Sunday, January 16, 2011

I'm a genius.  A complete genius ;).  A couple of not-so-good things have happened lately that I'm not allowed to talk about (except with Sonny ;} ) so I came up with a way to cut the feed bill in more than half or even annihilate it ;).  I have it down to (for four horses, two milking goats on a 28.00 a bag feed, 2 labs, 1 chihuahua, and 2 cats.  We are also going to have a couple of baby goats in the next month or two) 338-400$ :).  It used to be 1,000$ a month!  I figured that if I have 5 students a week at 20$ a hour (half of what everyone else charges per hour) I can cut it down to 0$ :).  I think I can maybe get 5 a week I may be able to only get 2-3 at first but Sonny and I are in boot camp starting tomorrow and I think in 2-3 months we should be able to get students :).  Especially for 20$ a hour.  That's how much most people charge for a half hour down here :).  I'm really excited though!  It'll be cool to be able to help pay for my own horses (and everything else's) feed...  I also hope to be able to get Sonny's liberty up to par fairly quickly.  He already does walk/halt/backup stick-2-me fairly well without any prior OnLine work.  Once he's in shape I'm going to work on our Finesse a bit more.  But why don't I talk about my session yesterday?

I walk out with the purpose of cleaning up the barn and putting all of our tack on the shelves, hooks, and saddle stands that the guys had made earlier in the day.  After putting everything up I head out to where the girls and the neighbor twins and their little brother were playing volleyball.  I watch for a couple of minutes before heading back to the barn to grab Sonny.  I walk in and grab my featherlight. Letting myself in through a stall I walk around to about 8-10 feet from his head.  He acknowledges me and I ask him to join me.  He declines and goes back to his wisp of hay.  I start to arc around to is hindquarters in a crouched 'stalking' position.  I take my rope and carrot stick (which is now my tie-dye stick) and ask him to move his hindquarters and join me.  I slowly up the phases and when I hit phase 2-3 he moves his hindquarters and comes up to me and 'stick-2-me'.  I loop the featherlight around his neck and tie it off.  We step into the stall, I open the door out into the main aisle of the barn and we step out.  He starts 'hay-diving' but when I gently remind him of his previous lesson he shapes himself back up.  We head out to where everyone is playing volleyball and I gently ask him out onto a walk circle.  He obliges.  He walks for a lap before I ask for a change of direction.  When I ask I make sure I get both eyes before I send him back out.  He and I have always had issues with our changes of direction but he's gotten a ton better now that I do the 2 eyes thing and have been working in the cordeo.  I ask for one going the other direction before I ask for a trot.  His trot is very connected and very sane.  After 1 lap I ask for a lap going the other direction.  When he completes his lap I ask him in and walk out to the volleyball area.  They were breaking up to eat dinner so I head to the front yard to let him graze and let me think of ways to bring down the feed bill.  We're out there for a couple of hours before the neighbors come back over with around 6 more teenage boys for the manhunt game my siblings and the neighbors were going to play.  I put down a couple rules (I was the designated chaperone *rolls eyes*  I greatly dislike manhunt...  Especially with people I do not know and who act like these people do ;P) and hop onto Sonny.  I play around, go over a few jumps and just make sure everyone's behaving.  I get bored before long and head back to the barn and stick Sonny in his stall and sit in with Toby.  After a while they come and get me saying that I have to go over with them to Cameron's house...

Thursday, January 13, 2011

I'm very proud of myself :).  My timing, feel, and patience levels have skyrocketed all of the sudden.  I don't know what triggered it but I'm glad something did.  It also has helped me feel happy and content when I work on the ground.  Not uptight and tense.  Whatever's working better keep working ;).

Sonny has had two sessions since I last posted.  One was last night and the other was the day before.  I'll start with the day before's.  I'm going to try writing in a more 'story' style because I think that that might help me get my feelings and what was happening down better :).

The air had a bit of a chill to it, which I was reveling in seeing how I live in Southwest FL.  My feet bare crunch on the shale driveway.  Children are playing on the trampoline and our two dairy goats are staring at them from the other side of the fence begging to be let on with them to play.  I walk into the barn, nab a featherlight and let myself into the first stall and open the back gate, calling for the horses.  Horses, goats, dogs, and cats come running.  I lean down and give the dogs a pat.  Sonny walks up asking a question.  I loop the featherlight around his neck and reply to his question by saying, yes he can go into his stall.  I open the stall door and step out of the barn.  Sonny immediately starts diving for leftover hay and I think nothing of it and just keep plowing ahead.  I get out by the trampoline and volleyball court (Lexi's a volleyball junkie) and ask him to circle around me at a nice connected walk.  At first he fights me and eats grass every chance he gets (aka every time I go into neutral or semi-neutral) but then I go, Hmmmm, how interesting!  I start to play a game with him.  He understands that when I point he should get with the wind and when he doesn't I know he's slackin' himself off.  So, every time he would stop I would point, then tag where he's standing.  He comes around again and grass dives.  Facing him I point, then tag the spot.  He jumps about 10 feet in the air and picks up a trot.  I want a walk so I pick my stick up, wiggle it in front of him and he walks.  Throwing a look my direction of wonder and just incredibility he stops and grass dives checking to see if it was just a fluke what I just did.  I point and just as I raise my stick to swing he takes off at a trot believing me that he'd better get out of there.  I ask for a walk and he starts licking and chewing.  I go into neutral and see what he was going to do when he got to the best 'grass spot'.  He pulls and looks like he might just nibble that grass but decides against it.  He starts to walk along with the funniest look.  It's a look of just pure amazement that I could make it so he wouldn't eat that grass...  I'm standing with a smug look on my face and I ask him to come in, and he obliges.  Dad starts yelling for me to milk the goats and feed the animals.  So, Sonny and I head towards the barn.  Much to his happiness...

That session probably only lasted around 5-10 minutes but it turned out very well and I think he had fun 'cause the next time I came to get him he came right up and bent his neck around (the way my horses accept being haltered.  I halter from the shoulder so they bend into me so it's easy for me to put the halter on.  Both Sonny and Toby will bend their necks if I do.  Sonny even does it from the saddle :} ) for me to halter him :}.  I'll post about my other session tomorrow...  I have to leave to go home b/c I just finished my drug and alcohol online test so I can go in and get my permit :).  Hopefully I'll get it next week...  Yay!  lol ;).  Oh, and when I find my camera charger I'll post some pictures :).

Monday, January 10, 2011

Happy Birthday to me... And I worked with Toby...

Happy Birthday to me,
Happy birthday dear me-e,
Happy Birthday to me!

I'm fifteen (or my b-day was yesterday) and I feel no different...  But, I got an HP laptop computer, The Carolyn Resnick Method, Naked Liberty (a horse book by Carolynn Resnick ;}), 40$ Kindle gift card, some old earings of my great grandma's, a day out shopping, lunch, and movie with my dad's mom, money, iTunes gift cards, clothes (ugh), pj's, razors (a haha joke between me and my sister.  We have issues with others using our razors so she got me a purple one ;) ), air heads, a glow-in-the-dark puzzle, a water bottle, and beef jerky (yum!).  I love being 15 ;).

Oh, and as an afterthought, I worked with Tob's day before yesterday :).It started out I was just going to paint him with fingerpaints but then I decided I might as well play with him ;).  It started out bad (I only had a neckrope on and he took off and ripped it out of my hands) but once I switched to a halter and did loads of falling leaf till he was LB he was good :).  We walked across the pasture and I checked him to make sure he was still with me, he was, so I let him off.  He stayed connected but then I had to run to see what mom needed...  I'm glad I let him off when I did and didn't push him more :).  It had him confused ;).

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Goals for the month of January

So, I decided to post goals once a month and once a week.  I think it'll help me keep on task and these goals will come into effect tomorrow.  I felt that if I posted them I would feel like I *had* to accomplish them because I had told others them :).  Enjoy!

Goals for the month of January:

Everyday Things:
     -finish school on time everyday
     -get grades turned in
     -wake up at 4am (instead of 5am like I've been doing) in order to do my Quiet Time without everyone disturbing me
     -work with both Sonny *and* Toby everyday or every other day
     -work up a schedule
     -make sure 'V' is set to TeVo
     -get needed equipment for my 'rider exercises'
     -start doing my 'rider exercises' everyday to get myself in shape for when Sonny and Toby are in shape and ready to be ridden again
     -'Bling' my Kindle skin
     -start sketching
     -print out photo's to put into frames and my corkboard thing
     -start managing my time better
Blog Designing/Writing:
     -finish designing 'Beautiful Hope'
     -sharpen my blog designing skills
     -blog daily
     -start writing again
     -start using my sewing machine more
     -sew Sammy a dog bed to match my room
     -hem the sewing table's tablecloth
     -buy materials for cloak and sew cloak
     -sew Hailey's saddle cover
     -crochet Anna Grace's soaker cover
     -knit and crochet blanket
Furthering Knowlege via DVD's, books, CD's, etc:
     -watch all of the freestyle and Finesse DVD's
     -rewatch Success Series
     -watch Carolyn Resnick vids when they come in
     -finish Mark Rashid's book 'Whole Heart, Whole Horse'
     -read Carolyn Resnick's 'Naked Liberty'
     -read Mark Rashid's book 'Horses Never Lie'
     -buy more Mark Rashid books for the Kindle
Handy Woman's Work:
     -figure out how to use the scraps and make some jumps and obstacles
     -beg dad to show me how to use a saw
     -paint said jumps with leftover paint from house
     -get Papa to put up roundpen (LAST year's b-day present) BEFORE or close after my b-day (9th of Jan)
     -get barn into order
     -help dad put shelves up for tack
     -figure out how to fix and then fix attic door
     -barefoot hoof trimming
     -Blog Design
     -how to make a loom
     -cheese making
Medical and Caretaking:
     -start new herbal dewormer
     -read herbology book
     -learn to be more proactive
     -learn to use my imagination
     -start using featherlights as a cordeo and rope
     -start waterhole rituals

For Sonny and Toby:
     -start waterhole rituals
     -practice without halter and only cordeo
     -use my imagination
     -play with the horse that shows up
     -read him *super* closely
     -work on Z5 driving for Sonny and try starting with Toby
     -work on loose, connected, engaged walk and maybe trot circle with lots of slack on cordeo rope
     -start building up their backs to prepare for riding

For Rambo:
     -have Hailey start waterhole rituals
Online (teach all of this in Hailey's lessons)-
     -loose, connected walk circle on 12'
     -finish L1
     -work on his walk/trot tansitions
     -if comfortable start Z5 driving with two reins
     -buy Hailey 22' featherlights for her b-day so she leaves mine alone

For Arby:
-n/a until she gains a little bit more weight...

For Goats:
-work on their feet
-give them a trim

Sammy (chihuahua):
-bring him out every hour
-work on heel, sit, and stay
-bathe him!

Big Dogs (Jake and Levi):
-hang with them

Sunday, January 2, 2011

New Year Promises...

If you know me in real life you'd know I can be rash, unpredictable and a bit crazy.  You would also know I'm not real diligent.  I have a bulldog tenacity, when it suits.  When I don't really want to do something that tenacity floats away.  I'm also an overachiever.  Every year I make a huge list of 'year end resolutions'. And do I stick to it?  Nope.  But this year is going to be different.  Attainable.  Things I actually need to do.  Not just things I might want to do...  So,

I Promise...

1- to never forget Yahweh again                     
This year (and the year before) has been a year of trials.  I don't understand why they're happening, but they are.  During all of it I forgot about Yahweh.  About his unfailing love.  About his promises.  Instead I 'disowned' him.  I blamed him.  I hated him for allowing this to happen.  I turned my back on him and fell into a deep depression.  A depression I'm still struggling with.  I learned to hate.  I turned bitter.  I grew rebellious.  I hated life itself.  But, I had an encounter with Yahweh.  And I turned away, again.  I had yet another encounter.  And I rejected it.  Why?  I don't know.  But someone who has turned into my mentor opened my eyes.  So, in return, my first resolution is to never forget again.

2- to wake up at 4am to have my Quiet Time           
 I know one of the reasons me and Yahweh aren't close is because I very rarely ever study his word.  This year that's going to change.  My favorite time is when it's dark out so what I plan on doing (starting tomorrow) is going outside to sit with the animals while I do my Quiet Time.  The only time I'm ever really at peace is when I'm outside and the stars are out.  I don't know why but it's kind of like the song 'Stars' by Switchfoot.
But when I look at the stars,
when I look at the stars,
when I look at the stars I see someone else

When I look at the stars,
the stars, I feel like myself
I really relate to that.  When I look at the stars I see someone else and I feel like myself.  I've considered turning nocturnal but I don't think my family would be too thrilled ;).

3- to pray                                            
My prayer life has always been very lax.  I know Yahweh wants to talk to me and I want to talk to him.  I need to remember just to shoot little prayers up to him of thankfulness and just wanting to talk to him.  When I was doing that (very short lived) I was happy and content.  I want to have that feeling always.

4- to apply my bulldog tenacity to every part of life 
Like I said before, me and diligence no longer go hand-in-hand.  But I want us to be BF's.  By the end of the year I'll let y'all know how it's going ;).

5- to become the best horseman I can be               
I feel like I've let my horses down and my horsemanship slip.  I decided that Parelli is not for me.  I want a relationship like the one Carolyn Resnick has with her horses.  So, I'm starting 'The Carolyn Resnick Method'.  I feel like that will restore the relationship with my horses and help me to want to hang out with my horses again...

In 2011 I'm going to take charge of my life and become the best person I can be.  And be as close to Yahweh as I can...

A Good Poem...

When you run so fast to get somewhere
you miss half the fun of getting there
if you worry and hurry through your day
it's like an unopened gift
thrown away
Life is not a race
Do take is slower
hear the music
before the song is over."