Sunday, January 03, 2016

Simple Things

I am really enjoying working with Duncan. He is always happy to see me coming, gives a throaty little hoarse nicker and meets me to be haltered. I've completely stopped rewarding with treats, poor fella. He focuses better now. :)

They still shamelessly beg for treats though.

Today (now that the weather is closer to freezing than 0) we worked together twice. Simple things like body control with hand pressure where eventually there will be stirrup pressure, lateral flexion, dropping head and allowing a rope to pass over his ears, fingers in and around his mouth, picking up feet, lungeing at a walk, walking with me then being sent around objects and joining me to walk again, rope and saddle blanket over his back & falling to the ground. Seeing the saddle blanket draped out long on Pedro's back was very concerning! His eyes were huge. Following a feel exercise with rope around his opposite side, almost fouling his legs, searching for and finding the right answer.

He is very smart when he's free to explore the right and wrong answers without fear. It doesn't take many repetitions for him to have it down and be ready to move on. Except with his hooves. He is making slow progress there, but it is definite progress. He is still holding on to a lot of tension there. He knows that there is a right and a wrong answer, and neither is that big a deal, but one is easier. :)

This horse journey has been pretty painful these last few years since Tonka died. I had my reservations about Luc all along, even if he hadn't been lame. I'm sure we would have made things good in time, but our energy levels didn't match. And Jasper was certainly not the right fit. I really wanted Joseph to be the one but he never really wanted to be with people, which maybe would have been okay if he didn't have EPSM. Each of them broke my heart a little bit, and I wish I had made better choices. I guess choosing the wrong partners is one way to learn.

I don't claim to be, or want to be, a great horseman who can train any horse. I just want to have a great partnership with one horse, until death do us part.

Duncan just fits. He's like getting into warm, dry clothes after a day in cold water. If I can keep from screwing this up, it is going to be a long, slow, beautiful dance.

I'm afraid he might become entwined in my heartstrings as inextricably as Tonka was.  Afraid, but also hopeful.


Linda said...

Connection with a horse is often underrated. I have a friend from Lewiston who told me she would never bring any animal into her life that didn't "choose" her. Her horse chose her, and they've been together ever since--which is around 20 years, I guess. He's her only horse. It made an impression on me, but I can't say that all my animals "chose" me. Cowboy, for example, didn't choose me. I thought he was pretty, and my husband like him, so we bought him. Only after bringing him home did we "choose" each other. Leah seemed to choose me. She and I are very much alike in energy and heart--and we just clicked instantly. I clicked with Beautiful, but she always keeps a piece of herself to herself--and the herd. She's not one to get overly attached to humans, it seems.

It sounds like you and Duncan have chosen each other. That's a powerful bond.

froglander said...

So glad to hear you are finding that connection with Duncan!

T.L. Merrybard said...

I had a few experiences in a row that made it easier to give up horses. One who I adored who had bad knee arthritis, one who I adored who had a weird very explodey occasional event that lost my nerve for me, and then a young one who I bought sight unseen and was a totally bossy little you-know -hat and who I really didn't like at all. :) One had to go to horse heaven, and the next two were sold on to people who matched them better than me. After that I just felt like I didn't want to try again, at least for now. For me too it is all about the bond, and I'm glad you have found the right one in Duncan. It's what many of us mean when we dream about how horse ownership should be, and it is not always easy to find.

Andrea -Mustang Saga said...

I'm not sure I've ever had a horse choose me right off the bat, but I've definitely had horses I meshed with better. Scout drives me nuts, but I love him, but given a choice to play with him or another horse, I'd choose another horse, or even no horse and go do something else. I love hanging out with Duncan and Pedro though, whether we're doing anything or not. Bella is more reserved these days because I spend so little time with her, but when we spend quiet time together it's still very nice. I can't wait for longer days & more horse time!

Andrea -Mustang Saga said...

Thanks! Me too!

Andrea -Mustang Saga said...

Thanks! Me too!

artax22 said...

Artax chose me. He's very particular with people with being an OTTB. He's a little reserved with people he's unfamiliar with and takes a bit to warm up to strangers. I feel amazed that he chose me as his and he comes running up to me, ready for adventure.