Sunday, August 21, 2011
Thanks to Salvador, a fellow horseman from Equitec Balear for these great photos! Today we moved Starbuck to another paddock, but since all the paddocks haven't been split up yet in the meanwhile she has two whole paddocks all to herself! So with so much space we were able to work on some leading, stopping and walking backwards as well as a little ground tying (amazingly this went really well).
The other thing we worked on was me lightly throwing a looped lead rope first across her withers like the guy from my Inspiration post does, then across her back, then finally across her rump and even around her legs, to get her used to strange things moving accross her body. We didn't get to the point of lifting her hind legs because I didn't feel confident she was ready to get there and one of the things I really like that John Lyons has said is that if he isn't pretty sure a horse isn't going to do something he doesn't try to ask for it. In other words, ask questions you expect to get a "yes" answer to. But she did great with the rest of it, at first she was a little twitchy but I just rubbed her neck with the rope and she chilled out right away. She even lifted her front hooves for me (for a second, but it was all her) when I asked her at the end of the "lesson".
The deal is that she can do pretty much anything inside her paddock and stays really calm there, but gets really edgy as soon as she steps out of it. So I think that what we really need to do is get out of our comfort zone until she can really relax enough to keep learning in other situations as well (after all my long-term goals are to take her on a LOT of trail rides). So we'll keep working on that and we'll be sure to keep the blog updated!