Maya has been with me now for 2 weeks,she is still settling in, she is much better to lead, and much more confident going into the arena. Today I put some hay down for her scattered around so that it encourages her to move away from the gate,which has a magnetic draw. I sit and listen to some music, she comes to investigate then leaves,she stands looking out across the fields a few feet from me it is very peaceful,she is calm but always on the lookout. After we have spent some time just being together,I have a think about what to do, I approach her and say hello, when I walk away she follows me then gets to the boundary of where she is comfortable and stops, I keep walking and just look out across the fields at our cows. We stand like this for a bit,then I walk back to where she is comfortable,she follows me, I ask her to stop and she does, I give her a carrot. I walk back to the edge of where she is comfortable with her following and stop before she does this time, then I turn and walk back into the comfort zone with her. We have been doing a lot of getting to know eachother in the past two weeks I have spent time with her at liberty every day.
Today after this she was very calm and seemed to have her focus more on me, I put a halter on her and decided to see if giving her a task,one that was really easy, but just outside the area she was happy in at liberty, would help her.
I have some cones and barrels and chairs in the arena to use as obstacles, they were set out in a line down the centre, I put a bowl of grass nuts and carrots at one end on a chair. I just had a loose rope,didn t need any contact on it, I asked Maya just to walk with me weaving through the cones,and when she got to the end she got a treat, she is very respectful with food, if I ask her to wait away from the bowl she will and then I give her the treat. We weaved through our cones again a few times and started making circles around the barrel one end and the chair with the treats the other end. I changed sides leading her from the right, which she finds much harder,she tends to rush and fall onto her right shoulder,and then swings her qrts out, I cured this by leading her facing towards her and walking backwards around our circle, she had obstacles and food to think about as well as requests from me and it really helped her find calmness,lower her head and get lots of praise. I told her she was so clever and said lets end on a good note,when I went to lead her out of the arena she wanted to stay. I was extremely pleased with her and so long as she thinks there is a purpose to her work she seems very happy. I don t think this horse would understand endless circles of lunging I am going to have to be creative with her I think.
Noo noo has been wonderful with her liberty she is always willing havn’t had a day for ages where she has been grumpy. My main focus with her is improving canter work, at liberty I have been trying to reinback,walk canter.Its early days so not perfect yet but she does do this ridden now. My sister inlaw came to visit last weekend and came up with a good idea. Canter down the 3/4 line and see how straight she is, then do some canter walk counter canter transitions here away from the fence. Today I popped the bareback pad on her and she was feeling really lovely so we had a go, she really enjoyed doing this and was a very proud bullfighting luso afterwards. I couldn t believe I asked and she just got it. It has been well worth taking my time and waiting untill she was ready to start working on canter.
Early attempts with reinback at liberty, with the intention of canter from this with as little walk or trot as possible. It has really helped Noo noo to sit down behind ready to strike off into canter.
Hopefully I will add some more video of these things to the videos section soon.