I had a wonderful day today with the horses and have much to report back to you…
Even though it was hot hot hot – and 100 by 11 a.m. 😦
Anyway let’s focus on the good. First, after doing some liberty work with Z, we did some work in a neckrope. This is a cotton rope that is fastened loosely about her neck and during the work, the rope has plenty of float (that’s the term Dorrance uses for slack that is not dragging the ground nor is tight).
I tried this with T-man years ago (way before Z entered the picture) and it was a failure. All I had to go by was some photos in Klaus Hempflings book Dancing with Horses and not much else. I didn’t know how he fastened it, how he cued the horse (who was more used to a halter) to follow his dancing or much else. I was also vague about what it accomplished but it looked so great…!
Well today was the closest I’ve every gotten to making it work and it is so exciting to see the progress Z and I have made over the last year!
My discoveries and thoughts:
1.) Until you master the horse paying attention to you and following you about (like on a halter/leadrope, lungeline or liberty work), this will not work for the average (me) horse person.
I am convinced that certain folks, Hempfling among them, probably has a lot of natural animal magnetism that I simply don’t have.
2.) All the companion walking really paid off – this is where your homework will lead you to your dream!
3.) The cotton rope I used had a clasp at one end. I put it about Z’s neck and then parted one of the strands of the rope and connected it on, making sure it was quite loose about her neck but not to the point of falling off.
4.) More work is needed on changing directions so it becomes a better flow. Right now the dance has a lot of fits and starts while the two partners learn how not to step on each others toes and who the lead is.
Wow! What really impresses me is the natural, relaxed headset and movement she achieves in this video. Some of her bends flow and are so effortless – and all without anything on her face which let me tell you is far more hard then it looks.
She has come soooo far this last year! I am so proud of her!