Love the updates on Onyx! He's such a cool horse.
Love your updates and nice trailer too!
Onyx is just the most awesome horse and definitely the right temperament to work with my disability. Dr. Sara (my vet) saw him for the first time on April 27th and was amazed at how progressed Onyx and I are in only 3 months of training. He already knows the sound of my car coming over the hill and starts trumpeting when I come into view. He also gives out a loud nicker when I come into his enclosure. The more I play with him, the more Onyx is telling me about his rough handling from spring 2016. Fortunately, it's a matter of developing his trust and going slow to allow him time to think and understand what I am asking of him. He is going to be a wonderful partner for me and is already picking up where Bravo left off in helping me with my balance. Onyx stood quietly by the mounting platform (actually it's a drywaller bench from Home Depot) and with my grasping a hank of mane, I was able to get up and down on the platform. My friend Robin was going to dismount from her horse to help me and I said, "No, that's Onyx's job now." I am so looking forward to our rides and keep myself in check to not rush the progress and to remember the principles which will get us there. I am so grateful for the Parelli Natural Horsemanship program as it has made the difference in me and my being able to help Onyx.
5/21/2017: Attached are a few photos of Onyx enjoying his pasture. Happy horse!
Great update and great pics! It can be sooooo hard to be patient...hang in there!
It sounds like you two are just right for each other!
7/5/2017: Onyx is doing very well in his training. His confidence is building and he is starting to really relax in his environment, which also means his play drive is kicking in.
He has accepted the bench I use for mounting and stands patiently while I hold onto his mane to get up and down on it. He seems to understand that he has a job now and helping me with my disability is part of that job. He is going to be an amazing partner.
Onyx had an episode in which he exploded when I asked him to circle to the left. He took off bucking and kicking out and jolted me off balance on the 12 ft line. In trying to recover myself, I couldn’t see what was his problem. The next time I put him on the 22 ft line and sent him off again on the circle. Onyx exploded again and this time I got to see his facial expression and it was sheer panic. The solution was to bring Onyx close to me and ask for the circle while I walked with him. When I saw his confidence build in me and himself, I started to send him out a little farther each time. Now Onyx can circle to the left at the end of the 22 ft line and also at liberty without the explosion. He remains calm and checks in with me when he’s unsure. The moment I see his facial expression change to unconfidence, I invite him to come into my space and relax for some down time. Once he regains his confidence, we can move on to the next lesson.
I have come to see that Onyx is less confident and more fearful on his left side. I have been working on that issue and Onyx is doing much better. He is learning and understanding that it doesn’t have to hurt to be a horse. The attached photo was taken after one of our training sessions. Grass definitely is his comfort food. Attached Images
Love that you are working through this with him and taking the time to notice things that others might miss. Thank you for the update and photo!
Yes, awesome update. Wonder what causes his fear on that side. Pain? A memory? Hmmm
Onyx has a history of abuse....so this news comes as no surprise to those who know him.
Thanks for the updates Lori! Onyx is extremely lucky! The fact that he got into MHWF and you found him. His future is bright!
Wonderful update. Love how you have found a way to make him feel secure and build his confidence in you and himself in these scary situations. Well done!!
7/30/2017: Today Onyx and I met with trainer Emily Kemp Kraemer for the first time. I played with Onyx to show Emily how far we have progressed in preparing him for riding. She was very impressed with his willingness to participate and how quickly he became quiet when I quit our games. Emily then played with him and really liked how he was handling too. She gave me a few suggestions to work on for myself to improve my communication skills with Onyx. We are looking forward to our next training session with Emily in about 3 weeks, which will also include Onyx's first ride.
August 4th will mark 6 months of Onyx and I being partners. It sounds like a long time, but it has gone by so fast. At this point, Onyx seems to be over his abusive handling issues. If he reacts now, he is signalling me that I need to make myself clearer to him so he understands exactly what I am asking him to do. Then he is quite happy.
That's exciting news!!! Can't wait to hear how he does!😊🙌🏻
Your boy not only looks handsome, he looks soft and gentle, too. Well done!
Lori, I am sorry to hear about the mishaps for both you and Onxy, but very happy to hear that things are still headed in the right direction for you both! Thank you so much for sharing your journey with us, and the great pictures too. We truly do appreciate it!
Awesome to hear how you two are doing together!
Keep up the good work!
Great job! I look forward to Onyx’s progress.
Your patience is paying off so nicely. I am proud of you both!!
Your posts are always so entertaining. Keep up the good work 🙂
Wow! How exciting! Hopefully you will be hitting the trails with him in summer. He is handsome under saddle!