Jan 21 2011
I worked my Appaloosa, Forest, in the round pen. Although I started him under saddle a little over a year ago, I don’t ride him more than twice a week (usually, I pony him), so he needs a lot more training learning to give to the bit. We did a lot of circles in the round pen, incorporating turns and half turns and reverse. We also worked on cantering, backing, and halting.
Afterwards, I took him out on the trail. I rode him bareback. He is my favorite horse to ride bareback. I call him my “Lazy Boy Chair.”
In the afternoon, I worked with Jakob’s horse, Beauty. We did a lot of groundwork, concentrating on Parelli’s Seven Games – namely, the friendly game, the porcupine game, the yo-yo game, and the circling game. We worked on the circling game over a cavelleti. (Practicing the Seven Games with your horse is a way of communicating with him and establishing leadership.)
I decided to give Asali an easy day of training. I worked her in the arena, on the ground. First, I did some “free” work with her (meaning that she did not have any equipment on her – no halter, no lead rope). Then, on the lead rope, we worked on side pass.
I was reflecting on being with all three horses today. I feel incredibly blessed to have more than one equine in my life. They each, just like people, have their very own unique personalities. Each horse teaches you something different; there is always a new lesson.
Forest is my rock. He is my friend, my confidence builder. He constantly challenges me. He is like a young child who questions your authority, but you can never stay too mad for too long because he wins you back every time. I enjoy being with him – sitting with him in the round pen, going for a slow, Sunday ride, grooming him. He is my big lap dog, honestly. I always seem to love myself a little more when I am with him.
Beauty is a sweet horse. She is soft and kind and trustworthy. I am still getting to know Beauty. When I first saw her, there was something about her that drew me to her. I can’t tell you what it was. But, she was the horse I chose for my son after looking at 30+ horses. Even after someone at the horse rescue told me she’d be “too much horse” for my son, I couldn’t walk away from her. I returned to the same horse rescue on three occasions, and each time, I knew she was the horse for us.
Asali is a reflection of me. She speaks to me on a spiritual level and I always know when I’ve got it wrong and when I’ve got it right with her. She forces me to give her my all – she will never take anything less from me. I had to earn her trust and now I work to keep it. But, she is the most loyal and willing horse I’ve known. She has taught me patience. She has taught me to slow down and ask nicely. She is also so much fun to ride on days when I want to go crazy. I believe she is going to make the perfect endurance horse because she never gives up.
Tonight, when I went down to the feed the horses, Jakob joined me. After we threw hay, I thought Jakob had gone back up to the house, but then I heard something going on in Beauty’s stall. I peaked in through the window and Jakob was in the stall with Beauty, brushing her. I couldn’t help but smile.