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Aslan: Our first day as a team

October 19, 2015

So after much though, anxiety and wondering if I am making a huge mistake, I dived in and purchased Aslan.  With the timing of me discovering his advertisement, that he's been for sale for a long time and no one scooped him up, and a few other things, the whole situation makes me think that God was okaying me to go ahead.   So I did.  Hopefully my intuition is not wrong. 

 

Aslan might not have as much training as I would like, but he is a lovely horse, we seem to have a personality match and I think I can manage this training thing.  It won't be easy, it might not even be pretty at first, but we are a match and it is possible!

 

Even better news, Stephanie invited me to a clinic.  So our first day together, we spent in training, getting to know each other.   Most of the pictures got ruined, so I don't have much to share, but it was awesome.

 

She reviewed the process of escalation of pressure.  She uses the 4 stage Parelli system.  Stage 1 is as soft as possible while stage 4 is whatever takes.  2 and 3 get progressively louder until you get to 4.  The hope is to never have to go past stage 1.  Nothing new but just a neat way of thinking about it.

 

Her backup starts with your leadrope hand, you point your finger at the horse:

Stage 1: Finger wiggle

Stage 2: Wrist wag

Stage 3: Forearm wag

Stage 4: whole arm - side to side with a lot of loose rope. - the snap will likely hit them in the chin which reinforces the "don't ignore" me part of stage 4.

 

She then taught us to pull the horse in smoothly by bending forward and pulling on the rope in a sweeping motion.

 

We even practiced these two techniques over a pole to get lightness and exactness.  Aslan did pretty well for our first day together.  He was quite distracted and looked around a lot, but that's ok.

 

We practiced running beside our horse again and also did the running desensitizing technique (run beside and toss the carrot stick rope over and around).  When I attempted to move up and ask for different speeds, you could see that he was nervous.  I was not standing close enough at times, and Stephanie