Thoughts from July 13, 14 and 15th
Day 3 – Session 2
I’ve only recently begun playing with Sara twice a day. Now that I live here at the barn, I’ve been blessed with the much more time with my horses. We had so much fun in the first session today that I wanted to play some more. So did she!
We played Sara’s game, which she is super-naturally good at – Touch it. We touched the trailer, barrels, standards, people, walls, buckets, cones, tarp, pedestals..what am I forgetting? I don’t know but we played with everything I could find.
I am slowly but surely progressing to starting Sara under saddle. I had her saddle set up on a barrel while we played, which she investigated then no longer cared about. We played the friendly game with the saddle pad. She wasn’t upset about this in an extroverted way where she wanted to move her feet; a “normal” person might have accepted this. However, I could tell she was holding her breath. Not good enough for my Sara! So I started walking away, her trailing, with the pad in my hand. We did this for twenty minutes until I think I nearly bored her (oops!!).
Having been fully tacked before, I let the pad rest on her bac. We played Touch It and then the Yo-yo game between jump standards. After this positive interaction with some tack, I called it a night and put her away with some kisses.
Day 3 – Session 1
The circling game is not Sara’s strong suit. And, honestly, I haven’t been putting in as much time as it takes to see this improve. So today we worked on the Circling Game. I haven’t “won” it yet but it’s progress and she didn’t feel defeated, which I never want to do. Her Figure 8 and Weave are excellent. She offered to jump a little painted box after sniffing it. Well, by jump, I mean casually walk over like she’s see it every day. That was neat! I was so so pleased with her offering to do something! It’s great to get validation like that that you’re not destroying your horse’s curiosity but encouraging it.
It was really fun to watch Sara with the big blue tarp. I laid it on the ground and stepped way back to let her decide her course. She sniffed, promptly stepped on it, and then proceeded to eat it! I mean she was yanking it around in her mouth, pulling it up over her shoulders. It was hysterical! She crossed the tarp too and we played Yo-yo with it. Super cool moment.
We finished up by relaxing by the pedestal, which she pawed for the first time. “Nose, neck and maybe the feet…”
We worked more on our Figure 8 at the walk on the 12″. We weaved through cones. Sara attacked barrels! Pawed them, sniffed, bit them, licked them. I introduced the tarp, which she sniffed. We also yo-yo’ed through empty jump standards. We sideways along the short side wall, part of which is presently a trailer. She sniffed it a lot. Zone 3 next to trailer was not a problem.
This was one of Sara’s first few experiences of playing while someone was riding. As is very typical of Sara, she watched him for a minute and then decided he was no problem at all. Even cantering right past her didn’t bother her. Good girl!