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Posts Tagged ‘horses’

Yesterday I spent the day with another horse nut who was eager to learn more about Peruvian horses. Sandra and had I connected on Peruvian Horse World (if you’re not on there, you should be), a social networking site for Peruvian enthusiasts. She’s a lifelong horse lover who’s in search of a smoother ride and new adventures.

It’s been a very long time since my first ride on a Peruvian. It was way back before Wonder Pony, my other two geldings, my kids or even my college graduation. But I still remember the thrill of it, and I felt it all over again when I watched Sandra break into a huge grin as Speedy Gonzalez took up the paso llano.

For most of us, that first ride is a game-changer. If you’ve spent your saddle time rising to or bouncing from the trot, that ground-eating glide amazing. It still is for me (unmentionable) years after the first time I set my foot in a wooden stirrup. I hope Sandra can say the same (unmentionable) years from now.

 

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Fall is my favorite time of year. It’s one of three seasons I missed growing up in the endless summers of South Texas. So I get positively giddy over the changing leaves and cooling temps.

I’m also thrilled that so many of us are getting out there and enjoying the wonderful weather, our fabulous horses and our good friends. The CSPHC had a great time in September as guests of Terri Miller and Amanda Speaker at their family homestead near Buffalo Creek. There’s also a ton of great pictures from the group who enjoyed Dawson’s Butte Oct. 22, and the Rio Grande Peruvian Horse Club had more than a few Colorado folks in their ranks that same day as they rode along Rio Chama. ┬áSeveral of us are looking forward to a ride in Ca├▒on City on Bobbi Taylor’s ranch on Oct. 29. And if you’re a Facebook friend of club member Emily Knight, you’ll see fabulous new trail photos just about every week.

Garden of the Gods is one of my favorite spots to ride in Colorado Springs.

At the moment, our first real snow of the year is coming down hard enough that I didn’t quite make it out to the barn this morning as I hoped I might. But it will be gone before we carve our pumpkins, and we’ll have more scenic trail shots to share.

Send me yours or links to your albums if you’d like to add your photos to our site.

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She only had a little lamb follow her to school. Kerry had a little horse, and he was way more fun that a bag of wool.

My daughter’s first-grade class has been studying Peru, so I loaded up Wonder Pony, donned my whites and did a quick demo for the 96 small people who brought their chairs outside for a quick lesson on our breed and a little Spanish for good measure.

Thanks so much to The Classical Academy in Colorado Springs for being cool enough to welcome us. We had a blast.

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April is Autism Awareness Month. On the surface, that doesn’t have much to do with Peruvians or horses in general. But after reading a couple of books by Temple Grandin and watching the HBO movie about her life, I’m convinced otherwise.

Grandin is a world-renowned animal behaviorist. In her books “Animals in Translation” and “Animals Make Us Human,” she goes into vivid detail about how animals see the world. She covers cattle, poultry, dogs, cats, horses and even wild animals. With each species, she explains how her autism enables her to see the world as animals do — visually and with primary emotions of fear and curiosity.

She explains that lighter-boned, hot-blooded horses tend to have stronger fear and curiosity than heavier, calmer horses. She uses Arabs as her example of hot-bloods, but I think everything she describes also fits Peruvians. For hot-bloods, punishment adds to the fear.

Through positive reinforcement and calm, gentle treatment, we keep our horses curious. When they’re curious, they’re learning, communicating and focused on the task at hand; their brio is turned up. When they’re scared, they’re in flight mode. All they can think about is escaping the fear stimulus.

I see this very clearly with Sican the Wonder Pony. As smart and malleable as he is, it doesn’t take much to push the fear button. And I’m sure there are plenty of Peruvian owners out there who’ve rescued their horses from people who just didn’t understand the damage they do through harsh treatment. The rehabilitation of an abused Peruvian is long and painstaking. For some, the trauma does permanent damage.

So it’s up to us to better educate new people about the proper care and handling of our breed, and that means we have to better educate ourselves first. Do yourself and your horse a favor and pick up Grandin’s books.

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