Friday, March 18, 2016

Random Friday

1.  Thanks to those of you who provided me clarification on inbreeding v. line breeding.  My knowledge gap on the subject was glaringly apparent in my mis-use of the terminology.  Tex is line bred, meaning the same horse shows up more than once, but it is back enough generations to disqualify it from inbreeding.  Some breeds have line breeding more than others, and most of the time it isn't a problem.  But, it can contribute to behavior issues and is a factor in Tex's reactivity -- since Driftwood was a bit reactive.  I don't think it is the whole story, or even most of the story.  I'm mentally giving it a weight of 20%.

2.  One of the Masterson releases is very simple and a good way to start work on a horse, or check in with them.  It is called the Liver Meridian release and involves running your hand or fingers along the neck, then across the back and rump, and down the back leg.  It is done on both sides of the horse.  The movement of your hand is very slow and you watch the horse's face constantly to see if there is a spot that needs focus or release.  When Tex is "flinchy" in the pasture, I do this release.  He knows it and welcomes it.  At the end, he is usually standing with his head low and his lower lip slack.  It flaps a little bit.  It's very cute.

3.  While we were at the clinic, there was another big storm at home.  Our normal rainfall for the year is 40".  With the two weekend storms in March, we are over that mark a bit.  The locals call heavy rainfall in March, a "March Miracle."  The Northern California reservoirs are at, or close to, capacity.  The snow pack is good.  Southern California is still well below average and one good season in half the State isn't going to much of a dent in the drought.  But, at least it won't get worse.

4.  Brett's oldest grandchild, Andrew, had a big week -- a big two days, actually.  He had his Eagle Scout ceremony, he had his 16th birthday, and he passed his drivers license test.  Brett was able to fly to Colorado and be part of the celebrations.  We're very proud of Andrew.

5.  This morning we brought the horses into the barn so they would be easily accessible for our farrier.  I brought in Tex first.  He was calm, with no flinching in sight.  I slipped on his halter and led him into the barn with the lead rope slack between us.  Brett followed with Flash.  We left Jackson in the small arena because it is close by and he is a bit gimpy.  I'm hoping Greg can trim him in the arena.  After putting Tex in his stall, I went to get Lucy.  My plan was to bring Lucy and Pistol in at the same time.  They were at the far end of their pasture, by the road, where they had a clear view of us moving Tex and Flash into the barn.  When they saw me walking towards their pasture, they started ambling slowly up towards the gate.  When I reached the gate, they were only a quarter of the way up the pasture.  I picked up Lucy's halter from its hook and they both broke into a balls-out gallop for the gate, sliding to a stop in a mess of flying mane and flying mud.  They continued hopping, scooting and snorting while I opened the gate.  Lucy jammed her nose into her halter and I sent Pistol off since she was trying to charge out of the gate, ahead of us.  Lucy followed me out and then swung her butt around while I closed the gate, snorting and prancing.  On the walk to the barn she continued to snort, spun twice and reared when I told her not to rush.  Honestly, she is much more reactive than Tex in many ways.


  1. Ha! So true about mares. And, the whole reactive thing seems to change from day to day with the horses, doesn't it? If he can relax that much with the Masterson stuff, he's going to be just fine.

    We've had a ton of snow and rain this year, but I rode out at the preserve today and the lake was really low. I'm wondering if a lot of the water gets soaked into the ground and water tables after droughts. I just do not want any more wildfires.

  2. I always thought the Masterson Method was a little out there but since you recommended it, I looked up the "bladder meridian" which is what you described, I think. One horse released itself by chewing, and the other by doing a full body stretch. I thought what is this nonsense so I walked out to the paddock and started at Mag's ear and went slowly but nothing happened until I got halfway down his neck and he blinked. I held my hand there and felt how warm my hand was even though it was almost freezing out. I just stood there breathing with my hand there and I felt dumb, thinking he's just gonna walk away from me. After what seemed like forever he suddenly dropped his head and shook it and then licked and chewed. That's two releases huh? I remember on our hour-long creek-crossing experience, I saw that he would shake his head to relieve stress. Interesting!

    So can you elaborate on the way this works? It seems to be a completely non-invasive way of showing a horse how to relieve his own tension. But there must be more to this.


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