Sorry we missed posting on Thanksgiving! We hope you shared some lovely quality time with your family and your horse! Today I wanted to share a story from one of my Insider Circle students, she writes.....
I just wanted to share with you what happened today with my horse Jeri. Jeri is a Thoroughbred/Trakhener and about 15 years old and he came to me as a green broke 10 year old. I bought him to show him in dressage which I did successfully. He is the kind of horse who will to do what you want when tethered to you but he never really had his heart in his work.
When time permits I have been doing the WR with him, so about 2-3 times a week since the WRIC course started in April.
Today as I shared territory he stood in front of my chair, relaxed for 5-10 minutes. He spent a few minutes with his nose touching mine just breathing in and out with my breath. It was a very magical moment.
Later I did some companion walking. He just connects to me as soon as I get off my chair and start walking. After a bit of this my boarder went walking by with his horse so we stopped as he wanted to chat with me. Jeri stood so relaxed beside me that he dropped his penis. I took this opportunity to see if I could remove the pea from the end of it. I have never been able to do this without him trying to kick me but he stood there while I removed it. I was so thrilled! He will be too I’m sure.
I went back to companion walking and then trotting. I was on a circle to the right and he went straight at one point so I kept on my circle. He noticed that he was by himself after about 25m and turned and trotted back to me. This is huge. He is aloof by nature and will not hang around if he thinks you have an agenda or are needy towards him. Later I tried brushing him at liberty. He usually doesn’t like being brushed but that could be because I used to do it and then tack up and ride. Today he left as I started to brush him, so I turned and walked away. He stopped and watched me go. I then walked around in a big circle to approach and say hello and asked if I could brush him. He gave me permission so I groomed him for 15 minutes and he stood in one spot the whole time.
This is really a big deal for Jeri and I. I have never felt close to him before but today was absolutely amazing. I wanted to throw my arms around him and hug him but that may have ruined the good thing we had going. Your program has taught me how much of an agenda I thought I didn’t have.
One question I have is leading from behind when I ask for whoa Jeri turns around and walks towards me. Should I send the front end away and keep leading from behind? It just seems wrong when he comes to me to be sending him away so today I allowed it and went back to companion walking.
Thanks in advance for your response. If California were closer to Ontario I would be at your place in a heartbeat with one of my horses to learn more and feel the energy that you have around horses with your methods. For now though I am thrilled to be a part of this WRIC class and learn whatever I can for me, my horses and my life.
My response to her was... What an amazing story! Thank you for sharing your details! How aloof you were, how connected you are now, and how long you could take your focus off your horse, and Jeri could still stay connected and go back to work/play. This is it!!! On your question I think you are right in allowing him to turn around in this phase of your relationship.
As you go along, both of you will become more sensitive and advanced with your ability to make adjustments to one another. Your timing is off. You are not able to read at this time just before your horse is going to turn toward you. If you could see this, you would step toward him, and direct him away at the moment you would say whoa and stop moving forward as another signal to stop. Right now if you tried that it might send him away, and loose your ability to be able to call him up when you stop the driving aid. What you are wanting to train your horse to do is to go away from the request and driving aid and when he no longer feels the drive he immediately would want to return from your request to come back that is given from catching his eye and backing up.
Remember that you are working on increasing your horse’s herding instincts which are to move away from anything that is advancing, and to move toward anything that is leaving. Hope this is of help!
Love and magic! Carolyn