Monday, May 25, 2015

The Name Game

You know what?  I've always hated the name Licorice.  I let my previous trainer talk me into keeping it because she believed you don't change their names once they have them.  Having worked a LOT with rescue animals, I'm all about starting a new life with a new name.

Also, Licorice just doesn't roll off the tongue.  There aren't good nick names.  It feels trite.  His original owner was a young girl, so it's probably like my first dog who got the moniker "Holly Jolly Christmas".  At least it had a decent nickname with Holly!

So...I've decided to change Licorice's name.  I have a front runner that I'm trying out this week, but if anyone has any suggestions I'd love to hear them.  I love the big Italian names (Valerio!) but they were too fancy for Licorice.  His personality reminds me most of (get ready for corny here...) Black Beauty, but I can't name him that...because, no.  But he deserves a different name.  He's a kind hearted gentleman with a lot of try and a bit of a sensitive soul.

Anyone with experience with this, let me know how you let the rest of the world know (like your barn, friends etc.).

What name goes with this face??

We've completed a week of training with a new trainer (J) and had a lesson with the other trainer (E).  I'm getting such good stuff.  As we were walking around the property with Licorice on a gorgeous sunny day, I laughed and said "Are you ever surprised people pay you to do this?"

E smiled and said "I'm more of a relationship counselor than I am a riding instructor."

And she is.  She's expensive, but worth every penny.

My big take away for this week, that I got from both E and J separately, is about energy management.

E describes it this way:

You and your horse get to have a combined energy score of 10 at any given time.  You need to not go over 10 or under 10.  If it's a windy day or your horse is distracted, his energy may be at an 8.  So, you need to go in with an energy level of 2.  (note, this is not saying that you would be a lump, but that you would be very grounded and level with your energy and be pulling your energy down and not out).  Then, as your horse calms down, his energy may go down to 5 and you may need to bring your energy up to 5 to meet him.

On a hot day, when he's tired, your horse may only have a 3 so you may need to bring your energy up to a 6 to get him listening to you.  Sometimes, if he's really checked out, you may need your energy to be a 9 if he's only at a 1.  However, if you go up to 9, he's likely to switch from 1-5 pretty quickly, so you must adjust your energy.

For some reason, this totally clicked with me and we've been having major success with just staying calm, cool and focused.  I even (with the help of a friend) got him in the wash rack and got his tail washed without tying him.

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

What what?

I'm a terrible blogger right now.  But, can you blame me?  I've been dealing with this.

Hives.  All over his body.  Over and over and over again.
I couldn't get the hives to go away, so we decided to try a pasture on higher ground.  Licorice's other barns were on hills and his new pasture was pretty marsh-y, so we moved him up the hill.  This is one of his new pasture buddies.  This horse is a big dog and just wants love.

When that didn't work, we went to the full armor again.  I finally found a fly sheet that can also be a rain sheet.  Yeah!  Perfect for spring.  So, after spending my $150 on it, it's been only hot and sunny and too warm for this.  Sigh.  Of course.
 Full armor + new pasture mostly did the trick!  So then there was this!  A saddle!!!!  Hurrah!!!
So handsome.
Which then led to this!  RIDING!!!!

 We have just started a 30 day training program with a trainer that I really like.  I'm hoping to get us back on track and go from there.  If someone comes along and thinks Licorice is their perfect horse, I am open to that conversation, but I'm not going to actively market him.  Instead, I'll put some more training on him and on me and get us out.  This summer is going to be awesome.  So spoke, so mote it be.