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Sweet Wild Syringa

Discussion in 'Gardening With Animals' started by thistlebloom, Jul 19, 2018.

  1. Feb 22, 2019
    flowerbug

    flowerbug Garden Addicted

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    a friend had some almond flour and we looked up a chocolate chip recipe using it and it turned out quite acceptable (i'd like a bit of coconut, some walnuts and a few butter scotch chips added).
     
    digitS' likes this.
  2. Mar 31, 2019
    thistlebloom

    thistlebloom Garden Master

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    Spring is here. I can tell by the amount of horse hair I have worn, inhaled, and tried to spit out. All you horse people know what I'm talking about. You brush and brush and brush, and it still keeps coming off them and blowing around and piling up at your feet.

    Yesterday was warm and sunny, a perfect day to take Syringa over to the neighbors arena for a free gallop after a good grooming. I took her halter off and climbed out over the rail to watch her blast around. After an initial roll in the sand, the first dry dirt she's seen since October, she just put her head down and searched for tiny weeds in the sand. So much for crazy hijinks...

    After a bit I climbed back in and sat on a jump standard because it was more comfortable, and drier than the ground and just watched her slowly moving around in the sunshine. It was wonderful to feel the sun and just relax, not feeling hurried to get a list of chores done.
    My little buddy Georgia spotted me and came out for a sit and a chat
    about all things horse. We got a good start on our farmer tans and rosy cheeks.

    After an hour and a half I called Syringa to come for a little ground work. Changed my mind about working her, gave her some good rubs then sent her off to run loose. I guess she was in the mood after all and she took off bucking and racing up the arena. She ran and cavorted enough to get a little sweaty before coming back to me to be haltered.
    She is so good about that, and I am so pleased that I can call her to me from 50 feet away and she comes in at a trot, ears forward.

    Sunshine and dry ground. A horses idea of a spa day.

    20190330_133305.jpg
     
    Carol Dee, baymule, pjn and 4 others like this.
  3. Mar 31, 2019
    flowerbug

    flowerbug Garden Addicted

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    nothing wrong with a day like that. :)
     
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  4. Apr 1, 2019
    Rhodie Ranch

    Rhodie Ranch Garden Addicted

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    so descriptive! I can see her in my minds eye, like a movie!
     
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  5. Apr 1, 2019
    baymule

    baymule Garden Master

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    Building that trust is the basis for everything that you will ever teach her. I can just see her trotting to you. That makes me smile.
     
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  6. Apr 2, 2019
    thistlebloom

    thistlebloom Garden Master

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    Yes it is. I'm taking my time with her and making sure she's able to come back down and relax after every "up" that gets her tense and anxious. Being a reactive type it doesn't take much to get her almost into fight or flight. But she's able to let down and relax into a resting state much more quickly than when I first started working with her.

    I get asked all the time when I'm going to ride her. I say not yet. There's no rush and actually it's not even my primary goal anymore. There is an element of joy in watching her transform into a willing partner. I'll know when it's time. In the meantime I'm starting to look around for a good saddle. Because eventually we will be needing it. :)
     
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  7. Apr 2, 2019
    baymule

    baymule Garden Master

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    She is in good hands. You are training her with your heart, not your ego. You are letting her bloom under your care, not jumping on her and riding her to a standstill. She found her Momma of her heart when she found you. She picked you out and you listened to her heart speaking to you. I am enjoying her journey, watching her transform under your teachings.
     
  8. Apr 2, 2019
    Carol Dee

    Carol Dee Garden Master

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    I agree with Bay, Good Job Thistle. Lucky Syringa :love
     
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  9. May 16, 2019
    thistlebloom

    thistlebloom Garden Master

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    Now that both ends of the day are lighter I have been spending as much time as I can steal with Syringas training. Typically it takes 2+ hours to accomplish going through our training routine. Some days the progress is incremental and some days we take big forward steps. Then there are the days when we go back to square one and I cogitate on how to get her to understand and accept the thing we are working on.

    The current sticky point is the durned saddling. It seems like we've been messing around with it for months, although in reality I only introduced it in the fall and have just recently picked it back up.
    I'm using an old western saddle that's fairly light and won't matter if it hits the ground, which it has a few times.
    We were doing well, I was swinging it up and settling it on her back from both sides, then wiggling it around so the stirrups jostled her a little. While she wasn't relaxed doing this, she was at least staying still and I would reward that with taking it off and letting her take a breath and a lick and chew relax. Then I thought it was time to add the cinch. I made a mistake in the execution of that, I had the cinch up over the seat of the saddle and standing on her left I let it fall down against her right side and she leapt like a cat and the saddle went flying.

    That seemed to convince her that the saddle was not worth tolerating and I have now gone back to square one and am taking each step slowly and thoroughly and not moving ahead until she is mentally relaxed and ready for the next step.

    But it's hard sometimes to look at the calendar and calculate the days I have before winter slows training down to a crawl. I have to remember who she is, and who I am.
    She is sensitive, smart and very reactive and takes quite a bit of convincing that what I'm asking her to accept is really ok.
    I'm 62 and not so quick and nimble as I once was.
    So we go slow and thorough and take whatever time it takes. :old

    Meanwhile the winter coats have been shed and the grass is growing long and the sun is warm. A little hand grazing after a strenuous lesson is a great way to let down.

    A little free time kicking up her heels at the neighbors is also a mind reliever.
    Notice how the camera has captured her at that moment of suspension at the trot when all four feet are off the ground?

    20190510_161709 (2).jpg
    I took this one late winter. It's almost the same image and her legs are in the same position. I think I'm in a photographic rut.

    20190206_183823.jpg
     
  10. May 16, 2019
    flowerbug

    flowerbug Garden Addicted

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    good pictures anyway. :) i hope things come along well enough. i know i couldn't do what you are doing and i'm younger than you are by a few years.

    when you pat her on the neck and back are you gradually leaning more weight into it so she gets used to the idea of you being there and heavier?
     

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