Five Steps of Preparation for Your Backcountry Riding Vacation

Friends, all I can say is that I have seen some wonderful country from the back of a horse! 

It’s a little different with a horse, they are doing the work for you, while you have the advantage of this perch to look around on.  While hiking, you are likely looking down and don’t have the elevated view!

  I spent twenty years riding and camping with my horse.  These are processes that have worked for me. My most recent trip was in 2012, after which my daughter, about nine years old at the time, wanted my company for vacations (!), and many areas, routes and destinations, were burning with rampant forest fires.  So I set it aside for a while.  I’ve kept track of favorite riding areas, and new ideas put out by folks gaining experience!  Hopefully, this will springboard you into researching your own ideas and what might work for you!

Where to Go?

This should be determined by the level of condition and trail experience of your horse, and of your riding buddies going with you.  In the old days, it was the folks who would commit to keeping their rig tuned and ready in good repair, and a consistent conditioning and exposure program for their horses.  Having dabbled in endurance riding for five years, I’d condition as if for a twenty five mile ride, and then I could be quite confident that I could go on my trip and not worry about my horse.

Lake basins are great places to visit.  Great views and moderate terrain that everyone can enjoy.  Diamond Peak Wilderness in south central Oregon is a good one.  Traveling through Crater Lake National Park, is wonderful.  Mt Adams is a repeat favorite, both from Mt. Adams Horse Camp and Keenes Horse Camp.  Author Kim McCarrel writes trail books that encompass many areas of Oregon and Washington.  She covers many areas I have ridden and her information is reliable.  Her website is http://nwhorsetrails.com/

Facebook site Holly’s Horse Tales and Trails is also good information on areas of Central Oregon that I have camped and ridden.  Her blog brings back many happy memories!

The Open Trail Project is a great site with a Facebook site as well, for an archive of national horse trails, and handy record keeping tools.  Check it out here:

http://www.opentrail.us

We Are Trail Riders is another .com and Facebook resource for the rider with national riding sites.  Check it out here:

https://www.wearetrailriders.com/

These resources will help with map selection and other land management resources.  I always used Green Trail Maps and checked with the Forest Service on trail conditions and closures.  Map stores are also great resources, Bend Mapping and Blueprint in Bend, Oregon, is a great resource for trails outside the Diamond Peak Wilderness area, which are every bit as nice to ride as those within the wilderness boundaries!

We all started out with camping in our horse trailers!  Over the years, we all managed to upgrade to some form of camper ( I had a pop-up for seven years), and while it afforded lots of comfort, what it really did was organize us!  It’s really nice to not have to set up camp when we arrived!  And it was really nice to have a sense of organization so we could concentrate on riding!  Not to mention sleeping with a warm face if you want to use the heater!

I found that year after year, August was a good time to travel the backcountry.  Late snow melt was generally gone, and bugs are scarce!  No issues with wasps or bees, and the no-see-ems are most active in July in those high mountain meadows. You have a little less daylight, and depending on elevation, you can encounter occasional overnight temperatures near freezing.  Still, I have found it to be the most enjoyable time to ride!

Thinking of packing in?  I always bring what I need to stay overnight if need be.  But I wouldn’t qualify that as packing in, lol!  There are a couple of near-30 mile loops that I would like to break into two 15-milers and stay out the night.  Tons of material out there, my favorite being the guys from Montana at Trailhead Supply.  Catch up on their blog!  They regularly attend the Backcountry Horsemen of Washington (BCHW) Rondy in Ellensburg, Washington.  They have given a great mini-seminar on getting started in packing for women, always to a “sell-out” crowd!  Here is their website link:

https://www.trailheadsupply.com/

Here is a link to the rondy:

http://naturalhorsemanshipandyou.com/2983/backcountry-horsemen-of-washington-rondy-ellensburg

I like the idea of the over the saddle panniers to keep it easy!

What to Bring?

Food for a week!  The camper refrigerators, even the small ones, can hold a lot!  It’s fun to trade off meal duty with your buddies!  Fry pan burritos were easy after a ride, and quick!  And me, I can eat hot dogs the entire time!  Check around and you’ll find what suits you!  I’ve also done cheese fondue when it was my turn to cook!

A water resistant blanket for your horse and a lighter sheet.  When your horse has been working all day, they will appreciate a cover in the higher elevations, and whether it is your enclosure or a horse camp, not a lot of room to move around to keep warm.

Clothes to layer.  I used my cross country ski clothes!  I layer with tights and pants of choice for chafing, Sporthill sells a wind resistant ski pant that is tapered towards the ankle, which I found handy.  A stretchy vest, my Outback jacket, and  the Outback rain slicker that folds into a backpack, that is easy to tie on the back of the saddle.  Headgear of choice, which included helmet, or straw hat, or wool hat, or the Outback waxed hat for rainy days, all got their use!  Half chaps work well for bushwacking and for keeping the heat in your lower extremities.  I’ve used cowboy boots, rubber boots, riding tennis shoes, paddock boots with thinsulate, all had their place!  And remember, you are camping, so pack light, wear everything multiple times, its OK to get and be dirty!  I used conditioner for my hair so the dirt and sweat wouldn’t stick!  Maybe the suntanned face was part sun, part dirt!

How about water?

We mostly camped in designated horse camps, or primitive camped when there was an appropriate area, as in the Ochocos out of Prineville, Oregon.  It used to be that a trailer water tank only held about 25 gallons.  There are more options now, check out http://thedistancedepot.com.

I’ll take advantage of streams and nearby lakes to make my water last, and carry a camper hose that spirals into a convenient carry tray to take with me.  Those can be purchased most anywhere, I bought mine at the local Bi-mart discount store.

My horn bags are designed to carry a water bottle in each side.  I use a refillable stainless steel one, and the other is my Seychelle water filtration bottle.

Most campsites will have pens, either wood or metal, many in Washington State have highlines.  I carry my swivel attachment that will allow my horse to pull back and not panic.  I also carry my own highline kit.  You can purchase a highline attachment for your trailer, lightweight corral sections, or use an electric corral set-up.  Mainly it’s what you prefer and what you think is best and easiest for your horse.

Feed and Supplies

Equipment is quite sophisticated these days, but even with a simple rig set up, you can manage to have fun!  I take weed free grass hay and alfalfa, I find my horse appreciated a little extra after an all day trail ride!  I organized daily feed rations in baggies, and took loose salt to add.  Dynamite Specialty Products has an excellent loose salt, as even the vets rarely carry it anymore, our past go-to source.  https://dynamitespecialty.myvoffice.com/ShoppingCart/index.cfm?FuseAction=CategoryShop&CategoryID=91&ParentCategoryID=4

We would buddy up in twos, one hauling the horses, and one hauling the hay and supplies!  It worked great, and gave us the advantage of the extra rig in case we experienced any troubles!

Enjoying Mother Nature

We want to set up our trip in our favor.  Do our homework, plan our route, and also be flexible if conditions change.  Respect Mother Nature, and your limitations as humans, small pebbles on the beach.  Be thoughtful of choosing your horse buddy, and your riding buddies.  There should be a sense of responsibility and support towards each other when traveling the backcountry.

I do travel with a cell phone and battery pack. Will your battery pack last a week?  Likely not.  Will your cell phone work everywhere?  Likely not.  However, that is the part I like the best about horse camping, going far enough away to make you feel you are “away”, and not having to worry about anything except the needs of yourself and your horse.

Horses have a great sense of direction, they have never failed me.  They always prove the “no, it’s thatta way” person wrong.  Take some orange surveyors tape to mark intersections.  Everyone should pack a gun.  Three shots is the universal signal for help.  I figure if I had to wait it out while someone rode for help, I could stave off a few critters, or put my horse down if necessary.  Stay on the trail.  Avoid game trails that may look inviting.  Keep well hydrated and graze on saddlebag snacks.  Becoming dehydrated and having low blood sugar contributes to poor decision making.  Turn around if you encounter unexpected obstacles that will deplete your horse’s energy or put them at risk.  Use common sense.

Even though these methods and tools may be considered “old”, I would still be comfortable today traveling as such.

As a basic overview, I hope this inspires you to research for your own camping adventure with your horse!  There are lots of dude ranch offerings, but nothing to compare with your own fine animal taking you down the trail with cooperation and enthusiasm!

Happy Trails!

Terri

Photographs:  In order of appearance:  Blue Mountains, Oregon, Olive Lake in the background; Metolius-Windigo Trail from Sisters Cow Camp, Sisters, Oregon; Rim Trail, Newberry Caldera, La Pine, Oregon; Sister Mirror Lake, Three Sisters Wilderness, Oregon; Croften Ridge Trail, Mt. Adams, Washington; The Ochocos, Oregon; Crater Lake National Park, Oregon; Muddy Meadows, Mt. Adams, Washington; Stag Lake, Diamond Peak Wilderness, Oregon

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Reconnect With Whiskey

“No heaven can heaven be, if a horse isn’t there to welcome me.”

~Author Unknown

Snow and ice and frigid temperatures!  But. . . .it is February, the time we want to be at the arena tuning up!  We’ll be ready as soon as it melts off!

I’m reconnecting with Whiskey after a season off.  Work and life distractions, let’s sweep what we can under the carpet and get back at it!

Whiskey has been in the barn at Angela Tanner’s for a couple of weeks before I started integrating with him.  I’ve started with lesson time, and also participated in a Saturday four hour workshop.

It starts with the bridlework.  Rein hand to your buckle, other hand with the dressage whip as a MOTIVATOR!  To TAP the side of the horse, like a TICKLE!  NOT a stick, NOT a whip.  If Angela sees you be too heavy handed, inadvertently of course, she will come over and remind you!  I cluck to Whiskey for the forward cue, and only lightly tap if needed.  It doesn’t take long for Whiskey to move forward with the verbal cue only.

From bridlework, we ask for a disengagement, and for Whiskey, wait until he relaxes his neck and head, then ask for a back, with a soft rein.  Say “whoa” and release.  Relax.

Relaxation is the key ingredient for Whiskey.  While he was bred to carry his head high, he is after all, an American Saddlebred, I am helping him be relaxed in his work and carry himself in a relaxed frame.  Each horse has his own translation of relaxed frame, as it applies to their conformation.  Find where this is for your horse! That is my goal for him.

Continuing the bridlework, we add the shoulder over.  Take five steps straight, then take five steps promoting the shoulder over.  I turn my body to an 11:00 position, and Whiskey needs to angle over using his shoulder to move away from me.  This will translate into the saddle.  I repeat both sides, using the 1:00 position alternately.  Often!

Angela comes to check in.  She reminds me to not lean on Whiskey, as this creates brace.  He needs to step out of my way and move his shoulder over.  Whiskey’s right side, or shoulder over to the left, is not as smooth, so we work on that side often, until it becomes as easy as the left side, or shoulder over to the right.

Whiskey and I also practice our relaxation at the mounting block.  There is a big wooden one in the arena.  We have been practicing our hip over, for easy line-up.  Whiskey is becoming nice and relaxed with this!  This is a new skill for him, and it’s lots of fun to learn new skills together!

How have you started your season tune-up?  I’d love to know!

Terri

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Snow Day With Elvis

We have been buried in Winter!  Frigid temperatures, icy snow, makes for poor footing and just time enough to throw hay and minimal horse keeping before losing feeling in my hands!

Elvis’ pasture mates got hauled off to the training barn for start-of-season tune-up, it is February, isn’t it?

He had a couple of days whinnying for his past company, and staying safe under the overhang of the barn.  When his absent owner returned the following day, he came out expecting me to have his buddies with me, he had made that association!

He remained friendly, greeting with his nose and welcoming swipes down his face, scratches under his chin, and along his body.

Next day, the routine was repeated, me hanging out while he licked his plate clean.  I had the Parelli carrot stick with me this time, as I sat, making lazy circles, which did not seem to bother him.  He reached over and wanted to check it out, the string, the stick, and then back to his dinner.

He joined me out in the pasture to further check out the stick and string, biting the end of it, then decided he would have some attitude and ran off!

Today, it was obvious that he is becoming more comfortable out in the wide open range of the pasture, lying down for a nap, and meeting me as I came through the gate with his treat plate.  While I threw hay, he finished and joined me at the feeder as I sat on the edge, hanging out without agenda.  He continued conversation with me with his nose and wiffles.

He wanted to be standoffish instead of close, but changed his mind as I was making my way to the gate, deciding to again check out the stick as I offered as an extension of my arm.  While holding the string against the stick, I touched his shoulder with it!  He flinched, but stood for another touch, and then decided he had enough!

Would this be the start of working with liberty?  I’m taking what’s offered and working with it!  I think it’s timely to introduce the stick and starting concepts of my space-your space!  I’d love to know what you think!

Terri

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An Interactive Day With Elvis

Sometimes they surprise you when you start making an impression!

I came out in the middle of the afternoon and there was Elvis standing under the tree by himself.   Whiskey and Smokey were disbursed in other parts of the pasture.

I opened the gate and Elvis made his way towards me.  The others started to gravitate in my direction but he was not deterred.

He kept his focus….

 

Elvis ended up putting his nose right on the phone camera!

He’s a funny one!

Terri

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Touching Noses With Elvis

img_2198Good morning, Friends!  First snow!

img_2116An update on Elvis!  Our interaction progresses.

img_2109I continue to give him Ttouches, and rubs all over, touching under the belly, down the butt, front and back of legs and reaching up towards the ears, which he is a little shy still.

img_2114I’ve taken his rope halter and rubbed it all over him.

img_2153 Very good with that.  I’ve introduced the grooming brush.  He’s good with that.

img_2142When I hang out with non-demanding time, building some of that in so I’m not asking anything of him every time, he says hello with his nose, once, maybe twice.

img_2204When I feed pans through the fence, he sticks his face through and blows on my neck.  I’m in love!

img_2165When I brought Smokey home from clinic, he stayed at the gate and hung there for a few minutes!  Smokey had ambled off.

img_2119It’s gratifying to see the small and steady improvements and his interaction growing!

img_2207I have a soft and short “get down” rope that I played with him yesterday, rubbing him with it, putting it around his neck, just played for a few minutes.  I ordered a size up on a halter and am waiting for delivery.  I use a lot of approach and retreat, and I love on Smokey and Whiskey for good examples.

img_2164I look forward to progressing, it is a fun and gratifying journey!  I hope you are enjoying it as much as I am!

Terri

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A Week of Ttouch

Good morning, Friends!

img_2150I give everyone some Ttouch every time I go out to intereact with the horses.  Ttouch was developed by Linda Tellington-Jones.  I have a couple of the older books, her newer one, The Ultimate Horse Behavior and Training Book is wonderful and I like the way it is organized.  It has a forward by John Lyons.  You can explore more of this concept and practice here on her website:

http://www.ttouch.com

Today, for Elvis, Clouded Leopard on shoulder and back, strokes on neck, front and back of front legs.  Abalone Ttouch on the butt.  Touching a different part each day.  Today was back of front legs, which brought his head around, belly, and butt.

img_2149For Smokey, Clouded Leopard on shoulder and back, Lick of the Cow on girth, Abalone Ttouch on butt.  Checked for tight tail.  I’ve done Tarantulas Pulling the Plow the other day.

img_2097For Whiskey, Clouded Leopard on shoulder and back, Lick of the Cow on girth.  I finish all with Noah’s March, which puts the finishing touch, and integration, on a horse at the end of the session.

img_2110All received strokes on the neck where the carotid artery sits.

Clouded Leopard, Lick of the Cow, Abalone, Belly Lifts, and Tarantulas Pulling the Plow are my mainstay of Ttouches.  I always end with Noah’s March to finish and integrate.  I use Hoof Tapping and Neck Rocking as needed.  I also give Belly Lifts.

Does this sound like a foreign language to you?  Check it out!  Our community brought Practitioner Debra Potts to teach us, give us Centered Riding lessons, and help with saddle fit.

The Abalone, Connected Circles, and Lick of the Cow’s Tongue are for trust.  Belly Lifts, Clouded Leopard, Hoof Tapping, Neck Rocking, Noah’s March, and Tarantulas Pulling the Plow are Ttouches for Awareness.

I like blending it in my grooming routine, or non-demanding time.  I like to do Connected Circles along the topline after riding to see if there are any reactions, discomfort, caving,  to a saddle fitting poorly.

Ttouch was emphasized in the endurance riding world when I dabbled, in the late 80’s, early 90’s.  It was, and still is, a way to release discomfort, in the horse’s body.  Tail work helps to ease fear.  A way to give back to the horse giving touches that can only be done by you, their partner!

How do you like to “give back” to your buddy?  I’d love to know!

Terri

 

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A Challenge For Smokey

Good morning, Friends!

img_1993One of Smokey’s major “holes” or task in need of tune-up, was mounting up from the mounting block.  When she wanted to move her feet, or move off from the block while I wanted to mount up, I moved her a little away, bridle work, disengage, back, and a head down cue, then back to the mounting block to rest, and basically ground tie.

She caught on to ground tying quickly.  It isn’t about the mounting block.  It’s about standing quietly anywhere I ask her.  These things, while giving a chance to learn, cannot be compromised on.  I’ve had horses, that, if they move one of their feet, and you don’t notice, and ask them to give it back (reverse that motion), then they have won!

Every day in clinic, it would take a dozen times up to the mounting block, sometimes resting, relaxing, nothing being asked, and then going to mount up.  My persistence had to outlast her resistance.

Teaching Smokey the hip over helped a lot, I felt.  It gave her a different focus, a clean focus, without past resistance issues, to prepare for me to mount up.  I used the hip over to mount up in the outside arena.  The last day I walked her over to the mounting block, stepped up, and did a combination of forward cue and hip over, and mounted up without delay.

I’m been guilty of not giving these issues much thought.  If someone wants to hold your horse for you while you mount, how will you do it by yourself?  I like to present myself as a self-sufficient rider when I go somewhere with my horse.  If you hold your horse, and bring the mounting block to your horse, they are similarly not learning anything, not learning the process.  Stumps and logs don’t move in the woods when trail riding.  These short cuts only short our partnership with our horse for working together!

Here is a short video on the hip over exercise.  I posted it in a previous entry.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=shRdOFinyMY&feature=youtu.be

How are you fine tuning your partner?  I’d love to hear!

Terri

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Smokey’s Silver Lining!

Good Evening, Friends!

Thought you might enjoy a quick catch up on Smokey’s progress, going forward!

14702501_1245484572139033_3138255733801437839_nOne of the first things achieved in clinic, was Smokey self loading into the trailer.  This was accomplished with the forward cue, which we use during bridlework warm up.  She caught on to this quite quickly.  Later, we had opportunity to give her a load up, tie, and back out.  I’ll work on that going forward.  I always enjoy having some follow-up goals to work on.

The next major achievement was an emergency one rein stop with disengagement.  We were shown in the following manner, which is a little different in how I’ve learned it in the past, but things do evolve, rider biomechanics has shown us that!

First, develop it on the ground.  It should be automatic when asked.  It should be clean and snappy, not sloppy.  I never gave it much thought, having horses that have been able to do it quite easily.  Smokey could not do it, so she required a bit of practice.  It is not the easiest thing for a gaited horse to do, but she should still have it instilled as a habit.

I used to bring my rein to my knee or waist.  Now I bring it to my belt buckle.  Sit tall and centered, leaning a little back.  Beware of any tilt to the side.  Have your left rein loose and your left hand on the swell of the saddle.  Bring the right rein up to the belt buckle, at the same time giving the right leg towards the hindquarter, asking for a disengagement to the left, as you look towards the back, seeing and feeling when it happens.

Here is a brief video of establishing this on the ground during bridlework.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1RREg-stc-0&feature=youtu.be

I practice it enough for Smokey to give it softly.

Summing up Smokey’s and my work and achievements, are as follows:

  • bridle work from the ground to work on saddle skills, disengagement, and head down cue
  • mounting from the block
  • standing still for mounting up
  • standing still after mounting up until asked to move out
  • shoulder work, as in shoulder over, done on a circle, serpentine exercises, the start of backing in a circle
  • head down cue, leading to loose rein riding, including moving out on a loose rein, and stopping on a loose rein.
  • power steering, incorporating loose rein riding, lifting rein one side or the other for direction, then giving release, riding straight.  Work this with leg cue.
  • practicing learned skills in different environments, with the outdoor arena, and two outings to an extensive trail obstacle course.
  • starting liberty work, with a stay, come-to-me cue, playing and progressing
  • leading exercise to have Smokey stay behind me for trail riding skills
  • hip over cue to enable many situations, including mounting up
  • ground tying for as long as I want
  • roll back along the rail for teaching, and keyhole game for practice
  • de-spooking with various stuff

For the future, Smokey’s trail skills will be assessed.  These newly learned skills from our clinic, will be worked on and reinforced for them to become habit, for both of us!

What are you plans going forward for you and your buddy?  I’d love to know!

Terri

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Smokey’s Cloud

Good morning, Friends!

img_2071 My philosophy with regards to buying and selling horses, is, for one, no one takes advantage of you without your permission.  Two, in the world of used cars and used horses, it’s buyer beware.  Three, in light of that, I strive to do business word of mouth, to defray some of that risk.  I’ve had good luck with that in my thirty years of being involved with horses.  Four, before I sell a horse, I do the work to make sure the horse is consistent for me, plugging holes in training, getting help to do that if I need it, and riding it enough to know what I have so I can fairly represent the horse to it’s new owner.

Smokey was sold to me as a trail ready horse, but not a kids horse.  That when the owner wanted a “chill ride”, Smokey would be used.

My experience, once I started working with her, and wanting to ride, was that I have nothing more than a green-broke horse here.  I have not had a horse this green in twenty years.  We had no communication skills between us.  When I rode her, either in the arena, and the time I took her out, she expressed her crabbiness, lack of motivation I call it when asked to do something, by going fast, and she had no stop.  She acted thick headed and hard necked and wanted to do what she wanted.

img_2107The previous owner rode her with a twisted snaffle, which in my quick and easy reference, pictured, page 47, is listed as a bit of Last Resort; “There are a few bits which come under the general heading of the snaffle, but which could never be described as mild, even in the most skilled hands.  The twisted snaffle, once commonplace but now rarely seen, is one of them; perhaps a skilled rider can use one without inflicting damage, but such skill is rare and the twisted snaffle should come into the category of ‘not for general use’.”

img_1957I moved her with arena work, immediately into the Confidence Snaffle as sold on the Parelli.com website.  This is a Korsteel brand, and can be found on other sites.  This is one of the mildest snaffles, it still took Smokey quite a while to relax into the bit.

I now ride her with a Myler combination bit with a C3 mouthpiece, she is doing fantastic with it, and our recent work with clinician Angela Tanner in Newport, Washington has us riding on a loose rein.

This bit is also marketed by Parelli.com as the Cradle Bridle, however, it is available on other sites.  All my horses have loved this bit after progressing from a snaffle bit tune-up.  I’ve been using this bit for about eight years.

So now, not only am I dealing with a green broke horse, but one that has been started with ignorance and abuse with equipment, and inconsistent handling, in my opinion.

So I percolated on what I could do to remedy Smokey’s and my situation.  With a referral and reference from my good friend Robin,  I enrolled in an accelerated clinic of Angela Tanner’s, with the goal of finding and addressing Smokey’s needs, through working on foundation training.  Here is a link to her Facebook page:

https://www.facebook.com/hoovesof.mercy?fref=ts

https://www.facebook.com/EquineHeadStart/?fref=ts

Certified Trainers

The first couple weeks were pretty rough.  I seriously thought I would sell her to someone who had the time to continue her education.  IF she had sufficient trail experience, I might be seeing the worst of her now, since there was nothing instilled in her except a lot of resistance.

Smokey must have read my mind.  The third week we turned a corner and it started getting better.  You’ve been following my blog, so you can see that.

My point is, when you choose to have a horse, let’s give it the best life we can.  Be fair of what you ask, and get some education for you and your horse, I think that is a minimum.  Too many people have horses that never bother to step up their game.  The life of a horse can be quite sad, even in the hands of people who say they care.

There are many ways to rescue a horse.  Smokey is my $3,500.00 rescue.

I’m sixty-two years old, what do I want with a green horse with minimal experience and no skills?  However, I have started her, we have turned a corner, it will likely take some time, more than I anticipated, but I have the support of a great trainer, both human and horse, in Angela Tanner, and wonderful, supportive friends, that will help me work through it and accomplish success.  I know they all join up, Smokey is not one-hundred percent, however, I feel we will make it.

My next blog entry will be on Smokey’s silver lining, because every cloud has one, right?

Terri

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Nosey with Elvis

This is a stream of observations and actions from the last week!

img_2098Tonight, as I hung out with the horses, sitting on the edge of the feed bin with Elvis, he stuck his nose towards me and touched me!  He is developing some curiosity towards me and inviting me in!

img_2085He is doing great with the hands on when I go out to feed twice a day.  I give them all scratches and a little grooming, then it is Elvis’ turn, so he can get into the routine.  He is really doing well, standing for me while I stroke him all over, and thus far, down his front legs.

This morning he came over to say hello before going to his hay!

img_2101This evening, Elvis came over to check me out, seeing what I was doing with my rake, cleaning up!  I walked along with him, scratching and stroking, down his front legs, and allowing him to check out my extended hand, he was exploring!

He was happy to hang out with Smokey, since she returned this evening from being in clinic.

img_2097I started Ttouch with him, gave him his first basic circles!  Here is a link that will tell you about it!  I’ve been doing this for years on my horses, on myself also, from the beginning!

http://www.ttouch.com

Tellington Touch was my first training and experience with groundwork, and things like my space-your space.  Practitioners held clinics where we learned the Touches, and they also gave Centered Riding lessons and helped with saddle fit.

img_2100Today I repeated the Ttouch circles, along his back, and on his shoulder, then blending it all together!

I give Smokey the basic circles and lick of the cow’s tongue.  I give Whiskey basic connected circles.

I love the progress!  I’d love to hear your thoughts!  You can comment below!

Terri

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