yee Haw! A new world starts.
Lucky Star, the horse of no, just had his first session in our new at-home round pen. Lucky has never had the at-home round pen and always felt , well,”lucky” about that situation.
Today Lucky Star is asking for sympathy from his horse friends! Oh what fun I had today chatting with the “horse of yes”! I was chatting in the shade, sitting on my very own blue barrel in the middle. Lucky Star might be planning on a rescue attempt from close friends!