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Saturday, 6 February 2016

CAUSE them to think about it ALLOW them to do it ...

Session 10: In session 10 we did 1 hour of tie time. Interestingly on this day she developed some challenges with trailer loading (which had been going really well). I often find that this can happen with Introverted horses ... especially innately nervous horses, like Flo. What happens is that for years she has been just jumping in the trailer because no one was allowing her to have an opinion about what was being asked of her ... no one was letting her have a voice in the conversation. So now that I have been allowing her to have a voice.... she decided maybe she would say, "NO!". I spent about 20 minutes helping her to get past her tantrum, and try. Then I loaded her buddy first, and asked her to try again. She still was struggling. The trailer I was asking her to get into didn't have a ramp, so she had to step up and I could feel that she was struggling making that step. As Pat would say, "We had the nose and the neck, but not the feet!" I began to play with her front feet with the rope, and then when she was confident I lifted her foot onto the step. With this little help she was able to jump in, but I KNEW that we had some work to do to help her get confident making that nose, neck, THEN feet change. She was doing really well with her nose and neck... but having trouble converting that try to her feet. So that dictated my training plan for the day ;)

When I got to the arena that I was riding at that day ... we began by playing with some "hunting the ump" ... seeing if she could convert her nose and neck interest to doing something with her feet.  It took her a little while, and a few tantrums, before she realized that I wasn't going to MAKE her jump, I was just going to CAUSE her to realize that jumping was the MOST comfortable option ;).

Then I continued with helping her to convert her nose and neck try into her feet doing something ;). SO we also played with the pedestal. This Smart cookie figured it out and was about to stand on the pedestal as well! It was SO cool to see her begin to trsust me and figure out that the BEST way to do things was to try and solve the puzzle. And also to trust me that I wasn't going to MAKE her do anything, I was going to CAUSE her to understand my idea.... and then allow her to try to figure it out ;).

She also wore her bareback pad for the first time. Pat always says in the colt-starting skeleton that horses TEND to struggle with EITHER the placement of the saddle or the constriction of the girth ... not usually both. For Flo, it is COMPLETELY about the placement ... the girl doesn't worry her at all, its getting past something being placed onto her back. She did really well though ;).

Thanks for Listening!


  1. Thanks for the update on Flo. Sounds like you are gaining her trust and glad to hear she is responding well.