Tuesday, September 13, 2011

day three and haflingers galore!

I just got back from my surprise destination! I am lucky enough to say that I will be volunteering for Pretty Pony Pastures!! They provide therapeutic horseback riding for children and adults that have autism, are deaf, blind, and have a variety of other disabilities. The horses that they use. . .Haflingers of course!

The lady that runs the place has 13 wonderful, beautiful Haflingers. Some have completed all their work and are used for the riding program. Others are still working on ground work and desensitization. Some are working on being ridden by riders with experience so they can transition into working with people with various disabilities. 

I cannot think of a more perfect horse than a Haflinger to do this job! While they do have a stubborn side and can be quite willful, they are also calm, have a high tolerance, and like to please people. Today, the Haflingers that were not doing ground work were out grazing. When it was time to come in for dinner, they all started to go to their paddock. But then one must have realized that hey, where we are going, there is no grass! and galloped back! A few others followed and they had to be rounded up! They are some smart horses that always think with their stomachs!

I was in charge of Buttercup to groom and do some ground work with. Buttercup was an excellent horse, but she was described as an "easy" horse! She definitely tried to test me, but she would not be a true Haflinger if she did not at least attempt! My friend, Anna, came with me and she was given Leslie to work with. Anna has never been around horses, but Leslie was a good girl and Anna did great! 

I groomed Buttercup first thing. Each horse has their own halter and lead rope on a halter hanger that has their name, a picture of them, and descriptive marking written on it. They also have their own grooming buckets and grooming brushes. Poor Buttercup got kicked sometime today, she had a gash on her leg, so I applied some Bag Balm to it. I was put with a volunteer (who was a child!) and followed her lead on ground work. They use a modified Parelli approach. We played the Friendly Game and the Circling Game. We also practiced ground-tying, walking in front of the horse without them moving their head, and backing them up using body language. It was very interesting and I learned a lot today!

Unfortunately, I did not get any pictures. We were put right to work! All the horses there live together and they live outside. They have access to a very nice shelter. They all seemed so happy! I can't wait to go back next week, they are going to let me work with a young horse who is not as easy and calm as Buttercup. Fun!!
Eight fears. . . I can do this!

Fear 1 - People. 
Strange, considering that I work with people! But in my experience, people are predictable, until they aren't. Make sense?

Fear 2 -Bugs!
Specifically flying bugs, bugs that bite, bugs that sting, and bugs with more than four legs (which is all of them!). The more legs the yuckier!

Fear 3 - Heights. 
They make me dizzy. When I go on a roller coaster, I close my eyes and hold on for my life!

Fear 4 - Knocking my front teeth out. 
Seriously. I like my teeth, they are pretty nice, if I say so myself. So I guess I can put that I am afraid of the dentist here, too. But I have had nightmares about falling up stairs and breaking my front teeth! Weird?

Fear 5 - Most social situations. 
I always wonder if I am acting appropriately, dressed appropriately (I hate dressing up, I prefer jeans and a hoodie), know what to say when. . .the list really goes on and on. It doesn't help that I am sarcastic and I have a juvenile sense of humor. So often instead of saying anything, I say nothing. . .

Fear 6 - Loss of cognitive function. 
I feel that I am a pretty intelligent individual. I usually catch on to things pretty quickly. Having dementia or Alzheimer's is very scary for me! I cannot imagine what it would be like to have to depend on people, but not know why. I applaud anyone who has or has had a loved one. It is so difficult and heartbreaking.

Fear 7 - Motorcycles. 
Well, not motorcycles, really. I enjoy motorcycles. My dad owns some and has taken me for rides and even let me drive them a short distance. I think I am afraid of idiots on motorcycles. A perfect example is today on my way home from work. Three people on two motorcycles were next to me. The light turned yellow. Guy one stopped. Guy two and girl were not paying attention and had to slam on the motorcycle brakes. Girl almost fell backwards off the bike. Then guy two decided to gun it through the light (with it being red by now), so guy one ran the light, too! Also, those people that ride crotch rockets on the freeway, weave in and out of the lanes, and pop wheelies while going 100 mph. . .scary!!

Fear 8 - Discussing my true feelings. 
I am not sure why. Maybe because my feelings were never validated or taken into consideration growing up? Maybe I am afraid of rejection? I don't know. . .or maybe I do and I am not ready to face it.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Share your thoughts or comments, I love to read them!

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.