Tuesday, July 28, 2020

All About the Wait


The more we work, the easier things get. After the first bucky day back, Tumbleweed has settled. It's extremely hot outside mid-day, so we have to get our work done in the early morning.  If he has had time to eat, he's great.  If he's still a little hungry, he is preoccupied with getting back to grazing.

We are working on everything: standing tied while I spray him with fly spray, use the clippers, saddle and unsaddle. He does all of it fine, now that he had the training, but he still flinches.  Until he learns to accept it without flinching, I have daily work to do.

Which brings me to what I've been learning to do better since starting the Masterson Method--WAIT for the RELEASE.

There are two reactions from our horses--relaxation/acceptance and bracing/flight. I used two words for each, but they are really the same thing. When I spray Tweed or throw a blanket on his back, he is fighting the instinctive reaction to brace himself for flight--to pull and fight himself away from a threat.  When he knows he's okay, and he's ready to accept being sprayed or having a blanket thrown on him, he is engaged and relaxed, and ready.

But when are they truly relaxed?

That is the key to the Masterson Method--waiting for the signs: licking, yawning, chewing, shifting weight, relaxed eyes.  And it comes...if you wait...and wait...and wait.

Sometimes, it's difficult to know if they're giving you relaxation or evasion.  Tweed is good at evasion--something I knew before he left, and something the trainer picked up pretty quick.  He will try not to see what he's scared of by looking the other way and tuning it out.  So, you might see some signs of relaxation, but it is really him just avoiding and thinking about something else.  I am becoming better at discerning between the two. Here is an 18 second clip showing him accept the fly spray.


 I don't know if this seems overly meticulous to all of you, or spot on.  Years ago, I probably would have said overly meticulous, but then I discovered there is no short cut to true acceptance / partnership / unity.  I learned that the extra time you spend waiting at each step, builds a more solid foundation for the next.  When I've failed to wait for these things, I've sometimes gotten into trouble. I'm basically an impatient person, and prefer to power through everything. Sometimes, that works--or, I should say, I get away with it. And then, sometimes I don't, and barely live to tell about it.

I took the saddle I was trying out to my saddle guy yesterday, and he said it's solid, but the latigo is original--aged and thin--and he's going to replace that and a couple of other things to make sure nothing snaps off.  It's a little squeaky, so I'm going to powder it and hope to get rid of that.  I had to buy a new blanket (ended up getting one just as large as the others.  It said it was 30", but is really 32" and too long for him right now, but I like the color and will save it for later), and a new smart cinch for it.  It should be ready to go in a couple of days.  For now, he's packing the kids english saddle.


So many blankets, but so few that fit.  Isn't that always the problem?  I need to take some of these off for consignment.


Here's his new blanket--too long--but I love the color.  I'm going to keep it.


And here's the blanket that came with the saddle I'm buying--not as nice or pretty-but it fit better.  Grrr.


This week, besides working to get Tumbleweed going and me in the saddle with him, we are redoing the arena to prepare for it.  My husband just left to get all the materials for two new bridges: one, the squishy bridge mounted on tires, and two, a much longer, wider bridge on the ground.  It will three times as long as the last one.  These will be sturdier and will be made of treated wood.

8 comments:

  1. Hahaha patience is my key word for this year . I too sometimes lose that patience and just want to get things done when I should be waiting for the horse to think through stuff. Moondance has been good for me that way.
    T'weed looks awesome!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks! It’s hard to be patient, but after watching my trainer, and she is all about time, consistency, and patient building, step by step, I see that it’s the best foundation. She emphasized to me the importance of making sure he’s tuning in and really accepting what I’m doing.

      Delete
  2. Impatience is my nemesis. You are right to wait for the release

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Now that I think about it, maybe it’s everyone’s. We have so much competing for our time, it can be easy to rush. All day clinics are where things usually come together, but that’s because we spend ALL day. The day I get back in the saddle on my own, it might be a good idea to treat it like an all day clinic. 😂 It’s so hot here. We’re going to reach 100 today and 103 tomorrow. There will be no all day clinic type training days until we get a break.

      Delete
  3. With your patience and perseverance, Tumbleweed is going to turn into one helluva mount to enhance his good looks. I was surprised out of our collection of saddle pads, 5 were Koda's. Reminded me of his younger years, and how he was ever changing and hard to fit. Gone are the days of stacking and using any 'ol pad/blanket with a "one size fits all" saddle.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ha! Yes, some are more difficult than others, that’s for sure. I own many saddles, but of course, none fit Tumbleweed. Getting a horse set up is always a challenge. Even his bridle seems big on him. The band across the forehead is a bit large. I may have to get a custom one made. Tweed has a big butt, a thin front end, and a small head. That will change, because I’ve see his mommy and daddy. 😂

      Delete
  4. Patience is my downfall too but I have learned over the years to wait and wait and wait. It does pay off in the end. Rosie would never let me groom her in her stall or without being on cross ties. The other day she was roaming around when I got to the barn while my daughter was mucking out. She came to the gate, greeted me and followed me into the barn. Then stood in the aisle with no ties and let me groom her. So she's become a totally different horse and it took patience and her to trust me.

    T'weed looks good in an English saddle! Love the blanket and it matches him perfectly, he will grow into it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That’s awesome! I love to work with them when they’re free!! That’s how all of our horses end up, too. It’s so much better when they’re a willing, and eager, partner! Of course, Cowboy is my best partner, but he knows I’m tuned into him. Horses know their special people. Patience is key when it comes to horses. I think that’s why I did so well when I was young, yet knew so little. I spent the time. There is no substitute for that.

      Delete

Please feel welcome to join our discussion by telling us about your own thoughts and experiences.