Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Stress-Testing and Things Translate

It was warmer this morning, but very windy. The sunrise was spectacular:

(For more sunrise photos from this morning, see this post on my separate nature blog, In Our Own Backyard.)

It's clear that I'm going to have to get myself to the barn earlier in order to do some work with the horses - by the time I got there yesterday afternoon it was already dark, so no work got done. Due to how windy it is today, it's a perfect opportunity, if we don't get rain, to do some stress-testing on what Dawn's already learned well. I'm hoping to do some crazy-walking in the arena, and some standing around there and ground-tied in the parking lot for grooming. This will also involve bringing her in to work while the other horses are still out. She's very solid with those exercises, and I'd like to see how she'll do with them under more challenging conditions.

I also had a pleasant surprise with Dawn this morning - our standing around work translated directly to how she acts when cross-tied. The horses got their rain sheets this morning for the first time in a long while, and before I turned Dawn out, I cross-tied her in the barn aisle to give her a quick grooming, and put her sheet on. I noticed something interesting - normally when Dawn's cross-tied, especially when she's eager to go out, she fidgets on the cross-ties - walking forward, swinging her hindquarters from side to side, nibbling on the cross-ties. This morning - nothing - although she was clearly focussed on getting to turnout - ears up and eyes on the door - she stood completely still and exhibited none of her normal fidgets. I suspect the work we've done on ground tying and standing around has just translated to cross ties! It's fun when things work out that way!

Have a great day, and may it include horses!


  1. It sounds like all your hard work with Dawn is definately paying off. We've had a lots of rainy weather here the last week or so, a muddy, wet start to winter!

  2. Great to hear how this work is translating. My boy is also a fidget-bum, I have been reading KFH and how he advocates ground-tying/'staying' whilst the handler moves off. Perhaps this training will help us too...

    Bummer about the early darkness but the sooner we're into winter the sooner we'll be out of it!

  3. Brilliant work Kate, mirrors a lot of stuff I've been doing.

  4. Big wind storms here too. Just wanted to say I really like your header! What a great pic. Glad to see the ground tying is paying off in many ways... inspirational for sure!

  5. That is a spectacular sunrise - thanks for sharing! It sounds like your work with Dawn is paying off in many areas, what a great feeling.

  6. Like the new picture header on top. And the sunrise is gorgeous. Glad all the hard work is paying off with Dawn too.

  7. New header is great!
    And congratulations on the work with Dawn.
    Must be nice for your daughter to hear too, that you two are getting on well now when she is not around herself anymore.

  8. It is cool when they "get it" isn't it

  9. Go Dawn! Well done Kate your work sounds like it is really paying off. Love the new photo!!!!

  10. Oh, I know exactly what you mean about not having enough time in the evening to get anything done with the horses. Unfortunately, my work day starts at 6 a.m. so I can't even do anything in the morning if I wanted to. I prefer morning workouts myself.

    Excellent that all your work is coming to fruition! Gabe futzes around while tied up, but he doesn't wiggle around. He chews on things. He chews on the end of the lead rope, chews on the post, chews, chews, chews. At first I reprimanded him for the chewing, then I decided it was just one of those things I could live with. It keeps him occupied and with his never-stop brain, he needs to keep himself occupied!


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