Saturday, May 24, 2008

Day Five, L&HB

Each day is better than the last. It rained and snowed all day, so I only took Z out of the paddock at the end of the day for about 45 minutes. I used the 45', which I haven't done much lately. We walked to the large pasture where the honeycomb is and I played a little on line. I got some fantastic lead changes from her! Better than I've ever seen. I was trying to be very particular about where her body was in relation to mine while we walked and it seemed to make a difference. I'm realizing more and more how strong of a leader she wants me to be. To her, it seems partnership means "lead me". She appreciates when I'm clear and direct her energy. We practiced sideways and she was feeling very forward. How interesting. The most important thing I learned while we were together: when I took her to a round pen, thinking she could eat grass on her own while having undemanding time with me, as soon as I took off her halter she became VERY unconfident! She called within 15 seconds of her halter coming off. I was amazed - how have I missed that before? She wants her hand held and she wants to feel safe. When I stopped holding her hand, she felt scared and alone. Wow.

When I actively started to participate and engage with her in the round, she settled down very quickly. I started to walk and she stuck to me w/o me asking. At one point the day before, another horse pinned it's ears at her. I moved him away and I think that type of thing makes a big impression on Z.

Also, our game of asking her to follow my body and do transitions (walk when I walk, back when I back, etc...) has gotten very soft and light extremely quickly. Cool.

I will write on all the things I learned from the sessions later...

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