Jewels: Learning Patience

Working with Jewels has had its challenges. My biggest challenge to date is her lack of patience while tied. I don’t worry to terribly about it. It will work itself out in time. It does however get annoying when my husband gets freaked out when I leave her tied. He’s afraid she’ll hurt herself or work herself up into a lather. There’s nothing like someone constantly chanting in my ear. The problem can’t be fixed if she’s not tied up frequently and left for a period of time. She is better about it. I tied her up yesterday after our work out. I needed to go in the house and relax for a short time. I heard her screaming for the other horses from inside the house. I didn’t get worked up over it. I figured she’d calm down eventually. My husband had gone to the store and it was a perfect opportunity for me allow her time alone.

I rested for about thirty minutes and went back out to the barn. As I made my way to the ally of the barn, I noticed she was bouncing up and down on her front end. My first instinct was to untie her. I sat down in the aisle of the barn and watched her performance. All the while my wheels were turning in my head. My second thought was, I can get a trick out of that.  I’m always thinking about what I can get my horses to do that comes natural to them. She’s a smart cookie, so I think it wouldn’t take me long to incorporate that move into a trick or two. I just need to figure out how to get her to do it on command. First things first though. She needs to learn to stand patiently.

She does a funny little thing with her front legs. When she finally stands tied quietly, she’ll cross her front legs and stand that way for a long period of time.  I’ve never seen a horse do that before. I’m sure she started doing it when flies would land on her. She does it now just to be doing it. I find that very comical. I can get her to do it on command now. Working with her natural abilities are easy. It’s figuring out what the right buttons are to push that aren’t. In the past she was reactive and fearful. She’d run backwards or just plain blow up. She still gets a tad bit frustrated in a starry-eyed sort of way. Planting herself in a fixed stance. Thankfully, she isn’t a pill any longer when she doesn’t understand totally. The way she learns is quite interesting. She’ll chew and lick her lips. I know that’s normal, but, I love to watch her expressions when she gets it. Jewels has a way of complimenting herself for a job well done.

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"It's better to ride even if you get thrown, then to wind up just wishing you had." - Chris LeDoux.
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