ZZ has reverted to some of her favorite tactics: while following, weaving about not paying attention to your location; and stopping like a rock and refusing to follow or move.
After watching Hempflings’ Coming Together it’s quite clear that though ZZ’s leading has improved 80 percent she is still not paying attention to me in the manner I need her too. From that thought I realize that I need to be doing some more intense one-on-one work that requires her to focus more on me, specifically following my hand holding the lead line.
I also think a lot more leading from behind is needed, considering what Hempfling has to say about this leading position coupled with ZZ’s dominance issues.
I figured that would be my plan in the large arena; those plans quickly got changed as ZZ felt she would throw a hissy fit because of my request. She went running off to the other side of the arena, bucking and running and bucking and snaking and just being royally pissed off that the Princess was going to be told no.
The arena work evolved and resembled roundpen work more then anything else. I decided to set off a corner as Mine. Of course, I picked her favorite corner just so she would be compelled to do something about it.
Although I will have to state upfront the #1 reason I don’t like Roundpen work is that the horse has no place to leave too; most roundpens are way too small (less then 40′ in diameter) causing torque on the horses’ legs and not allowing enough space for the horse to have a boundary of his own where he feels safe. There is also a lot of chasing about on the part of the Horseperson, which I did not do – I just guarded my corner.
During today’s work, ZZ could have left me any time in this big arena and I did not chase after her. She often CHOSE to go running off to buck and show off that a Princess was being Denied… only to come running back to snort and buck to try to intimidate me out of the corner.
The good news is that I can now stop her from a dead charge 10 feet away! (p.s. not recommended for those faint of heart) with just a stare.
When we got done, I walked down to the shade where my mounting block is, and she followed me on a tackless lead.. I dumped all my carrots on the ground and then had to show the silly Princess where they were. We hung out together for awhile (with polite sharing) and then did another tackless lead back to the gate.