Monday, March 22, 2010

Hunny's Story

The last few weeks I have sporadically been working with my 12 year old, Arabian, mare, Hunny.  She hasn’t really had very much done with her especially since she arrived at our house almost 2 years ago.  I have decided that I will have gotten on her at least once by April 26, hehe, wish me luck. 
Last year in February my mom, dad, and I went to a Clinton Anderson tour stop in Utah and I loved the way he trained horses.  The way he explained everything was so simple, (he calls it idiot proof horsemanship) and it seemed like he got very good results and they were easy to understand.  I really wanted a few of the training DVD’s but, ahem, they were *sigh* 150 dollars, each.  So that dream is gone until I have a job.  But, mom and dad did get me a lead rope, halter, and handy stick.  Anyway, I used this method with Silver and I LOVE it!!  So, I will use it with Hunny too. 
I built myself a round pen earlier this year and have used it so much.  It is like, the best thing in the world!  I have started the round penning exercise with Hunny, she really dislikes the halter.  The concept of Round Penning it to teach the horses that as ling as they are with you or looking at you they can rest, but if they are going to be stupid and leave then they are going to have to work (no horses like to work, they are very lazy creatures).  It also, teaches them that when you are wherever they are, they need to stop and look at you.  “You can out run any horse that is facing you” If that horses eyes never leave your eyes as you walk up to them you can always catch them.  “Two eyes are better than two heels.” 
The first thing you want is to get them in a round pen and you take the halter and lead off and get them going around the round pen.  You let them “find the arena” you let them figure out where the enclosure is.  After a few rounds you start to actually push them, you get them to lope/canter and let wait until they aren’t franticly running in circles (this can be quick or take forever) then you start to try ad grab their attention and ‘pull’ their nose into you.  Crouching and backing away will help them turn and look at you.  As soon as the horse turns and looks at you, you stop what you are doing and let them rest, “their biggest commodity at this point is air”, so as we let them rest they are going “Ha, I look at her and she leaves me be!  Then you carefully get them going the other way, and repeat what you had just done.  When you can consistently change direction, having the horse turn into you, you start crouching and walking in circles around the horse whenever the horse turns to keep their eyes on you, you let them stop for a few seconds then do it again.  Soon, you can walk around and they will follow you because they start to realize that as long as they are with you they get air!   
Doing this with Hunny takes quite a bit of energy that sometimes I just don’t want to even think about it, but then I want to be riding her by May, so, I go out and do my best.
So far, I have done three round penning exercises with Hunny and there has been an improvement, not a HUGE improvement but enough that I will continue trying.  She likes to throw many different stunts at me to see if she can ‘change my mind’ and let her off easily. 

1 comment:

  1. You can do it, I know you can! Just keep training, just keep training... :)