By Amy Kathleen Miller
For a while now, I have been working very hard to teach our two horses a new program to help them and my growth in horse communication and try to work toward earning some money as a trainer. I am excited to tell you more about Pat Parelli’s program on horse psychology, learning more about how to do things with horses in a more horse-friendly way.
I have been searching for a couple of years now for a program to teach me to have harmony with my horses and yet be able to enjoy them and still ride without the horses feeling trapped and not expressing their feelings because the rider would suppress their “voices” by punishing them for expressing discomfort or whatever. Instead, we learn how to communicate through their language and become more of a team working together on total unity between horse and human.
I like this because my horses seem happier and they are not pushed beyond their threshholds, but we work through their threshholds by working them through their limits calmly and slowly. The horses have a tendency to relax and trust me more. Also, most of the problems horses develop are because of wrong signals that they get from people who don’t give the signals properly or the same every time.
For instance, if I am telling a horse to go forward but I am pulling back on the reigns, digging my spurs into the horse’s sides, plus I am a load of tension on its back, the horse is going to have to try and figure out what I am trying to say. But if the horse tries to complain, then the rider might punish the horse because they don’t understand what we are asking. Next time, the horse will begin to worry more and then we dig harder and punish more extremely. Poor horse, no wonder the next time the horse reacts they way they do.
Pat Parelli is a very necessary experience for my horses and me. Second, I am still working hard at building Cheyenne up on her tricks. But the tricks I have been working with to gain a lot of ground in is Cheyenne painting and her being able to play a tune on the big floor piano, now on a table where she can hit the keys with her nose. Since I have been working Cheyenne on this project for a while now, I am starting to be able to teach her to play a tune. I actually heard more of that tune that I have been trying to work towards teaching her up to now. I am excited to see where it goes with us with the music part and whether or not I should try to bring Gypsy into this little musical number. Hmmmm, I do have some ideas on how I could accomplish that.
Another thing we have been working on for the past seven months is Cheyenne’s ability to paint. I can tell you she is now beginning to really grasp the idea in her mind of what it takes to grab a paint brush and do some strokes without dropping the brush. I just need to continue working with Cheyenne to hopefully be able to dip her brush in the water as well as the new paint on the the side. But for now, I dip the brush but all the painting is what she does on her own. Is there anyone willing to buy a horse’s painting so she doesn’t become a starving artist?
I am working toward an opportunity to show off Cheyenne’s skills to people who would welcome her talents into their hearts to allow us to entertain you. I am planning on doing one show at a local horse expo March 15. I welcome the opportunity to meet new enthusiasts for Cheyenne, Gypsy, and my new form of entertainment.
- AMY’S ANGLE: A different kind of horse training (viewfrommiddleclass.wordpress.com)
- ‘Happy horse’ wins place in owners’ hearts (star-telegram.com)
- Colorado Humane Society receives large hay donation (denverpost.com)
- The Horse is Always Right (vanhargis.wordpress.com)