Archives for the month of: June, 2013

Mojo is my scared boy.  He has been with me for around 10 years, and yep we still haven’t got it right!!  He knows I am a safe place; he just can’t get past his fear and come to me.  I had to use pressure to keep him out of the corners this afternoon.  He wasn’t really paying attention, just wanting to escape and get to the other horses.  After a while he was going around me quite nicely, a bit closer than I would want, although better than trying to get away.  He looked like he wanted to come in a couple of times, so I asked.  After a while he relaxed and I was able to walk parallel and ask him to come in, then I crossed his midline and he followed me.  I made a happy memory and realised he actually already has that with me.  He has shown that he is a real smoocher and when he allows himself, loves cuddles.  What a great day.  Life changing!

 

SESSION 2, DAY 2

This morning I spent half an hour with Mojo.  I was able to get him to listen and keep out of the corners.  We worked in the large paddock, completely at liberty.  He had plenty of room to move away from me and he utilised the entire space.  In a smaller area, Mojo is more keen to come in to safety, reminiscent of horsemanship training with ropes and a stick.  In the large space he is more empowered and also unlikely to come in, at all, even when I ask.  At the end of our time, I chose to go to Mojo.  He was happy with this, and I created a happy memory.  This is a horse I cannot catch in the paddock, so to be able to walk straight up to him, he being relaxed, is a great milestone!

I had my second session with Banjo this afternoon.  We both have a better idea of what’s what now.  He is good with following my direction.  I am scared to ask him to leave still, as I need to use a fair bit of energy and then he arks up.  Once he is out there I am fine.  Because of my reluctance he gets confused when I ask him to come in.  He definitely wants to.

He came at me twice during this session; he was going to try and pound me into the ground.  I did step back before I got really big and sent him back out.  I had no stick with me for this session.  I feel we made progress.

 

Session 3 : day 2

This morning our session was a short 10 minutes.  I was really reluctant to work with Banjo today, as I am still really scared of him.  I went out with the intention of keeping my energy low so that he would not get too big and dance at me.

It was impossible for me to get him to leave without raising my energy, and then he came at me.  I am thinking he wanted to play rather than kill me!  It is still scary and I am not sure how far he would take it.

I decided to get the sticks, only to extend my arms and to make me feel more confident – important when working with this horse.  This worked really well, and I was able to get him to do a full circle around me.  I wasn’t trying to get him to go way out, I just wanted one full circle, nicely around, listening and paying attention to me.  I then asked him to come in, but I think he is a bit confused as to what I want as I spend so much time keeping him away from me.  I was happy enough to go to him and create happy memories.  I am sure we will get there eventually.  I cut the session off at this point as I was happy with what was achieved!

I attended a clinic by Sylvia Zerbini organised by Paulette Evans of Ribbleton Warmbloods over the weekend.  I have attended many natural-type workshops and clinics; this was something quite different!  The techniques Sylvia showed us spoke to me like no other training technique has.  It was really very simple!

I have spent some time this morning working with my ‘difficult’ horse Banjo Mcgregor.  I am going to need a LOT of practice with my timing and cues, but the change in this horse is immediate.

He has a very high energy and won’t balk at stomping you into the ground if he wants.  This is very scary and daunting to me, so I did take a whip in with me, to have on the ground in case.  Sylvia uses no whips or aids at all, just her body language and a few verbal cues.

I had a little trouble getting Banjo’s attention at first as Mojo was running up and down the lane like crazy.  Banjo wanted to pay attention it was just impossible, so I had to move Mojo farther away.  It was simple to get Banjo to move out.  I was able to gain and mostly keep his attention, and he even followed my finger around just like Sylvia taught us!  I had a fair bit of trouble bringing him back in to me, as I have been very afraid of him.  The trick today was to lower his energy, with, “Gggoood boy.”  I found if I was too forceful in my asking him to move, his energy went up like crazy.  In the end I walked to him, and his face was so soft as I stroked his neck. WOW! This from a horse that would eat your face off!

I did become lost when he would turn to face me and I wanted him to keep going around.  I found I was walking too much to try and face his barrel.  Perhaps in these early days I should have asked him to come in.  He was not too sure I wanted him in with me as he is just learning (as am I).

I will give him a second session later today, even in the rain before I try my hand at my scaredy cat boy, Mojo.