Wow! We had some huge storms last night with more lightning than I have seen in a long time. We lost internet connections first, then after all that, we had a power blip this morning. Woo hoo! The blog saved all my photos....but no text. Loading photos is the most time consuming thing, so I am not too upset about it. Brian checked the rain gauge this morning...we got 3 1/4" of rain. Just need some good sunshine and wind....
The weekend before Jay and I worked with Boom, and Jay got on him bareback. The last blog entry showed me picking up where Jay left off.....
This entry is my journey back to the saddle......
Every morning I go out to feed in the dark with a cover of stars over my head, and I am one of the lucky ones....I get to watch and listen to the transitions from the dark to the light.....and the sunrises are awesome! So many people miss this....
Boom is great about things flying around him while I am on the ground. In the saddle it was a different story - and if it was a light 'tickle' thing, it was worse. I tied on shop rags because they would blow around in the wind and lightly touch in at different times.
Shoot! I realized these are in opposite order. This short set of photos are after we got home from Jay's place. I HAVE to make myself get up there and work. Jay already helped me so much and the nerves are not as constant as they were. I have to remember that if I even think "Should I get off?" I should get off. Being brave is one thing, but trying to be brave and work thru my crazy feelings on a wonderful creature who can also feel all my crazy feelings is well....just crazy! Ha ha!
We are flexing fools! Jay was pleased with how much better Boom was flexing than he was the first time. He still isn't to the caliber of Levi, but he will be. :-)
I had been getting on and off, I had been flexing, then after a while Brian says "Move his hips over" and I said "WHAT???? I HAVE TO MOVE HIM TOO?" Ha ha! But I did it because I focused on what we were going to do right, and my back up plan was to keep him flexed and keep my weight where it should be if it didn't. The backup plan was good to have - but I did not need it.
KAREN: "Hee hee! I lived!!!!"
BOOM: "I will be so glad when she gets back to her old self."
I am working hard on not looking him directly in the eye....and right here I am also giggling because I am so happy!
Everyone teaches their horses how to bow.....this is our version of the bow.
I love this guy!!!!
Another pretty sky......
I have been flexing Boom on both sides while standing on one side, and Brian gave it a shot. He usually watches us and gives me tips, but every once in a while he comes in and does stuff....I love when he does that. :-)
Boom follows Brian while knowing that the real leader is behind the camera! HA HA HA!!!!!!
Just kidding. Boom is great about focusing on the person who is working with him.
MONDAY AT JAY'S PLACE:
We had been driving a little over an hour and got to watch this sunrise...Brian took this with his cell phone. We had stopped at the exit we were to meet a friend at....not a bad view while we wait, eh?
Here is part of the group that showed up to Jay's. I think there were a total of 13 of us, so Boom got good exposure of people standing around the pen watching him work.
I don't live someplace where there is a lot of people, traffic, etc., so we just do the best we can. Times like this are so good for him.
Boom is very relaxed and enjoys the company of Mary Lou (left) and April (pink shirt).
Mary Lou loves on Boom.....
The student and the teacher.....Jay is finding out what all we have worked on the past week and how it went.
After moving Boom around a little bit, Jay hops up there.....I know Boom was thinking "Thank goodness! Finally the guy who knows how it is done and not the girl who had to grab, pull and climb her way up there." Ha ha!
Jay flexes a horses head to him before putting on the halter. I usually reach over and teach the horse to dip his nose into it. I am now doing the flex thing, and he will still dip his nose into it. Part of it is for safety, and the other part is he is learning to give to the pressure on the other side of his neck, which will set him up for neck reining.
Other than pulling his tail around and brushing it, and rubbing between his butt cheeks and rubbing under his rear legs, I don't do much back there. Jay said Boom needs to be prepared to have his temp taken for his health certificate, which means getting up close and personal.
I am thinking "I DON'T THINK SO! HA HA! I WOULD RATHER CLEAN A SHEATH!" But guess what....I am working on the tail, I am working AROUND the area, and he will be prepared. Sometimes we have to do things we don't like.
Now come on, look at the picture above and this picture.....which picture does Boom look happier in? HA HA HA!
Jay is zinging his saddle up there.....
Jay has a long line and before he was going to ride he was working on flipping stirrups, etc., to make sure his mind was in a good place. This did not bother him at all.
At times like this I am very proud of what Boom and I have done. I got a horse that was very set in his ways, he could care less about humans, and he was just very independent and happy making his own decisions. He would not look at me for the longest time....he was a new challenge for me. Then we come here and Jay works with him, and Boom shows us what all he has learned. That is the eye opener for me...wow, we really have accomplished so much!
I asked Jay about driving, and he drives all his horses. I don't have long lines and have never done it, but wanted to learn - this was my day! Woo hoo! Jay has a long lariat rope that is not so still that you have to fight loops. He ties both ends at the halter and it loops around Booms butt. The trick is to make sure you are not standing inside the loop just in case the horse gets scared and takes off. The other thing was if there is any question about the horse or myself not feeling comfortable, drop the rope. This was so much fun!
Boom did so good! Turning him was tricky because I did not want to pull the rope too hard and burn him. But we did it, and Boom turned so softly.
I never noticed the heat or lack of shade, but others did....out popped a couple of umbrellas. Here is Diana, who has had mustangs for a long time and is also an EMM trainer and has Cochise, and April who has a couple of riding mustangs, plus she and her husband adopted a couple of orphan yearlings and they are working with them. Last year April also fostered a yearling mustang for an adoption in Kansas.
The other umbrella housed Dona and Mary Lou. They are members of the Midwest Mustang and Burro Saddle club. Those two gals are so much fun, and there was no way they would not be here this day. The other gal is Chris who is part of the Missouri group and she has also been into mustangs for a long time, and is a long time volunteer for the BLM adoptions. That is how we met her a few years ago.
It is riding time.....Jay got on and did some flexing and rubbing on his head. Things appeared to be going pretty good.....
......then Jay reached back to touch Boom's butt. There was some hopping going on and Jay stuck to Boom like glue. This was the first time I got that sick knot in my stomach and I will admit that I was not so sure I was going to get on.
This is something that Jay and I talked about the day before we arrived, and again this day. There is nothing that says I have to get on if I am not comfortable. And if I get on, there is nothing saying I have to stay there. That is one of the things I really respected him for...he wants me to work thru this, but he won't push. Now, on the other hand he will encourage and he knows how to do this effectively, and he will use tools like Levi...when he asked me if I wanted to get on his horse, do you think it was to help me relax? Hmmmm...... :-)
Now this is more like it....Boom was still a little goosey about things, but it was much better. Jay said he had to get him to the edge in order for him to realize that this isn't going to hurt...it will all be just fine.
Beth, who is a photographer and also a member of the Midwest Mustang group was sitting by me during the little mini blow up, and she had a lot of words of encouragement for me. I was on the ground just like you see me.....and when I got that sick knot I panicked and almost fell off the ground I was kneeling on! Ha ha!
Jay and Boom are communicating.....
Beth and the kitty brigade....
When Jay picked up his EMM horse the same day we did, he drew this little thin horse that had a perfect hoof print mark on the middle of his forehead - no joke! He got kicked head on. He was also missing pieces of hair all over his body - he had been bullied. That day while Levi was in the trailer Jay mentioned the eyes not looking right, and at the angle I was, I thought they looked like a mahogany color. The next day Jay walked right up to Levi and when he spoke, Levi spooked. Jay also roped Levi and the horse did not move. That is when Jay realized that something really was wrong with Levi's vision. Jay already had the reputation of being a great horse trainer, but he had never trained a blind horse. We all believe that Jay got Levi for a reason......
And look at them now! They were cantering across the field with a few playful crow hops along the way. Levi is still very unsure about where he walks, but his trust in Jay is beyond beautiful!
I played with Photoshop and a setting....got neat flower colors...
Jay and Levi coming back up the driveway....
The barn cat kitty brigade checking out the truck...
After the break, it was my turn. I did the up and down thing - and when I got up here I was holding on to the mane and the saddle. Jay says "Now rub on him" and I said "With what?" Ha ha! I was holding on and was not letting go!
This was the first time I ever was on a horse with someone leading and me not having anything that resembled reins. It is a control thing...even if I am not really driving. I will say that this was awesome! Jay worked us in tight figure 8's so I could practice my balance and just get a feel for Boom again....
I think my fingerprints are embedded into the saddle horn.....
The ears hear and see all......
Yay, I have a steering wheel now. Jay has a rope hackamore that we put on Boom and Jay kept a hold of the long lead part while I 'drove'. Boom knew that Jay has been the leader in the pen, so I had a hard time moving Boom away from Jay. I was not feeling very assertive and was not confident enough to push the issue just yet.....we took our time....
We would walk around and I would flex him to a stop. I was also instructed that if I feel Boom kind of swell up and it makes me nervous, just flex him. I don't know why I can't remember that.....I do that with Tripp when I ride and don't think twice about it.
Please note that I am petting him on his right side...this was the side that became very scary for him during and after the falls I took. Or should I say the falls we both took? We were both affected in different ways by the same event. When I get on him now, I have no problem petting that right side.
Jay is putting the extra lead part on the horn and I am going to drive solo. I am so excited!!!
Boom still wants to hang out with Jay, and I am not giving enough leg in the beginning so Jay gives us some encouragement. Sure, we had a couple of moments where Boom kinda tucked his butt when the lead rope touched him, and I tensed up, but not as bad as I had before.
Look, I can talk and trot at the same time!
Oh this is funny....at one point Jay was asking me questions and I was nodding and giving "uh huh" answers. Jay finally half laughed and told me I needed to talk to him so he knew I was breathing. Hee hee!
Look close at the reflection....you can see Boom's shadow in his eye.....
At this point I am so happy and just beside myself! I can't stop giggling!
And I giggled some more......I wish I could bottle this feeling I have right now and share it with everyone! Not only those who are okay and can imagine what I have gone thru, but those who know what I have gone thru and are fighting that fear. This is the feeling I wanted back, and I think it means more now than it did before, if that makes sense.
We both worked and laughed and Boom was such a good boy! It was not only a day of instruction, it was a day of fun.
We are soaking........with a smile!
Oops, this picture is out of order....oh well.....I also spent a lot of time moving my legs around and standing up in the saddle.
I guess Jay and I laughed so much, Boom was feeling left out....so he gave us a tired laugh. :-)
Boom wanted to make sure we got a picture of just him in here.....looking all handsome!
Being a student to a teacher like Jay is....well, I can hardly explain it. I told him he has a gift, and I mean it. There are a lot of great horse trainers out there, and there are a lot of great people trainers out there, and there are a lot of trainers who can do both. But not all great trainers are compatible with all students. I am so grateful that Jay is the one who was able to understand where I was mentally and was able to help me.
We were done and getting ready to tie Boom up for a while, and Jay out of the clear blue makes crazy noises and jumps at him. The very first time Jay did this (the weekend before) Boom took off around the pen! He was not sticking around for what might happen. Now he might lift his head, he might move those feet a step or two, but he stops. Boom is thinking a lot more .....
More laughter and joking.....
I am a new trainer and anybody who knows me knows that I take my time, I don't mind taking longer to do something versus using a piece of equipment that might help get the job done quicker because of more 'bite' etc. I am quite the softie and have the patience of a saint when it comes to working with the horses. I have always been the type to cringe when I saw consistent open gaping mouths from all the pulling the rider did, and I often wondered why that happened and why couldn't they fix it? I was very much into adulthood when I started learning about the 'natural horsemanship' ways of training that are out there. Oh my gosh, it was like a little kid getting a new toy - except I got information. That is what happens when you are a hermit....you don't know what is going on out there in the real world. Ha ha! Because of the way I am, you all know that when I say this, I mean it with all my heart - I would not hesitate to take a horse to Jay to train! And he is far enough away to where I could not visit my horse every day....but I would still be 100% okay with it. Jay is black and white, but so very patient and gentle at the same time. Jay is teaching me to be black and white....and it is tough for someone like me, but I am trying.
My hope is that Jay will get enough horses to work with that he can call it a full time job/career! Not only for him since he loves them all so much, but for the horses....
I have ridden every night this week since the weekend. Tuesday, that was the entry up above, went well. Wednesday and Thursday Brian was not home until late, and I was a little nervous because if something happened, he was not here to help. But I sucked it up and got out there....I want the old me back and this is the only way to work my way back there.
Wednesday I had my very first anxiety attack - but did not know that is what it was at the time. I literally thought I was having a heart attack! I started out nervous but not in a crazy way, and I did the up and down in the saddle, get on and off, then I stayed on. Up to this point I was fine....then I asked him to move his feet and I was not so fine. Oh Boom was great - he did as he was asked. Me? I felt my heart start racing 100 miles a minute, my chest felt tight, then I got a horrible headache and things started feeling a little fuzzy...then things started to look a little bit gray. That is when I freaked out and thought I better get my butt out of that saddle before Boom thinks there is something to be afraid of - not to mention I did not want to pass out and fall off. I got off, walked a while, then sat on my mounting bucket. It would not quit, and I put my hand on my chest and felt my heart pounding. I was truly scared.
Finally it quit and I walked some more...still not knowing what the heck happened, then I started over again with Boom. I figured I would know pretty quick if this was going to happen again or not. I did get back on, and we rode around the pen a few times without any weirdness this time. Whew!
It was when Brian got home and I was explaining to him what happened that he mentioned anxiety. Gotta love Google...I looked it up and it sounds right. Geez! I feel like I am falling apart! Ha ha!
Thursday was much better! No weird chest tightening or headaches, and I spent more time riding around the pen, doing rough figure 8's and walking over the logs. I was so relieved.
Friday night Brian was home to see what Boom and I have been doing, and he was glad to see us so relaxed. I am giving his big pen time to dry then will check to see if it is workable for this evening. If not, I am going to set up a mini in-hand obstacle course to play on.
I know I rattled on here.....I guess that is the beauty of the blog. You can look at pictures, or you can read. Hee hee!
Have a great weekend everyone!
Until later...Karen and Tripp who is gloating because he never gave his Mama a heart attack! ;-)