Ok today we worked on……. Side passing off fence, backing, and the circle exercise. We worked for about 40 something minutes. She did great! At first I did the circle exercise at first just a walk then a teeny bit of trotting further out. She didn’t lean like she usually does ( I did only do a semi circle of trotting on each side) she did give me a bit of attitude, swishing her tail and laying her ears back . But otherwise pretty good. Then we did side passing on fence to start then we did it of the fence a bit. She wanted to go forward but I just kept consistent and she did a couple side pass steps on each side. In between doing side passing I also did a bit of backing faster ( needs work)And we ended on her just giving me like three steps of a side pass automatically.
Today we.. did more rope desensitizing yay! ( i figured out what she mainly afraid of. It’s the rope spinning in front of her or above her, or just the noise of it spinning ) I used a scarf to spin around in front and above her.( so the noise of a rope spinning wouldn’t escalate the situation) She would be pretty fine when we’re standing still, but when I would walk and have her follow me while I’m spinning it. Well she just is scared. Not terrified, she’s gotten better. She would stop a couple times or raise her head and show white eye. I just kept doing it though. Until she either would walk forward without stopping or putting pressure on lead. At the end of our session she walked and was semi fine with it. She wasn’t over it, I wasn’t expecting her to be. Now though she is better.
Some pics of her… also of our trail I wanted to clean it up a bit.
Ok ( drum roll please) we did simple obstacles with her pack on!!! Wooo!!! She did pretty good. At first I did the circle exercise ( getting better and better!) then we did the balance board until she didn’t get off early. Then I had her stand with her hind feet in one Hulu hoop and her front feet in the other. Did great! Did my makeshift cowboy curtain thing. ( also great) did a gate obstacle with a scarf. She wasn’t scared of that at all. ( but she still scared of the gate going in arena. We’re working on it) Did some trotting around cones( could be better) also did some trotting and cantering around. She decided she was going to buck this time ( I did put more weight in her pack with rocks) we just kept cantering around til she stopped her buck. Then did more cause she kept going to the side a lot and being reactive. Just kept going to she cantered very nicely. ( and listened of course) we ended on that note. Still a fun session even with the acting out a bit.
Thought you guys might like to see some summer pics of her from last year….
Oh boy… we did… back to basics day! Yay! ( seriously kinda of boring a bit) It had to be done though. We did basic backing, yielding around cones, and kind staying with me. Rosie I think really appreciated it. She was yawning and licking and chewing a good amount. Backing is well slow. Just trying to get consistent at least. Yielding as awesome as always . Staying with me was good. It was mostly us just really trying to go together. Overall did really well. Blooper: When we were walking past a tree branch she decided to purposely run over it then scratch her butt on it . When we were done working I let her go at gate and she just stood their for a minute after I left watching me. Sooo cute.
Ok later I went in the field ( when it was getting dark) I did the mucking like usual. Then I decided to get my lasso out. ( not to lasso) I just waved it a bit and well Rosie went to the back of the barn and I kept wiggle in got and waving it and throwing it around at the front. She stood there all tense. But I did not approach her. I stopped for a sec and stood by the hay feeder. She took this chance to run away out of the barn. BUT I DID NOT GO AFTER HER!!! I then just kept doing my wiggle dance with the rope when she left. I went in and out of the barn, around the field. Far from her near her. I just basically ignored her. She would go trot away a couple times when it got a bit near her. Or go away or turn around. I just kept doing it though for a solid 30 plus minutes. I would wiggle it her go here lay down there. Eventually she finally came back to the barn, going past me doing my thing. I finally approached her with it wiggleing a bit. I came up to her and held out my fist. She bumped it. I held out the rope, she smelled it. I then proceeded to put it up. Usually when I move it to coil it up she goes away ( this time she didn’t). When I slung it over a rafter she turned to face it but did not go away.
I’m this situation I’m using the concept. That if a horse is scared of cars when they past by the field. The will spook and spook and spook until they realize that it doesn’t hurt them and never chased them. They eventually realize it is a wast of time and energy to get scared. And just ignore it…. Phew this took a while to write so please tell me your thoughts on this.
I know absolutely nothing about training or desensitizing horses, so no helpful thoughts from me on that regard. What I do think is that Rosie is super lucky to have you. I admire how much time you spend with her and how you're trying to figure out what she likes and is comfortable doing. I also like that you don't push her to do anything scary or dangerous (from her perspective) until she's ready. Sounds like your doing a great job with Rosie.
I haven’t had time to post last 3 days so I’ll just post now…
21st: did some liberty, I had her go on her stand thing. She would paw at it a while until she just would stand her front feet on it. We went around some cones ( she stayed with me pretty well) I drove her around a couple times at a walk and she would pin her ears and thought I was going to make her run. After a couple times of doing that in between the last time she did a couple steps ( like I asked) and yawned. We then sat there and enjoyed each other’s company. Then I walked of and she followed me to the field ( which is right next to our “arena”) Overall went good.
Later that day I wanted to do a trot walk, she was getting tired though. After we were done with it I had this wheel chair Ramp on top of some sturdy milk crates. I had her go up on it but….. she was terrified but I made her stay up there ( this was a mistake) ( I thought she would just get over it) Well she got so scared she jumped off the side and fell on her back/ side. I was TERRIFIED!. I checked her over and she was uninjured. I then got the ramp down and had her walk a cross it she wasn’t scared. I think she knew that the milk crates couldn’t be still ( the ramp went to the side when she jumped) IM NEVER USEING MILK CRATES FOR THAT AGAIN!!!!!!! Only supportive cement or wood etc.
22st An Off day, for me and her.
Today, Did the circle exercise ( was swishing her tail at me) whatever though. We also did side steps off the fence, we had a bit of a hard time but we did good. She kept going forward but she did give some side steps multiple times. She was just sleepy it seemed ( like she just wanted take a nap in the sun) but we still did ok. But it wasn’t as fun sooooo I’m going to try from now on to make it fun!!!!
Ok later today I took her on a long pack walk. I put more weight in the pack, and she actually moved around a lot when put it on because it was much heavier. ( I got a little annoyed with her, but I calmed myself down) I put her croup and chest strap on but left her girth alone while we trotted around a bit to get her chill. Also because I can’t put it on otherwise because it acts like it’s too tight but then she works a bit and it’s perfect. Anyway after we were done we went to the road and she had done energy, like she wanted to trot so we went on and off trotting and walking. She did great and was much calmer with the pack on, on our walk. It’s walks like this that always give me more confidence. I can’t wait until tomorrow. Sorry for the big post but like I said I didn’t have time past couple days.
Here is a pic I took today off her is it just me or does she look more in shape?
Ok today we did clicker training. Went really well . I had her find the target ( did great) say nope (pretty good) and I had her try to bow a few times she actually tried to bow and went pretty far down. Overall went great! Acting a little naughty snatching up grass here and there. But still did great!
I also decided to trim her ear hair with scissors to even it out. And braided her tail! When her winter coat is gone she is getting complete makeover. Getting a bath her forelock trimmed her tailed trimmed maybe some of her mane. Just really tidying her up.
Me and Rosie did more desensitizing to rope slinging in front of her the noise etc. Ok first I took her to the top area of our barn to groom her out of the wind and she was very nervous. She kept wanting to come out, so I would take her out and move her around outside the barn trotting walking etc. Then I would bring her back in. And she would be ok for a bit then we would have to do it again. We did this while I was trying to groom her. After we were done we went out of the barn to our arena real quick. I had her do circle exercise at a walk on one side a trot on the other. So she doesn’t think she always has to trot. After we were done we came out and she stopped a couple times confused I think she thought we were done working ( we weren’t). Anyway after that I walked around with her doing our rope desensitizing with the scarf she did even better. She only raised her head a couple times and after a few repetitions she was chill. Then we did it with piece of twine for the sound of it spinning. She was a concerned about that but we just kept doing it until she ignored more. This was a strange session we were kinda all over the place. I had her trotting with me at one point and we were running over each other it was weird. I think the cold made me very numb and not pay attention as much. She spooked once at our dogs running out of nowhere to bark at deer. It was also really windy “ so just the perfect day to work on scary things “ NOT! We still did good anyway. She has gotten so much better about the rope being in front of her and above her. Still not over it but around 70% there.
Sorry I didn’t feel like posting past couple days…. I’ve had a little hard time. We did Radom yields, scary ramps ( my fault), and just not that fun past couple days. So we’re going to do maybe clicker training or liberty tomorrow to have some fun!!!!!
Ok we did clicker training yesterday and it went well… just trying things out. She acted scared of a sled to go over it even though she’s been over it a million times. But I’ve made her scared of a bit of unsteady footing…. Long story.
Today I just groomed her and walked a teeny bit. I discovered some sort rash on one of her legs when I was grooming her. I don’t know if I should give her time off or not to let her heal. Suggestions?