The stories from training just keep on coming

I have had many great experiences with my horses and with the minis as well this week.  So I will just share three of the stories for different posts on the blog.

Cheyenne takes a bow with Amy on her back during a child's birthday party.  (Photo by John G. Miller)

Cheyenne takes a bow with Amy on her back during a child’s birthday party. (Photo by John G. Miller)

The first story is about Cheyenne and her training.  You see, Cheyenne is being trained for different things, such as her tricks, natural horsemanship and riding her enough to get her to be an even better riding horse.  Natural horsemanship and tricks go hand in hand because both disciplines involve working the horses on the ground, so we need to be able to be the alpha horse and help the horse learn the tricks but also enjoy being a true partner with me.

The other day I went out to work with a friend’s horse, but after I worked with that horse I allowed my own two horses to come out in the pasture themselves so they could get a nice run and stretching done for their physical as well as their emotional well being.   Since Cheyenne was out there eating and my husband accompanied me this time, I decided to see what Cheyenne would do for me at liberty.  She did great for me.  She yielded her hindquarters, forequarters, side pass away from me as well as toward me when I signaled her with a hand gesture.  She came forward with a gesture and backed up when I went toward her tail and grabbed a few tail hairs.  I asked her to do a nice, deep bow and she gave it for me.  She is an awesome horse.

When I went to my natural horsemanship lesson on Monday, I started showing my instructor what I did with my horse in the pasture.  She did a lot of the same things but then she eventually wandered off just like she did at the end of the time I spent with her in the pasture.  Then my instructor asked me if I knew how to get her to come back and pay attention to me.  I told her that I didn’t exactly know.

For about the next half hour, we worked on teaching her to allow me to be alpha by controlling her feet, mainly her hind feet.  If she stood and looked at the instructor, she would reward Cheyenne for standing straight in front of her but Cheyenne still did not approach her at all.  Then the idea was to cause her to yield her hind quarters and hopefully the horse would then yield her quarters and approach the handler.  Cheyenne didn’t want to approach her, she wanted it her way.  So we would continue this game until things got worse but in the end, a half hour into it, she approached her handler.  It was a great thing to see.  After a few more lessons that day, I did the same thing and Cheyenne approached me the same way.  For the next couple of weeks, we will continue to do this to get Cheyenne totally connected with me as her alpha.

It is more difficult for Cheyenne to yield to me because she is an alpha mare.  But this is not all.  I had both of my horses loose in the arena and it didn’t take Gypsy long to realize that she was not the one Jo was zeroing in on.  So she eventually just stood and did not respond to what was going on.  That was an interesting thing to observe.

Even after that was over, Cheyenne kept looking back at that part of the wall or the arena as if she was trying to figure out what happened there.  It was quite interesting.  She was probably thinking what just happened to me to cause me to do what I did.  But for the next 20 minutes she continued to look back and lick her lips.  But she is a great horse and I keep learning a lot from her.

Please feel free to respond with your thoughts.

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