The horse's pasture to the East...

Monday, August 2, 2010

I found me!

I'm back! I had some problems this year with a virus invading my computer, so I lost my address book that made it easy to find my way to my own BLOG. I crack myself up!

It's been a heck of a year, so far. We coughed up the money to buy sand for the base of our arena and round pen, then found out the small tractor we bought wasn't big enough to drag them. AAACK! Learning curve...sigh. Always that learning curve. So now we're hand weeding, burning and hoeing the places that are supposed to be lovely sand. 'Supposed to be' is the operative phrase here. It's Kansas and the grass just wants to grow. What more can I say? Learning curve...

John is now playing with Apache. I'm playing with Lucky. Things are much easier now that it's set up like this. John is doing a great job and Apache is truly happy, having his very own human that he doesn't have to share. He's much softer and easier to be around. And Lucky? We're having the times of our lives together! He's healthy and regaining his old self. His muscles are building back up, his balance is coming back and he's begun to really look forward to meeting me at the gate. I'm so glad the last three years are now behind us. Looks like he's completely recovered from his laminitis.

This past week, despite the constant heat, has been one small breakthrough after another. We've cantered down the drive together...only five or so strides. But that's huge for Lucky...HUGE! He's a classic Left Brain Introvert, so he has way more whoa than go and is just happy to be here as long as he's eating. Getting him motivated enough to want to offer a canter is a real accomplishment for both of us.

Speaking of eating, we're doing much better avoiding the head diving too. This morning (we were out for an hour) he only tried to put his head down twice. And I managed to have him do his Figure Eight's on the 22 foot line and kept my feet still. Read that again. I sent him out to do the Figure Eight's and KEPT MY FEET STILL. WooHoo! Huge for me...HUGE! That's several big steps for Lucky, and no small steps for me. ;-)

And yesterday, when he was out at Liberty outside the fences, we came all the way in to the barn at Liberty too. It was down the length of our east pasture, which is about 14 acres. And it was soft and fun, with lots of Circles and Sideways games. Lucky doesn't mind Circle or Sideways as long as there's a reason for them. Like I said, classic Left Brain Introvert. Add in the carrots waiting for him in the barn and now you know why he was happy to play all the way in! Anything for a carrot.

John and I have been Playing with the horses six or seven times a week since the beginning of the nice weather. At first I was playing with both of the horses, but I was also getting out on the ragged edge trying to keep up. Apache is a Left Brain Extrovert and way scary smart to boot. Keeping up with him and then switching my thinking process to work with Lucky was taxing, to say the least. When I talked to John about it, he offered to take over Apache. Maybe later, when I'm a Level Four student, it will be fun to work with two or more horses. For right now, I kind of like having just one to Play with.

I guess, after our long snowy Winter (nearly four months of snow on the ground, and deep snow too boot) and me asking him to do simulations with me so I could keep learning, John started to get fascinated with the idea of it worked, why it worked and the fact that he could begin to apply it to other aspects of his life.

So this is where I do a shout out to Pat and Linda Parelli for setting up the kind of learning system that you have through your videos, books and Parelli Professionals. I've never seen any other Natural Horseman suggest simulations, much less go into the detail that the Parelli's and their amazing staff have with their educational system and home study courses. It's flat out amazing! And now my man's on board too. It just doesn't get any better than that!


Oh, one more thing. I'm on Facebook and Twitter now also, along with about half of the rest of the world. At least I don't feel so isolated anymore! I'm going to post my BLOG address to both and maybe pick up some other Parelli students. I'm hoping I can make some more virtual buddies to exchange ideas with and to congratulate each other on our breakthroughs and successes. Even better, maybe we can begin to discuss the things that are puzzling us, the events that are unexpected, so we can do a little "arrow exchange".

Keep smiling. I am!

Nancy, smiling at the way things go...

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