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LunaMorrow

Personal space whilst hand-grazing

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Hello everyone. I have a question regarding personal space whilst hand-grazing Darcy.

 

A few days ago after the Liberty clinic with Mel, I had a thought while I was hand-grazing Darcy. Over the 2 days of the clinic I had learnt a lot about listening to my horse through reading his body language and how to really protect my personal space; yet still respect his.

 

This leads me to my question. As I hand-graze Darcy, he will often shift his weight towards me or somewhat step in my direction with his foreleg. Is this him making the most of this time and pushing in on my space, or is he just trying to get a nice patch of grass that's close to me; or ever a combination of both?

 

Thank you

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Hi Luna,

 

Great question! Its amazing what we pick up when we are made aware of things isn't it! Your personal space is always yours, and now that your aware of those subtle little things you can say something about it.... for some horses it will mean a lot as far as leadership goes, for others not so much...

 

Id say a good rule would be to check in and see if you can ask him to move out of your space, or pick up your lead and ask him back, if he moves out or backward nicely i wouldn't stress too much about it, but if he is leaning on the lead or is stuck there then yes Id move him out of your personal space. Keep in mind that for him to get his head down and graze he will need to shift his leg forward to balance his weight. Maybe watch him graze while he isn't on the lead for the way he stands normally and see if its the same while you graze him on the lead...

 

Just like with everything else you can set your positions up so he doesn't need to push into your space to get to the nice juicy grass.

 

Cheers

Jill

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Thank you Jillian.

 

I'll spy on him grazing this afternoon and see what I can observe. I have noticed that he usually has his left leg in front when he is grazing, and usually shifts to keep that leg in front.

 

That sounds like a good idea and I'll ask him to move out of my space when he comes to close whilst grazing and see what feedback he gives me. I'll let you know how I go.

 

Thank you,

Luna

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Great discovery Luna,

The other thing to keep an eye on is if he walks off and pulls on the lead rope. This isnt allowed either, just swing your stick or end or lead rope towards his hind to get him to lift his head and come back to you. I always allow Coolie to graze as long as he doesn't push or pull on my space.

 

Have fun.

 

Fiona

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Hi everyone. I thought I should just post a little update.

 

I tried asking him to move out of my space and he lifted his head, stepped away and went back to grazing so we are all good :D

 

Thank you Jillian and Fiona for your help

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Sounds ok if he moves away light.

Why is it the grass next to us tastes better?

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Yep.

 

I wonder why too? I probably stand on the best patch for whatever reason!

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Just had the same conversation with Meredith during the UK Summer tour! For too long I have clearly ignored the little pushes into my personal space and clarity of leadership and now I need to address it I find it difficult to know when it's being pushy or just chilled out checking in! That sounds like a great way to establish the intention! X

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