Sunday, December 11, 2011

Bonding time with Suri and Voelie

This weekend I was quite tired from lots of work (very bussy at the moment) so I did not feel like riding but did feel like spending time with my horses so it was time for some long grooming sessions and doing re-establishing some groundwork.
Suri is doing great, it really felt like we had a moment of bonding with the grooming, sometimes you just feel the bond getting stronger and this weekend we had such a moment!
With Voelie I am so proud of how she is coming along,. She usesd to move around a lot while being groomed and be quite jumpy all the time but now she seems to be getting so much more relaxed. Also the groundwork is coming along. I did lots of flexing and stretching with both of them and I got Voelie to kneel down! This was not exactly my plan but it worked out this way and she thought this was what I ment and just calmly accepted it and when I let go just stood up again! I was amazed at how calm she was!
I have a Christmas photoshoot planned next weekend and am trying out some decorations on the horses. Nothing too fancy yet but it is good practice.


  1. Kneeling! A trick Curly. Can't wait to see your Christmas decoration Curlies.

  2. Hello Jessica,
    Please explain to me how your taught Voelie to kneel. I know, from what you wrote, that she offered the behavior and you rewarded it. What did you do to help her to offer the kneel? If you want to reply privately my email is
    I am asking because I want to teach Lyle to kneel. This coming spring a handicapped lady named Cindy is coming up to ride him, if he is ready. I would love to surprise the lady and ask him to kneel for her. (To be honest, Lyle will never be for sale now. He is my horse friend and he enjoys my company.)
    Thank you for letting me be so bold as to ask you to teach me.
    Penny Johnson
    Bonners Ferry, Idaho USA
    P.S. Jessica, yes imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. I would love to learn from you.

  3. Hello Penny,

    I have not actually trained Voelie to kneel yet but she offered it voluntarily. I hope now by rewarding her to see if she will offer this again and it can become an exercise she knows and is comfortable with. I am looking up a lot of information on this kind of training and hope to do more of this what we in Dutch call "freedom dressage' but I don't think the translation is quite right. It means all kind of exercises you can do on or next to the horse such as special steps, kneeling, the more advanced exercises are ones of the Spanish riding school.
    The theory I read about most ofen is that horses offer all these movements at liberty when they are out playing, stretching, showing off play fighting together with other horses etc. The key is to think up some commands that all sound different for the things you want to teach and when you see your horse doing certain things to use these commands so that they can learn.
    I hope this makes some sense. When I really teach Voelie how to kneel and am certain that she ubnderstands the exercise I will let you know again what I did to reach that point!



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