Sunday, November 21, 2010

Early Birthday Gifts from Renegade

I had to work yesterday and run errands after; I was hoping I'd have some time left over to play with Renegade before meeting some wonderful friends that were taking me out to dinner for my birthday. I ended up having about 1-1/2 hours!! I first let Renegade out of the pasture at liberty to just hang out while I did a couple of chores although I did ask him to behave when he tried to drink my coffee!! When chores were done I asked Renegade to follow me to the round pen and of course he had to make a game of it. He took off a couple of times; didn't go far but I think he was testing to see my intentions. I played the catching game with him twice and he ended up following me and then walking with me in zone 2-3 all the way to the round pen. When I stood at the entrance and invited him to go in, he did - he chose to go wasn't him following me or me going with him!!

Once in the round pen, I played a little friendly then started softly asking him to move different parts of his body: fq, hq, zone 1, rf, lf, sideways, etc. to check our connection. All was well so I moved to playing on the 45' line with him (my round pen is quite large - more than 70'). I sat on a barrel and asked him to circle at the trot. The name of the game was "don't make me get up"!! Well, I had to get up twice and tagged him but that's all it took; he was doing really nice circles to the left at the trot, maintaining gait and direction until I asked him in. I had to repeat the pattern with getting up twice when we changed direction to the right and then we had nice, soft trot circles to the right until I asked him in. I also tried asking for canter circles while I was seated but we need more consistency when I'm standing before I'll be able to get a good canter circle while seated!!

I played to win tonight and got some great results and the time it takes really gets shorter each time I play to win!! I'm really enjoying our new level of communication and I think Renegade is enjoying my new level of leadership. I think our relationship is moving to a new level now and it's very exciting!!

After playing the online circling game I decided to go offline and slow it down so I took off the halter and 45' line, repeated the moving body parts exercises to check out connection then asked for a figure 8. I only had one barrel so I stood in as the other barrel. It took Renegade a couple of minutes to puzzle out what I was doing but he caught on and did some nice figure 8's. Our drive and draw was woking really well; I only needed subtle tilts of my head and subtle movement of my shoulders.

Renegade is growing his winter coat so he's getting pretty hairy and fuzzy so he was sweating a bit and I could tell he wanted to lay down and roll in the sand. I allowed him to go down and he went to his left side and was rolling. I began to scratch him with the carrot stick and he was enjoying that so I moved in closer so I could rub and scratch him with my hands/fingers. He REALLY enjoyed that and he stayed down for about 5 minutes getting his massage. He's never allowed me that close, for that long and stayed down for that long; he usually gets up if I move in closely. I am so thrilled he felt confident enough and trusted me enough to allow me into his personal space while he was so vunerable. I was a huge thing for both of us and the softness in him was a wonderful thing to witness. His eyes were soft, his body was soft and relaxed, he yawned and blew softly almost like a sigh; I thought he might even lay down on his side for a minute. When Renegade finally got up, he stood by me softly while I rubbed his neck and withers and gave him a scratch on his chest. In those 7-10 minutes, I felt we'd been the closest we've ever been and just shared something very intimate and tender. I really wish I were a better or more eloquent writer: I feel as if I haven't adequately described the feeling during those 7-10 minutes.

I can say this...I have an absolutely awesome horse that has taught me much, forgiven me much, and offered me his heart!!


Marion Princic said...

Happy Birthday wishes to you Kathy from Marion & Milva!!

craigeagle23 said...

Hi Marion!! Thank you (and Milva) for the birthday wishes and all the way from Sweden!!! I love it!!!!

How have you been? I was just catching up and reading your blog; congrats on ordering your Natural Performer. I bet you'll make a great "cowgirl"!!!

Marion Princic said...

aww thank you Kathy. Now I just have to figure out how to cinch up the girth. I never sat in a western saddle before so it´s going to be a whole new experience.
It´s so lovely to read about you and Renegade!
Have a nice week "over there"