Today we finally have a bit of a break from the rain and blustery wind…make that a deluge of rain and dreary gray weather…I know I know…blah and blah…grumble and complain. The rain has kept me indoors the last week cleaning of all silly things, so I took a break one day and sorted through some old pictures on my back up drive…it was fun to look back on lots of good memories…good people…good times and good horses of course:)
March’s last week of blahsay (is that a word?) weather was much like the day in this photo…wet…cold…gray…and dreary. This picture was taken a few years ago in the round corral…Cowboy son had come home to visit for the weekend and while he was here, he wanted to work with Fanny Annie. He was working on desensitization with Annie, which is important as it begins to lay the foundation of trust. She is learning to trust in her human no matter if the plastic sack is scary or not…
This teaches her inner trust in us so that when anything unexpected happens on the trail or anywhere we go when we ride her, she will not freak out being triggered into the fear or flight instinct. As he asks her to move about, he is watching her body language…looking for the try in her to trust him…waiting for her to turn towards him with two eyes…instead of her hindquarters, which is a lack of respect.
He had a ways to go yet with her as she is yet turning away from him. As we waited and watched you could feel the rain coming as the air was heavy with mist and a feeling of ominous blahsay…it has to be a word, as it fits the dreary day!
He continues to move her feet about…it is not mean if it is done right…she is learning that her world is safe with her human leader…just as it would be in the wild with her herd…ultimately she is learning to trust. Horses are born with the biological fear or flight mechanism…it is what kept them alive for centuries. In the wild when a predator approaches, the lead horse in the pack will alert the herd to move out if danger invades their world.
We humans want to ride our horses like no big deal…but unless we first develop trust with them or a very good trainer does it before we purchase the horse…we likely will deal with a spooky jumpy horse and be upset or worse, either the horse gets hurt or we do or we both do. A good foundation is a must when you raise horses and if you purchase one then you need to be sure that the horse has been given a good foundation of trust and consistency. And remember if for some reason you end up with a horse that is not so great…it is not the horses fault…they are doing what their natural instinct says, “fear for your life horse”…and that would be due to lack of foundational training…with daily training and relationship. We would not expect to buy a lion and bring it home for a house kitty…and expect it to be fine to play or cuddle with us…horses are the same way…they are much more vulnerable to pain caused by humans as the human did not know or understand the horse.
All horses want to get along but if they have been abused and if they have not been handled correctly or right…then they are spooky and fighting for their lives…they do not know if we are safe or not until we begin with them from the beginning. By the way I refresh my well-trained older horses in the round corral if needed…often both of us need it:)
Here Cowboy is touching Annie softly on her shoulder area asking her if she will settle in with him but she is still tight and tense…not quite ready to listen…
He continued by moving her off again…in the direction he asks…always when you work your horses, if you ask them to go to the right and they go to the left…you stop them and turn them back to the right…they must go the way you ask…again this is good communication and respect.
Annie is beginning to settle…she is facing him and you can see in her eyes that she is thinking…she wants to hook on to Cowboy…the first step that all is well and she is safe. “Annie will you hook on to me now and follow me?”
For the sake of your eyes and boredom, unless you have horses, I fast forwarded the process and the pictures a bit :)
Ry is in the corral now as he listens how to connect to Annie, as she is looking for that sign of trust that Ry is safe too.
Touching Annie on her forehead is reassuring to her that all is well.
I have found that horses have a bond with children that is hard to explain…they are very soft with kids.
Dropping down to her level…we are showing her we are not over her but we are partners in this relationship and as partners you will be the safe leader…submission and trust are critical in your relationship with your horse.
Still working on trust here but making good progress.
Incredibly beautiful…as this is the moment when trust is being given between horse and human…see how Annie is looking at Cowboy…when your horse gives you their trust it is a sacred relationship.
One of my favorite pictures of Annie and Ry…she is such a sweet girl…and he is becoming such a cowboy too:)
That rainy gray morning…Annie gave her heart with her trust…she relaxed…joined in and became soft.
The lesson ended with Annie introducing herself to Bo-Bo…he is the best dog…and father to our dog Dasher.
From here on we continued to develop Annie’s trust. The most important part of the relationship with your horse whether young or old is consistency…that is the key to the whole deal of your horses knowing that they are safe in this life with you:)
No more blahsay…hoping for a sunshiny today…is that the right spelling for sunshiny??? It is a word right?
“Monday Monday, so good to me,
Monday Monday, it was all I hoped it would be”.
A bit of help from the Mama’s and Papa’s.