Thursday, April 29, 2010

aw cute. :)

My hubby Chris playing with Midge on our teeter totter bridge. video

yay Nevy!

My nana petting him on Friday. HALETR! Only took 20 minutes and once it was on he was super calm.


Taking a walk. :) after the walk we went back in the round pen and got to the point where he was letting me pet his neck and shoulder on his left side.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Midge's First Show!

So I took Midge, a client's 2 y/o filly Georgia (first show as well) and my 18y/o rescue project mare Kini, who came along to babysit, to a schooling show on saturday. Four of my students tagged along and I talked two of them into showing Midge and Kini in the non Stock Horse halter class. Kini is the Buckskin you will also see in the video. I was a little nervous to take Midge only because at home she still seems a bit skittish around the full size horses and squeal and swings her butt around. But she was as calm as could be the whole morning! Stood at the trailer when she needed to, walked all around the show ground, and stood by the in-gate surrouded by showmanship and reaining horses without batting an eye. She even ended up "babysitting" the 2y/o filly Georgia when the girls took Kini back to the trailer. people were constantly coming up and asking to pet her, i think she loved the attention. It was great practice for the expo and i have no doubt she will be great in June. i think next saturday we are going to take her out for a trail "ride" to continue practicing riding in the trailer and going new places.

video


Showing off her 3rd place ribbon while giving my husband some smooches!

Thursday, April 22, 2010

YYYEEEESSSSS!!!!!!!!!!!

videoAnd this is why i do what i do.


And a HUGE thanks to Michelle for her lovely and encouraging email. :) You made me cry, thank you for taking the time to send me a letter.


Oh and Midge is going to a horse show on Saturday to do halter and showmanship class. will post pictures after!

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Emotions....

When i started this blog i wanted to make sure i put EVERYTHING out there. Good, bad, ugly. So i am just going to type what i feel...

It has been such a roller coaster with Nevy these past few weeks. I've gone from confident and excited to feeling like a failure only in a matter of hours. Ive gone from feeling hopeless right back to the top the first time he "kissed" my face. Ive doubted my abilities, believed in my methods, and learned new things all in one day. After 3 weeks we are NOWHERE close to where i hoped we would be. Nevy is without a doubt the hardest horse i have worked with. The methods that i started using on him i quickly realized were not going to work for him. So i would try something else, that would be a bad fit... i have just stood and stared at him, racking my brain, trying to decide what approach is right for him. There are times I've felt like a bad trainer because *MY* methods wernt working but what about how nevy learns? If i want to be a successful trainer i need to read and understand the horse I'm working with. I need to know whats going to work for HIM. he is forcing me to set back and watch him, observe him, and THEN decide how to approach the situation.

I am still struggling with the fact that I think i am the youngest and probably least experienced of all the trainers in the competition. I read some of the bios on the website and felt SO inadequate, like i don't even deserve to be in the same category. And then i start to wonder WHY oh WHY did i pick such a difficult baby? Most of the other babies were sweet and friendly, i think all were halter broke and ready for training. so why did I end up with the scared, nervous, untrusting baby who still doesn't have a halter on after 3 weeks? Did i doom myself? As inexperienced as i am should i have chosen differently? Or did i do the right thing by picking a horse that i KNEW would push me, challenge me, make me feel like a loser and a winner, make me cry and make me laugh. When the perspective changes i realize that this has nothing to do with some silly competition in June, but it has everything to do with a life changing opportunity. Without Nevy i wouldn't be changing and stretching and growing. it may be painful and draining, but wouldn't i be a fool to turn it down? As I'm typing this i am reminded of the Garth Brooks song The Dance... "And now I'm glad I didn't know
The way it all would end the way it all would go
Our lives are better left to chance I could have missed the pain
But I'd of had to miss the dance "


I'm going through a lot of pain and discomfort right now, and i don't know what the end of this crazy ride will be like... but all i know is that this dance is wonderful. And now having the chance to know Nevy... i wouldn't have picked another baby for the world.

Love you Nevy, you are the best teacher I've ever had. <3

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Day 17/18 - Midge

So over yesterday and today Midge worked on lunging, bathing, clipping, flyspray, trotting over poles, and just being an all around good pony. :) In the one picture the dirtbike is running and she could have cared less. She was a little spooky when she first came but is getting much more both and confident every day.

day 18 - Nevy


My beautiful baby having his lunch. :)


So i can finaly say i have touched Nevy. I am surprised at how long it took... Next week when i have more time i will dedicate a post just to the emotion/education side of this jounry with him, but for tonight its just about the training. :)

So last week we build a round pen/paddock(in the middle of the arena mind you) so he could be seperated from the other horses. both for training and because i want to keep food in front of him 24/7. He is so skinny! within that paddock we set up a smaller one, about the size of a stall. While i am out teaching lessons i put him in the smaller stall and just sit on a stool right next to it while i teach. The first couple days he was pretty stressed out, but today he was doing much better. we got to the point where he would come up the the fence, nudge my elbow and i would turn around and feed him a bite of carrot. after doing that a few times i started putting both hand through the fence and "making" him let me touch his nose or jaw before giving him the carrot piece. We kept working on that and he was being so calm i decided to enter the stall(staying VERY close to the corner/fence) and do the same thing. He tends to get really panicky if i push him too far so i was very careful to stay calm and quite and not take up too much of his space. he was very good, ate a couple carrots and i had a student snap a couple pictures. Although progess is SOOOOO much slower thani expected, I am trying very hard not to feel rush, or to rush him. He is a very fragile horse and i need to do theis the best way i know how. and that is to go slooow.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Day 15

Sadly today it was pouring rain so nevy has had 3 days off in a row... Not good considering how slow we are progressing. Tomorrow is should be sunny and the round pen should be dry so we will jump right back on track!


During a break in the rain a couple of my students took turn walking and trotting Midge down the driveway. She is doing a great job listening to new people and was happy to be out and trotting around.


the sun WILL be out tomorrow!!! So i will have new pics, maybe video too!

Sunday, April 11, 2010

yikes

wow sorry abou the lack of updates! things have been crazy and i don't have time even now to catch you up on the past few days but should have time after work tomorrow. BUT both Midge and Nevy are doing good. nev is a tough cookie to crack and our progress is (literaly) in inches, not feet but i believe in him 100%. And Midge is fantastic...SO smart!!

I promise more tomorrow!

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Day 9

Don't have too much time for typing today...

Midge is doing great... i didn't get any pictures of her today but will probably get some videos tomorrow!


Nevy is doing great again today! We are continuing with the round penning. He is calm about the lunge whip touching him, but still doesn't want me too close. after working ofr a while though he will come take a carrot from my outstretched arm. After we were done i sat up against the fence and put his grain bucket at my feet. While i read my Reader Digest he snacked away, and didn't seem as frightened. Here are a couple pictures. i don't know why one is upside down... maybe i can fix it tomorrow.




Monday, April 5, 2010

Day 8 - Progress!

Today Midge was used in a ground work lesson. Lauren had her practicing over poles and around cones, taught her to walk over a tarp, kick a soccer ball, and wear a small blanket. Midge is a little jumpy about the lead rop so i taught Lauren how to desensitize M to it. We also used the same method with the saddle blanket.
Everybody is falling in love with her and don't want to see her go. I do hope someone adopts her at the Expo... but if not then I may not be bringing home an empty trailer. ;)






After all the discouragement with Nevy i am finaly seeing the light at the end of the tunnel! We dismanteled out round pen that was at one end of the property, and rebuilt it in the arena where we can herd him into it. It is 45ft which is the perfect size for this type of ground work. He was much more settled and relaxed then in his paddock and we were able to make some great progress. This video is right after we started working, he goes great to the left, but kept turning around going to the right. By the time we were done for the day he was going steady both direction.

video

After getting the basics of round penning I started gently swinging the lunge whip up and over his back. He quickly got used the the feel of it on his back and butt. We finished when I was able to swing the whip over his neck and body and rub his neck a little. I hoping to get to that point sooner tomorrow but we will see. I really saw a difference in him today and i am excited to work with him tomorrow.

He is now also out with 3 other horses instead of being in his own paddock. he seems MUCH happier and relaxed with them. I just hope they don't beat him up, i want him to look handsome. :)

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Day 6... more frustration

Well i am beginning to realize just how much i have bit off with choosing Nev as my baby. the pessimist in me keeps wondering why i didn't pick an easier baby but the BETTER part of me knows that i did the right thing. Giving a very deserving horse a chance at love and partnership with a human. That's what I need to focus on. Not the competition, not the Expo, my "pride", what other trainers may be doing, or the short amount of time. I need all my energy and mind on Nev and only him. HE is the reason i am doing this, nothing else. Success is getting him adopted.

He is moving along much slower than I hoped, but i know i just need to keep going at whatever speed works for him. ITS HARD! no one EVER said this job is easy, and its days like this i know that for a fact. but the end result is so rewarding. The paddock i have him in isnt great for training, I really don't have a good set-up here for un-halter broke horses. I can't get him to a round pen and thats makes thing difficult. I am going to have to set back, re-evaluate, end decide where to go from here.



As for Midge...
she is a JOY to have!(she may just have to stay!) I was feeling frustrated so i decide just to take her for a little walk around the arena. She learsn fast, and remember it quickly. We worked on walking up and over the "bridges" we built for trail practice, and well as poles and tiny jumps. Then we walk tot he goat pasture for some turnout time. I let her off the lead and sat down against the fence to watch her. She would wander around for a minute or two then come back, give me a couple "kisses" on my face and then go back to exploring.

She loves when you get down to her level and just kiss and cuddle with her. she is going to be a project here at the ranch, both for me and for my students. Im so happy to have her. :)

Friday, April 2, 2010

Days 4 & 5

Midge is coming along great! She is learning not to kick out whenever she is unhappy, always a good thing. ;) All the students love her, and now her mane and forelock and braided. She gets walked and fussed over multiple times a day... right now we are working on refining her leading skills, letting me handle her feet/body, and just being all around pleasant while being around people. Next week we are going to start working with the clippers, bathing and trailer loading. Once she has all her basics done then we will start with the fun stuff!


I have hit a bit of a discouraging setback with Nevada... The paddock he is in shares a fence with our next door neighbor. From the time I set foot in the paddock to the moment I leave our neighbor's dog won't stop barking at the fence. its distracting to me and Nev but the biggest problem is the grumpy neighbor who come out and screams at me to stop "infringing" on his dog. *rolls eyes* So now every time i go out to work with him im scared of being yelled and swore at... its very disheartening but i just don't have any where else to put Nev. i know i just have to Keep calm and Carry On, but i can't expect Nev to be focussed if im distracted. Gotta get my head back in the game...