As I shared before, I have been given the opportunity to check on and rotate the cattle for a couple months. This is a big responsibility to me, and I am looking forward to the great experiences and many lessons I know will come. I have created a program for Jesse and Taxi based on each of their horsenalities and where each of them are at. Jesse has been working with cattle for the past few years and Taxi has only been up with me a couple time over the last couple years. Jesse is LBI and Taxi is a dominant LBE, so there will be similarities between them, but very different things they each need, as well. Jesse has been off for a couple months while I’ve experimented how to help her come through some discomfort and lameness. The Sigafoo glue on horse shoes are what we’re trying currently and she is feeling great! I previously wrote about Taxi’s first experience last week. He got a little foot sore, so we are working on getting him some boots before I take him back so he doesn’t get sore again. In the mean time, Jesse has been up twice with her new glue on shoes and is remaining sound. Each session I began with playing Online using LBI strategies and Parelli patterns looking for her to be calm, connected, and responsive. That came quickly so I played with a bit of Freestyle in the arena looking for the same outcome using patterns. She is offering a lot and I spend as little time in there as possible. Both sessions of prep and warm up took about 20 minutes, each. Once we headed up the mountain, she did great. Of course, she tried to stop along the way and I used bother bother, and thunk thunk methods to help her. Then she was with me. There has been a lot of rain so the grass is high up there; she couldn’t see past this beautiful buffet 🙂 I experimented a bit during both rides on how I could do less sooner and get past it without a fight. The first ride, I used the bother bother method with my reins, which helped a bit, but didn’t last. The second ride, I used thunk thunk and experimented with two tools; my spurs and my mecate. Big change fairly quickly! She stopped trying to stop and eat, but would take a bite here and there while maintaining gait…so I smiled at how she’d found a way to maintain her responsibilities and get a little nibble. She was pretty relaxed yesterday, and I look for more relaxation if she remains comfortable and I honor my responsibilities. We added in more soft feel, especially going down hills and it was feeling super light. My number one goal is to help my horse feel like a winner each day, so I’ll keep that as a focus. The best part was coming around the hill and seeing much of the herd grazing all over the hillside. It always takes my breath away and Jesse and I just stood there for a few minutes watching them and enjoying the afternoon while I got an eye on them to be sure all was well. A soul filled afternoon…and I hope for my horse, as well.