Monday, April 26, 2010

More building with Tina

Session 2 of 7 to rebuild Tina's confidence and trust in me as her trainer. Another fantastic session! We worked on the 22' line so she is farther away and has more room to move if needed. I'm aiming to make sure she can do all of Parelli level 3 online work. She knows most of the asks and understands the communication so this 7 days is about making sure she can perform the tasks requested of her w/o becoming afraid.

Today, she was even more confident than the last session. She was moving freely, expressing opinions and most importantly offering amazing try! We played more on the teeter-totter. She wants to walk off after she's rocked it and I'm asking her to try harder to rock it repeatedly and step off only when I've asked. She's standing on the tarp calmly and quietly. She can stand with only her back feet on the bridge with ease (tough one). We worked on her putting only 1 leg over a pipe. I want her to calmly cross the pipe one leg at a time. This is a huge challenge for Tina and she was able to stand with one leg over after a few minutes figuring out what I wanted. She's assuming that I want her to step over, so interrupting that pattern and looking for her to ask more questions vs simply moving forward all the time.

We played a game called Touch It. In this game I point at things and ask her to put her nose on them. This is a huge confidence builder and she caught on extremely fast! After a few rounds, she'd quickly touch her nose to the object I was pointing to, then look at me as if to say, "Like that?". Very cool.

We did probably 20 minutes of sideways alone. I still am asking her for more straightness and she had an opinion about that. She tickled me because she really wanted to eat grass and stop going sideways. I stayed with her and rewarded everytime she gave me softness, calmness and willingness. I'd let her eat some grass and then we'd go again. Wow - this had a big impact on her! Her bravery was growing in front of my eyes.

We played with Yo-yo (keeping her draw in tact and advancing her straight back-up to the end of the 22'). We did some falling leaf and quite a bit of figure 8 with objects that were very close together. Having objects close together helps her think through the task because she has to watch her feet carefully.

Another great session and I'm very pleased with the calmness she's developing and the tension that's nearly disappeared. Again, 7 sessions... Horses seem to be able to make a full change in their understanding over 7 sessions. They learn in 3's and 7's. At session 8, we'll see if it's time to mount again or if 7 more sessions would help ensure success. It might makes sense to do 7 session of mounting only until she's completely calm about that before swinging a leg over again.

Anyway, we're back on the right track. I'm listening to the horse and she's telling me she's much happier with this plan. Great!

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