Thursday, February 26, 2009

One Trick Pony

God I love saying that!! It is just SOOOOOO nice to back at the barn!! The smell of horses (and smelling like a horse), sawdust, and manure (and smelling like manure)....being out in the fresh (freezing) air, and standing in the mud and snow till your feet go numb and you stumble around like a drunken' sailor... Ahh!- The good old days!

**note to self: NEVER again google "dirty horse woman" (looking for a photo of someone covered in barn muck) ... Wow! Also.... Reminder: NEVER go to Denmark)

Yesterday I figured out that I had a problem....As a matter of fact, I have many problems...but this one specifically came to my attention....and I had to figure out a way around it.... which, at times, is difficult for me see....

I have a one track mind! One track with a freight train on it! Steer clear, 'cause I'm comin' on through!!

What on God's green earth am I talkin' bout? I haven't a clue!

Thats not true! (that rhymes you see) I've become a bee!


OK, then...

So, yesterday I had a problem because I realized that my "natural horsemanship methods" were not going to work well for AJ. Actually, that is not at all true... AJ took to them like an old hat (is that the right expression?)... it was his owners that probably wouldn't take to my "body control/predator/pray/herd hierarchy/pressure sensitive/etc, etc. etc... methods. In other words, I was worried because AJ's owners and I employ two drastically different "ideologies" with respect to handling, riding, and training and that it would be very confusing for a young horse like AJ to have to discern between the two... So I decided that maybe this whole lease option wasn't such a hot idea after all....


And I didn't think that it was in the best interest of AJ to have me screwing with his perspective on life and the way he relates to pesky, puny, little pipsqueaks (like me) who insist on taking him away from food, his friends and frolicking in the sun to have me poke, prod and prostulate (which is actually a mathematical equation and has nothing at all to do with horses but sounded good as the last "p" word in that sentence) him all afternoon.

It failed to occur to me (until later that night) that I could actually look at an alternative means of working with AJ. That is not to say that I am going to adopt his owner's style- not that there is anything wrong with what they do, it simply isn't "me"... But I could work with him on such simple things as leading, giving to pressure, standing quietly for brushing, tacking, farrier work, bending, putting a solid whoa on him, easy transitions, and all that jazz! Ohh!!! All that JAZZ!!! I loved that movie!! Chicago!!! .... Hatcha!!


My favorite thing in the world to do with a horse is to work with them at liberty (no halter, lead or carrot stick). I LOVE it!! But using that method of horsemanship is not what AJ needs right now....

And you know what?

That's okay too!

'Cause this pony has more than one trick! (or something like that...)

So today I worked with AJ on leading, standing, tying, and breaking down some of the resistance he has in his throat and poll. He was such a good boy, a gem really.

I hope that I can help AJ become a happier, better broke horse so that he will be able to face, with greater confidence, the many challenges that lay in his future.


  1. Haha, yes you must be careful with Google don't you! ;D

  2. I could only imagine what pictures you got!!

    But that is good about AJ!! He is a really cute horse!! And sometimes it's just enought to teach the "basics".

  3. I've been enjoying your ramblings and writings. I've been learning more about the natural horsemanship and blending it with my own style - too much fun. You're so right when it comes down to having multiple handlers it's so easy to mess with the poor horses brain. I read the coolest horse personality book - you can find some info on it here:

  4. Hey there you!!!
    Glad to hear that things are kinda working out with Mr. AJ. At least you are smart and adaptable, and ready to switch it up a bit, eh??? LOL!!!

    Ah yes...nothing feels better than frozen feet in muddy barn boots, does it???

    PS-I am now off to google "dirty horse woman." I can only imagine what I will find! :0

  5. Sometimes, don't you just want to exist in a world with the horse you're working on, without anyone else? It is so hard for me to help someone with his/her horse when they do things so differently from me! A girl once asked me why her horse constantly rubbed his head on her. I replied, "Because you let him." People so often want a quick fix, and that is so rarely an option! He rubs on you because he doesn't respect you or your space, and that respect has to start from the minute you put a rope on him and doesn't stop until you're out of his pen when you put him away.

    Don't you think horse trainers sometimes feel that way when they send off their "masterpieces" with us? I know my trainer probably did...especially when I brought Yellow back all locked up on his front end!

  6. Sounds like AJ is good for reminding you that you have more than one trick too!

  7. Congrats! You'll have alot of fun working with him and making him a better all 'round horse for his owners. Just don't get too attached!

  8. Oh Boy can I relate!! My brother hates...HATES a lot of the cues I put on my horses. It took years, but we finally came to terms. I do a little(actually a lot)less and he tried to learn more.

    And you know what? I have found that other people like riding my horses better now too. I just put too many buttons on horses that people just wanted to be able to go out and enjoy riding.

    Different strokes for different folks and all that.;)