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.

5 comments:

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

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  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.

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

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

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  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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