Jewels goes along for days, even weeks without an upset. The normal humdrum of life. Grazing on hay in her stall. Having a conversation with the tenant beside her. Being turned out to romp and roll. Enjoying the cool crisp air and the warmth of a late fall sun. A nibble and pull of the tender green grasses after a rain. Her desire is nothing more than the simple pleasures in her life. Then, I ask her to step out of her comfort zone. I tie her up and dust off the caked on mud. Brush her mane and tail. Saddle and bridle her and take her to the arena for a schooling session. All of this, for the simple pleasures in my life. I didn’t think about her feelings prior. Or, how she might respond to the coming events. Jewels always tries. She never resists and she never gets disagreeable about my need to ride any longer. We’ve found some sort of common ground. A meeting of the minds going in the same direction.
During my lesson last week, my trainer sat astride Jewels. I was having a little difficulty getting her to be patient and wait on my cues for a cross over on her front legs. Jewels thinks she needs to over think the process and quickly push on to next thing. We’ve been working on crossing over without moving her hind-quarters. She has a problem moving her shoulders away from pressure. After a short lesson from the trainer, Jewels got the message. It helped me grasp the position in which I needed to be in order to get the same results. I learn much better when someone shows me verses someone telling me. Now Jewels and I are moving on to side passing. Something I’ve noticed during training is: as long as Jewels understands what you’re asking, she never forgets. She can then repeat the exercise over again with no resistance. She’s truly a very smart individual. One of the unfortunate things. She also remembers her old bad habits. Those are few and far between now.
A couple of days before my lesson. It was late in the evening and all the other horses were up for the night. I wasn’t going to ride. Instead, we went to the arena and worked on liberty training. She’s getting real good at staying close, listening and watching for my hand signals. I’m impressed with her every time we work on those seemingly small steps. We were done for the night. I tied her up, brushed and curried her off. I untied her and started walking towards the stall. All of the sudden she saw a box, jumped straight up in the air and ran backwards like a freight train. Snorting and carrying on like someone lit her tail on fire. I grabbed the box on the run and threw it at her. She was beside herself. It was the perfect opportunity to educate her on another inanimate object, that she thought, was going to kill her!
After Jewels calmed down. I rubbed the box all over her. I dropped it in front of her and rubbed her again. Before to long, she was standing with her head down and had all fours planted on the ground. There was no doubt, Jewels thought I was nuts. Quite frankly, I get tired of her silly reactions to simple things. I know they’re not silly to her, but she needs to react with a little less drama! LOL It wasn’t to long before the box was riding her. She was still suspicious and a tad bit reluctant. You can see it in her eyes. Never the less. I rewarded her with a lot of verbal praise.