Milva checking out one of the water jumps Summer has finally arrived here, it was humid and hot here today and I got my first sunburn while playing with Milva. We played for 2 hours in the riding paddock again and it was totally fun. I don´t know why I didn´t use that paddock more earlier. I put up different playstations all over the paddock, counting on that no one else would appear or use the paddock. I put cavallettis in a circle and one more for a squeeze game, cones for weave pattern and figure 8´s, a blue matt to step on and I brought the green ball as well. We took lots of grazing breaks between our tasks and time just flew by. Milva was relaxed and left brain for most of the time, just once she spooked while I built up something and she was loose so she came bolting towards me so I could save her from whatever she was spooked. Because she was so relaxed I asked her lay down and she did it without hesitation :). How awesome isn´t that!! But she also laid down twice by herself when I asked her to trot on a circle - she did it behind my back and when I turned around she sat there all looking happy and proud. It was pretty funny though and she just looked so darn cute! Of course I couldn´t let her go away with it though so I asked to get up and then I asked her to lay down two more times before sending her on the circle again. I thought reverse psychology would work - if you wanna lay down then do it some more and some more. When I sent her the next time in the circle she flopped down again behind my back and looked all happy and proud again, same thing again I asked her to lay down two more times and when I sent her the next time in the circle I turned around when she was behind me and just caught her in the act. Just when she lowered her head to lay down I flopped her with the popper and she made a little squeek and buck and kept on trotting, problem solved - for this time anyway.
I had a rather stressful week at work last week and therefor played with Milva only for short little sessions. The stress was caused by four colleagues who decided to leave work 45min earlier and left a whole floor empty. I work as a reg. nurse in a Hospice and truly love my job even though that maybe sounds macabre when you think about that it is the last place for people before they move on to the other side. Anyway those 4 people got caught by our boss who came by for a surprise visit at 9.30 pm and had to discover that half the stuff was gone. To make a long story short, those 4 got fired and the rest of us got a written warning. Why I don´t know, or well, the explanation was that we let the other people go which isn´t entirely true because we never get asked, but there is no use to discuss that matter with your superior really. Not in this case anyway. Unfortunately those four were swedish and Swedes working in Denmark isn´t very popular to begin with. Swedes breaking the rules doesn´t really help to give them a better reputation. Luckily I always can refer to being Austrian which usually helps but mostly confuses. I´m just not sure if it helps because it confuses the danish people or because they actually like Austrians. Probably they just give up to follow me when I explain that I´m from Austria, my sambo is Canadian and we live in Sweden but me met in Canada when I lived there for 3 years. The cats are both Swedish though and Milva is from Denmark but has a pure German bloodline. Maybe they sympathize with me cause at least I have a Danish horse ;). Anyway, I went in a shock like mood last week cause I couldn´t believe that those four really got fired. I spent most of the week talking with the Union on the phone and discuss with my remaining working colleagues. The atmosphere at work wasn´t very pleasant of course and everyone was tensed and weary. For my part I decided to leave it and not to think to much about it anymore and just go on with my work as I did before and not to stress about it. Done is done and I have a clear conscious and didn´t do anything wrong. That´s it. Now to a more pleasurable topic. I had a super fun play session outside with my little "danish" pony. It seems to be that the summer has returned to the south of Sweden and so I decided not to hide inside the riding arena all the time but instead use the riding paddock outside. Milva usually doesn´t like the footing very much in that particular paddock cause it can get quite deep and she hates that. Also she can´t see over the wall that surrounds the paddock on three sides. Basically she can hear the other horses in their pasture but not see them and she doesn´t like that. Today it was good though and I kept her busy so she would focus on me and not make up her own ghost stories. Before going to the riding paddock I did went in the riding arena and played at liberty for 10min. I also asked her to lay down. I just gave her a little sign with the carrot stick at the end of the session and she turned her head around to see if she understood me right - so darn cute, so I gave her another subtle sign and she laid down right next to me without hesitation. After that we moseyed down to the riding paddock where I walked her around to let her check everything out -especially the grass growing on the wall-hill around it. Then I played all 7 games in order and concentrated on circles in the end. I gave her lots of grazing and scratching breaks in between which she loved and she looked all relaxed and happy through out the whole session. She also gave me some nice walk - trot - walk transitions. For tomorrow I have planed to use the 45´again and play outside as well. Let´s see if we can solve the canter puzzle in the near future.
Helene came to trim Milva´s hooves today. Milva was really good for her needle, she stood completely still and turned her head around to look what Helene was doing, no drama at all. Helene complimented on Milva´s hoof quality again. I´m really happy about that. After trimming we went for a 30min walk and when we got back home we grazed for another hour. I also mucked out the stable thoroughly and part of the pasture.
I found following information at Parelli Connect and I´m sure glad I waited so long with Milva before starting her under the saddle. When do the bone plates in horses close this is the most important part of the growing cycle
The 3rd Phalanx – later stage of gestation The 2nd Phalanx – birth to 6 months The 1st Phalax – 6 months to 1 year
The 3rd Metacarpal – 8 months to 1/12 years Carpal bones 1 1/2 to 2 1/2 years Radus, Ulna and Tibia 2 to 3 years Humerus and Femur 3 to 3 1/2 years Scapula and Pelvis 3 1/2 to 4 years Tarsal Bones – 4 years Vertabral Bones – generally up to 6 years
What does all this mean , It means that untill these plates have closed if we put them under pressure and stress that they are not ready for we comprimise the way the bones set . The spine does not close untill 5-6 yet we break in at two and three and wonder why we have so many back issue . We breed from horses that have not closed in the pelvis and we wonder why there pelvis is twisted or is on an angle . The Femur and Humerus (bones in the leg ) do not close untill 3 1/2 – 4 yrs old yet we ride them and jump them .
We the average person know nothing about this we have no idea of the damage we are causing before the horse fully matures .
Milva ground-tied, patiently waiting for me while I tear down the playground, note all the grass around - pretty impressive for a lbi
Shawn came with me to the stable yesterday to spent some time with Drake. I simulated carrotstick riding with Milva and played all 7 games just outside the stable which just took a few minutes. Even though I work extra this weekend I had a bit more time today. I simulated carrot-stick riding again and kind of laid on her back. She just really doesn´t like it without the saddle on - more friendly game... Then I lead her around at the new dressage paddock just outside the riding arena. I would love to ride her there soon. After walking around for a while in the dressage paddock I went in the riding arena and started my short playsessions. Squeeze game over cavaletti a few times then a grazing break. Sideways away and towards me over the black tube and grazing break. For our last task I asked her to lay down. This time I took the carrot stick with me and simulated the pawing cause I figured one day, when our riding is enough established I wanna ask her to lay down while I sit on her and for that it will be good to use the carrotstick. Clever girl knew immediately what I ment and flapped down next to me just after a few seconds :).
I only had 1,5 hours stabletime today. The positive thing though is that I got alot accomplished in those 1,5 hours and we picked Sam up from the carhospital. He is as good as new and I´m very happy to be able to stretch out my legs and take a nap on the way home from work - while we are on the ferry that is. I did carrotstick riding simulations with Milva today while she ate, and lots of friendly game laying on her back. She is more tolerable when I do it from the left side but still can pinch her ears back. She definitely does not like it from the Indian side though. More friendly game will eventually fix it though - I hope so anyway. More yoyo game at different places and Milva put nice effort in it. Lay down in the ridinghouse - just ONE time and under controll ;). I asked her to lay down and she checked out the ground just a little bit and laid down next to me - yeah.
Ulrika from http://dramahaster.blogspot.com lent me her old level 2 pack and her vhs tape recorder :)). That´s what I call true Parelli Savvy Sisters :)). I try to watch every day a little bit and take lots of notes as well.
Milva greeting the little Hollsteiner foal. Short playsessions again today. Shawn came with me to play with Drake. Drake decided that Shawn is his human now so no other horses in the pasture are allowed near him. Well those that are under Drake anyway like Sunny. We could only stay 1 hour today cause Sam didn´t pass the safety and had to go to the carhospital for a major operation. He will be ok though and we can pick him up tomorrow again. In the mean time we got a little rental car from the carhospital. Scary to drive. I love my big boy Sam and miss him terrible already. SUV´s just feel so much more safe to me even though they are not practical at all. I played lots of friendly game with Milva standing on the little read stool and half laying on her back. I also asked her for yoyos at different places all around the barn like in and out of different pastures and through various stable doors and on the dirt road. First she was a bit snooty but after a few times her expression became more soft and her ears were forwards and I only needed a light phase 1. Thanks Ulrike for pointing out yesterday that the reason Milva suddenly ignored my yoyo is because she knows I ask her to circle afterwards. Well problem fixed and from now on I will be more observant about it.
Inspired by http://blogging-buffalo-bill.blogspot.com I kept my play sessions short and the breaks (15min) long today. Also I included lots of obstacles in our play today. I´m not very good at that I have to admit. 2 cones for figure 8s and maybe some more for the weave pattern and that´s plenty for me, but I will change that from now on. Also the long breaks helped me to prepare for the next play session and to become more provocative. I have heart it so many times before that lbi need long breaks. Linda talked a lot about that at the Celebration as well but somehow I can´t get it in my head. Well, in my world a 3min break is loooong but nope, obviously not for a lbi. The thing is, long breaks are really working well! Milva got more and more motivated and gave me some nice figure 8s at liberty and nice circles in trot with me in neutral and the rope on the ground her ears forwards. The last thing I asked her to do was canter and see there - 1 lap of canter to the left with me in neutral without leaping in the air or bolting around on the 45´rope. I didn´t want to push it though and asked her for a downward transitions to trot after one lap. Those short sessions seem to be the key to success with a lbi :). Usually I´m in the stable 2 - 4 hours every day. Milva gets extra hay outside the pasture and I usually let her graze as well combining that with our play sessions makes it actually more easier and interesting for me as well. So it´s the perfect solution for us!
Just finished the last book of the True Blood serie. The books are so much better than the serie. I was a little bit disappointed with the last book though. It almost seems someone else wrote it. Compare to the previous books "Dead Reckoning" has lost his spark. It felt like a filler book in some way. Still looking forward for the next one though.
Shawn spending lots of udt with Mandrake aka Drake. Drake´s expression when he sees Shawn is the most wonderful thing I´ve seen in along time. If horses only could talk. Drake follows Shawn like a big puppy and even when he leaves the pasture he follows him with his eyes everywhere he goes. Love is patient and kind; it is not jealous or conceited or proud; love is not ill-mannered or selfish or irritable; love does not keep a record of wrongs; love is not happy with evil, but is happy with truth. Love never gives up; and its faith, hope and patience never fail. -1 Corinthians, 13:4-7
Milva and I had some discussions about circling and yoyo today. She pretended she had no idea what I was talking about. Yoyo? Yeah, you know where you walk backwards. Backwards? Never heard about that before. Yeah, you did. Nope. Yeah, you did it like a hundred times before. Me? I don´t think so. Milva, you know very well what I talk about. Oh, you mean yoyo... Yeah, yoyo...and I mean yoyo today, like now... Oh well, if you really insist I guess I can walk a few steps backwards...*rolling with her eyes and sighing*
We had some small discussions about the circling game as well. Linda mentioned in one of the dvds how important it is to motivate the lbi before asking the circling game. It sure makes a difference for us. I don´t ask Milva to circle if she is not motivated and has lots of resistance thoughts. I usually get her motivated at liberty before. Today I asked her for lots of transitions and change of direction and travelling circles in walk and trot. I have to keep her busy on the circles now so she won´t lay down ;). Laying down worked fine as well. Not so much pawing anymore and she just takes at most two steps away from me before flapping down and sometimes not even that. Huge and fast progress. It sure is tempting to climb on her back when she is laying or sitting down but it´s too early for that.
Still refining lay-down and it´s improving more and more. On some occasions she lays down next to me without pawing or walking away - awesomeness! I did open Pandora´s box though but I knew that in forehand so no surprise there. Milva loves to lay down now and is doing it without asking as well - of course. The other day when I build up cavaletti´s in a circle she walked away, laid down and stayed in a sitting positions for a while. Because I didn´t ask her to do it and I was too late to call her back - she was already half way down when I laid eyes on her, I decided to ignore her. She stayed down for quite a while eying me. When she figured out that I would not come over to her to reward her she went up and came to me and flopped down precisely in front of me - really fast and then looked at me - "if the prophet doesn´t come to the mountain the mountain comes to the prophet". It was just too funny! Totally love my little clown! I want to believe that it is more under control now but just to make sure I decided to ride her the next few times with the bareback pad ;), just in case...
Lots of undemanding time with grazing, enjoying the sun - it feels like summer already, and lots of scratching for Milva pony. Our playsessions are short but we get done alot. Just what we lbi like ;). I´ve been working on refining the lay down. Taking it up a snatch and asking Milva to lay down next to me - and not wonder of, and to lay down without pawing so much. Today she laid down once with her head towards me and almost next to me, she still pawed alot though. Put that´s because of me - because I pawed alot when I thought her - nagging, you could call it as well. No I just bend over touch the ground askig her softly and let her do the rest. I asked her to lay down three times today and it she stayed down longer and longer waiting for my sign to get up. She is such a smarty! But I guess everyone thinks that about their horse.
Shawn came with me to film Milva laying down today. Now keep in mind that this is just the beginning, nothing is refined yet. It´s the raw diamond version. As always Shawn came with some good, helpful tips, even though I didn´t like to hear them first but in the end he has right - like always. It´s just hard for me to admit cause in my world I and Pat Parelli knows everything best so I don´t want to get any advises. If I do, I ask though or search around. Maybe something to get better at, to be more humble and kindly accept advises - kindly ;).
This morning I drove with Hanna to Nästed in Denmark to pick up a carpet. She didn´t want to drive by herself so I agreed to come with her and ended up driving her car. Hmmm, what you mean dominant ;). But I think she was quite happy with it, so she said anyway. I can´t help myself but to feel like going to work as soon as I enter Denmark. Even the danish language puts me in work mood. On our way home we stopped by Årstiderna and picked up some organic fruit and vegetables. After coming back I felt so exhausted and tired I decided to spend udt with Milva. I took her grazing for 2 hours around the pastures. It was too busy around the stable anyway to do anything with her. The riding arena, the dressage ring and the riding paddock were all occupied with people. Jeez am I spoiled to be there mostly by myself in the mornings. I think Monday afternoons and evening is always busy though because of the dressage training the other people have. Hm, really going to appreciate my quiet morning time more from now on.
I just finished reading "A Discovery Of Witches" and I know I say this about almost every book I read, but this one is definitely one of my favorites. It´s Harry Potter for grown ups with witches, daemons and vampires. It´s a book with equal parts of history and magic, romance and suspense. I fell in love with it from the very first page.
I usually don´t care about new horses arriving at the stable but I totally fell in love with this one. Malin bought her as a breeding mare and she is in foal again. The foal on her side was bought from the Holsteinerverbund in Germany and will move back down there in a few months. Right now she goes opposite from Milva´s pasture but will be soon moving out to the turn out stable together with Malin´s broodmares. Milva seems to be very fond of her too probably because of the colour or because of the german language ;).
It really is working!! And I still can´t believe it! I always dreamed about having a horse one day that would trust me so much to lay down when I would ask for it. Milva is just the super smartest pony ever! With Milva it´s crucial now to keep her busy though when I play with her otherwise she plays the whole reportoir by herself and if it would be possible for her she would do everything at the same time - laying down, spinning, backing up towards me from z5 and coming sideways towards me. I planned our playsession very carefully today and made a point out of it so she wouldn´t lay down without me asking for it. After entering the riding arena I gave her lots of scratches instead of asking her to do anything. Which I think drove her a bit nuts cause she had this face what shall we do, what shall we do on. She did like the scratches though so she stayed with me. Then I played stick to me at walk, trot, stop and back up with lots of change of direction. I kept her mind busy so she wouldn´t think about laying down. When I felt she was mentally with me I asked her to lay down. Now it goes really fast, I just have to bend down and touch the ground and whoops she flopps down, looking all pleased with herself. She sat down until I asked her to come up but when she was up she wanted to lay down again. That´s the thing with her. It´s like opening Pandora´s box ;). Good thing I had a plan. We played some more at liberty and online and I asked her to lay down two more times. Lots of grazing time afterwards. I also mucked out part of the pasture under Milva´s supervision. I worked for about 2 hours and Milva wouldn´t leave my side during the whole time. Paulina joined after a while as well and stayed with us the entire time. Can it not be tomorrow now so I can go and see my pony again!
Day 3 with laying down Milva and it worked very well again. I just hope I didn´t overdo it today cause I asked her to lay down 5 times but she still offered it afterwards, so maybe it´s fine. Today it didn´t take long at all for her to lay down. I went in my "touch down" pose and whoops she laid down and sat up up again. Two more times afterwards and it was as easy. Then Sofie wanted to know when she gets to see it so I asked Milva to lay down two more times. I do think she thinks it´s way cool to get some oats for laying down. My super smart pony! Later Sofie showed me how to shim my saddle right and I´m super thankful for that. One less thing to worry about and I could see a big difference. Also I had to find out that I placed my thereflex pad wrong underneath the saddle, but now I know. I think the playday was a big success at the stable. Actually one more said she would like to join the next time and she said she thinks that is very interesting stuff. Wow! I didn´t expect her to find interest in Parelli. "Make no assumptions!" I definitely have to work on that one and not to always underestimate the other boarders. Also the two "girls" I wasn´t so sure about if it would be the "right" thing for them liked it very much and couldn´t wait to get home to check out Parelli Connect and to read more about Parelli and Horsenality. Way cool! Malin, the stable owner was very happy about the positive feedback as well. Also a big compliment to Ulrike who got to borrow one of Malin´s competition horses to introduce him to Parelli. Considering that Mirre is for sale for quite a bit of money it´s a big trust into Ulrike and Parelli to lend him out like that. Anita and Orkan also did very well and it was lovely to watch their relationship - and pretty entertaining as well. Last but not least a big thank you to Sofie who did an outstanding job teaching and introducing all those new people to Parelli! Pics will come up as soon as Anita uploads them.
Milva laid down 3 x on command today :)))). After yesterday I wasn´t sure if she really got it even though Shawn was convinced she did and sure enough she did! When I asked her to do it the first time today it took a few minutes for her but I could see how hard she was trying but she wasn´t sure if she really could do it and I understand her. Someone was riding outside in the dressage ring - just outside the ridingarena, and cantering around. I gave her some scratches and asked her again and whoops she flapped down. I asked her to wait with standing up and she was sitting there for a bit while I gave her more scratches and some oats. Because Milva is Milva and I know how much she enjoys repeating the new things she just learned I decided to leave the ridingarena for a bit and took her grazing cause the first thing she tried to do after coming up was laying down again. I for sure do not want this to get out of hand cause I already can see her laying down all the time - like she always came sideways towards me after she learned it or spinned all the time in the beginning. I´m just thinking about her poor new saddle... So yes, I´m not quite sure if it was the smartest thing to teach her to lay down but it is sure fun and her face afterwards is just priceless. After grazing for a while I took her back in and we played a little bit at liberty and then I asked her again to lay down and whoops, she flapped down again, pretty quick this time. After coming up she sure enough tried to lay down again so I asked her to spin instead and then we did some stick to me. At the end of the playsession I asked her once more to lay down and whoops she flapped down again :)). I asked her sit for a little bit and when I asked her to come up again she jumped up in the air and spinned around really fast and when she stopped she looked very pleased with herself. She is such a clown! It doesn´t look very elegant yet when she is laying down it´s more like a little earthquake when she flapps down but it sure looks very cute. So one day I will be able to mount her when she is sitting or laying down, just not yet - in case she spinns or rears after coming up ;). And in case she does it with the saddle - well, it is her saddle and a few scratches won´t hurt it I guess. I also helped Patricia with Tinker for a bit today. Tinker is so much fun too. I just love lbi!!
45min online with Milva 60min freestyle trailride with Lina I had a rather interesting playsession with Milva today. Circling game went well and she starts putting more effort in it again. I still used the 22´rope. We played with change of direction and walk - trott - stop transitions. Taking it slow with her and giving her enough time to thing makes a huge difference. I also played with the yoyo game cause it was broken. She didn´t back up in a straight line and didn´t give me two eyes in the beginning but after a while it was ok again. How interesting. At the circling game she maintained the gait in walk and trott and was responsive to slow down or speed up when I asked her. Well and then something new happened. I noticed for a while that Milva eyed a special spot in the circling game and always lowered her head like she would lay down and roll. After sending her off in trott she suddenly flapped down on the ground and did exactly that - rolled. I did the same movements as her and gave her some oats while she was still down. After coming up she walked away for a few steps but I stayed at the same spot made the same movements again and she came back and laid down again. Coinsidence maybe or maybe I just thought her to lay down - instead of maintaining gait at the circle in trott ;) - I know. After coming up the second time she chewed and yawned a lot so I stopped our play session right there and took her grazing instead. It´s going to be interesting to see what happens tomorrow. When I was done with Milva I took Lina for a trail ride. First I thought I bring Milva along as a handhorse but decided against it. Better to train that a bit more before taking her out for 1 hour. The trail ride was going fine. Lina is 21 years old now and knows her job but even so she is very responsive. Whenever I turn in my body so is she. She is very easy to ride. I rode in my NP which fits her perfectly as well, the only thing I had to do was changing the shims. The trail itself was pretty boring though. There are no nice trails around here I´m afraid. No forest anywhere unless you trailer your horse but then you also could ride on the beach. I sure miss Austria and Canada when it comes to trail riding. In Austria I always rode in the mountains and along the Danube. As a kid I was often out all day long on Bongo and riding for 6 - 8 hours. Also there were lots of old ruins you could ride to and special marked ancient trails which the Druids used. Canada was a whole different story. The trails there were just unbelievable amazing wonderful! So much nature and nature you can´t even imagine here in Europe. Everything is just much bigger over there - the trees, the rivers,... the silence. The only thing you could here was the wind and the birds and the water when you were near a river. Also when I lived there I rode up to 5 horses a day and up to 8 hours a day. I rode different horses for Mark and then Rambo - the Appendix I owned. What make me think about that today was because I don´t enjoy riding as much anymore and I think it has something to do with the surroundings. The trail ride today was ok but I didn´t enjoy it or was thrilled about it. When I rode in Austria and Canada I was always excited about getting on a horse but somehow I lost this feeling. I hope my theory is right and does have something to do with the nature. Riding today almost made me feel claustrophobic cause there is no where to go. Time will show I guess. What to do about it I don´t know though. Trailering Milva is out of question cause I´m worried someone could drive in to the trailer and she could get hurt so it´s not worth it. I don´t want to put myself nor her under that stress. Maybe it is possible to ride to the forest but it probably would take 2 - 3 hours to get there. I will tell Shawn to do some Recce when he is flying over the stable the next time.
-Horsemanship is natural -Make no assumptions -Communication is two or more individuals sharing and understanding an idea -The eight responsibilities of a Partnership -The attitude of Justice is effective -Body language is universal -Horses teach riders, riders teach horses -Principles, purpose and time are the tools of teaching
The Eight Responsibilities
There are eight responsibilities in a horse-human relationship: four for the human and four for the horse. The four responsibilites for the Human: -Don´t act like a predator. Become more mentally, emotionally and physically fit. -Have an independent seat. -Think like a horse-man -Use the natural power of focus. The four responsibilities for the horse: -Don´t act like a prey-animal. Become more mentally, emotionally and physically fit. -Don´t change gait. -Don´t change direction. -Look where you are going