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Re: [RC] affecting the horse - Maryanne Stroud Gabbani

I certainly can't talk about endurance, since in effect, we don't have it here, but on un-spooking horses I can. That's my main training goal with my horses, actually, to have someone that I can ride through ANYTHING at all......and in the Egyptian countryside, desert and villages, that covers a lot of territory. Steph is totally right about this "telepathic" aspect, although I'm sure it's not telepathy at all, just a superhuman ability to read the smallest body cues. I NEVER ride one of my green ones if I am not 100% in my head. I need the calmness, the ability to tune into games, even more, the ability to read back from the horse the smallest cues. Horses here really aren't trained at all. They get a certain number of hours under saddle and that's "training". I'm starting from scratch every time.....except for those that I've raised myself.

I take my greenies out in totally unpredictable circumstances and I tell them stories, sing them songs, recite poetry. We herd dogs, play hopscotch with stones and practice half-halts. We stop to raid a grape vine and I share the booty. They learn quickly that they never know what to expect, but that an outing with me is interesting and fun.... even when it's sort of roller coaster ride fun complete with a bouncing heart rate. When they have been old enough to ride and have worked enough on a longe line with tack to know the difference between naked and dressed to go out, my boys have started to be eager to join the "big horses" for excursions. They look forward to it and may go out trembling, but they are eager. The trembling doesn't last over 30 minutes, by which time they are so overwhelmed by tractors, baby donkeys, aggressive mother geese, strange equipment on the side of the lane, a football game or two, a couple of gamoosas submerging for a bath in the canal, blowing paper, newly washed sheets and blankets (red, green and purple no less) hanging from lines, and water pumps that they just sort of relax and say "Whatever, just promise we get home to the carrots".

Meanwhile, they count on me to be utterly fearless and calm ...... and I've learned that you can hide a lot of terror under the multiplication tables.

Maryanne
 Cairo, Egypt

On Thursday, Jul 31, 2003, at 04:25 Africa/Cairo, Steph Teeter wrote:


It was very powerful - and really gave me a sense of how 'telepathic' these
horses can be, especially when we just let things happen. They can pick up
on our mood, our fears, our excitement so easily!


Whenever I'm taking a green or scared horse out I try to make a game out of
something - either chasing rabbits, or trying not to step on a rock -
something to take my mind off my worries - and it effectively takes the
horse's mind off his worries (as well as mine).


Try it sometime - whoop and holler and go chase that gopher - your horse
will forget about missing his buddys, or being afraid of those cows. Or
focus all your energy on something - anything - and your horse will too.


Steph


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Replies
[RC] affecting the horse, Steph Teeter