dancing horses

dancing horses

Friday, August 16, 2013

Hanging out

The other day when I was visiting my friend she brought up that her husband was doing a program called (I think) Waterhole Rituals with one of their horses. I was curious and he explained about the first lesson (game? activity?) was to go and sit in the field and ignore the horse. Then we got chatting about other things and I lost the thread of the topic.

On the way home I was thinking about it and became more curious. So I did what I always do when seeking information- I turned to 'google'. I couldn't find much specific info without ordering a dvd or taking a course. But now my curiosity was truly piqued. Rather then phone my friend or order the dvd, I grabbed a lawn chair and a magazine (Dressage Today of course) and headed out to the field. I set it up in the middle and sat down to read. I couldn't see Steele but I could see Irish's back just over the crest of the hill. Knowing that he can hear a flea fart in the forest, I was pretty sure that he  knew I was here. So I sat down and began to read. I looked up periodically and each time they were a little closer. They were grazing and appearing to be oblivious but each time they moved it was towards me. When they were about 50 feet away they dropped all pretense and headed over. Both gave me the full once over. They were both gentle but checked out my hair, my hat (no Steele, you can't have it), my chair and my magazine. Steele was really interested in my magazine. They then settled into to graze close by my chair. I stayed a little longer but they also brought flies with them so I got up and left. They followed me back to the barn. Total time- about 20 minutes all together.

I'm not sure if that was what was supposed to happen but it was interesting.

8 comments:

  1. I recently read Carolyn Resnick's autobiography and it was fascinating. She had a unique view on horsemanship, and I also viewed a video of her teaching a class on establishing yourself as a herd leader. Her methods helped stop the horses from mugging me when I had hay. My horses practically sit in my lap whenever I pull up a chair and try to read in the shade of the barn. It's cute at first, but after a while I have to get up and leave too.

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    1. I will have to look for it. Thanks

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  2. I read about that training philosophy a while ago, but I have read about so many that I cannot remember much about that one. I tend to lose interest in programs if you know what I mean, but the lawn chair experiment sounds interesting. I hope I have time again someday to try it.

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    1. I know exactly what you mean. I like to find out about different approaches and then choose what to apply to my situation.

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  3. I play this game a lot with my boys. It doesn't work too well with Speedy G as I can't ever get away from him. He LOVES to seek me out wherever I am. Sydney has started to really get it as well. I just did this exercise last week, except I used the mounting block. I sat it in the middle of the arena and turned my back to him and just waited. Within about two minutes he came over to check me out. I got up and moved to a new spot and again, within a few minutes he was back. Each time he "found" me, he got a good scratch and a few hugs.

    I don't know about the training philosophy you were reading about, but I've found that this exercise is helpful in teaching my horses that looking to me is rewarding (sometimes there are scratches and cookies). By searching me out, they discover that they get to go back to their stall/run. It makes them very easy to catch (I can't get rid of Speedy G), and if they ever dump me, they are more likely to come back and find me. And in general, they are acknowledging that I am worth being around.

    Keep playing. I think you'll enjoy the game, too. :0)

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    1. I often go out to the field and groom them, scratch them or give a carrot. If I'm out there doing something they usually come and check me out. I've also been doing some liberty work with Steele in the ring and he's responding really well.

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  4. Someone beat me to it (no surprise since I'm so behind on reading blogs), but yes Carolyn Resnick is the one who started the waterhole rituals. I've read up on it some and watched some Youtube videos, but it seems like you can't really get in depth information without buying something and right now I have no spare cash. I might look into it more later though. :) I haven't checked it in a while, but here is her blog http://www.carolynresnickblog.com/

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