A Day in the Life of the Youngest Animal Whisperer

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If you have visited us here at the Reach Out Ranch, you have undoubtedly had the pleasure of meeting the smallest and yet most notable member of our family, Joseph. Each day we nurture his sixth sense and encourage his natural abilities to talk to all creatures great and small. I hope this newsletter gives you some ideas on how you can do the same for your little one.

Precocious, gregarious, and a teacher at heart, like many kids of his generation, Joseph has a light in his eyes, a song in his step, and an infectious smile that extends far beyond the edges of his body.

Joseph is not just a free spirit, he is very well-educated in many topics. From dinosaurs to bugs and other species of animals, he has an insatiably inquisitive mind. And, like any respectable wizard, he is well versed in the ways of Hogwarts and muggles.

Always creative, “Jojo” can make an adventure out of anything. Whether he is a wizard, a superhero, or Coyote Joseph (the character he plays while emulating his favorite YouTube wildlife expert, Coyote Peterson) he explores the bounds of the ranch and his imagination.

Nature is his classroom and the animals his teachers. The outdoors provides him with life-altering experiences and imagination is the key to expanding the mind and making the impossible possible.

He loves making videos and has begun creating educational videos of his own to document his exploration and adventures.  It’s our hope these short videos engage your children, create a platform for you to return to nature with them and learn to listen to the animals.

So we dedicate this chilly December Newsletter to our beloved Joseph and all children, may the Holiday season remain magical for you for many, many, MANY years to come.

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Watch Below: A Day in the Life of a Ranch Kid, Episode 1.

As the son of a horse whisperer and entrepreneur, his life is exposed to extraordinary situations, circumstances, and adventures.  He is connected to the land, the animals and nature. Ranch life becomes a way of being and he embraces experiential learning. It goes beyond the “norm” to encompass all 6 senses, enhancing connection, communication, and collaboration with all life.

Watch Below, Video #2 in Joseph’s series:

A day in the life of a ranch kid; reins to a richer life.
He connects organically with the animals. Naturally, he communicates without ego. He awakens love within others.  He speaks their language; both verbal and silently. He shares his words of wisdom with his Spanish Mustang, Excalibur, for other children to experience a true connection with their horse partners.

Watch the Final Installment, Episode 3, in Joseph’s

A Day in the Life of a Ranch Kid

When you are raised where all the animals are part of the family, you know no different.  They teach him about their lifestyles, culture, language, and above all, about himself.  He learns trust, respect, boundaries, compassion, leadership, communication, balance, discipline, body language, expressions, care and unconditional love ~ for himself and all those around him.

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A ROTH Herd Progress Report for Thelma: 3 GOLD Stars for our Belgian Beauty!

What might a personalized plan for a session with a ROTH Certified Trainer actually look like?  Join one of our most recent additions to the ROTH fold, Lani, as she works with Thelma, a Belgian Draft mare who is staying here at Reach Out Ranch.  Thelma joined us a few months ago from a feedlot and was terrified of all things human.  Her progress has been notable!  Read on and discover why Thelma deserves three gold stars for her week with Lani Salisbury!

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11/6/17 ( 4:00 – 4:45 pm) Haltered, Groom, Leading practice, Head drops, Neck yields, backing.

A short session with Thelma reviewing what she had been practicing. Working toward more fluidity in walk, changing of speeds, and walking more next to us instead of slightly behind. As we practiced leading we incorporated stops, backing, and neck yields which she has improved on greatly and gets about half way on both sides. We also practiced head drops which still need focus. She would give slightly. Her backing is much improved and she is going off minimal pressure. We ended with grooming which she enjoyed. We planned for her next session to be pushed forward.

11/8/17 (3:15 – 4:20 pm) Haltered, Leading practice, Neck yields, Backing, Stopping, Turning, Change in speed, Leading next to us, Desensitizing

In this session we began with haltering. I brought the halter in with me right away which I personally haven’t done. I asked her to stand while I put the horseman’s rope over neck and moved to the haltering. I practiced being more casual with her haltering. She stood solid. We then moved into desensitizing after I brushed her mane. We desensitized with a survival blanket (silver, crinkly blanket). We started small. She was a little concerned with it at first but after we started and I let her see it and rewarded each try she became absolutely perfect with it. We expanded it getting bigger and falling all over her, making it noisy, flapping it, throwing it over her, and walking with it on her back. We spread it out as big as it could get and walked around her pen. We then practiced leading in and out of her pen, around the larger pen again practicing getting more fluid movement. Also working with her beside me. We changed speeds, stopped, backed, disengaged, neck yields. We then went back into her pen and I practiced with my hands around her front legs and hooves. Investigating what turned out to just be a rub of her hair. She was fantastic with the desensitizing and leading. We plan next session to bring more tools to desensitize, continue with picking up her feet, and bring in a few obstacles to practice leading.

11/10/17 (4:25 – 5:10)  Haltered, Leading, Desensitizing, Small Parachute on ground, Backing, Picking up front feet, Oils

In this session knowing it was getting dark soon we started with desensitizing to the small parachute. We started with it small and Thelma was only slightly concerned. She didn’t mind at all after a few rubs with it. We expanded quickly on both sides and walked with it at various parts of her body at different sizes. We also threw it all over her body, making it noisy, fast, and slow. We then played it on the ground to see how she felt with putting her feet on it. She was a little worried about it at first but very little. She started by putting one foot on then two. She was a little sticky at first on it but after a few minuets she was walking over it and stopping with all 4 feet on and backing over it. She enjoyed this! I then picked up her front feet twice. She needs more practice but did pick them up quick, needs work holding up. Once it was dark we continued by showing her some Oils. She LOVED it! She chose Peppermint, Ylang Ylang, Grounding, Peace & Calming, Believe, and Magnify your purpose. She liked a lot of them very much and would interact with her mouth, wiggling her lip and grabbing at the once she liked. She really enjoyed the and felt a little more personality come out. Her all time favorite oil was Magnify your purpose.

Our next sessions plan: Set up an obstacle course and bring her over obstacles (tarps, Parachutes, Poles, corridor), more desensitizing to more objects, prepare for heath checking, picking up feet/farrier prep, head drops.

And Thelma’s work the following session reflected all the hard work Lani has put into working with her!

Thelma Obstacle Course:

Tarp, Corridor, Poles, Noodles

Thelma rocked the Obstacle Course!  She did every obstacle on the first try.  We improved on our leading and more fluid and speed.  We stopped on each obstacle and backed off the tarp.  Her back is still a tad sticky, but she is willing.  We did obstacles from each direction and she enjoyed it.

With her feet:  We worked on picking up all four feet.  I could mostly pick up her front and hold them for a second.  Her hind feet we used the arm to pick up and hold up.  She was able this time to hold her hind feet up longer without pulling away.

Head drops still need some work.

We also used the arm to desensitize her around her hind and tail area.

These things will help prepare her for her travels and new beginning!

Lani and her mom, Jill, have both been doing a phenomenal job facilitating Anna’s work with our herd of three.  We are proud to call them ROTH Certified Trainers!  They embody important pieces of the ROTH mission: meeting the horse where they are, going at a pace that is unique to each individual, clearly communicating, and above all else, loving their work!  Great work, ladies!!!

Paving better roads for the next generation of Horse lovers, the ROTH way!

By:Youth Horsemanship, Natural horsemanship for kids Elaine Ackerly, free as a wild Mustang!

As we embark on a journey with horses, we can take many different directions. It can seem as though the horses come to us, serenading to our very essences, with what it is we are missing when we look at life.

 

The dangers of not being in the moment or truly listening to the people in our lives is an epidemic of the largest proportions. We hide behind our keyboards and answer strangers with our emotions fully charged, never fully grasping where the other party is coming from, and only seeing things with the filter of our own minds.

 

When we are truly open to the messages the horses have for us as individuals, we can feel a sense of being turned upside-down or end to end.  We can feel a loss of self to start, but if we consider that the horses have made it through to us, we must not be a lost case.

 

The next generation of horse people are crucial to the survival of our horses and the industry that supports it. There has been a surge of horses as therapists as the world begins to recognize that these animals offer us more than just being the expired tools of transport and farming.  Their connection to and ability to read the people in their lives is fascinating, as their prey animal mentality seems to offer a grounding that is beyond what dogs have brought us.  Almost as if their passive search for food has a wisdom that mankind lacks.

 

This is something that money and insurance costs have taken from some of our pupils.  Children.  Without the horses and lessons I had in my life, I cannot imagine the impatient and angry brat I would have manifested into.  And I can see why there is great caution and concern when mixing horses and children, but the more I see with this combo the more I see how they belong together. The children have fewer filters and barriers preventing them from seeing the language purely.  And doesn’t that make sense when you consider that it is a second language and that, the younger the mind, the easier it is to learn another language?

 

What horses have to offer children in this technologically advanced, disconnected world is something that can save the planet from our self-destructive nature, to reconnect us to the world as a whole and not as the sum of the parts we have come into our lives.  This inter connection brings in a confidence that cannot be paralleled, for it comes about only with a soft humbleness.  The awareness that you are a small tiny speck in a vast sea of organisms, acknowledging that there are other perspectives and knowledge you don’t yet have, and finally, with even all the differences between human and horse, the children begin to see how much they have in common. Their search for comfort, company and fun. The emotions that flare up when you don’t feel heard, the appreciation you feel when you are given a voice…