Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Dawn Gets Motherly, Scout and Joe Pair Up, and Safety Circles

Dawn is being very maternal with Maisie; lots of low nickers and calls. This evening when Dawn came in from pasture - Maisie was already in - she did the whole panoply of motherly calls to "her" foal (a mighty big one at that!). It's pretty cute, but I hope they don't get so attached that each one is hard to work with separately - at this point Dawn seems more attached to Maisie than Maisie to Dawn.

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I always find it interesting that horses who have the same owner often pair up in the pasture, perhaps because they've been together for a while, sometimes at different barns. Scout (young buckskin) and Joe (old bay) often do this, and it's fun to catch them (very) close together:

I think Joe's savvy enough to use Scout for extra fly protection and even perhaps for a bit of shade!

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Another little tidbit from the book Is Your Horse a Rock Star? (reviewed in an earlier post). It's the concept of safety circles. Here's a quote from the book:

A safety circle is simply a circle that you ride in the same place every time until it is the place where they feel comfortable and safe. From there, venture out slowly into a larger world, knowing that any time they become worried you have somewhere to go back to where they feel secure.

The author says that a safety circle can be particularly useful with a horse that is dominant, energetic and afraid, whether aloof (a Boss, in the book's terms) or a friendly (a Wild Card) - this would be Dawn or our mare Lily. I've used this myself with a variety of horses, just without calling it this - I like the concise description of a safety circle. It's a nice way to look at helping the horse out as you work.


  1. I've never called it a safety circle either but I've used the technique most of my riding career!

  2. I will have to check that book out. As I learn more and more about Corrie I keep retaking the quiz. Now she comes up as The Reluctant Rock Star. That one actually does sound like her.

    I love the idea of a safety circle. It makes perfect sense to me.

  3. Maisie has to be one happy girl! There's nothing like home.

  4. Kate would you email copy of those pics?
    They are great.
    So typical of those two. But aren't they sweet?

  5. I guess, without knowing, I too have used "safety circles."

    I wonder if that's why the concept of the round pen works? Interesting.

    Love the boy duet. What a beautiful friendship.


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