You know, I love working with horses, right? And I think the regular work, the cleaning work, the health work, is just as important, if not moreso, than the training work. I mean, they HAVE to be well taken care of or there isn't anything else to do with them.
But this training work, and this learning Parelli thing, it's so good. Sometimes it is nerve wracking too, in that it can make me feel like I'm not good enough, make me question whether or not I can really do it or not. But every now and again you get a day like today.
First of all, the Parelli stuff is beginning to jell a little for me. I'm beginning to see that if I work on this online, it is going to help me do this from the saddle. I truly *get* so much of the philosophy -- the do WITH and FOR not TO your horse.
Jin is the horse at the barn I work at that I've worked with the longest. I did my level 1 video with her, I worked with her in the Carol Coppinger level 2/3 clinic when I passed my level 2s. She's green. She's RBI who sometimes slips a bit E although, well, she says "I could go" but if you say, "ok, go right ahead then" she backs out of it so it is almost like she's faking that extrovert. She really acts like she just wants you to leave her alone most of the time. She's not really food motivated (although she's learning treats). She's never really responded well to scritching her. She progressed fine until she felt a bit confined and since then we've had "issues" that we haven't worked through yet. Although progress continues to be made, it might be measured in millimeters.
Today she'd been out for a few days, not in the barn at all. Today I stalled her all day which she doesn't mind but she's generally ready to go out, and can get grumpy if I ride after evening feeding instead of take her back out. So I'd planned to just leave her in a bit longer and then play with her online after we'd finished the barn work. I went in her stall, with her in it, to clean it. She usually easily moves to the other side of the stall and doesn't "say" much while I clean. She might "speak" once or twice, moving around the stall, or to the door to see if it isn't time to go out yet, but I don't believe she's ever, in all the time I've worked with her, ever asked for anything. I can scratch her on her itchiest spot and she just sort of shrugs.
Today I went in there and asked her to move to the other side of the stall and she presented me with her shoulder, clearly asking for something. I started scratching. She stretched her neck out and started making faces; "OMG, that feels so good, yes, please, there." So I scritched her and scritched her. And then backed away and asked if she would come (draw). She had to think about it but yes she would. And I scritched her and scritched her. And backed away. And tried other places. And did both sides. And went away. And came back again. And she came to me and she came to me and she came to me again and again and asked for something that I was able and willing to give to her.
I turned her out. We'd done our "Parelli" for the evening.