Thursday, January 2, 2020

Pleasantly Surprised - Unicorn in Training

Well I have had Ms. Kitty for three days.  She honestly has amazed me in the fact she learns so fast.  This scares me a little too, I fear she may progress faster than I can remember what to do.  I know all the basics.  I can get her to a point where she will be ready to start, at least I think I can.  I have before, however before was many years ago.  The only thing I have going for me now is back then I did most of it out of instinct.  Meaning I wasn't as knowledgeable, just lucky.  Now I know I know a lot more, have tons more experience, but is that a good thing? 

Feel is something that can't be explained exactly.  It is like explaining to someone what it feels like to to be an empath.  Unless you are one you will never understand.  The world is full of feelings, good, bad, indifferent.  Some of us feel too much so we learn to block out or hide out.  It isn't that we don't like people we just don't always like what they share with us.  It is the same thing with horses.  They are empaths in many ways.  They feel what we feel.  They understand our moods and our intentions. 

I have to make sure I stay in the moment when I am working with Ms. Kitty.  She has some attitude, but not as much as a few days ago.  I have said from day one she is smarter than most people.  She is young so I have to remember that too.   I only have a few days of vacation left.  The days are short so after this I won't get much training in during the week.  Which is fine, I won't send her out until maybe May or June, even later if she does have a growth spurt here soon.  No reason to start her too soon.  She has a whole life in front of her.  I will just keep the ground work going and get as far as I can in that aspect.  I will need to find a trainer I trust.  That in itself will be a major task.  I don't take starting a colt lightly.  That first 60 days can make or break the next five years.  Done correctly it will be a solid foundation for a partnership for life.  Or it can be the beginning of many hours of  trying to fill in the holes.   I have seen horses with great potential ruined by a bad trainer.  I had a horse that was basically ruined by a bad trainer.  My husband sent him out to get some hours on him, he came back a hot mess that took countless hours just to start to build the trust again.  Not this time, this little girl has too much potential.  I am already getting attached, go figure.  The difference is in 20's I could accept poor communication with my horse than I can in my 50's.  I no longer "bounce", I don't break quite yet, but I dent real well. 

Off to strip stalls, then get a few hours in with the horses.  Need to start cleaning my barn.  It is a mess from winter and my husband.  Love him dearly but he is a mess.  Leaves things everywhere.  I have been so busy with the holidays I have just ignored the whole thing.  Now that the holidays are over its time to spend the rest of winter getting ready for spring.  Even when I can't ride I can get the barn in order. 

Happy Trails!  Make today count, one small step in the direction of your dreams each day will get you there in the long term.  You know the saying a journey of a thousand miles starts with a single step!  Step it up my friends, step it up.

Wednesday, January 1, 2020

Happy New Year - The Next Steps Moving Forward

Over the years I have fancied my self a trainer of horses, children, dogs and people.  My favorite of the four is horses.  However like many things in life if you don't do it everyday you get a little rusty.  This little mare of mine makes me feel rusty for sure.  Yesterday we got past pissy.  Which is awesome.  We actually made it to willing.  Now honestly I haven't had a horse that is afraid of cattle in so long I can't remember when.  Even in my boarding years we roped, so there were always roping cattle on the ranch.  So needless to say that when I took the little Miss out after for a walk into the pasture it a new adventure to see how afraid of cattle she actually was.  Now for her new life this is something she will have to get past in a hurry.  We have cattle all over the place.  Actually almost everywhere she will being going there are cattle.   The poor little thing has not been exposed to much, she is pretty fearless, but in her defense all of this at one time does test her.

She started our session in her normal fashion, willing, then not.  She is used to being the boss.  Which really isn't going to fly with me.  After a while and a little sweat she decided to comply.  From that point out she was awesome.  Personal space is something she will have to learn.  She likes to crowd you, sometimes it is out of needing some reassurance others is just being pushy.  I have to remind myself she is a baby.  In older horses this behavior is usually directly associated with dominance, in her it is just as much about security.   I need to remember to make her feel secure, just not on top of me.

Last nigh I just went into her stall to spend time with her, something I do not do near enough these days.  My job, this ranch, life in general keeps me at an extended jog most of the time.  My goal for 2020 is to slow down and spend a little more time enjoying what we have and the wonderful people in my life.

I find Cotton is finally at a point he just wants to be with me.  He is my unicorn.  I had no idea 16 years ago when I bought him a the Red Bluff Gelding Sale that I had found such a wonderful, faithful animal.  There is no replacing him.  You never actually replace anything, you just build a new relationship that you hope is as good.  Ms. Kitty, I hope will be as good, I hope I don't make the mistakes I made with Cotton, and if I do, I hope she is as forgiving.  You see I was in a bad relationship for the first eight years I had Cotton.  When my world got out of control I tried to assert control where it was not warranted.  I made a lot of mistakes with him over the years.  Mistakes I would have never made on any other horse.  Yet, he always forgave me.  Not immediately, it took time, it took me being in a better place.  Now I look back and realize he was my sanity when my world was upside down.  The other day someone asked me if I every thought of selling him, without a thought I said, never.  He will be with me until the day he crosses the rainbow bridge.  He has given me his whole heart, he helped me when I didn't even know I needed help, he has been loyal and trustworthy.  For that I will take care of him for the rest of his life.  I will try to give him a back the loyalty he deserves. 

I hope to do right by Ms. Kitty, and in return I hope she repays the favor.  Horses are amazing creatures they teach you so much about yourself.  They give you what you need even when you don't know what you need.  The are a mirror to you soul.  They will reflect the broken pieces and help for put them back together.  They don't ask much in return, only honesty and respect.  Isn't that what every successful relationship is built upon?  Respect.  Pure, simple and honest.   I feel this little mare is honest, she has just been allowed to be disrespectfully like a spoiled child.  She was handled by those who were not aware, and she took control.  I just have to show her that I can be the leader and she need not worry about the rest.

Off to ride.  Have a blessed day, Happy New Year!  Here's to this amazing journey we call life!