I’m about to get serious here. It’s time for this little girl to start her education.
1.) Handling her head. She’s doesn’t give it very easily and because her poor nose got a concrete mud pack it’s been a bit ouchy. However, being an App she also needs her eyes cleaned on a regular basis, sunscreen applied to her nose, and a facemask.
Method: Dorrance True Horsemanship through Feel and Linda Tellington-Jones TTouch and Clicker Training.
2.) Handling the feet. She knows some about lifting her feet but we are just at the beginning of this education. It looks like her hind fetlocks have some sort of soreness started (suspecting scratches due to all the friggin’ rain) and I can’t even get down there to look safely as she is being overreactive.
Method: Dorrance True Horsemanship through Feel and Linda Tellington-Jones TTouch
3.) Leading. She has somewhat of an idea but boy does she need a lot of work on respecting people space. To her, a person is just a great scratching post! This reminds me of another horse I owned and who did not work out – it’s really not a pleasant way to be around your horse and can lead to human injury.
On leading exercises, I do a lot of melding methods which would include Dorrance True Horsemanship through Feel – specifically the feel of the “float” and keeping the horse following without undue pressure; Linda Tellington-Jones TTeam for doing work through the obstacle course utililzing whip signals; Gawani PonyBoy and Klaus Hempfling with taking horses on walks through the countryside as well as outside the field.
All of these methods have more in common then they appear on the surface. The biggest is Hempflings idea of Zones of leading your horse. In front is a leader dominant position – to the side is subservient (until all dominance issues have been worked on) and behind is dominant. You start with the front leading position and transition to the back and then once the horse and you have worked out the hierachy of the relationship, to the shoulder.
I post the above because from teaching people 4 plus years now I’ve found this is one area most people are seriously screwed up about.
4.) Moving from pressure – this is a huge problem and goes back to not respecting space. Because she won’t move away – but presses into pressure as a horse naturally does, this causes a problem when she gets you between her and a fence. On methods, I wil probably use some whip cues (TTeam) with a combination of clicker training.
5.) Trailer loading – Linda Tellington-Jones TTeam will prepare her. She’s loaded before but I want her to be completely at ease with this procedure.
6.) Grooming – I like horses to stand quietly (ground tied) for all grooming, including clippers, bathing, and fly spray. I will probably use Clicker training here.
7.) Tying. She’s been tied for short periods of time according to her breeder but since she doesn’t know to give to pressure, I really think tying her at all before this is learned is asking for disaster.
Some things I want to avoid – Roundpen work, Backing up and Lateral (i.e. shoulder in, leg yield) work – again, her body’s too young to handle this type of work. I’d like to wait until she’s three at least before introducing it.
Doesn’t seem like a lot does it? Well, if things go well and progress like I think they will I’ll add and revise the list to include sacking out (IMO she’s already a natural as nothing fazes this horse) and line driving.
Leslie Desmond (co-author with Dorrance of True Horsemanship through Feel) discusses how young horses offer us their life andcuriousity tied with their need for preservation. That we want to encourage that spark of curiousity. Although not great on audiotape what she states in this video is really about this fascinating connection and how we need to embrace it…