Thursday, March 4, 2010

Look look look!

Isn't she just full of contradictions in this photo?  Check out the hairy eyeball in the front, then look back at the cocked left hind.  That left hind tells the real story, she wasn't nearly as upset as those eyeballs would have you believe.

This was Tuesday night.  She let me tighten the girth almost as quickly as I would on a "broke" horse, and she let me get it "riding tight."  She didn't want to move with it on but she stood quite calmly.  No offers to buck or rush off, not even when I brought the girth under her belly like she did before.  I'm quite proud of her.  My next goal is to get her to move with it on, but that will have to wait until the snow melts down.

You may have noticed that there's nothing on her head.  My barn owner thinks I'm the mayor of crazytown for working with her like this.  I decided to do this after reading Mark Rashid's books (if you've never read his books you need to).  When he gets a horse that's worried and nervous about being touched or worked with, his philosophy is to work with them at liberty.  If you give the horse the opportunity to move away if they're upset by something it actually helps them to relax and trust you faster.  This is 100% true with Miss Gwenevere.  If she's upset and feels the need to get away yet feels trapped - she panics.  Huge, dangerous, tunnel vision panic.  So I do as much with her at liberty as I can.  Some people may think that's dangerous but I like my skull intact, thanks.


  1. Imagine how good she'll look when she wearing a saddle over her shiny summer coat!

  2. Great post.

    Liberty work is SO good for building confidence. It really gives the horse a sense of power if they know they can leave.