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.

Friday, August 3, 2012

Busy day today (Friday)

So, my homework for my horsemanship teacher is to work with the 7 waterhole rituals with my horses.  Today I did Scout and Cali.  I chose Scout because honestly, she's the one I've done the least work with.  And, remember, she ran over me a few months ago and I went sprawling!  So, since then, SHE has had a weekly lesson on manners and it has really paid off!  She now leads nicely and doesn't pull on you.  So, I did her first.  I did the greeting and then groomed her.  I cleaned all 4 of her feet and she was very good with that.  She cocked one foot after that and I brushed her and I noticed she really lowered her head and was dozing off!  (that's NOT like Scout!!!).  She seemed to really relax and enjoy it.  Then we did some attempts at "head down" (she actually is doing better) and some flexing (she's starting to get it!) and then some yielding of the hind and forequarters.  Then we did companionship walking.  I watched a YouTube on this and I liked how the person walked 15 steps and then stopped for 5 seconds, walked 15 steps (with the horse) and then stopped.  She got this right away and after two times around her corral, I took off the lead rope and she still walked with me!  Whoo, whoo!  She went over and stood at the gate, so I took her down (...CALMLY)... to the arena and did the same steps with her there.  She was in no hurry to leave me.  I took her off the lead rope and she continued to follow me (a good sign!).  I finally said, "OKAY, go!" and she walked away.  What a difference!  For those of you who know Scout and know she's an alpha mare, this is a complete change in her demeanor!  I've very pleased with how she is coming and I hope to have a calm horse from now on!  While she was in the arena, I worked with Cali.  Cali's a little slower on the uptake, but she's learning and trying to do some of these things!  It will take longer with Cali, however.  Tomorrow the family is coming up for some horse time and then lunch in Idyllwild.  The thunderheads were gorgeous today and I also took some pics of them.  Oops!  I got WAY too much pink SWAT on Cali, but her eyes attract flies and so far ...(knock on wood)...because I got a fly mask on her EARLY this summer, her eyes have been okay.  I want to keep it that way so the fly mask went back on!


Carolyn Ford said...

what a great way to spend time...with horses! my dear friend's daughter just had her beloved horse shipped to Virginia to be with her as she begins a new life there. the horse arrived yesterday and the reunion made me teary! they are special!

my husband and i took an 11 day road trip up the coast to Big Sur, then Carmel/Monterey, Muir Woods and Lake Tahoe for the 4th of July. we drove home down 395 with an overnight stop in Mammoth...never enough time but, we had a grand time! we plan to return to the Mammoth area in October when the fall colors come out.

i wish you and your hubby a great trip and don't think about school starting! my daughter has returned this week and students arrive on Monday! YIKES! My little grandson begins kindergarten on Monday too. Unbelievable!!!!!

Take care and enjoy your last weeks of vacation!
Carolyn Ford

Cindy Durham said...

Walking, nicely and following with being "attached" those are huge!!!! My trainer says when your horse will follow you without the lead rope, then it means he or she see's you as the leader. That is a really big deal, well done! Have you tried walking really slow and then also backing up?

Its funny how when strangers come by and try to lead my horses around with the hand under the chin and a death grip on the lead horses just stop. They don't understand what the person is asking. I have to tell them to lighten the grip and move down the lead rope. Then the horse will follow. The next step for me was "the string".
My horses will do anything I ask on a hay string, a thin dog leash, even used a cloth fishing stringer (with the point cut off). Sometimes I don't even have to put it all the way around, just drape it over their necks and they beleive they are caught and held fast. Its kind of cool. Also very handy if I need them to stand quietly in an emergency and I don't have a halter ready. I have stings hanging on all my gates, for just such situations.

I love your blog!