Play Date July 2009

Synchronized-SplashingIt was another lovely play day.  Glad we started earlier when it was cool enough to do ground work comfortably.  If the weather is similar on August 8, we’ll start at 8:30 am again for our next play date since the arena started to feel like an oven after lunch time.   

It was nice to see the horses (and minis) settle in and explore and boy, did they have fun playing in the pond and running in the pasture.  Whinny won the award for biggest change in confidence from arrival to departure.  Bel was the most cool, calm and collected from start to finish.  Namaste made a huge change in her confidence from last play date to this one and really partnered up with Grace.  Ollie seemed equally cool, calm and collected until Cindy turned him loose in the pasture and he had a blast blasting around the pasture with Gabriel and Dancer.  Speaking of which, Dancer won the award for loving the pond the most.  He must have dropped down into it a dozen times.  Then, of course, Dancer and Gabriel won the synchronized splashing competition.  Check out their photo on the yahoo new photos!  Mystic once more demonstrated that he loves Walker more than he loves me.  Whether doing “follow the rail” or just being left behind as Walker and Sheral trotted down the road, Mystic was drawn to Walker like a magnet to iron.  He was also drawn to Cindy’s mini, but Walker is his favorite.  Reba was very happy to be back visiting at the ranch and grazing in her old pasture.  John and Cally played around with going into the pond, but all the splashing that Reba was doing was a bit intimidating to him.  Robin rode and then hand grazed Treasure from her golf cart – avoiding the sun and keeping cool.  

Folks played in the round pen.  Danna and Bel did a lovely liberty demonstration in the round pen.  Really nice, soft communication and relationship between the two.  I helped a couple people with their figure eight positioning.  Drive, move hindquarters, draw, change hands with rope and stick, drive, move hindquarters, draw, change hands etc…. and all without tripping or tangling said sticks and ropes.  Whew! 

More patterns in the arena, both on the ground and riding by some. Mystic and I demonstrated the “follow the rail” pattern and explained how powerful a learning tool the patterns are – both for horses and humans.  After doing the pattern in the arena with obstacles, he was able to do it with just the neck string in the pasture without the obstacles – because he understood the pattern.  Patterns are the easiest path to reinless riding.  As the arena heated up, folks moved into the trail course for the shade and new obstacles to play with.  Sheral had brought Walker and a cart and after getting the horses used to them, tooled around the arena and then down the road, giving cart rides and driving lessons to those who asked. Annamaria took photos of us playing and has promised to send them over. 

As the day warmed up, everyone gravitated to the pond where the horses splashed away soaking themselves and their humans before we turned the horses loose in the pasture and trail course for their own play date while we humans went inside for a delicious potluck lunch and more horse talk. 

After lunch, there was a little more play and then everyone headed home, Mystic got rinsed off, all our horses got turned out to enjoy the pasture, I took a shower and then a nap!  Another good play date.  I do love sharing natural horsemanship with such a nice group of people. 

Thanks for coming.   See you August 8 at 8:30 am.

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