Petra's Parelli World - Follow my Journey as a Parelli Professional Instructor

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Some people don't know what they are missing....

After spending the last couple days reading questions and answers in the horse section of, I decided tonight that I have a lot of empathy for people who suggest to yank, kick, spur and yell at horses to "train" them. Boy, they have no clue what they are missing out on!
Dennis was working tonight, so I decided to take the horses for a walk to the big meadow up the hill. I started out by asking Cash to come out of the pasture at liberty and I trimmed her feet. Can you pick up your feet when I snap my finger? Can you hold your foot up while I trim it? I let her eat off and on while trimming, and she stopped at my suggestion. Cool! So I haltered her and asked JB to join us at liberty. First, he wasn't quite sure whether he wanted to participate or not but he finally came out of the pasture and joined us. I took the old fire road up the hill and about half way up JB realized that we would head to the meadow and he passed us and trotted up the hill, out of sight. Cash looked a little puzzled, but stayed with me, largely unconcerned.
When we finally arrived at the top, JB was already in the middle of the meadow, looking at us with his typical question mark expression on his face: What took you so long? We stayed about 15 minutes and I was thinking about a strategy how to cause JB to follow us home willingly. Obviously, he was not mighty concerned leaving Cash and me behind. While letting Cash graze, we played all 7 Games. Can you move your hind foot one step? Can you move your hindquarters and move your front end around? How about when I step on the lead rope, can you follow my porcupine game? She was willing and engaged, so I decided to ask her to follow me at the fastest trot we could muster, running up the hill into the trees, out of sight. I promised myself I would not turn around and look, so my ears were all I had to figure out whether JB was following or not. He must have waited for a while, thinking I would for sure come back and get him (darn it, created that pattern during feeding time the last couple weeks!). But I didn't and so he trotted up the hill and found us in the pine trees. We zig-zagged our way down to the house, playing around the trees and over fallen stumps.
When we finally reached the road, JB was right next to me and I put my hand on his withers and he followed my suggestions to walk slow, fast, slow and stop with an alert and happy expression on his face.
We ended our little excursion with a sunflower seed dinner, some good hay and scratches for all the mosquito bites. What could be better?