Saturday, April 12, 2014

My horse is a teacher/ guest post with Alyssa

 Hello all! I am back, guest blogging for my second time!  

Okay, so I happen to love horses. I own two miniature horses named Rosie and Half Pint, and am going to “upgrade” to a bigger horse this year. 

Alyssa and Rosie
When I got the two miniature horses last year, I noticed that one (Rosie) would spook and shy frequently. She is/was at the age of ten, and only knew some basic ground work. The other mini, Half Pint aka “Haffy” was/is 20 years old but drove a cart and had shown very frequently  when she was younger.  Because Half Pint knew so much, I bonded to her quickly, and Rosie was usually by herself. Rosie got to looking very sad, and so I started to teach her ground driving. I had some help from her former owner. But she would get very insecure and bolt at any noise while in the harness, and was also very worried about a human controlling her from behind her. When she would shy, I would get frustrated, and because I didn’t want her to reflect my attitude, I would put her away into her stall and try to teach her the thing I wanted her to know the next day. But I knew that something had to be done so that we could have a bond.                                                                                                                               So, Mrs. June (My trainer who owns a stunning Haflinger and has bred and trained horses for over 50 years), called Mrs. Tia Jones, a 3rd (working on 4th) level Pat Parelli trainer. She came out to my house and told me (after watching me and Rosie work together for a while) that Rosie wanted for me to be her leader, but she was scared of me because I was/am very extroverted and Rosie was/is introverted, therefore she didn’t know whether to trust me or not, because my movements were “loud” and “scary.” (Taking longer steps, quickly rubbing her, talking loudly etc).                                                                                                                                                               She didn’t have her human leader because she didn’t know if I was or wasn’t going to hurt her, and that was why she was always spooky. To help fix this issue, Mrs. Tia told me to stroke her softly, walking slowly, and when Rosie looked at me, to back away.                                                                                                                                       When Rosie realized that she could “control” me, her confidence got back up. I was so happy to have Rosie actually “accepting” me!

But I was a long way away from that actual bond. So I decided to do trick training. Trick training (with treat rewards) makes introverted horses more extroverted.  So I started with something very basic: stepping up on a wooden platform. Rosie learned quickly, and soon she was bowing, rearing, stepping on picnic tables, and smiling. She also became much more comfortable with ground driving, and is now ready for the cart to be placed on her. During this, we have formed an incredible bond and I hope that it will last forever.
Working with Rosie has taught me patience, diligence, and most of all, I no longer get upset when a horse doesn’t learn the first time I ask them to do something.
Two weeks ago Rosie chomped on my fingers. Hard. I was trick training her then, and she thought I had treats in my hand so she bit down. I was in a lot of pain, but I walked around the round pen so that I wouldn’t get upset. Rosie followed me and then when I stopped she came up and nudged me on my leg. I was so happy!! 


Another good thing is that before the bond I couldn’t get Rosie to do the Monty Roberts “Join up.”  Well last month I decided to try again. It worked! She came over to me and sniffed the back of my neck (I was sitting down). Then she stayed right next to me! I was so happy!

I love Rosie, and I hope that we both have a bond that will last forever. J


Thanks Alyssa! I'm glad you and Rosie are finally getting along. :)


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