I like to challenge the Girls. Give them something new to think about, new to learn. Especially once they start getting used to a routine. Routines are good, don’t get me wrong, but like with us humans, it can get dull, and we get bored. When we get bored, we don’t learn. When horses get bored, their training stalls.
So, I challenge them.
Yesterday was all about walking politely on a lead rope. So important! The Kid was taking Sable for a walk around the fence line, while I walked Cookie around the path Hubby had cut with the mower. Then, I decided that she needed to walk in, and out, of the corral panel stall with me. One never knows when a horse needs to be stalled, and so, having her willingly follow me in, and stand calmly, then out again, is a valuable thing for her to be able to do. I also worked on having her stand tied in, and to, the panel stall. Ground tying is good, but being able to stand tied to something else is just as important.
She has very good manners. She stood tied there beautifully. And, while it looks like she’s tied with me far away, just out of the frame, The Kid is standing beside her. That’s why her ears are back, she’s listening to The Kid. 🙂
She’s so pretty. ❤
As you can see, the straw hat come out to play.
Stick nummies in something, suddenly, it’s not scary.
Slowly, and with patience, she went from “Holy shit get that thing aways from me!!!” to “*Sigh* If I must have it touch me…fine.”
I don’t believe in the “Oh, you’re scared? Here, I’ll keep hitting you with it, until you relax” method of training.
I’m more of an “Okay, so it’s scary, but I just want to you sniff it. I know you can do that much” kinda trainer…and I use “trainer” loosely, because I’m no horse trainer. I’m just a woman who loves her horse, and wants her to be the Very Best Horse she can be, and I don’t want to scare the shit out of her to do it. So slow and steady, tons of positive reinforcement, and lots of patience, is the way I do it. Not to say there is no discipline when needed, because there is-like when she pawed and struck my leg…ouch!-but forcing her to bend to my demands is never going to work. So, I challenge her, and let her get to what I’m wanting her to do in her own time.
If that makes any sort of sense. 😉
Sometimes, you have to let their pals comfort them.
Still didn’t get it on her, but you can see, she’s paying attention to me, alert, but not scared. That’s good, because the first time I moved the hat towards her like that, she snorted and backed up, flinging her head up. A quiet “And whoa…” stopped her and she stood breathing hard. By the time we were done for the day, I had the hat up by her face like this. ^^^ It’s progress, and soon enough, I’ll have pictures of her wearing the pink straw hat. Just like the camo cap. She was terrified of that too, and see how that turned out?
And now, a gratuitous picture of Sable…because she loves to pose for me. 🙂