About this Blog

Meet my very 1st horse, Lazarus.
I couldn't wait for Santa anymore or ask one more time for a pony for my bday (after age 30 it got embarrassing). I took matters in my own hands and I finally decided to pick a pony that needed a new home. Laz found me as I contemplated with this idea. He was sweet yet very sassy, fresh off the track, Thoroughbred (OTTB).
Join us for our re-training, rehabbing from laminitis and testing all parts of mixed up horsemanship and partnership, and luck...

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Little proud moments

Today, despite the mild wind and being out at the farm alone, Lazarus and I walked the arena together. I know many of you, ride and work your horses everyday alone, but we do not typically. The BO's are typically there and I usually prefer to not be 100% alone just for fear's sake of 'what if.'

But today, I didn't want to lose our momentum of where we left off....not to mention I'm not going to drive an hour one way to not do anything!
When I went into Laz's pasture he was walking around and moving quite nicely but seemed to have a calmness about him. He walked up, nuzzled his big head into my chest kindly and went back to eating his hay.
So, I decided to mentally pick a song, groom my boy and head to the arena to see what kind of horse I would have today. Sometimes even when calm in his pasture, he can turn beastly outside of it.
I let the BO's dogs out to play around a bit and Mason appreciated that. He loves playing with the two girls, and especially now that the puppy is getting so big!
Whizzing by!

I'm happy to say that Laz and I walked the arena for an hour! No limpy movements on his part. I had a pocket stuffed with carrot bits and made sure that every time he was calm superstar he got rewarded. He had a couple of blow ups..maybe 7, but they were not awful. He got big but came back down pretty quickly after I checked him and backed him up a few steps for about 3 of the spooks. I didn't worry about the spook in place type spooks, and I didn't even worry too much when his face turned to the 'ears forward, head up, eyes big, nostrils blowing and start jigging' because when I pulled his rope halter as a reminder he came back down. The three times that I did have to really check him, is when he was spooking and not looking at me but locked into whatever invisible monster he saw. I reminded him that I'm scarier than the invisible monster and that when he's with me, I'm protecting him with my bear voice too.
One thing we noticed last session and again today, is that he is more spooky when I go counter clockwise in the arena. When we go clockwise, he is braver. Is it because I am standing in between him and the 'monsters' that he spooks at?? Who knows. We worked both sides equally and when he rounded the corners with a calm manner, we stopped and got a carrot nib. Maybe too many rewards because at one point he was good for a while that he stopped himself and mouthed my hand, lol! Like 'Mom...hellloooo??!" Smart boy. I was happy with him and happy with myself that I didn't coward out. Oh and the singing seems to work! I sang so loud that perhaps neighbors may think I'm looney but who cares...lookie at my sweet TB who enjoys it! :)
We had ended our session talking to one of the other boarders who was drinking out of her water bottle that crinkled and made Laz mini-spook, so we crinkled it a few hundred more times, rubbed it on his body and gave him carrots when he finally had the 'I don't care' attitude of bravery.
After our session I took him back to his pasture/paddock and he was tired....and thirsty!
He is the quietest drinker, although he likes to let it stream out of his mouth, so he's messy! It's sweet. Great job today Laz! Cliff comes tomorrow! Can't wait to see what he thinks!


  1. Congratulations on a job well done! I knew you could do it. I am so looking forward to the day that you and Laz work as one and have that "connection" that most people can only dream about. I know this is possible for you and Laz ... the devotion you have to him is so inspiring and that is what motivates me to work with the two of you. I thank you for inspiring me... XXOO

  2. I remember on really windy rides or when I was alone I used to sing whiskey in the jar. It calms you since to be able to sing you need to relax your mid section. Horses read that, no matter how subtle we may think it is.

  3. Good leading! Hope you get good news.

  4. That is wonderful news! That is an accomplishment for you and you should be proud! I second Sydney's advice, sing a song when you are nervous. You have to breath to sing and so it keeps you breathing. Just make sure you have a good song, I always end up singing nursery rhymes because I can't think of anything else. :S

  5. Super! You are moving forward so well. I am eager to hear what Cliff has to say. You are certainly increasing the bloodflow with all that walking. Surely, that is a good thing.

  6. Good Job Kristen! I am so proud of you for being brave and working with Laz alone! That confidence will carry over to him and you will both be on your way! I can't wait to hear what Cliff has to say! Good Luck!

  7. Great job and good techniques you are using...bear voice...singing...

    Regarding the counter clockwise spooking, it probably has to do with his dominate eye. Whichever is dominate is seeing the "spooks". Heres something I found that explains dominate eye a bit better.

    The dominant eye explains why a horse tends to shy more when perceived danger is on one particular side of his body. Let's say you're circling to the right, and your horse is left-eye dominant. He seems pretty secure about his environment because his dominant eye (the left one) is on the outside. He can see his surroundings and keep himself alert and safe from "danger".

    However, if you're circling to the right and he's right eye dominant, he'll want to whip his head around to the left so he can check out the environment with his right eye. The result is that he spooks more from objects that are on the left side of his body.

    Read more: http://www.articlesnatch.com/Article/7-Tips-To-Help-You-Ride-The-Spooky-Horse/736657#ixzz0nFjtdAqg
    Under Creative Commons License: Attribution No Derivatives

    His dominate eye gives him the time to evaluate and relax about whatever he is seeing...the other F or F just kicks in to be safe.

    Your doing a great job and building a relaltionship most people can only dream of...

  8. Great job. LBR didn't like plastic bags or water bottles either.

    He now seeks them out. Treats come from plastic shopping bags that are swung, thrown, placed on his back, etc.

    Gatorade (his favorite beverage - only one sip allowed though) comes from crunching plastic bottles.

    I don't know what he's going to do when we eventually go totally green and do away with the plastic gods who deliver delicious things.

  9. I read a really interesting article in the Practical Horseman (April 2010) that talked about how 'results from a new study suggest that horses have a strong left-eye preference."
    They actually 'tested' horses, and the majority (or most, can't remember) CHOSE to look at the scary objects with their left eye, versus right eye.
    Let me know if you want me to scan the article. I found it though provoking when handling my 'spooky' mare.