Saturday, June 6, 2015

Deliberate, Confident Training

Swimmer is the largest formerly wild Corolla mare that I have seen. It had been a while since anything had been on her back and she was resistant and fearful.

Yesterday we moved her to another pasture. Without any prior plan to do so I took a moment and ran her through a session with the monsters. We progressed from the pool noodle, to the rock monster, all the way up to the bag monster.

I was surprised that she took the bag monster so well. It is a bag filled with cans and empty bottle. When shaken it makes a tremendous racket that generally sends horses into a panic. She quickly recovered from her fear and stood patiently while I shook it across her back.

Then a blanket and saddle and in short order I was standing in the stirrups.

There were several things that made this work. She is a Corolla and has the steady mind of a Corolla. I was not rushed. She has been living outside twenty 24/7 all of her life with a diet based on hay and grass. I was not afraid of her. I doubt if my heart rate increased at all while working with her. I was not worried that she might "disappoint" me by blowing up.

Proper technique, control of emotions, a horse living as naturally as possible, and deliberate and confident movement that allowed the horse to relax resulted in two days worth of progress in less than half an hour.

She was once ridden fairly regularly but has not been ridden regularly in years. Her new owner is looking to ride her in endurance events. This summer we will get her ready to take that rider anywhere.

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