Jewels: Coming Along Nicely

I know I’m behind on my posts, but it’s been busy around here. I’ve been spending more time out side than in the house. Working with the horses is time-consuming at it’s finest. Jewels is my go to these days. She needs more work than the other two. She is coming along nicely because of it. The consistency is definitely paying off. We went back to the tarp project this past weekend. Jewels had been really scared of it in the past. Saturday wasn’t any exception. When I first approached her with it, she blew sky-high, then quickly regained her composure and settled down. I was thoroughly impressed at  how she used the thinking side of her brain almost as quick as her flight reaction. It was time to go to work. 

I laid the tarp on the ground in front of her. After she investigated the tarp for a few minutes on the ground, I picked it up and placed it over her back. She stood statue still until I asked her to move. We went through a couple of walk-trot transitions at first, then changed directions. Jewels never did get upset the tarp was blowing around on her back while moving over the ground. Our next venture was backing up, moving her fore-quarters and then her hind quarters. Her whole expression changed after about thirty minutes of ground work. She was moving with a low head, licking her lips and chewing. All of which, are a great sign. There was only one episode that she became uneasy about the process.The tarp fell to the ground and she just turned and looked at it. After it was all said and done, she reacted quietly. A huge accomplishment for her to date.

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Jewels was doing so well, I thought it was time for her to walk over it a few times. She certainly doesn’t like that, at all. The crunchy thing under her feet scares her. To my surprise, she took it pretty well, this time. I asked her to do some circles on a lunge line near the tarp and then asked her to step on to it. She went willingly the first time. It took a couple changes in direction before I could get her to stop and stand on it. Still uneasy that crunchy thing was under her feet, she stood still. I let her stand for awhile. She’d lower her head and look at it, snort a bit, pawed at it a couple of times, it would make a noise, then she’d jump. Jewels finally figured out for herself, if she didn’t paw at it, it wouldn’t make a funny noise. I just love how she thinks. Suspiciously I might ad, but thinks, none the less. As she became more comfortable about the situation, I stood next to her and rubbed her head and neck. She lowered her head and shortly she became relaxed enough to cock a hind leg.  I unsnapped the lead and walked away while she was still standing on the tarp. I was just curious how long it would take her to realize she could leave on her own accord.

 

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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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