Lately I have been struggling with my horse Dez when I'm riding her. So I was thinking I should go back to groundwork. I've read about Parelli games and natural horsemanship, but never actually done it. And I think she would be great at it because once she trusts you, she can be a really nice horse. There's lot's of people on barnmice that do games and stuff, so please, if anybody wants to offer any tips or activities that I can do with my horse. =) Thanks!

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Hi Jenna,

I think it's great that you are thinking about doing some ground work with Dez in order to strengthen your bond with her and build a stronger mutual respect; it's what I've been working on this winter, too; I enjoy the Parelli games and have done them with my saucy little mare, SweetHeart; I also like the philosophy of Chris Irwin and his approach to communication with horses by using body languange; he has a web site with lots of interesing info on it and you can find parts of his videos on youtube; his respectful approach to horses suites me well, and I definitely think my horses respond well to his methods; you can try a few simple things that don't cost a cent and you don't need any special equipment; one of the most valuable things that I have learned is about the "no go" zone around a horse's head; it seems to work for me; any other opinions out there re. these ideas?

Cathy, HI!! yes, Oliver and I got alot out of Chris Irwin... Oliver went from trying to run me over to being a real sweetheart.....

Shirley, I do things with Oliver that I call until we are both bored to tears..... that is my training..... when we have done something so many times that we are bored with it, we move on.... like when I decide to ride, I intend to sit... until we are so bored of sitting we bend,until we are so bored of bending we move, and on and on..... he loves it too because he is getting good at something and then I ask him for something more and we just do it over and over till we are bored with that.... but for some reason we don't get bored of each other... just the task.
Today I tried something new with Cash. We sat out three barrels in a triangular pattern. I rode from barrel to barrel and had a treat on 'some' of the barrels. At each barrel he could stop to rest a moment and then we'd side pass at the barrel and walk or trot to the next one. Toward the end he got excited and went right on past the barrel. Interesting? I think he may have forgot he was bored and had some fun and he forgot he needed a treat. The snow was melting off the roof and everynow and then some would slide off and Cash would spook. I couldn't really blaim him for spooking at that, sounds like the roof is going to fall in. He'd be pretty dumb if that didn't worry him. Right? But after several of those spooks, I was feeling pretty darn stressed by the time we got done. But we were able to stop on a good note when he ran to each barrel nicely and then we quit. Then he got some hay and a good grooming and a little ground work again and then a rest and then his supper. The barn was very active tonight.
Oliver and I were hand walking at liberty over the board in the arena... he was so cute... after about 5 times he just went to it and walked over it by himself.... horses are S M A R T... and he wasn't bored at all.. he kept wanting to do it..... :) Oliver is not a spooky horse so I don't know what I would do with that...... sounds like you and Cash are working through it...
What kind & size board are you useing? We've used boards to walk or jump over and I used to have an old heavy door that he'd walk on. I'd like to fill a big tire with sand/dirt that he could get all four feet on with a little lift and a large blank that they can walk down like a balance beam and bridge. We used to have a bridge in the arena outside but for some reason it was slippery and the horses would slide on the decline. Not good! Rather then put something on it to stop the slipperiness, they just got rid of the bridge. I think the kids might be using it as a bike jump. I have a funny but true bridge story that I'll have to share later.
Some things Cash spooks at seem ridulous to me. Yesterday when it was the snow sliding off the roof, I didn't blame him. It sounds like the sky is falling in. In my view, that should scare him. That is a common thing around here this time of year as the snow is melting. Other times he jumps over the craziest things. A nylon jacket rubbing, or the other day he did it when someone else sniffled. That was a day a few other things scared him previously so he was on high alert. He doesn't scare easily in the outdoor arena.
I'm off to see Cash soon
We just bought 2 X 4's..... he chewed on a few of them..... that's my Oliver... hope you and Cash have a productive fun day....
I looked at all of Steve's web pages today. Sounds like a great guy to be training with. Do you get Oliver from him after one of the round-ups?
Great! 2 x 4's should work really good. Have fun. Is he walking over the poles or trotting/ or jumping over them? It'll be fun to see if Oliver likes jumping them a little off the ground too. You can run and jump with him~~ lol. I have seen pics of people doing just that but it won't be me.
Finally an evening with NO Spooks at all. I've been riding Cash with a rope halter with a lead line for reins. Tonight I got out his snaffle bit and leather bridle and as soon as he saw it he started kinds smacking/licking and then took it very easily but wanted to chew on it for a while. I don't think he's had a bit in his mouth for over 3 months. I quit putting the bit in when the weather got cold and then the bit seemed uncomfortable to me so I thought I'd try the rope halter again and I think it worked well. but I think we'll use the snaffle for a while now.
We can switch back and forth I guess. I put an exercise ball in the arena with us. I'd kick it across the arena and start running toward it and tell him trot and he came right along at a trot with me and we'd run to the next kick together at liberty. We did that a few times and then he seemed to have had enough for the day.I was happy with our short ride cause I stayed calm and Cash was easier to get to go. I find it easier if I ride from point to point. Rather then riding in circles, I pick out something in the arena and ride to it at a walk and then I start asking for a trot. Tonight there was little resistance to trotting. Then we went one length of the barn at a trot and Cash gave me a collected trot . We did it a second time and he did it but not quite as good as the first but, hey!!! I wanted to end on a good note and called it quits for the night. We were both feeling very good. It was a nice quite night at the barn. The parking area is turning into a mud bog. Big sign we might be able to ride outside soon. I can hope!
Have fun going over the boards....when you are ready you and Oliver can jump them undersaddle. Me? I tense all up.
My head is turning into a bobbing doll so off I go to get my sleep.
have a great day!
Hi Shirley... :) I think you joined Steves site on Facebook too..... I think what is very admirable about you is that you spend the time with your horse and things happen.. :) I think it's about time not miles... today is my day with Oliver and we will find something productive to do I'm hoping... :) Now that he's learning better how not to invade my space it seems safer to ask him to follow at a higher speed...
Have a great day Jennifer! I enjoy reading yoiur progress with Oliver.
It's amazing to me that it's been 6 years now with Cash.
How often do you get together with Steve?
Oliver is laying down outside so I just went and sat with him.. that was our big day..... he seemed jumpy this morning when I fed him, he probably needs the down time... we have a lot of wildlife here and I'm sure the evenings can be rowdy for the horses..... we even have a mountain lion here..... in any event he wants to snooze so I gotta go... Steve and I have out officially on Friday mornings, but we see each other during the week because he rides Oliver out of here a few times a week... right now he keeps taking him to where people and horses are, like other barns so he can become more socialized.... or he takes him over to his house while he works his horses and puts Oliver in the classroom to watch, or practice being tied.....


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