Nadja’s 2016 Mystic Ranch Vacation – Sept 2016

We were lucky to have our Nadja come back from Germany to spend two weeks with us at Mystic Ranch. She played with Tessa on the ground and Diann was kind enough to let her ride her Taxi. This video highlights the ground play, liberty, trail rides, and exploring the wonderful things she could do with Taxi. Music by Mary Ann Kennedy is used with the permission of the artist.

Play Time at Mystic Ranch – Sept 2016

The autumn weather has been perfect for horse play – at liberty in the trail course, riding the trails, doing drill riding, playing with Kami at liberty off of another horse, jumping cavaletti, riding bridle-less in the arena and pasture and through the pond. What fun! Music by Mary Ann Kennedy is used with the permission of the artist.

Hannah Does Liberty with Kami on Trail – August 2016

Hannah came out for a lesson today. She rode Mystic on trail, with Kami running free with us. At first Kami ignored Hannah, leading the way on the trail or coming back to me to smile and get scratched. She finally found Hannah and the two of them connected together – at liberty, in a large space, with only love to bind them. It was magical. “Mares” and “Heart in your Hands” by Mary Ann Kennedy are perfect for this video and are used with the permission of the artist.

Lindsey Playing with Kami – August 2016

Lindsey came out for a ride with Mystic and invited Kami to join them. There is something magical about having Kami along on a trail ride. With all that space, green grass and distractions, you have to be honored when she says she wants to be with you. Sometimes she leads, sometimes she follows, but when she syncs up with you and gives you her trademark “smile,” your heart will melt. The only part she hates is heading home, ending her fun time on the trail. She blocked Mystic for a couple of minutes before reluctantly concluding that her adventure was over …. until the next time! “Horses and Life” is the perfect background music and is written by Mary Ann Kennedy and used with the permission of the artist.

Hannah’s First Trail Ride with Kami

Hannah took her first trail ride with Kami. Interestingly, Hannah’s confidence was strong and it was Kami who had doubts, pausing to consider whether she would go forward. Hannah patiently waited for Kami to think it through and Kami responded by leading the way. They came to a hill that Kami loves to canter up. Hannah sighed and touched the rein and Kami maintained her walk – on a loose rein – all for the love of Hannah. A deer spooked them both, but they recovered quickly. Watching the two of them work through their doubts and come out of them with confidence and mutual trust made my day. Enjoy!

Chansonette’s Lesson with Kami

Chansonette had an amazing lesson with Kami girl this morning. Last week, Chansonette had some difficulty with her “go” and “stop” body language so we practiced both on the ball in the tack room before we went out to get the horses. Chansonette was going to do her lesson with Mystic, but when we went out to the pasture to get him, Kami came over and cut her off and asked to play with Chansonette instead.
The practice on the ball made all the difference. Today, Chansonette was able to sink back into a halt that stopped Kami in her tracks and she had some turns using just body language, no reins at all. Best of all, they found and felt harmony and joy together instead of frustration and uncertainty.
I love these photos. Chansonette coming in from the pasture is idyllic. Chansonette in perfect sync with Kami at liberty. Chansonette doing neutral and straight in the pasture. Chansonette stopping to greet Mystic and Talaria in the pasture. We finished up by rounding up the horses in the pasture. A lovely time, in harmony and with joy. Life is very good.

Hannah’s Lesson with Kami

What an amazing lesson Hannah had with Kami yesterday. The week before Hannah had been tense and it made Kami unhappy. Understand, Kami loves Hannah. For over a year now, When Kami sees Hannah arrive she generally whinnies and comes right over asking her to play. Yesterday, when Hannah called to her on her arrival, Kami stood in the corner of the paddock and stared at Hannah without moving or responding. Wow! Talk about voting with your feet!
I told Hannah that she needed to step up and ensure that Kami had a good experience this time around because her tension was making Kami unhappy. Sandor followed us in and asked us to play with him so we went into the paddock and did some “follow the ball” games with him, laughing and rewarding him generously.
After a few minutes of watching us play with Sandor, Kami came over and asked Hannah to play with her instead. After a few minutes of liberty play, we saddled Kami up and Hannah took her into the arena to play at liberty again. Kami climbed up on the pedestal and Hannah asked her to “wait” while she walked around the pedestal or all the way around the barrel. Horse and girl were on the same page and happy. Hannah asked Kami to park and slid on.
Hannah and Kami were in sync this time. Hannah stayed relaxed and Kami was perfectly responsive to Hannah’s body language ….. up until the moment when she announced that she was done. Since our goal was to ensure that Kami had a good time, we called it quits, rode back to the barn, unsaddled the horses and then Hannah and Kami went back to the arena to play at liberty some more! Kami was happy and so was Hannah.

Play Date Fun June 2016

We had a play date last Sunday at the ranch. It was a hot day, but the trail course was a cool place to watch the horses play together and then play with them ourselves. Before breaking for a potluck lunch, we converged on the pond and the horses had a blast, splashing and even lying down in the water. We went inside to cool off in the air conditioning, ate a refreshing cold potluck and talked full time horse! Later, I had a lovely trail ride with Terry next door and Laura did some really nice liberty play with Kami in the trail course. Enjoy!

Winning Diego’s Trust – June 10, 2016

Crystal recently adopted Diego, a rescued 1 1/2 year old Palomino Quarter horse colt. Diego had been chased into a trailer when rescued a year ago and has not been handled since then. He has never been haltered, had his hooves trimmed or been gelded. We spent an hour earning his trust by lying on the ground and letting him explore us until he gained some confidence and then teaching him to back, come and follow us at liberty. The Language of Love and Heart in Your Hands by Mary Ann Kennedy are perfect background for this touching interlude and are used with the permission of the artist. Enjoy!

Hannah Rides Kami in Pasture – May 29, 2016

Today was a red letter day of progress for Hannah and Kami. Hannah finally trusted herself to ride Kami in wide open spaces. Hannah started with liberty in the arena, then hopped on Kami and did follow the rail and weave the cones, pivoted 360 degrees on the pedestal and did step up on the cavaletti. With that working, she started trotting Kami in the arena, stopping her with a sigh. When Hannah was confident and used correct body language, Kami stopped dead. If Hannah froze, Kami would dribble to a halt, uncertain, but trying hard. Now it was time for the big leap. We rode out into the woods and did some point to point between trees and then weaved the trees, all flawlessly. Since Kami was trying so hard, we went into the pasture and Hannah did some point to point in the pasture, did circles and about a half dozen trot to halt transitions to Hannah’s sigh before riding her back to the barn at the end of her lesson. So very proud of Hannah!  She is living her dream!