Sunday, May 30, 2010


Half way! Although today was a short ride in the ring. Cici didn't really want to walk around like yesterday. Maybe I wasn't as focused as yesterday. Definitely more of "Don't touch the reins, which moves the bit" going on. Hmmm how interesting. I've been soft and quiet and gentle. Think I need to do a bit more of what Avery had suggested the first time I rode with her. Lateral flexion and disengagement until she softens.

She stops at the slightest lift of the reins. She stops when I stop riding. But even with the stop comes a moment of brace and then chewing. When I ask her to keep moving but to bend or stay on a circle and am lifting the rein for minor corrections I am getting the bracing in earnest. Today she was putting her head up - the place I don't like her to do - and then putting her head down - that's okay. Guess she is trying all sorts of things.

So that is the true benefit of blogging. I am not on her and I am thinking about what went on. Oh boy - I see things differently here in front of the computer. Not on her. She is experimenting. Great. Trying different things. Great. I just need to hang in there. Quiet persistence in the proper position. Hope my position is proper.

Today I think I was definitely in straight line thinking more. Get one more ride. Get one more ride. And Cici was thinking, oh not again. Just hanging out in the ring. I am ready for the trails. When will she be?

Saturday, May 29, 2010


A reprieve - only need 9 more or total of 14 rides before going out on trails. Cici's ready, working on me. So with today that is 8 more. A little more than a week if I can get on everyday. Here's hoping.

I've been trying to come to terms with the western saddle. Finally dawned on me how different is is from the Keiffer dressage I've ridden in for the last what 14 years! At first I was thinking its the twist but its way more than that. The Keiffer put you in a position and you stayed there. No place to go. It didn't have the knee blocks, but the saddle itself held you. The Parelli western saddle it like sitting bareback. More depends on you! or me!

As I learned when I started riding Jeepers with a rope halter that I was balancing with my hands, well now I'm realizing how the saddle kept me in position. At least we are not balancing with our hands LOL. But need to relearn how to sit. Balance point. Balance period.

Friday, May 28, 2010


I had my hands on the back of Cici's knee - I was squatting down while I kept my hands still. Casey came over to me and lifted his nose to my face - for kisses! So I'm holding her knee, and madly kissing Casey as he just holds his nose up. Cici looks down at all the kissing going on and she lowers her nose to my face so I can now kiss her! And then she and Case kiss!

Boy the loving just keeps going on in the paddock. LOL.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Our Anniversary

Today is Cici and my First year Anniversary. It is also Rob and my Thirty-nineth year Anniversary.

My present to Cici was just to hang out with her today. No plans, no agenda. She came to me at the gate and I just smoothed my hands over her, stopping where they wanted. Her present to me was she stayed with me soaking me in. I stood in one place and she moved around me. She licked, chewed, gut sounds increased, lifted her tail to pass gas (oh how wonderful) and yawned and yawned and yawned. What could be better?

I am noticing she likes the energy work better than scratching or even massage. And quite often after she chews and sighs she will turn her head to me and want to put her nose in my hands, which I offer cupped to her. She will then wiggle her nose in them and lick.

Saturday, May 22, 2010


Cici seems to enjoy the meridian points I'm doing. She will bend her head and inspect the point on her side sometimes. She even puts her nose to my face and breathes me in. She relaxes and I melt.

Had the indoor to ourselves. She managed to scare herself on the circle while cantering. She missteps in the footing, struggles to regain balance and away she goes. But now even when she is most worried she will look in to me and turn in as if to say, "Save me". Comes directly to me and licks and chews.

I'll admit I get a bit worried when she gets like this. And wonder if she is going to be able to focus on me and can I get on. Today Mary came into the ring with Violette and PJ. She was having Violette get on and I was not going to do anything that might cause PJ to take one misstep. So I stood for a while quietly with Cici, asked her to do figure 8s around the barrels and then more waiting. During this Cici came back to me and licked and licked and chewed and got soft eyed and nosed me.

Figured lets saddle up and see where that goes. Once Mary, Violette and PJ left the ring I had Cici on the circle again. And she was soft and moving with a lovely trot. Couple of change of directions and we were ready to mount up.

Today she was willing to walk around the arena on the rail. I wanted to just be walking and not worried about walk two steps and stop. She was responsive to rein but still has a brace about the bit. Braces and licks and chews. Its kind of funny. The don't do that - oh okay. I am trying to be supper light. But holding until she gives. So there was lots and lots of slurping as she chewed the bit. And I was able to figure out how I'm sitting in the saddle. Still not completely one with it. But then again had 12 years in my Keiffer. Not feeling the overwhelming fear. I'd say I feel a bit cautious. But that good. Progress.

I can reach out and touch her poll and she drops her head in a beautiful arch. Playing with that especially on the dismount, as she will throw her head up when I lean forward to dismount. Hmm how interesting! Mary said she got that it is old muscle memory. Guy's saddle pinched when he shifted his weight to dismount.

Thursday, May 20, 2010


Was away for a couple of days. Yesterday just hung out with Cici. Margaret gave me new points to check on her. Some are relaxation, some are letting go, some are dealing with stuff. Sounds like points for me.

Today did the points, groomed, then played on the ground. Mixed things up. It interesting that right now Cici does not want to leave me and go out on a circle. I have to bring up my energy and drive her Zone 2. Keep the pressure up in front of the drive line.

Saddled her and back on circle. She seemed calm and quiet. Then got a little worried so change of direction and asked for canter. Whole circle going to right and half a circle going to left. Go figure.

I got on and found myself calmer, able to focus on my position in the saddle. Cici was very nice. She would walk a few steps and stop. I thanked her and then would have to ask her to go. She would walk a few more steps and stop. I thanked her and then would have to ask her to go. Still getting resistance when I ask for any bending. But she will quickly give and then lick. Cici was certainly taking care of me! So we walked around the indoor in a big circle a few times, she stopped and yawned and licked and I figured as I was boring my horse it was a good time to get off.

Sunday, May 16, 2010


Today I practiced mounting and dismounting. Realized with western saddle I hesitate about dismounting. At mounting block I got on and got off, back onto the block. I also had been thinking Cici might not stand still. Need to get over this and practice up and down. Each time I waited for her to lick. And then dismounted. Boy was she confused. Then I asked for a few steps forward and asked for a halt. And dismounted. Breathing again. Just taking the time.

I've been playing on the ground with lots of different things. And when we play circling game I realize that if I keep her engaged by either change of direction, 4+ times on the circle, or even getting her to canter, she will come in and immediately chew. If she is not with me it takes a lot longer for her to chew. For her to process. Hmmm how interesting.

When I was circling her with the saddle she gave several bucks. I thought oh no where are they coming from, and then she was soft and listening and had a really beautiful trot and even maintained the canter for more than half the circle.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Ride #1

Rode Cici today. Took lots of time with her in her paddock, then played all the games and then some in the indoor. Backing is coming along. I played yo-yo and got a nice lick and chew. Figure 8 around the cones. Working on developing this at the trot. Sideways - at one point I was driving from zone 3 and heading toward the wall. She turned to face the wall and then sideways the length! Her hindend is lagging a bit but nice cross stepping.

When I got on her she was quiet and focused. Quickly licked and chewed and rode with loose rein around the ring. I didn't do much of anything and she stayed on the rail and walked quietly. Not big so it was very comfortable for me. When I asked for a halt after a little while it was there and again a quick lick and chew.

This is the first ride of Margaret's 21. Will keep track and see how things progress.

An observation about the circling game. I am coming to realize that the more I ask her to do the more I get her listening. So I can let her go around 4 or 5 times and then ask for change of direction. Change of gait to canter. Today she held the canter almost the entire circle. And it was correct lead. But I need to work her for a while. Longer than I think I was doing.

Before I was afraid to do too much because then she would become unconfident. And then I would become unconfident. But both of us growing. Our emotional fitness is developing. Oh she will still get a bit frantic out on the line but I can bring her back.

Today I noticed that she was a bit spooking at the carrot stick. Her in place startles. I've been using it more with backing and sideways and to get her out on the circle. So worked a while on friendly vs intention. Will need to keep this going. I thought hmm haven't done anything with the tarp, if she is a bit spooky with carrot stick - but tarp was a total none issue. How interesting. My goal is for the carrot stick/string to be a non issue.

This is fun. Have some tools and can use them. Not all the answers but getting the questions. Who knows what tomorrow will bring.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Energy points

I'm placing my hand on the points Margaret suggested on Cici's sides. Its interesting to see if she readily accepts the energy from me and how quickly she can release - lick and chew. Sometimes it takes a while and sometimes its almost immediate. I've placed my hand on her side and felt a tingling. I've watched Cici feel the energy and start to breath rapidly and then sigh. And of course the right and left sides evoke different responses.

When I do this with Casey he bends his head all the way back to nose my hand - hey what are you doing?!?!?!

I have noticed that Cici seems, well I guess I'd say calmer. More connected. When she startles it is just in place. Like a little wakeup call. Hmm maybe that is when she is not paying attention. I'll watch that. I learn a lot by processing what happens by writing about it.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Yesterday I played the 7 games with Cici on the ground. I was thinking we haven't done much real movement for a while and she will usually porpoise and express her high energy by going straight while on the circle - you know pull me out of position. But yesterday she seemed to be listening to me. Walk, trot, canter. Well working on the canter. She willingly picks up both leads but only holds it for about 1/4 of the circle.

Lots of change of direction to start out to get her thinking. She even started to turn in at the spot I kept using a couple of times when I had decided to let her stay out on the circle. Hmmm how interesting.

Backing is getting better. Can string together several steps now. And sideways is moving along slowly. Her hind end is lagging. I think I am not in the proper position as I visualize what it looks like-will check that thought out latter today. Doing sideways along the indoor arena's wall and when she stops she stops with her forehead and face touching the wall as I wait for her to lick and chew.

Ended with a nice long grass eating session. Long enough so when I asked her to pick up her head she was soft and when we walked back to her paddock there was no grass diving.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

I found her spot!!!!

I had a fabulous time with Cici today. More in a moment. I like to be orderly. Or maybe Cici is right. She told Margaret I am a perfectionist!

Yesterday I wound up spending about 3 hours with Cici and Casey in the paddock. Kendyl was coming for last round of spring shots and poop collection on Casey. She got delayed and I had lots of time to just hang out.

Cici did a lot of approach and retreat. Sometimes she just come back to me and sometimes I'd walk towards her and she would come. At one point she positioned herself so my belly button was facing away from her body but I could still scratch her neck. Hmmm how interesting. Got lots of licking and blinking.

I had my carrot stick to keep Casey out of my space. He is such a little creep - creeping, stretching his body, inching, moving to another position. Most creative little devil.

Toward the end I even asked her to leave her hay and come to me. And stay with me a bit longer than she thought, just with body language.

Today when I was walking towards their paddock Cici nickered to me and met me at the gate. And I found her spot! I found her Spot! Above her shoulder blade, below her withers. It is bright and shiny now, The Spot, as I've rubbed off all the old winter hair.

I rubbed, scratched, even did a little energy treatment. She licked, she did mutual grooming on an upside muck bucket, she mouthed the bucket and flipped it over, she mouthed the muck rack handle, she wiggled her nose on my hand, she licked my hand, and she YAWNED and YAWNED and YAWNED!!! Hallelujah I bored my horse enough for her to YAWN!!!!! I don't remember her ever being so mouthy.

She did not move for almost an hour. I didn't move for almost an hour. I was beginning to wonder if I would be able to leave. And I continued to work on The Spot.

She defended our herd of two and shooed Casey away. At one point when she had turned her head away from me, but not her feet I had scratched Casey and I heard "ME!!!!" So I went back to rubbing, scratching her.

I asked her if I could clean the paddock. She took a step aside and then followed me around the paddock. She got caught up nibbling some errant pieces of grass and I was dragging the muck bucket toward the gate when I heard galloping behind me. It was Cici catching up with me! This is the girl I've been waiting for for so long. Hope she is there tomorrow and the next day and the next day and forever.

I am beginning to hear her. She is most emphatic right now. I heard her tell Casey, "Mine!" as she shooed him away from me. I like being hers. ; -)

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

3 of 4

The Rescue Remedy is a hit with Casey. I think he'd drink the bottle! Cici on the other hand would have nothing to do with it today. Sniffed it and turned away. I put a little bit on my finger and rubbed it onto the inside of her ear. She was not impressed.

Today she did something she never has done before. I put my hands out to her and she started licking and licking and licking them. Like an ice cream cone! Really cool.

Again she could only stay with the touching short amounts of time and then she would wander off. I noticed that as I was rubbing her she started to breathe with short breaths. Like this was upsetting her or more to the point she was getting uncomfortable with the intimacy. I told her she could move away if she needed to and she did. She went and stood at the fence she shares with another mare. Just stood there breathing those short breaths until she calmed down. Then she licked.

I figured okay I'll clean the paddock while she is recovering, move away from her to reduce any pressure she was perceiving from me. She kept an eye and ear on me wherever I was in my poop pick up. After a little while she came over and stood in front of me and pooped (she does this quite regularly when I'm cleaning up the poop - and she did it with my friends who helped me when I could not do it) and behind me I hear Casey pooping also LOL. This is new for him!

I put the fork down and she came over and I rubbed her a bit. And she walked back to the fence but I noticed that she was licking and chewing. I worked my way through the paddock and she came over again. I was scratching her neck and she moved her head and neck away from me, didn't more her feet. I just stood still. She swung her head back to me and I waited and then raised my hands to her. She moved her head away again. Still keep her feet still. I love seeing these things. Finally she walked away.

I finished the poop patrol and went to sit on the rock. Casey came right over, crowding and wanting treats so I have to work hard at backing him out of my space. And keeping him there. While I focused on him Cici ambles over. Now to my right I am trying to calmly set a feeling of comfort. Come stay a while. In front of me is Casey and I'm working on keeping him back, respect my space. Talk about being a split personality!

Toward the end of my play session she was back eating her hay. I held up her halter for her to see and said come with me and we can go eat grass for a little while. She turned and followed me across the paddock to the back gate where I then put on her halter. Cool!

When we got back to the paddock after I took off her halter I put a little Rescue Remedy on my finger again and rubbed it on the inside tip of her ear. She closed her eyes and relaxed!

What I am experiencing is she is practicing approach and retreat. And a little come closer stay longer. All truly amazing. She likes to be in control and choose when she comes to me, but she is also accepting my invitations more readily (like the come lets graze). And she clearly expects me to stay in the paddock with her. Today I was with her about an hour and when I left she quickly walked to the gate and looked after me, Hey not yet!

Monday, May 3, 2010

2 of 4

Margaret recommended 4 days of Rescue Remedy for Cici to help work on our connection, and 7 days for Casey.

Today was interesting. Oh each day is interesting! Cici was willing for me to work on her GB21, just in front of the scapula. She licks and chews quicker. Also worked on the place at the base of her neck, massaged there and worked my up her neck along her mane. I could feel her having difficulty with the intimacy today. Enjoys it but not ready to show it. She feels caught between old and news ways. I didn't push it and she walked back to her hay.

So I went to sit on my rock which is located to the left of where she was eating. Casey of course came over and today he was back to being bold. When I was paying attention to Cici he nipped me so I got into my perfectionist mode and made him back up out of my personal space. I told him to ask Cici about my being a perfectionist! He then leaned forward, or slowly shifted a foot forward and I'd back it right up. He licked and chewed, he looked at me with soft eyes. He tried his whole repertory. He even lowered his head and looked dejected (I didn't believe him for a moment). When all this failed he walked away and approached me again from the side! LOL.

I got up once and Cici came to me for more scratching, face rubbing and once breathe exchange. Then back to her hay. She just could not stay today. Not a problem. I went back to sitting and over about 15 minutes she grazed her way to me. So it was more a matter of coming and going than staying.

I had an appointment so I could not spend my usual long amount of time in the paddock with her today. She was eating her hay again when I left. As I walked out the gate she lifted her head and quickly walked to the gate and looked at me. Hey why are you leaving? Too soon.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Cici connection

We've had a bump in our journey so I'm taking a bit of a step back for a little while. Working on a more effective backup and sideways. And I am working with a distance energy healer realigner amazing person Margaret. She has told me things that I had no idea about Cici, and things that I suspected and things that I knew.

With Margaret's help working on make that heart connection with Cici, having her do the ultimate let go and let me in. Can't even describe what Margaret does but today had a different Cici. I could tell this was hard for her and could not stay with it for long amounts of time.

I ran my hands down her neck to GB21, a place just in front of her scapular that she indicated to Margaret was a favorite place. And I started scratching and rubbing the area. I could feel her hesitate under my hands. "Should I let her in?" She slowly allowed it and after a little while sighed. I felt the tight muscles slowly begin to relax.

I moved to the relaxation point on her neck that Margaret also mentioned, just at the base of the neck before the withers. After a moment's hesitation she dropped her head and chewed.

I held my hand up to her face and she rubbed against it - hard! up and down and all over, rubbed her eyes and then licked and chewed.

She keep putting her nose first in my hair and then right in my face so I could breath into her nostrils and we could exchange our life energy softly.

She placed her cheek on mine and we just stood there. And tears came to my eyes. I told her how much I loved her and wanted her to be able to express her love back. That I wanted to hear her and talk with her.

She placed me on her right side and I scratched under her mane from ears to mid neck at which point she leaned, and I mean leaned into me to scratch harder and then wrapped her head and neck around me. Sigh (that is me sighing)

Each one of these events took place and then she would take a step back. At one point she walked away and I thought okay enough for now so I went to sit on the big rock in her paddock where I used to sit. She walked over to the corner of her paddock and pooped and then walked back to where we had been! I got up and walked back to her.

I scratched her butt - and she stretched her neck out and then walked away.

This opening her heart to me is hard. She has kept a shell around herself for so long. I can feel it cracking. I am crying as I write this. This is such a huge step toward my dream with her.

Casey was also a bit more respectful and wanting the love and attention. When Cici left again to eat her hay and I sat down he quickly came over to me and showed me where I could scratch him! LOL He totally leaned into the scratch, stuck his nose in the air and made it long. He has no problem showing what he wants and his appreciation. Or displease when I stopped - he nipped. So I told him nip no scratch, soft nose I'll scratch. He's such a fast learner- got soft nose so I had to work harder!