I’ve been pondering the problem that is Z (rather like the old Sound of Music melody of Maria~How do you solve a problem like Maria?). While Ride the Right Horse did give me further insight into the mind of a Strong Willed horse or as she calls it, Challenging, I only gained a bit more direction, specifically about boundaries.
From watching video and in discussion with Ivy, I do believe I had let the boundaries of personal space slip so that was the first thing to get corrected. When Z was helping daddy with the fence, several times I moved her back and of course after about the fifth time she started getting mad we weren’t going to allow it and it resulted in her leaving us so she could go pester Dee.
Though I had pushed her hard in the Round pen in order to show Ivy some of her more outrageous behavior, I was not comfortable about it. My intuition told me this was the wrong direction to go with this horse and the next several days afterward, I sensed a difference in her feelings/acceptance towards me.
Sometimes you do have to listen to that intuition, irregardless if it doesn’t seem to make sense.
You also have to be truthful with yourself: My reluctance was not due to fear on the ground, Z does not frighten me at all.I knew I could get what I wanted with using the Round pen; but I also knew that I didn’t like the psychological pressure that these exercises placed upon the horse.
But, intuitively, I had always felt that in the long run, doing intense RP work with Z would harm, rather then help.
It further affirmed to me that I may need to go down a less traveled path, especially with Z.
If you are into Klaus Hempfling, this would be a book to check out. I will be discussing through several of my next posts and how it has been like “coming home”.
However, for those who want training by the book, volumes this one is not that. It’s about the relationship and a philosophy on how to approach training, not training “how-to’s”. Like Hempfling’s Dancing with Horses and Dorrances’ True Horsemanship through Feel, these books are about the evolvement of how we interact with horses and our role as their Decider (Pignon’s term).
Further Disclaimer ~ The Cavalia show highly romanticizes the bond between horse and human; while that is fun entertainment, I’m not all into that so much as I do like the text in the book.