Lunging for Learning

Good day, Friends!

The day for Elvis’ date with the vet nears for his gelding appointment!

In preparation for after care, which involves lunging twice a day, we had a session to refine skills for both myself and Elvis.

First we were given a visual with Erika Lafors explaining what we are doing:  addressing nose in, ribs out, shoulder over, maintain gait, maintain direction.

Check it out!

Then it was my turn to be coached.  Elvis learns quickly!

Then we did a little refining on the change of direction!

How do you prepare your partner?  I’d love to hear!






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Elvis Joins the Big World

Good Morning, Friends!

Our Winter was long and cold and the pasture took it’s time thawing!  Footing was poor, progress was delayed!  Of course, I believe everything happens in its proper order and time.  I’ve been involved with horses long enough, and seen the seasonal changes enough, that I have become philosophical!  I always seem to catch up and it is all good!

These are times that can be maximized in their own way.  I took the time to hang out, groom, give TTouch sessions, and just enjoy.  Whiskey was a great help being Big Brother! while taking charge.  When the shoer came, Whiskey was Mr. Solid while Elvis was curious about everything!  Gratefully, my shoer is very tolerant, Elvis got the elbow just once!

There were a few of us that got weanlings at the same time, a project with a built in support system of friends!  Laura Sanchez, one of the peeps, came to visit and we had fun playing!  I had familiarized him with the halter, so we were able to slip it on and get it adjusted.

We cooled him down a bit on this hot day, did some leading, and called it good.  He was scheduled to go into the training barn the next week, at Angela Tanner’s, to start building his skill base, get gelded, and after gelding care.

This is a fun project and  a great learning experience for me, however, I made sure I had the support of Angela and her team to make it a success!

Stay tuned!



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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!






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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!



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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!




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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!

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!




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Connecting With Elvis

img_2047Every day I interact with Elvis.  He is still rather odd man out, with Smokey tolerating him more than Whiskey.  He is self possessed and self sufficient.  He lines up to get  his treat pan with Smokey and Whiskey.  He follows me over to the hay flakes that I’m disbursing so everyone can find one for themselves.

img_2031He is showing curiosity with the wheelbarrow as I clean up.  He is having moments of connection with me, looking directly at me and approaching with curiosity.  He has allowed me to touch him momentarily on his face, under his chin, neck, and sides!

img_2058Today I was sitting with him as he ate breakfast, and he allowed my hand all over!  He has a good winter coat, soft as you might imagine baby hair to be!  I sat with him approximately fifteen minutes, scratching his withers, stroking his neck, shoulder, side, back, and down his left front leg.  I walked around him, touching his butt, and gave attention to his right side.

img_2053As I was sitting on the edge of the feed bin, he was very comfortable being really close, and even shifted his feet and body a little closer!  Elvis is not receiving any tactile interaction from either Smokey or Whiskey.  He is seeming to now know that he receives that from me.

img_2003This was a first today for hanging out with non-demanding time to include friendly time also!  It was exciting and gratifying!

Here is a link to a brief, about one minute, video, that shows how comfortable he has gotten.  I’m so pleased!





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Elvis is in the Building!

Hay friends, good morning!

img_1888Along the way, I was given the opportunity to have a weanling!  Not just any weanling, but a dun, foundation bred quarter horse!  I could not resist the opportunity to have my dream horse!

I am sixty two years of age, many may think I would be too old and not know enough to have this guy in my life!  I’m grateful that I still have life and interest in my body and mind to pursue this project, and to have support in friends and a trainer that will step in as I need help!

img_1915The homework involved in bringing him from South Dakota is finished, and he is now at home.  He was kicked in the face in transit, and had a swelling below his eye that needed vet attention.  He was haltered when arrived, but I hauled him home without it because it was getting in the way of healing completely.  He’s looking good now, all that has cleared up in the last week.

img_1970He is settling in, getting used to the dynamics of his new pasture mates.  I’ve had him with Smokey, with Whiskey in the paddock, to integrate one at a time.  When I feed twice a day, I’ve been hanging out, getting him used to me and my activities.

He catches on quickly, following me with his dish of baby food pellets, eating out of it when I hold it, allowing a stroke on his nose and face.  He steps up real close to get his hay, I’ve been able to stroke his neck and butt.

img_1972I hang out as he feeds so he can get used to me being around, I rub and love on Smokey, so he can see that is a good thing!  I want him to forget the experience of his wound lancing and cleaning, overlay that memory with good memories of hanging out and getting positive attention!

img_1908I don’t pretend to know anything about bringing up baby!  I appreciate your tolerance, dear friends, of my ignorance!  Know that I consider this to be a wonderful learning experience and a lot of fun!  In the meantime, I have Smokey and Whiskey to ride while I bring this one along, so no pressure!

img_1910I will also love and welcome your comments and suggestions!

You can view his pedigree on his Facebook page, DD This Dudes Rad, along with some early baby pictures.  He is a bay dun, registered with the National Foundation Quarter Horse Association (NFQHA) at 94%.

I wish you as much fun as I’m having!



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