Friday, October 8, 2010

Goofing off with great rewards!

So Thursday found me taking a break from trail riding with Dove. What should I do I asked myself? Cherokee my gelding gave me the answer. He had his head hanging over his gate with this "please pick me" look on his face. He really knows how to look pathetic. Smart little pony boy he is!

So I took him out for some fun! We saddled up and started with some passenger/guided riding in the round pen. It did not take long for him to start his displaced behavior of lowering his head and chewing the air with is mouth. He was a bit frustrated that our ranch hand & I were chatting about a broken fence. So I had Chero continue our trotting passenger lessons while I finished our chat. That gave Chero just enough change to enjoy moving about. But soon he was back to chewing again. Time for another change of scenery.

We played with opening the gate. Since we were in the round pen that is within a larger arena we had 2 gates to play with. We spent about 10 minutes getting our gate pattern worked out on the gate to the round pen and then about 20 minutes on the arena gate. He knew that the arena gate opened to the "world" so he was more anxious about just getting through it and OUT. Ahem Cherokee did you not view Pat's latest DVD on gates ... slow down and "take the time it takes...." LOL I was patiently persistent and soon he was in the proper position. Of course we backed out of the gate to avoid a hurry scurry exit. :) He offered a very nice low headed meandering back to his "hay bar." Th
e hay bar is a tack box filled with hay. My horses love to dive their noses into the hay and you can almost hear them sigh.

After I unsaddled him I spent about 20 minutes just sitting on him bareback while he munched out of the hay bar. Sort of some undemanding time. I say sort of because I found myself thinking of a "Can You" and then having to try it.

So Can You spin 360 degrees while sitting on your horse?

Today Dove & I joined my friend Laurie & her horse Faith for another trail ride in beautiful Briones Regional Park. Dove was so funny today as she kept stopping on our way up the steep hills. She basically had no go. At one point my friend asked me why I was giggling so I had to tell her that Dove used to be such a go-go pony that this whoa-whoa pony was a delight to be riding.

My challenge today was to NOT push her to continue but wait for her to stop and then ask her to go again... even if it was for only ONE step. LOL. With that I knew she'd make for an excellent videographer horse today. A great trade off if you ask me. ;)

We had a lovely 3 hour ride on the Toyon Canyon to Pine Tree Trail loop, stopping midway to dismount and have a quick picnic of power bars, tangerines, grapes and of course Dove's favorite - a pear. How she loves pears!

Here is a short video of our ride:

Along the way we met some other riders traveling in the opposite direction. At one point one of the riders noticed Dove was wearing a halter. She said "How nice to be able to ride in just a halter. Your horse must be real broke." To which I just smiled. :) At the end of the ride as we parted from our friend to head home Dove was happy to walk quietly back to the barn. A nice change after only the 5th trail ride session. The amazing power of patterns!


  1. Love how Dove's ears go from relaxed, behind the other horse, to pointed forward when she is up front. I just posted my first video clip on my blog. Thanks for the inspiration. Enjoy your stories and wish some day we could ride our Palominos together on a trail.

  2. Hi Jamie! I too loved how Dove's ears changed. It was great feedback for me. I also noticed in some other videos that her ears would dissapear, meaning she was super relaxed and had lowered her head. I think the videos helped me the most.
    I really enjoyed your video on Cici. What fun you had! I look forward to more in the future ;)
    And YES it would be so fabulous to ride our "yellowminos" together. Never say never as we may one day be in the same spot. Parelli is really a small wonderful world.

  3. Kim, your "travel around the world" video made me laugh.
    How fun!

    Petra Christensen
    Parelli 2 Star Junior Instructor
    Parelli Central

  4. Hi Petra! Thanks, my gelding Cherokee brings me much joy and laughter. I do love him so for that.