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Tracy44

Concerned ill get it wrong and mess up my horse

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Apollo has been with me now for three weeks almost, he has been really nice and we have done something most days even if only for a very short time and we have improved with every session, happy days.

Today we spent the day with Alexia doing a lesson package day. in the morning we worked on our basic skills, all well and good he was very unstressed and relaxed and very easy going.

This afternoon we stepped up a gear and worked on our short range, sideways and the barells, again all pretty good with Apollo just me messing up my position and phases (hence the lessons :)) etc etc

We have done a few sideways before today, just a step or two, no more but often and then i'd leave it. Today I probably asked for too much of him and he was getting a little cranky, nothing major I could feel it in him and as he was travelling around me a couple of times he really lowered his head and almost snaked on the circle, it didnt feel good.  I feel he may have been thinking about having a roll rather than stretching his back...??

 

I then asked for sideways after a circle and he went beautifully so we stopped and enjoyed the comfort and waited before i asked him the other way. He took a while to move so i had to go through my phases and did make contact with him before he moved. Once going he started mouthing at my forearm which was right under his mouth and I avoided his mouth somehow by manouvering my arm out of his way and not let it stop me doing what I was doing so,  knowing i couldnt stop with him doing this I kept going.  He continued and it unnerved me, i didnt want him to bite me and it felt like he might.  I then got emotional and lost my focus, he didnt bite me and we did the sideways however it did throw me as I see it all around me with others and their horsees disrespecting each other :(  and I dont want that to be us.

i feel it was a bit much for him and he was expressing his discontent and testing my metal and i also feel I expected too much from him too soon, probably in my keeness to make the most of having Alexia there and do well.

I realise I must go slower and not expect too much too soon however I am concerned I might mess him up, I dont want to have to fix him, if you know what I mean.  He is out of condition and carrying too much weight and he is a big boy new into the herd with all the herd dynamics going on.

He has been perfectly polite towards me up untill today so I dont want him to develop bad habits with me.  He does try to take the rope at times, and the headcollar as I put it on, he also took the stick in his mouth at one point today and it feels to me like curiosity belnded with a bit of frustration and attitude.  He is only 10 years old and has not done much for a while so i guess he was objecting at the workload?

Any tips and advice would be much appreciated x

I got my red string today :) :) :) 

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Sounds like he just needs something to do. Are you going to slow and giving him time to think of his own games?

Keep doing your homework and you will see a pattern over 3 or more days. The same homework. Tell us what you see.

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Thanks Shane, I thought I was going too fast lol glad I asked :rolleyes:

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Infact I have been pondering on this since and I do feel I have been rude and he has taken exception to this and I have lost some raport with him.

He is quite a bit bigger than Buster and was coming into my space to begin with,  when he first arrived, I was so determined to not bend my arm nor step backwards and I feel I need to stand up for myself if you know what I mean.  I need to relax I think and just lighten up :whistling:

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Enjoy! But make it purposefull.

Reward the try. They need to see a patern of reward in you.

 

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Got it x

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Tracy, you are doing really well with him :thumbsup:

He's in a new environment in a new place so it's normal for him to see how worthy you are as a leader.  His safety is at stake! 

If you are worried about making mistakes, it will mess up your energy and he will feel that.  If he makes you nervous, he'll sense that and then you'll be sending out mixed messages which will make him nervous too and then you're in a downward spiral.

So yes, stop worrying about messing up, lighten up and have some fun.  Reward the try, as Shane says.  Really reward the try - in your heart!  It makes a huge difference!! That's what Luna reckons anyway! :inlove:

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Thanks Alexia, we had a play toaday and had some fun.  He was much better today although still objecting to the fore quarter yield and no contact backward however it is getting better. Only did a few steps today of each and gave lots of release.

We had a second play this afternoon and he was better still, so much so that we filmed our short range :blink:

Its not too bad and sideways was so much better today, and Shane yes I needed to get him moving on the sideways and not hang about. Just need to find a happy medium, and it was fun, he is a good boy and full of curiosity and I guess thats what im more concerned about losing by being a make monster or taking it all too seriously

Its been a great day and im really enjoying playing with him :D

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Hey Tracy.....the road to HMS is pretty simple but certainly not always easy.  :)  You'll have lumps and bumps along the way...we all do, but how you deal with them is the key.

As Alexia said, feel it in your heart, enjoy the journey...all of it...and you'll see more try.  Which means he gets more release.  Which in turn makes for a happy pony and a happy partnership.

Remember also that anything sidewaysie (my new word!) is mentally challenging for many horses, so a bit of displaced behaviour is normal at first and nothing to worry about.  Just understand that he finds it hard, so reward often and really appreciate his try.  And it'll come together in no time.

:)

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Thank you Meredith x

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Hey Tracey, great advice from everyone. Horses are very forgiving so I wouldn't be worried about messing up your horse and as you move forward you are always improving anyway :) Be bold, have empathy, truly appreciate his tries and have fun. Everything else will fall into place.

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Well Apollo and I are getting along quite nicely now. He tries very hard to get it right and is a quick learner, really quick.  I did what you said Shane and he picks up the pattern very quickly when I am consistent and when I am not focused it gets messy.  In fact he is so quick at picking up the pattern that he then anticipates what I am going to ask him to do so I need to keep it interesting for him and chop and change it around quite a bit, that is what I am supposed to do right? 

He is forgiving as you said Jen, thank goodness! I have been riding him more now we've built our relationship and got to know one another and he is a good boy for me although he does still try to play with the lead rope and tries to take it in his mouth from time to time.  I try not to give him the opportunity to do this as it isn't very safe although I don't want to tell him off or over react. I am guessing it will get less and less as time goes by as he no longer does this when I am putting his halter on and off like he used to do. 

I suppose its a young horse curiosity, playfulness thing being mouthy like that as he isn't nasty with it. 

I really am very pleased with his progress and we had a great time away with the girls in Thursley. 

Onwards and upwards :D:D

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You are doing great with him Tracy. I know you both pushed yourselves out of your comfort zone in Thursley...but it was great fun wasn't it?

It can be a bit frustrating when your horse keeps anticipating your next move, ...particularly when you are filming an assignment (hey Zabel? :lol:) . So yes just keep changing the tasks to keep them thinking and focussed. I'm sure the rope grabbing will stop in time when he realises it's not getting him anywhere!

Onwards and upwards indeed!

 

 

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