Desert Horses

Welcome to my horse blog, Desert Horses. We live in the desert southwest, near Palm Springs, CA, but board our horses up in our local mountains where it is cooler in the summer. I have 4 horses, all rescues. Here is the ranch up the mountains where the horses stay.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

What am I learning?

Lisa, of Laughing Orca Ranch, asked me to post what I've learned so far from my horsemanship lessons.  Well, first of all, I've gained confidence.  I was so shaken after my fall that I didn't do much with ANY of my horses for over a year.  I just couldn't.  I limped around and could barely move my feet. My legs were constantly cramping and my balance was way off.  I went up and fed them and talked to them, but I really didn't interact with any of them, except Sunni.  He's always been my love!  For another year, I also didn't do much.  I really was in limbo.  I wasn't sure if my legs would recover and I was afraid to have another accident.  I did have my cousin come up and work with Sunni  about 4x, until he crow-hopped while she was on the phone.  That was the end of that.  So, getting my own confidence back was a big step for me personally.  Fortunately, the lesson horse down in Indio is so well trained that he's a breeze to work with!  I've learned how to get him to drop his head, how to properly lead (not let the horses get ahead of me!), how to flex, how to yield the front and hindquarters, and now I can pick up all of Sunni's and Gigo's feet!  (I used to only be able to do the front ones...).  My trainer also showed me how she rides a horse bareback and gives cues with her legs.  I'm not ready for that, yet, but if I continue to watch her, I'll be able to ride someday.  Oh, and she told me, "If you are on a horse and you look at the ground, THAT's where you'll end up!"   Hmmm...something for me to think about!  She also demonstrated how to get her horse to go where she wants just by looking beyond that point.  You know, I really haven't had lessons for several years (I did ride my cousin's horses a couple of times), but otherwise, I haven't had any lessons since I was in high school!  That's MANY, MANY years ago!  So, basically, for me, I'm learning all this from the beginning.  So, Lisa, I guess the most important thing I've learned so far is to be more confident with my horses.  I have now worked Sunni, Gigondas, Cali, and Scout with my new-found skills and they ALL did well (except Cali, who just didn't "get it")...I wanted to go back yesterday and work with them again, but we had to babysit the grandson all day since his daycare was closed and both of his parents had to work.  That's my instructor, Annette, with Riley, my lesson horse.  Isn't he beautiful?  And, well-trained?


shadowlake2005 said...

Way to go, Cheryl Ann! You are really making great progress. Doesn't it feel wonderful to put what you've learned and practiced into use with your own horses and see the difference it makes?

Laughing Orca Ranch said...

Sounds perfect!
I'm glad you're rebuilding your confidence. That's so important. As you know after both of my major injuries it took me a year until I rediscovered my own confidence. Aand even now sometimes, I have to forcibly pull it's quivering self from out behind my back at times. It's a day to day kind of thing for sure.
Starting at the beginning sounds like an excellent way to relearn all your skills and feel confident, too.
It's difficult, though. Last summer, I felt like such a fearful newbie when my instructor had to pony me on Apache during my first lesson and first time riding on my mare after she kicked me the previous year. It was a little humiliating, but it was what I needed to to do to move past some of my fears without causing a nervous breakdown or becoming traumatized.

I'm glad you're getting the kind of help you need and have an instructor that is patient and understanding. You'll be back to riding in no time at all. And you'll feel confident doing it, too.


Cactus Jack Splash said...

You are doing great!