Saturday, May 31, 2008

Skippa Little Lyle, the new and improved 2008 model

Somewhere during the last three years, amidst the on again-mostly off again training of Lyle, a change has occurred, in him and in me. Witness the beauty of a relaxed horse, standing patiently tied.
(That’s my favorite quick-release knot, by the way...I feel a photo tutorial coming on.)

Anyway, six months ago, this picture would not have been possible. Lyle would have been chewing on the lead rope, tipping over the grooming caddy, moving back and forth, and pushing my buttons; I, in turn, would have taken his antics personally, gotten frustrated, and been too loud in my thoughts and actions; then we would both start our ride on a less-than-positive note.

I think I’ll just rest my head on the hitching post for awhile. I should be napping in the powder pit about now, but noooooo...she wants to go for a ride.

We started our session in the round pen, Lyle’s least favorite place in the universe. I wanted to move him around just a little bit, without a rope or a flag, just by driving him with my own energy to see how he was feeling and moving. To my amazement, he walked, stopped, and turned at my verbal requests.

That was enough for me. We left the round pen, I climbed up on the top rung of the corral, asked him to move toward me, he did, and I got on. I held a vision of how I wanted him to be, and rode him like I wanted him to be. He was soft, supple and responsive. The instant he thought about not listening to my cues, I redirected him. And we got along just fine.

It’s a new beginning for us, and I can’t wait to saddle him up again tomorrow.


  1. Woohoo!

    It sounds wonderful.

    I'm totally inspired. I have had a sort of revelation recently about my work with Keil Bay but haven't written about it yet. This post really revs me up to move on with my plan.

    Have another great ride tomorrow. It sounds like you're doing amazing work with all those animals - donkeys, horses, all of them.

  2. That's great, he looks like a really nice horse. I'm so glad to hear you had a great day and a great ride with him. Have an even more wonderful day on tomorrows ride.

  3. He's such a handsoem fella. That's so cool how the two of your were working together telepathically. I think most horse owners strive for that to happen each ride.
    Good for you.

    Oh and by the way, I was laughing when I realized that your barn metal is the same color as mine! hehe

    Oh and are those hiking boots for Lyle? My mare is barefoot, and I don't want to shoe her, but I've been reading alot about the hiking boots for horses who ride on rocky trails and roads.
    Got any opinions?

    And yes, please do a rope tying tutorial. As a new horse owner I appreciate info on everything related to horses.

  4. Congratulations - He looks like he's very content. I know that when Silk was trimmed properly after a year of bad shoeing and leg injuries, the change was so dramatic. It was back in the days when I didn't know enough to ask the right questions and the vet that the barn used was a lame-o. Lyle is probably very glad to have a purpose in his life - after a week of riding every day, he'll be looking very fit. Have fun!

  5. Lyle is such a pretty boy! It is happy that your vision came true and he worked just the way you wanted him to! Isn't it a good feeling?

  6. Twinville, the hiking boots that Lyle is wearing are the Old Mac G2s. I keep him and Hank barefoot. Lyle has a history of laminitis and the boots are a precautionary measure for when I'm riding him - they provide stability and sole protection. I abolutely love them - they're easy to put on and very durable.

  7. Thanks for letting me know about those boots. My farrier tells me that shoeing my horse is probably not the best idea and I'd prefer to keep her natural, too.
    But her poor feet have so many dings and sand cracks, I get so worried.
    I keep painting the hoof conditioner on and it does seem to help, but I worry about taking her out on the mountain trails and gravel roads.

    Do they still carry those boots in the stores? Can you recommend a brand/online resource, etc?

    Thanks in advance!!