Apifera Farm - where art, story, animals & woman merge. Home to artist Katherine Dunn

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Tuesday, November 13, 2018

"Who says?" Me and the Teapot Pony start to listen

I worked the new arrival [still no name] this morning on a lead line to see what training she really does have. I can tell she has some foundation work, which was what I was told [supposedly she was trained to drive many years ago]. It's been awhile since I've had an equine 'project' so this will be a really good thing for me, I think, and her.

She is a pistol. She has a mixture of sass, but then walks over to you and puts her head next to your leg for love and reassurance.

She is rusty, but so am I, we will relearn together.

Today I simply worked on the basic commands. She did fine, although it was her first time out into the new barn addition, which still doesn't have the wood exterior up [happening in coming month] so she could see out to the woods and pasture she doesn't know yet. I let her trot her circle with her head out, she clearly was not paying attention, but I allowed it for the beginning of our first session.

This has to be fun or her, and me.

She needs work on 'stop' or 'ho', but all in all, we had some good beginnings. By about 20 minutes into it, she was listening better, turning her ears into me. Considering she has been here two days, I wasn't going to push her. I'm excited to continue though, and make progress.

I think she is going to be a mixture of Boone and Paco. Boone was trained well, a former cow pony, but he was desensitized -which had/has its merits. He is quite bomb proof [although no horse is 100%, and it would be foolish to not be aware of that on any ride]. But Boone needed a leader, and I had to learn that with him, how to be a better leader. This sassy lady is not fearful, which is good. If anything, she is a lot like me-when told to do something that might seem contrary to my liking, or makes me feel uncomfortable, I ask a simple question,

"Who says?"

There is nothing wrong with that, especially as a woman in a white man's world-why should anyone else think for me.

I have to show her I'm trustworthy as a leader. I have to be patient, and clear, and let her make the choice I want her to make-like backing up, or turning right-before I am tempted to over correct her, or tell her to do it again before she has had time to make the decision. Be still and wait. Let her make her move, it might be the right one. If she makes a right move, and is praised, she will safe to make other right moves.

It is pouring so hard with over an inch of rain today, so being able to work with her in the new barn addition was great. It makes me want to keep the barn addition a large open space but I am not sure if that is functional for us. If I were rich, and I am not, I'd build another small barn for therapy visits where I could also work animals. Who knows, maybe that will happen in time.

First things first. I really feel this little teapot of vim and vinegar is going to be fun.

Inspired by the new pony...available, just inquire