Ok, so this blog is a bit tardy, however in my defense…this is a blog following my horsemanship journey into a too deeper connection and understanding of horses. No small subject, and I am a bit of a percolator. Yup, like the coffee maker.. in go the ingredients and over time, dependent on a few factors I don’t feel the need to detail for you intelligent folks.. a fine brew is the result. Mostly. Sometimes I need to revisit the proportions and take time to sit and savor the results. Other times.. toss the bitter brew, or weak disappointment, read the instructions and try again. Each result gives me more insight into what I like in a particular roast, more grounds, less time, lower temp.. you get the idea, I’m also a ponderer. Percolate, and ponder. That takes time folks. So if you’re still with me… congrats, and hang in there I like to think it may get more interesting. Back to playing with ponies.
I have the good fortune to be able to work with a few horses I haven’t introduced you to, and in the next few posts, I think I’ll do just that. Each brings something to the exercises I’m exploring. Hence the state of perpetual ponder as I assimilate the information. It is nice to have one horse you know well and trust (who also trusts you.) to work with, but much like learning a new skill in a controlled environment it’s another thing to take out in the real world. I find myself lately looking back through my notes from weeks ago and the more recent. I must confess, the notes from early on would read quite differently now after practice and study with multiple horses and revisiting the lesson material. I am happy to say I’m much less likely to have a bitter brew to swallow. Metaphorically speaking.
This weeks lesson~ Taking territory, or as I like to call it the real estate game.
We have been sharing territory, as well as practicing stillness for a while. What’s next? When do I get to tell my horse what to do? Good news, here’s a good exercise for you to establish a bit of leadership without making a big deal over being the boss-man-big. Taking or claiming territory is a great way to assert yourself and cultivate a willing attitude. Start out in your paddock or pasture, just a hanging with the herd as you’ve perfected, perhaps there are a few hay piles scattered about if no grass available. Begin to advance from a comfortable distance well outside your horse’s bubble of personal space, within eyesight, have a firm intention set on moving horse away from that particular spot. As you advance closer, increase or decrease energy as warranted. Moving the air with gesturing hands or a wand if justified. The idea being a higher ranking herd member can and will move another horse off resources they would like to claim for themselves. No need for drama, a timid horse will require a mere suggestion from a greater distance than a dominant horse. Use your best judgment and as always practice safety. Once they have gone, leave them be to find another pile of hay or yummy spot for there own. I personally am enjoying alternating claiming and sharing territory while taking notes along the way, to go through over a future fresh cup of morning coffee.
I think Redmann has claimed this big bale successfully from his paddock mate.