Jamie B's Blog (11)

Million Dollar Question

     My last post asked, “What Do You Want?”  Perhaps coincidentally, in her blog today fellow Barnmice.com member Jackie Cochran posted “Well Horse, What Do YOU Want?” Now, isn’t that the million dollar question!  Safety, comfort and play, says Pat Parelli.  Yes, and we should always first rule out physical discomfort when faced with undesired behaviors.  But figuring out exactly how much play, challenge, fun, and rest your particular horse prefers isn’t always easy.

Added by Jamie B on June 19, 2011 at 5:30pm — 2 Comments

What do you want?

Wednesday I saw a tornado.  Up close, while trapped in my car on an elevated stretch of highway in Springfield, Mass. Scary!  Funny what a random lethal event does to your head.  It’s clarifying

My sister, a fellow agnostic, asked me if I prayed.  The question took me off guard, and its answer surprised me a bit: I didn’t.  I’d wondered if this was “it”, and then thought, why not?  I don’t live in the area, just happened to be there at that moment as I traveled to Vermont for…


Added by Jamie B on June 5, 2011 at 6:30pm — 3 Comments

Road to the Ride

Inspired by the "Road to the Horse 2011" on DVD which arrived last week, I've decided to implement an intensive training program to get Brody ready to be ridden.  Brody's been with us almost one year now, and he came to us with a suspensory injury.  But the vet came last week for Brody's vaccinations, and gave the go ahead to climb on and ride. Woohoo!


Brody may be physically ready to be ridden, but mentally and emotionally he is not.  (And, of course, there is the…


Added by Jamie B on May 30, 2011 at 7:29pm — No Comments


"Respect is appropriate response to pressure."  I heard Pat Parelli say this once, and the ring of its truth is undeniable.  Whether working on the ground or in the saddle, a horse's appropriate response to pressure is essential to any activity.  Brody definitely needs (re)education on this!


Maybe lack of cooperation is his passive-aggressive platform for establishing dominance, or maybe I haven't been consistent enough in establishing my expectations and requiring him to…


Added by Jamie B on May 22, 2011 at 8:56pm — 3 Comments

My Space

I really want to focus on strengthening my leadership, so that eventually I can safely ride Brody and take him out on the road.  Here's how I worked to establish my physical space with Brody this week.


First, Brody did not want to be haltered, especially once he caught sight of the rope and stick.  So I swung the halter towards his hindquarters and got him moving off whenever he started stepping away from me.  When Brody wheeled to face me, I turned my back to him and stand…


Added by Jamie B on May 15, 2011 at 6:17pm — No Comments

Back in the Blogosphere!

So good to be back after a very long winter!  I've been freshening up my groundwork skills, reviewing Parelli and catching up on all the Downunder Horsemanship (Clinton Anderson) episodes I recorded from RFD-TV.  Yesterday I decided to get back in the paddock for a first session, and I was amazed at how much Brody remembered, particularly changing direction on a circle.  We seemed to have just about picked up where we left off.  I decided to keep it short and vary the exercises a…


Added by Jamie B on May 8, 2011 at 6:21pm — No Comments

My Horse Doesn't Like Me (This Week)

It started last Saturday. Although we’d had what seemed to be a quite successful session, with Brody circling much more consistently and in a more relaxed manner, I could see the first signs of annoyance during handgrazing afterwards. On Thursday, Brody had surprised me by responding to every “Aaaand UP!” by lifting his head from grazing and looking to me for the next direction. But now only…


Added by Jamie B on December 5, 2010 at 8:26pm — 4 Comments


Things are really moving with Brody! In a sometimes baffling, inconsistent way, but I’m enjoying the progress and trying to recognize Brody’s ideas and efforts to help me understand how to improve our communication.…


Added by Jamie B on November 25, 2010 at 6:36pm — No Comments

Good week

This week Brody and I got back into a pretty steady routine of nightly play, and Brody seems happy about it. The other night I stayed up ‘til about midnight, and when I went to shut off the outside lights I could see him at the gate, peering through the back door at me! I went out a gave him a carrot. We’re having so much fun, I’m finding it hard to tear myself away from our sessions at the end of the…


Added by Jamie B on November 14, 2010 at 10:35pm — No Comments

Flow = Fun

After a hectic week and a couple days of rain, Brody and I were both ready for some playtime. Wanting to make the most of it, I popped in my “Level 2 On Line” DVD for some inspiration and heard Pat Parelli talking about the importance of fun, for both human and horse. It’s like he’d read my mind—working on various exercises had begun to feel like……


Added by Jamie B on November 7, 2010 at 9:00pm — No Comments

Getting Him Sweet Again

Brody had stopped whinnying to me. In the paddock, he greeted me every day with his “cranky face”, ears back, nostrils wide, and tense wrinkles around his mouth. Then Friday, a full blown bucking bronco show when I waved him away from the door of the feed shed while I filled his dish. Brody was sour. How could I get him sweet again?…


Added by Jamie B on October 26, 2010 at 10:04pm — No Comments

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