Sunday, April 10, 2011

On the trail with Gem

Today was a very interesting day on the trail. I met a friend with her new horse for their first trail ride. It was very interesting to see Gem be timid and nervous and I'm pretty sure he was feeding off of the nervous energy from the other horse. His bravery and confidence was very shaken! He had a hard time leading the trail (mainly in the beginning) and when we saw a herd of elk, he became so worried we had to abandon the trail and play some games in the field.

There were times with the other horse, again, on the trail for the first time, led because Gem just couldn't. So, it's very true with him - he shows arrogance and seems "cocky", but he lacks genuine confidence. He never did anything silly, no bucking or other dangerous behavior - which was fantastic. Hats off to him! We focused on building his confidence and not pushing him through his thresholds. We played approach and retreat in several instances and even a game of "Chase the Cow" to get our horses minds off their worries and focused on a task.

All in all a great developing ride for Gem and I and my friend and her horse were extremely successful! I learned a little more about Gem and I'll keep on getting him out to help him gain confidence. He's growing by leaps and bounds and our relationship is better every time.

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