Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Horsing Around

"The love of a horse is the same as the love of a human being. If you've never loved a horse you would never understand." ~ Unknown
(Quote lifted from my Dad's Facebook)

There are few things the DH and I want more than a quiet place in the country. We both grew up in small towns surrounded by farmland and mountains. We're in a suburb now, but are constantly making plans for the future. 

For the last few years we've watched Dad train his paint, Scout (pictured above), who he bought at the church auction when Scout was 10 months old. He didn't really know anything about training a horse as most of the horses we've had were already broke. He called his brother-in-law and was introduced to the Down Under Horsemanship method. After a lot of sweat, tears, and patience, a clinic with Clinton Anderson, and countless Walkabout Tours, he now has the best horse I've ever seen.

The DH and I have had the opportunity to attend a few tours with Dad (two for me, one for Jason and both of us went to the clinic Dad was part of). After the Walkabout Tour in Redmond last weekend, we were once again bit by the horse bug. Only this time, the DH decided to do something about it...

(Pictured, me desensitizing Pearl - 3-yr-old quarter horse palomino mare - to a tarp that had been flying around spooking her. Please note, this is not step one of desensitizing. There was an hour of desensitizing around her and on her less sensitive spots before I went anywhere near her face.)

We are now mucking stalls at a horse barn once a week in exchange for a chance to do some ground work with a couple of the horses. We've had the Method pounded into our brains, now we have a chance to put our head knowledge to work. 

We realized at the end of day one on Saturday we have a lot yet to learn. We called Dad and got some pointers from him on things we were having trouble with. Sunday, the day the picture above was taken, went much better and we're looking forward to working with her again this evening. Once our technique is honed we will split off and groundwork separate horses. 
If nothing else, we have patience in droves and Clinton Andersonisms to get us through.


george rede said...

Good luck with your new adventure, Nike. As a city boy all my life, I've never really been around horses. They strike me as magnificent animals, however, and I hope mucking the stalls in exchange for the opportunity to work with a horse is a good trade-off for you. Do you have to go to Redmond each time? Or have you found a place closer to home?

nikeathena said...

We actually found a horse barn up the road from us in Aloha - about a 5 mile drive up the road we live on. We can go out any time we want, but are signed up to clean on Tuesdays. We're going to see my parents in Baker this weekend and pick up some more tips from Dad.

nikeathena said...

And now, to head to Baker to go play with Dad's horses. ;-)