I always call Sunday, Horse Church Sunday because it is one day during the week that I can almost always guarantee home time and horse time. I also make sure that I have dog time because working so much as I do, I miss my dogs too!
I am having a fun day in the barn today. The weather outside is gray, rainy and cold. Once the horses were fed and cleaned this morning , and while they were eating, my Great Dane, Morgan and I took a walk. We walked in the indoor arena, first on the rail and then did patterns using the dressage letters as a guide, we then went outside, in the rain, and walked the perimeter of the field, and back for a final loop in the arena. Afterwards, I put Morgan in the lounge for some rest and a drink.
The horses were turned out in the arena and they had some fun rolling and playing with each other. I decided some undemanding time was in order so I sat on a mounting block and just observed. This kind of time with horses is often underutilized and misunderstood. Most people are linear and direct-line thinkers when it comes to horses. What this looks like is people go to the barn, grab a halter, grab their horse, tack up, mount up, ride, and put the horse away. Sounds a bit robotic because it is. Where is the relationship? I enjoy riding but I also see a far bigger picture than most. So, undemanding time today meant that the horses decided to check me out and groom me. Between the rain and the groom job my hairdo is a bit messy! Each horse took a turn messing my hair up, licking my face, it was pretty funny and cute. Sometimes during undemanding time your horse may ignore you, it is okay, you are spending time with the horse, and the horse setting the agenda. I recommend bringing something to read with you. The only rule with this kind of time is that you may not reach out to your horse, you just hang out and let the horse initiate an interaction. This develops a different perspective between horse and human and is vital to your relationship. Try it anytime and anywhere!
After all of this, I opened the door and pointed to each horse and their stalls, all at liberty. Fosse and Whiskey went to their respective spaces. Lola told me no and asked for play time. She and I had an awesome liberty session. Liberty really is a test of connection because there are no tools like halters and lines involved, just communication and horse psychology.
Working using the Parelli 7 games, we worked on circling at several gaits in both directions far and close. At first she got emotional but I remained in neutral and let her work out her issues, eventually leading to a very connected game. Slowing her mind and feet refined the process which lead to excellent serpentines, backwards, sideways, and even more complicated patterns. Many people go for fast and closets goal but slow and precise is what I prefer to see. No major rules, just fun, I accepted her asks, she responded to my puzzles by asking questions and doing what I asked. What fun! To go back to her stall, she backed down the aisle and backed in, at liberty. Wow, what a fun connection and transformation.
Morgan and I are now relaxing and enjoying the lounge and are watching Parelli videos. Lunch is also on the agenda.
I am living the dream that I always wanted. Are you? I surely hope so! If I can help you do so, let me know.
Michelle Young is a horse lover, animal advocate, Reiki Master Teacher, holistic healer, Parelli Savvy Club Gold Member and Level 3 Student, academic library director, professor, and more. Contact Michelle.
This blog was created to share my life-long journey with horses and holistic health. I write about horsemanship, healthy, holistic living, and just about anything else that passes through my mind. Enjoy!
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