Wednesday, September 23, 2009
I am doing the happy dance. Well I would be except I believe that is generally frowned upon in professional office settings. Not only is Cricket happy with her new feed routine but I ACTUALLY RODE MY HORSE!!!
I have Cricket on her new supplements - magnesium and spirulina. She gets her magnesium from Quiessence - a product which delivers both chelated magnesium and inorganic magnesium in the form of magnesium oxide. The spirulina I bought in bulk from Herbalcom.com, a supplier I've used for the chastetree berry that Cricket receives.
Cricket turned her nose up at the first Mg supplement I offered her. I tried Dynamite's Easy Balance - a blend of magnesium, chromium, cinnamon and maybe a few other things. I thought it smelled yummy. Cricket didn't agree. I had to cajole her at every feeding to finish her dinner.
I was a bit worried about the spirulina. It has a strong and non-to-pleasing smell. At least as far as I was concerned. I was prepared with a little extra alfalfa and some organic molasses. I mixed in all her supplements, offered her the bowl and stood back to see what might happen. Of course she blows my assumptions, sticks her head in the bowl and proceeds to lick it clean.
So I am beyond THRILLED that she is happy with the new supplements. I'm planning on keeping this protocol for the next three months. I'm just going to observe and see if I can detect any changes in her headshaking behavior.
Now the important part - I RODE MY HORSE! When I arrived at the barn last night, the rain had abated and the weather was quite pretty. I decided to get Cricket out and play with her a little in the hopes of a short ride. Lots of interesting moments . . .
Cricket was very introverted yesterday. Upward transitions on the circle elicited tail swishing. I stayed soft and repeated my request until she complied. I opted not to "raise the phase" as I figured all that would do was sour her attitude further. She was very light on her shoulder yields and very heavy on her HQ disengagement. I set up a porcupine and waited. If she leaned into me the pressure increased. I released for the best try I could read. I know I missed some key releases. But I gave myself permission not to be perfect. When she finally disengaged her HQ, I sat down and waited. And waited. And waited. And waited. And then I waited some more. It took her a very long time to lick and chew over that event. Hmm, I don't think I've been patient enough with my porcupine game.
I already had her bareback pad on so I went to switch to the hackamore. She pinned her ears so we played "evil thought = good scratches." It really disrupts her pattern when I "make" her think good thoughts about me when she's hell-bent on hating what I want her to do. Mounting caused a return of "evil thoughts" so we spend some good time at the mounting block with good scratches. By the time I hopped on, she was happy as a clam.
I played with freestyle walking on the rail. I took up just a bit of contact to trot and we played with indirect rein downward transitions (per the latest Mastery Manual on Impulsion). I got some of the best bareback trotting from her. We finished with opening the gate and going out to the field to graze.
All in all she twitched her head once or twice. Nothing sustained. I'm so thrilled with EVERYTHING!