Photo by Margaret Chant and edited by Jessica Metropulos

Monday, September 15, 2008


*Chuckles* You KNOW you have a hard-core LBI when you take off your breeches to take a shower, and Winnies Cookie crumbs spill out of nooks and crannies where there definitely SHOULD NOT be cookie crumbs.

Anyway, now that I've got that out there, you may be able to guess that I played with Prin tonight. I have been SO BUSY since Savvy Conference, this is honest to goodness (Yes, you may shoot me if you feel it necessary) my first play session with her since. I decided to start playing with Patterns, since I did after all spend over $300 on the pack-haha. Being that I only had an hour of daylight, I figured I'd spend it on the figure-8 Pattern, and then just play with some other random stuff if that went well.

So, I set up two barrels, collected my equipment (12' line, 22' line, halter, and CS) and then headed for the cabin, because knowing Prin, she's not going to want to do a whole lot without my pockets loaded with cookies. Once I got back up to the pasture, Prin, being her usual charming self, turned her butt to me, and said, very clearly "Scratch me or buzz off..." which is a habit that is getting really annoying, so I turned the tables and said "No, you buzz off, and come to me when you want to be polite." So away she went. I went about my business, saying hi to everyone, checking feet, picking burrs, and feeding the occasional cookie. It wasn't more than 2 minutes I bet, before Prin went "WAIT! didn't mention cookies in the memo! I'm here!" So I haltered her up, fed her a cookie, and we mosied to the playground.

Our adventures with figure-8's were minimal. Prin's done that pattern a zillion times, knew what I wanted, though I did find it interesting, her face seemed to brighten a bit when it became clear to her that I had a plan in mind, so I anticipate quite a bit of improvement, especially online, as we advance and play more with them.

After playing with the patterns, I started to practice some tasks for my L3, since I am still planning on filming what I can before the assessments change. That's when our session took a FASCINATING turn.

Way back in July, I sent my "Your Life is Now" video to Linda for her to view. She emailed me back, full of encouragement, but mentioned she had seen one thing in particular that made her concerned, and that was Prin's excessive tail swishing, saying that I may want to try some flyspray, because swishing is a very typical form of negative LBI feedback. Now in July, we had a HIDEOUS deer/horse fly problem, so I attributed most of it to that, but have kept my eye out for excessive swishing, especially since it's been getting cooler and the bugs have been dying off.

So anyway, I was practising some yo-yo game, trying to get it nice and light for assessment. I was only in phase 1, when all of a sudden, I realized that Prin was swishing her tail like a helicopter blade. It was 7:10 pm, and about 50 degrees, so bugs WERE NOT the cause. Usually, tail swishing is a response to either too high a phase, or going through the phases too quickly, and not allowing the horse time to think. I was only doing a phase one (or so I thought!) so it wasn't timing. But then I thought back to, oh gosh, must have been 2 or 3 years ago, someone telling me that as they got into L4 (it must have been Linda or an instructor or something)there actually got to be phases within their phase one. And that's when it hit me: I was SHOUTING at Prin with my phase 1! I moved my finger to about my hip level right next to my body, wiggled it, and BAM! Prin yoyo'd to the end of the line, light and quick, with not a single swish. SUCCESSS!

So, this is great, so now I'm thinking, this has GOT to translate to my circling game. Prin's been getting duller and duller, and for the longest damn time, I haven't been able to figure out why. Well, with my new insight, I immediately sent Prin out with my finger way down, and out she went without a swish...but at the rate of a speeding snail.

It is often suggested that when an LBI wants to go slow, ask them to go slower, and they'll get interested, and finally start to offer more. With Prin, it's been kind of iffy with that, because generally when I ask for slower, she goes "Thanks, I've been hoping you'd say that." So tonight, I decided I needed to up the ante a bit and really make SLOW uncomfortable. So, our new game, instead of "slow down" is "If you want to go slow, you'd better LAY ON THE BREAKS...or I'm going to stop you myself, and it won't be nearly as fun." So every time she'd slow down, I'd slow her down faster. The look on her face throughout this entire thing was my inspiration for my title..."Wait...WHHHAAAA???!!?" CLASSIC!

Eventually, after 10-12 repeats of this game, Prin was like "Okay, you know what, I REALLY LIKE trotting and cantering online! Going slow SUCKS!" and me, being a proud mommy, brought her in, fed her a cookie, and called it an evening.

Now everyone scratch their chins and say with me: "Hmm....HOW INTERESTING!!!"

OH! And just for giggles, at the Savvy Conference, they gave out the daily program with a 4-chart center fold to map your horse's horsenality by savvy. I managed to lose mine, so I did a chart for each for Prin tonight, and here are the results. Gee...I dont' have an LB horse, do I?

Horsenality Online
Online she's a fairly extreme LBI, though after tonight...

Horsenality at Liberty
Liberty is, I think, her second favorite savvy...She REALLY loves Freestyle, but is LBE pretty much in both

Horsenality Freestyle
LBE in freestyle...definitely her best and favorite.

Horsenality Finesse
Finesse. A fairly even split. She's good at finesse, and we both enjoy it, so she feels pretty well rounded there.

Now according to the aptitude article, my horse definitely falls into LBI with LBE tendencies...gee, surprised? NAH!

Savvy out!


Katie Oostman said...

I noticed the same thing with Summer! (The part about to big of phases) The first couple days, Phase 4 wasn't enough, but by the end of the week all I had to do was look at her with 'the face' and she put it in gear backwards. It is amazing how sensetive they are! I like the 4 savvys horsenality chart, I'll have to try that sometime!


Jeanne said...

Hmmm, how interesting! Thank you for the new insights into my own LBI/LBE! Today, when I play with Cheerios, I'm keeping in mind the phases within Phase One, because it really explains why he responds the way he does sometimes, and to match what he wants to do and do more of it ("you want to go slow? OK... go SLOWER! You want to stop? OK, stop. No really. No, REALLY.") My quiver of savvy arrows just got bigger.