Yesterday I had a lovely time with Sora. I worked on her hooves, mainly getting the quarters down on her front two feet. This is something I was neglecting and that my trimmer reminded me about last time she was here. They are looking much better and I'm hoping to take pictures to send to the trimmer soon. I also worked a bit more on the back feet but I've learned that if I don't push it and go at Sora's pace she is much more willing to do more the next day so I was careful not to push her past her comfort zone. We also did a few simple movements like yielding her shoulders away and then into me, backing with me and some more with her front feet. I had a lot to remember about my body positioning and she was a patient (fairly patient anyway :-) teacher.
I also came up with some more goals for the new year. The first is to reduce the amount of treats I feed Sora and to build up more time between treats. Mainly I just need to be smarter about this because I don't always pay enough attention and then Sora gets two handfuls of grain for a simple trick and when she does something really spectacular I'm completely out.
I did make one big change with treats this winter and Sora is getting Purina Senior as treats instead of the unhealthy snacks she was getting before. The senior is a low sugar palatable feed that Sora loves and the grain instead of cookies tends to be easier to feed without getting fingers caught in an anxious mouth. It's also so much healthier thanks to the low sugars.
My other new goal is to push her more when I think she is getting a behavior. Too often I settle for just the beginning of the behavior because I'm so amazed by my incredible horse that I don't want to push. However I realize that if I ever want to make any kind of real progress its time to see what she can do and begin pushing her gently to work harder for rewards.
Hopefully everyone in the midwest will survive this incredible ice storm we are supposed to have. As if our weather hasn't been crazy enough this year already!