Today was beautiful and I had fun plans so it was a good day. I drove about two hours north to meet up with the closest person to me that does AND. Her name is Hannah and her horse's name is Maia. It was wonderful and very helpful to see how someone else does their training and I was taking notes lol. Maia is certainly ahead of Sora in training and not only knows more of the dressage movements at liberty but also walks and trots with reasonably good steering and no tack other than a neck rope. She is still a work in progress though so it was great to see a horse that's somewhere in the middle.
After dinner when I got home fresh from my experience there I went out to work with Sora. I had a few goals and managed to achieve all of them though with varying levels of success.
First, I introduced Sora to endo tapping. This is something that's talked about on the AND forum but was something that I didn't understand and was confused enough not to look into it further. However, Hannah really cleared it up and so I decided to add the techniques to my time with Sora. Basically you tap softly on a major muscle until the horse drops it's head and licks or chews. Eventually you increase the time so that you continue even when they drop their head until they reach even deeper relaxation. I managed to get her to do it nicely two times but because of the grass she was looking for excuses to drop her head so it was hard to find an opportunity.
Second, I decided it's time to be able to drive her away from grass if I need to. This was harder to do without making her upset. Even though I stayed happy and patient we're both very stubborn so I'd chase her away and she'd trot a few steps before dropping her head and munching again. Finally I'd increase the pressure and she'd tear across the arena in mock terror to stand in the corner and danger snort at me once or twice and finally come galloping back across the arena to get her treat *roll eyes here* =) Actually though I was pleased with the improvement we made and happy that she would come back to me even after I was "scary".
Third, I wanted to be able to lead her with the cordeo even with the grass beckoning. This went really well and even when she shied once she lightly hit the end of the rope and stopped rather than pulling it out of my hands like she could have.
I'm hoping to work on these again tomorrow and continue working on Bow.