Sunday, September 12, 2010
Today was wonderful! Great weather, great horse and great training session. I went out originally to work on the fence but while I was in the horse's pasture I couldn't even do anything because Sora was right in front of me and was blocking me even from walking sometimes. I finally listened to her and took her out.
Recently one of the behaviors I've been working on is getting Sora to put her foot on things, like a pedestal, to make hoof care easier for me and to teach the beginnings of the Spanish Walk. For a while she has just been pawing when I ask her to leave her hoof on the object so today I decided to show her what to do. I placed her foot on the crate I was using and held it there for a minute while feeding her treats. When I let it go she left it a little longer and I continued to feed her until she took it off. She chewed for a minute with a thoughtful expression and then neatly placed her other foot on the crate and left it. I fed her treats for about a minute as she left it there while jumping up and down and giving her a hug (yes she does like hugs lol).
After that I worked a little more on liberty lunging her, in our front yard with good grass underfoot, and she was perfect. The best change is in her behavior and courage in different conditions and environments. A year ago with the same circumstances she would have been flipping out, galloping around with her tail flagged, snorting at everything I asked and difficult to catch. Today she was calm, studious and thinking hard. She is so interested in trying to figure out how to behave to get treats that she's not even paying attention to the scary things or just doesn't care about them anymore. It is the best change out of everything!!!
I also was able to do some more work on her hooves. It is completely up to her most days whether she wants me to work on them or not. This works because everyday she is out I do at least a little so they never really need it. When I do NEED to work on them I tie her and she's perfect. Today though she was happy to show off her knowledge of when to pick up her hoof. The cutest thing is that since I let her pick up her hoof before I take it sometimes she mixes up which one I want. Today I wanted her to pick up her left rear and when she was grazing, not paying enough attention, she kept picking up her left front and holding it up like "look lady, I've got a foot up, it will just have to do." and of course it does, I just work on that hoof instead. Kind obliging girl probably thinks that hoof needs more work anyway lol.