A program where girls earn free horses and the artist that makes it happen.
Updates every other week on Fridays or more often as life happens.
An ornament is worth 1,000 beads
Baley, the new little mare, is the perfect little lady. That is her problem. She has learned what she thinks humans are wanting and makes assumptions that all humans want the same thing.
Before my student bought her I noticed Bailey would deliberately turn her tail to people, walk to the far side of the pen, and wait to be caught with her head turned as far away as possible. it didn’t bother me. most of my horses were “hard to catch” before I got them.
When a student has a horse boarded at my place for a while I usually play with the horse for a while to teach it the 7 games. I started one day in the pen playing the friendly game with her personal space. it took 30 minutes for her to realize I wasn’t going to barge into her personal space uninvited. It took another 5 hours and 30 minutes to convince her to let me touch her on her terms.
The day after it took her 1 hour and thirty minutes and the day after that it took 30 minutes to achieve the same result. She still has moments of unconfidence where she feels she needs to move her feet to protect her space, but at least she is honest about it.
Other areas I have noticed include her circling game and any time she is being handled up close, grooming, tacking, etc. She has the ability in a circle to go into a powerful trot and ignore anything which is not flat ground or a jump. Because she jumped and even hunted jumps I thought she was thinking her way through, but what I didn’t realize was that she was only acting from past training not actually thinking.
I also saw the preveious patterns opposed to actual thinking when I was playing with the “horse shoe,” a squared off horse shoe made of logs. I sent her into one of the legs. She saw the ‘top’ log in front of her and proceeded to truck over it. I yo-yoed her to a stop, then sent her back through the same area. I thought I was prepared for her. Her patterning was stronger than I thought and she trucked through my best attempts to stop her then flew into reverse as soon as she crossed it. The third time I asked her to come through she was worried, but this time she was looking at me. she kept checking in with me. She finally stepped her way into the channel and stopped.
When she is close to a human she tends to shut down. I’m not sure I would recognize the behavior, but my mare, Cole’, does the same thing when pushed way outside her comfort zone. Cole’ and Bailey both stand there, their feet get ‘sticky’ if asked to move and neither will accept even their favorite treat. I learned with Cole’ if I wait long enough she will come out of it.
One of my students recently bought a new pony. He was getting too big for Little Bit and still felt too small for Mint.
Hakuna Matata, also known as Bailey, is a beautiful, bay, hackney pony mare. She stands a tiny 12 hands and 700 lbs.
I love the concept of the warrior Christian. This is the second time I have touched this concept in written art. I may eventually post the original I wrote for my brother years ago.
Every line is made of words. Here is what is said of the mysterious and royal cat:
I think it’s very funny
The way a puppy grows–
A little on his wiggle-tail
A little on his nose,
A little on his tummy,
And a little on his ears;
I guess he’ll be a dog all right
In half a dozen years.
Leroy F. Jackson
That poem came to mind when I was watching my youngest student play with Little Bit. He is so natural with her he doesn’t realize he is learning a new language. He bounces from one thing to the next with the energy and attention span of a six-year-old, or a puppy, without thinking about applying the seven games or not tripping over or getting tangled up in the rope and carrot stick.
A day goes like this:
Feed horses – friendly; anything that causes the horse to want to be with you or continue doing what you asked them to do
Prevent LB from eating Mint’s food – driving; rhythmic motion to move the horse
Scratch and halter LB – friendly game
Once haltered LB follows him everywhere at a walk and trot
Remember carrot stick and go back to the tack room for it – friendly and porcupine; steady pressure to cause the horse to move
Pretend to mount LB bareback – friendly
Slide down the slide while LB watches from near the end of the 12′ line – friendly game
See if LB will back under the slide (her withers and back fit with less than two inches to spare) – driving, squeeze, and yo-yo; back and forth on a straight line
Ask LB to walk under the slide and branch supporting it (She fits, but only with her head down) – yo-yo and squeeze; going over, under, between, or through
Scratch and hug – friendly
Run to the bridge and back up – yo-yo
Circling game in the pasture; asking a horse to take responsibility for going in a circle
Get saddle out
Find and play with ball, put on LB and hit the ball off – friendly game
More circling game
Ask LB to sniff saddle – friendly, driving
Play soccer around yard with ball – friendly
Start rubbing legs to see if she is ok with her feet being handled – friendly
More soccer – friendly
Sat for a few moments on the ball to get his wind back – friendly
Show dad he can saddle by himself – friendly
Show LB she can now reach the mineral feeder (The footing was raised 8+ inches while they were playing) – porcupine, friendly
Bring back to the herd and take halter off – porcupine
Hang out with herd – friendly
During and between he leaned on her when he was tired, or trying to think of something, sang, ran around with his arms going crazy; all friendly things that will build a strong relationship between them.
He thinks he is playing, but he is really learning. This week the saddle went on on the second try. They got a full circle at a trot. She was more comfortable with him. She followed without dragging. He caused her to sniff something on the first try. He haltered her even if he did get the halter inside out. He used the rope and carrot stick like they were part of him. Every time they are together they improve. A wise man once said, you don’t get better by doing 1 thing 100% better, you get better by doing 100 things 1% better. They are more than 1% better this week.
We have a new herd member on loan from a friend. Little bit is an Appaloosa-spotted miniature mare with a great personality and a level head. She was close to her Parelli level two two years ago and still remembers most of what she learned.
Right now she has her winter coat and is fuzzy like a teddy bear with the cutest little ears.
I read and loved this. This father put words to what I have seen with my girls. Why horses? This is why:
A Father’s Explanation of Why He Had Horses for His Daughter
My daughter turned sixteen years old today; which is a milestone for most people. Besides looking at baby photos and childhood trinkets with her, I took time to reflect on the young woman my daughter had become and the choices she would face in the future. As I looked at her I could see the athlete she was, and determined woman she would soon be. I started thinking about some of the girls we knew in our town who were already pregnant, pierced in several places, hair every color under the sun, drop outs, drug addicts and on the fast track to no-where, seeking surface identities because they had no inner self esteem. The parents of these same girls have asked me why I “waste” the money on horses so my daughter can ride. I’m told she will grow out of it, lose interest, discover boys and all kinds of things that try to pin the current generation’s “slacker” label on my child. I don’t think it will happen, I think she will love and have horses all her life.
Because my daughter grew up with horses she has compassion. She knows that we must take special care of the very young and the very old. We must make sure those without voices to speak of their pain are still cared for.
Because my daughter grew up with horses she learned responsibility for others than herself. She learned that regardless of the weather you must still care for those you have the stewardship of. There are no “days off” just because you don’t feel like being a horse owner that day. She learned that for every hour of fun you have there are days of hard slogging work you must do first.
Because my daughter grew up with horses she learned not to be afraid of getting dirty and that appearances don’t matter to most of the breathing things in the world we live in. Horses do not care about designer clothes, jewelry, pretty hairdos or anything else we put on our bodies to try to impress others. What a horse cares about are your abilities to work within his natural world, he doesn’t care if you’re wearing $80.00 jeans while you do it. –
Because my daughter grew up with horses she learned about sex and how it can both enrich and complicate lives. She learned that it only takes one time to produce a baby, and the only way to ensure babies aren’t produced is not to breed. She learned how babies are planned, made, born and, sadly, sometimes die before reaching their potential. She learned how sleepless nights and trying to out-smart a crafty old broodmare could result in getting to see, as non-horse owning people rarely do, the birth of a true miracle.
Because my daughter grew up with horses she understands the value of money. Every dollar can be translated into bales of hay, bags of feed or farrier visits. Purchasing non-necessities during lean times can mean the difference between feed and good care, or neglect and starvation. She has learned to judge the level of her care against the care she sees provided by others and to make sure her standards never lower, and only increase as her knowledge grows.
Because my daughter grew up with horses she has learned to learn on her own. She has had teachers that cannot speak, nor write, nor communicate beyond body language and reactions. She has had to learn to “read” her surroundings for both safe and unsafe objects, to look for hazards where others might only see a pretty meadow. She has learned to judge people as she judges horses. She looks beyond appearances and trappings to see what is within.
Because my daughter grew up with horses she has learned sportsmanship to a high degree. Everyone that competes fairly is a winner. Trophies and ribbons may prove someone a winner, but they do not prove someone is a horseman. She has also learned that some people will do anything to win, regard- less of who it hurts. She knows that those who will cheat in the show ring will also cheat in every other aspect of their life and are not to be trusted.
Because my daughter grew up with horses she has self-esteem and an engaging personality. She can talk to anyone she meets with confidence, because she has to express herself to her horse with more than words. She knows the satisfaction of controlling and teaching a 1000 pound animal that will yield willingly to her gentle touch and ignore the more forceful and inept handling of those stronger than she is. She holds herself with poise and professionalism in the company of those far older than herself.
Because my daughter grew up with horses she has learned to plan ahead. She knows that choices made today can effect what happens five years down the road. She knows that you cannot care for and protect your investments without savings to fall back on. She knows the value of land and buildings. And that caring for your vehicle can mean the difference between easy travel or being stranded on the side of the road with a four horse trailer on a hot day. When I look at what she has learned and what it will help her become, I can honestly say that I haven’t “wasted” a penny on providing her with horses. I only wish that all children had the same opportunities to learn these lessons from horses before setting out on the road to adulthood.
Recently I was made very proud by one of my girls. She was selected to do the rider makeover at the Horse & Soul tour stop in Mesquite, Tx with Linda Parelli. Imagine driving 200 miles to a place you have never been with a horse you have only hauled around town and having a lesson with someone you REALLY respect in front of more than a thousand people.
The night before the lesson Gwen, her mare, decided she didn’t want to go into the arena. S spent the time it took to get her confident walking through the gate into the arena. Our prayer was that she would be able to ride into the arena when the stands were full of people. The next morning the arena was busy until time for their lesson. Gwen made it in and S was able to make some really nice changes. I know she will take what she learned home and use it to propel her riding to greater mastery.
Ruth’s mountain was written for a friend who commissioned it as a Christmas gift for a friend of hers who was going through a difficult time. They both loved this work. It now hangs in Ruth’s home reminding her of God her rock.
These verses bring comfort and joy to Ruth:
Every line is made of words. What the dog says to you: