Sunday, December 27, 2009

Christmas Break

I've been having a great time with the Nigel and Lil!

Nigel is, as I've almost come to expect, learning things at the speed of light and Lil is much more confident than she was last winter.

Nigel offers to do levade (sustained rear with knees together) and mezair (basically rearing and pawing the air. used to be beating down doors in battle) all the time now. I have no idea how to cue them individually though! Yesterday I was able to count to 4 while he was up in the air. He's getting the idea that I like it when he perches up there.

He is clearly getting stronger.

I love it when Kip gets to play with Nige on the weekends and is impressed with how he's developed. I like to see him smiling and saying "woah! thats awesome!".

Riding Nige has been waaay fun. Our steering is getting A LOT better. The other day I almost took the bridle off. I decided to keep it on and just looped the reins over the saddle horn and did a pretty perfect walking cloverleaf pattern* without having any need to touch the reins. Big progress. Our canters have gotten better and follow the rail without touching the reins is very good at trot and coming along at the canter. We got a very pretty sideways at the trot too.

I've checked Nigel off on everything on the Level 2 Freestyle* list except open a gate. We did it in the summer....but I want to double check it ... its been so muddy by the gate to the arena since we put it in.

I've been asking him to get into the trailer quite often. Shutting the door and feeding some breakfast. That too is getting better all the time.

Lil and I are on a licking and chewing record! Plus she fluttered her nose (her little Right Brained Introvert* version of a nicker) at me two days in a row!!!

We've been doing sideways at canter away from the lead...kind of an interesting effect...and her extensions at trot are getting really pretty online*. She is now offering to do it undersaddle as well.

Yesterday we had a lovely ride. We got a really nice little bowtie pattern using canter walk canters. Super cool! I need to see it on video...her walking pirouettes are staring to feel really good.

I just don't know what I would do without the Horsenality* information. It would have taken forever to learn what she needs by trial and error. Yesterday she galloped it out for about a mile. The funny thing is that she seems to know that its ok to do it now. Like she's not wondering if its upsetting me. She just gets out on the rail and does what she needs to do. Then comes back and says "Phew" I feel better now. What do you want to do?"

Looking forward to more pony time tomorrow. Here are a few picts from Kip and I's playtime with the white horses yesterday.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

My Parellitube Submission

Well...I thought I'd put one together...

It was really fun looking through the footage over the last year.

To view it larger on youtube:
Parellitube Montage

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Apparently Boredom Sparks Creativity

Well, the arena has been too rock solid to do much on.... bummer dayz. I'm starting to get bored enough to get creative.

I'm trying to teach Nigel to hang up in the air a little longer ala Levade. He's short enough we can play with this in his stall. We've gotten to like a 2 second rear so far.

I think I'll work on lifting up a front leg ala spanish walk. Lil might like that too.

Also maybe Nigel will learn to pick something up and hand it to me. Maybe a hat? Or a brush or something.

ugh................... at least its sunny!

Here's a little Lipizzan Airs Above the Ground clip. I may be getting addicted to this breed. Hopefully Nigel is not one of a kind.

Also here is a hilarious vid about a couple of english ladies playing ponies. French and Saunders-Ponies. Omg. To horse people this is toooooo funny. Apparently Linda shared this with everyone at the UK Parelli Celebration.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

And its all frozen.....

In fact everything is frozen. It is dry and beautiful. But very cold (hasn't gotten above freezing) and windy.

Today I played with Nigel and the horse trailer for just about 20 minutes. Frozen. Toes, Nose, Fingers, Pattotie. Even with enough clothes to look like the little brother in A Christmas Story.

He is just so worried about it. In his little Nigel way. "I'm doing it. But I don't like it." We were back to just getting in and hanging out. Because a few days ago...

I thought we were at a point this week where I could drive him down the road and back. So Thursday I loaded him just like we've been doing. . . he was fine to shut the door....I opened it and closed it.....but as soon as I put the butt chain across he started to have trouble. He tried to hold it together and I went ahead and closed the door. Uh oh. Drama. He was not completely Right Brained*. I mean...he was thinking... but he was thinking "I WANT OUT!".

He was pounding with his front feet and rearing. Now bear in mind that he does this when he wants to be let out of his stall too...but there was a definite tone of worry. Jail. Claustrophobia. And not enough trust. One different thing he was doing in the trailer vs his stall was blowing. Like you would think a relaxing sound. But this was he was trying to calm himself down. Come to think of it, it was the same with the pounding and rearing. It was all faster. And the blowing seemed to wind him up, not calm him down. . . but I didn't leave him in long enough to find out.

I scrapped the idea of driving him anywhere and let him out. After that it took about 5 minutes or so for him to be able to get back in and stand there.

Today, he got right in. But he didn't want to stay in. He would stay in for about a minute and then have to get out. One time I coughed and it startled him... and he had to get out. Eventually I could rattle the butt chain and he'd stay in. Good.

I think its just going to take repeating this process again until he can cock a leg...then I'll start banging stuff around....then when he lets loose with that I'll try shutting the door again....then when he lets loose with that...I'll try driving just a little ways...etc.

The funny thing is with Nige....I still don't know if it'll be 2 sessions more....or 10. I'll bet my next paycheck though that when we get through this and he really gets confident with will change everything between us. And that. Will be great.