Meet Bill. He turns 20 this year, but has never been formally schooled. He has always been a domestic family horse for his owners, and therefore is still somewhat "green". I got him two years ago when I started my journey as an equine assisted coach. I love the fact that he is barely 'conditioned' to respond and still has a lot of green horse character in him. He is also a strong headed horse, who only responds well to clear leadership and consistency. And when he does not want to do something, unless you have solid leadership, he will not budge! He is also madly in love with his lass, Rosie. I dont blame him, she's a gorgeous Bay with a mighty personality and sexy swagger
So - after he has been turned out in the field with Rosie post midday, it has always been IMPOSSIBLE to get him back! On some days, where I have arrived at the yard after he has been turned out, it has always resulted in vain. Either he has run away when he saw me approach. Or, if he didn't run away, he has stayed firmly planted in the ground refusing to budge after i've put on the headcollar. Or, if he has finally been driven out of the gate, he has point blank refused to walk up the bridleway!
Now, since he and I began QS exactly ten days ago, suddenly all these resistances seem to have magically gone away!
Yesterday, I went down to the field to get him. Whilst in the past I would not have even bothered - especially given this mucky weather - yesterday I decided to take my QS lessons and equipment down and apply the 'approach' and 'drive' principles I have newly learnt and been practising.
It was delightful to see how responsive he was!!!
First, he chose to stay with me (not run away as usual).
Then, he walked with me out of the field instantly on request (as opposed to at least 45-60 minutes of plantedness and drama which almost always resulted in me giving up).
Then, he walked all the way up the bridleway coolly and calmy in partnership with a smile in the rope...ven though his girlfriend was on the other side of the fence!
Am I proud of him or what?
Bill said quite clear to me yesterday - QS works!