I had planned to give a brief summary of our progress from "day one of our parelli Journey" to now. But i "have to interrupt this broadcast for an important news flash"
I had the best Pony day ever ever ever.
I walked into the paddock and this is the scene that greeted me. I keep Sante in a paddock with approximately 70 other horses. They have just been introduced to the spring pastures - This photo was taken about 2 hours after they were taken off the spring pastures. It was quicker to count the horses standing up, rather than lying down. They were so contented - I can imagine their bellies were full, and they were quite happy to sun themselves.
A quick inspection lead me to find my boy. He had been competely flat out, but by the time i got the camera on him, I think he figured something was happening and sat up. He was quite happy to just sit there are enjoy the sunshine, which i thought was lovely, and I took my time in approaching him, because although we have an absolutely fantastic relationship, he still loses confidence when I approach if he is lying down. So I slowly walked in a wide arc around him, until i was standing in front of him, and I tell you what, He was as pleased as punch to see me. Never in my life have I had such a fantastic welcome! Normally he nickers at me and then wanders over - which is awesome anyway! We normally leave the paddock at liberty and mosey on out to get breakfast.
But this morning, even though he was sitting down - this is the lovely sight that greated me. And you can't tell in the picture (obviously) but he was nickering at me, I'm not just talking about a quiet gentle nicker, he nickered softly at me for about 30-40 seconds. I of course went goo-gah and sat down taking pictures, he continued to nicker. It was the most wonderful welcome. I was aboslutely floored.
After about a minute, he still had not got up, so I slowly stood up, and began to walk towards him. I was able to get to within about 3 metres, and he turned away, So i retreated a few steps - He was instantly able to look at me again. I waited, and then slowly began approaching again, i progressed 5 steps, and then he turned away, so I retreated again. I was able to get to within 2 metres I'd say, and then he decided to stand up.
I couldn't have asked for a better start to the day!!!!!
During our play session, we worked on sideways at liberty, sideways in general, figure eights around two tree stumps, but the two most important "tasks" were
1/ The bulldozer is not really a scarey horse eating machine & 2
2/ Send horse to pedestal from 22 feet away
Both were a raging success!!
We spent 20 minutes mozeying up to the big scarey bull dozer, until all of a sudden, Sante just waltzed up and put his nose on it. A few cookies later, and he was practically ready to jump in the bucket.. Ok.. well not really, I settled for squeeze game between the cabin & the bucket, and then we wandered off to the Pedestal.
I really turned the challenge up this week, by standing a full 22ft away from the pedestal. And sending him to it from that far away. It ony took a few attempts before he got it, and jumped on quite happily. Once we'd done that a few times, we moved on.
We went for a short ride - which was - eventful, My predominately RBI horse (tending LBI) on the ground, is borderline RBE when it comes to riding. He isn't confident by himself.
The ride could have gone worse -- I could have fallen off! But, i think we handled the day pretty well. We had to get past the equine killing blue motorbike, which took 5 minutes convincing and a lot of approach & retreat, which he appreciated.
And then there were the horse attacking shadows & the haunted rocks which Sante was convinced were following him. I must say, all the bareback riding I've been doing has made my seat a lot better, because my poor little angel was a teensy bit worried, and did a lot of jumping on the spot before remembering he was trying to be brave.
All in all, the ride back was great, he finds unheard of confidence when heading back home, and he even offered to trot all the way. Even though he was happy to settle for a brisque walk.
But the absolute best part of the whole entire day, was actually when i put him back!
I'd done about 15 minutes in the round yard before i put him back, and there was a small tree branch in there, leaves & all. So I stood on one side of the round yard (its a 22ft yard) and backed him to the opposite side, I then drove his forquarters to the branch.
He thought this was fantastic! He pawed the branch, picked it up, shook it, dropped it, picked it up, ate the leaves, shook it and kept going & going until i was laughing so hard i couldn't stand up.
I walked over there and decided to do a bit of extreme friendly with the branch. His care factor? Zero.
I even put the branch above his head and shook it really hard - His response was to reach up, and chew the leaves on the branch. I was beside myself with laughter, and i think the fact that he was getting such a response caused him to carry on.
So when i put him back into the paddock with the other horses, he set himself to task. Admittedly, there isn't a heck of a lot to do in that paddock, being a sacrifice paddock, it doesn't have any grass in it at the moment, so they get bored.
Sante set himself to playing two games.
1/ Pick on the new horse &
2/ Pick up the stick and see what mum does.
These were the fruits of his labour:
Yes, thats right. There was a random stick lying on the ground, so he picked it up and noisily dropped it, to see what I would do. As he kept doing this, other horses were gathering round to see what all the fuss was. I, in the meantime was howling with laughter, causing him to just keep doing it, because he liked my reaction.
I also discovered how his rug got ripped! He followed this horse around for about 20 minutes, grabbing him by the tail part of the rug to stop him walking off, and then following him around. Sante doesn't normally do this (around me anyway) So i was thrilled to see him interacting with other horses, and playing (he's a bit of a loner and doesn't really hang in a particular group).
I have just had the best day!!
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