Friday, August 22, 2008


Todays post starts about 15 years ago- when I found the most adorable puppy under a "free puppies " sign at the local walmart... ok so perhaps I might get in trouble for bringing home such a fuzzy bundle... but what is life without a puppy!! So Haley came to us.

Always a bit aloof-- but ever the watchful companion - keeping Logan out of the street by holding onto his diaper.. playing in the snow -- her favorite thing...later she moved in with 3 other older dogs and had free run of 40 acres with a pack of goofy hounds just like her! She was a happy girl.

Over the last year -- her once robust figure became thinner.. and she walked more slowly -- and as the other pack members passed to the other side... she was allowed to come in the house - to not be alone - then there we a couple of more puppies.. she was not terribly tolerant of them - barking and snarling when they got to rambuncious - trying to keep order.. that was always her job.

Last night she had a HUGE ration of puppy food and beef broth.. ate it all and snoozed, stayed with us as Mike brush-hogged the field and sat comfortable in the green grass.

She followed me out to feed the horses - her normal routine. It was then that she decided she had enough - and laid down for the last time. Mike, Logan and I sat with her -- as she was in no pain - and kept the sun off of her as she made her quiet journey out of this life. As always - unobtrusive - gentle - it was strange to see the horses walk by - looking down - Bonnie stayed very close - and watched - looked at me - and was concerned with my sadness... but they walked on - and Haley was gone.

I will miss her...but it was her time to go - no doubt about it - hard to say good bye - but at least I had that chance. It was my priveledge to pet her soft and furry head as she breathed her last breath and wish her well and an easy journey... who knows - maybe we will see her again.. I hope so!

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Success alone

Today -- Bonnie and I rode in the 10 acre field all alone... only one challenge of leadership be for we went in the gate.. and after that - it was smooth sailing... it also helped that mike had just brush hogged the field so it was all new looking -- she was very interested and went up and down and around the hay barn. I have to say it was so rewarding... she was alert and interested and I let her lead for a while - wherever she wanted to go-- awesome!!!!I even was relaxed enough to self check.. for tightness... moving with her.. pedaling..,, some - we practiced moving the hind quarters...when my confidence started to wane because we were so far from the barn... SSIGH....

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Breaking Through and other thoughts

I rode today -- and had 2 break throughs. First I played with Image. I have been working with her with lots of friendly and food - but also concentrating on not allowing her to get in my space. And that has been it for a few weeks - wehave ridden a little - but I just felt sad with her introversion...she would almost go catatonic if confronted with anything strange -- she would do what she was asked - But I could tell she was not"present". but TODAY -- she was present... and this is going to sound strange - but I Reveled in her fears. That she showed them to me-- that and a teeny bit of curiosity. I went to spray her with flyspray and she EXPLODED. SHe had never exploded before. It was easy to deal with - but she showed me that she was afraid!!!! YAY!! SO we played approach and retreat etc.. until she was not too scared. then we played with a plastic bag-- some 1/2 circles and lots of friendly- swatting horse flies. I got a good couple of circles and some front and hind quarter yields... and some back up--- then we stopped to snack of the grass -- then it was up to ride. She did well - we got a few back up steps and some movement. I have decided to take her back to a hackamore until she is more open. Then we would go here and there....with Shadow following. Then she spooked and jumped into a HUGE trot.... I was almost ready though --- she had been very sensitive to things moving around.. another example of how she is coming our of her shell. I stayed on up straight and let her go -- very short lived... and then she was scared..... we petted and walked and went in our circles till it passed...walked a little more -- and I praised her for showing me how she felt instead of shutting me out. It was a breakthrough.... Now next on to Raven - Bonnie was not wanting to play but Raven was - so I thought what the heck -- rode her on the bareback pad for a while then saddled her so I could ride in the field with more confidence with Mom. We rode for over an hour then Kelly rode for an hour--- and Raven only stumbled 3x and all three were because she stepped in a hole... very very minor. SO we rode in the field with Mom and Reno -- and Raven led -- we had 2 battles over leadership -- but I have learned since last time....:-) she tried to rub me off under a tree and was rewarded with beign asked to do circles around the tree-- we used that tactic 2 or three more times when she wanted to go somewhere else.. then we had a great ride. I relaxed into her and we dogwalked and foxtrotted around. Reno following. Then Mom and I practiced walking side by side. So on the way back -- I decided to stop Raven at the gate and prepared her and me to head off faster....and yes -- it is true --- we cantered. 3 or 4 strides - but we cantered. It was on a slight incline .... and what a blast. She was alert -- ears forward - interested and Mom said over and over how pretty she was when she is in the interested and happy state. So - today was a good horse day.. cannot wait for tomorrow!!!

Instructions to Proceed

From Susan:

Ride Bonnie every day. It gets better if you ride every day. It sounds like you could go on the trail ride now! Well, you had a threshold to find and cross. You have crossed it!The rule is to do what you are doing 7 consecutive days. If you ride and practice going, coming, stopping, hind quarter and fore quarter turn - you won't believe the advancement you will make. If you can't make 7 consecutive days, just as many as possible. Horses in training with Tony and Jenny...5 days a w eek and that is important for young horses!

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

PART II -Bonnie Trail Ride at Home

I rode rode Bonnie today with Mom and we went out into a 20 acre pasture with hills and trees... SHe balked but we got through it -- she even threw a fit - but I didn't give up so then she started biting my boots ( Faking flexion) everytime... and I got wise to that. SO we went all the way up to the top and back --- it was so very cool

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Bonnie and the trail ride lesson

ok - so we are off to try trail riding. Everyone around here trail rides.. and well - Bonnie can trot around and ok so she does not steer real well and come to think of it.. she does not walk off real well -- and ok - so when she does walk off-- I am not so sure I can stop her.. but what the heck -- lets trail ride!!!! She does stand to let me get on...
I took Bonnie and Mom/Reno to a trail ride class with Tony and Jenny at Fair Play. ALl the usual suspects were there and it was 96 degrees and very very humid.

we play on the ground- we do well... we get on... we go -- but go no where... but to the next threshold and I find mine as well -- I reach the end of my emotional strength and have to get off...and walk back

From Susan

You are the person clearly in charge. You use the strengh of your knowledge and product to persuade all people to recognize the suprior product you have. You are the person in charge in the room...all rooms. The minute you walk into the room, your energy tells the people that you are the leader. Your energy confidence overpowers all othersCan you make yourself this same person at home with the horses?Cesar Milan asks this of his dog clients all the time. What energy are you transmitting when you ride Bonnie? Make it be the energy that you take to a work site.Read Cesar's book on all the television shows. Each 1-3 pages tell about the dog, the people, what Cesar said and did and the followup success of failure of the people. Even I understood it after reading about 20 stories. I found myself in Cesar's book too. Worry about stuff and the energy of that worry projects its self into the dog's behavior. I have translated that into projecting myself into Sue's behavior.We are mere bits of emotionalism pieces locked up with a brain will to follow.