This blog is dedicated to my friend, my mentor, and the best teacher I have ever had. Without him, I would not have embarked on this amazing journey. Split, this blog is for you!
Ponderosa Misty Icon, aka "Split," is a handsome gray Welsh pony who came to me via a phone call "out of the blue" (actually Peterborough, Ontario). Our first few months together were rocky to say the least, which made me question my ability as a horse owner, as a horsewoman, and as a rider. Forty years of horse ownership had not prepared me for this little gray pony!
But we muddled through and because of Split, I have begun a journey that is both spiritual and enlightening. I hope something here resonates with you and that you'll check back now and then.
We leave you with one of our favorite quotes: "The best whisper is a click!"

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Hay, Let's Be Polite!

With our most recent storm, the snow accumulation in our area of upstate NY is right around 4'!! I don't have an indoor arena or a big barn aisle so clicker activities are limited to, uh.........well, not much, actually! LOL I do some review stuff like "back up, please," or "Grown Ups Are Talking" (my personal favorite) but that's about it right now.
As you all know, I have a very smart, very loving and kind Welsh pony who is quite willing to try just about anything I ask of him. However, "smart" and "pony" can also lead to some shenanigans! Split has learned to wait politely for his hay, however, he used to run up and literally yank the flake out from under my arm, and lately, whether out of boredom or just to keep me on my toes, he's resorted to doing that again! Snow or no snow, bored or not, that just isn't acceptable. AHA! This is something we can work on! I started by walking toward the stall door with hay under my arm. When Split ran up to the door, I retreated and just stood there. When he backed up a few steps, I approached the door, and so on. He finally figured out that the hay was NOT going to come to him if he impolitely demanded it! As soon as he figured out that he had to stand away from the door and wait, I went into the stall. OOPS! Bold boy that he is, he snatched a mouthful of hay and ran away! ha ha ha Clearly this would not do, either. So, next round (next feeding, that is), I waited til he stood away from the door, opened it, took a step or 2 into the stall......as soon as Split came forward for his "free grab," I stepped back and shut the stall door.
Hmmmm..........The thing is, at no time was Split angry or aggressive......he was just "having me on" as I've heard them say on Brit TV. I think he knew I was missing our clicking so he gave me something to play with. Anyway............All of this morphed into: Split sees me get the hay; he walks outside and waits; I bring him the hay; we do "Grown Ups Are Talking" for a few seconds and he stands quietly and politely (after all, this was HIS idea of a game, not mine! LOL) and I click and deliver his dinner. It's actually been fun to review all of this with him and I'm looking forward to what he thinks up for us next!!
And Jingle the mini donk? As always, she simply waits for her dinner to be delivered, always patient, always happy, always thankful. After all, she IS the Queen!!!

To carry his load without resting, not to be bothered by heat or cold and always be content: these three things we can learn from a donkey
Indian Proverb

1 comment:

  1. Karleen--

    where do you find your quotes?

    The are always so appropriate!
    I love this donkey proverb. The donkeys I have known have all been very content. They seem to be quite happy creatures.