NEW TOOLS, NEW ATTITUDE
We took our new rope halters, new “skills” and new attitude/knowledge picked up at the Clinton Anderson Downunder Horsemanship clinic into the round pen today. We have not been able to really work with the horses for about three days due to work schedules and our road trip to Reno. It has been more like “social time”…checking feet, giving supplements, just some TLC but no real “training”. We get to the ranch in Auburn and begin the session. The horses come to the gate all excited to see us. That is always a nice feeling. After a brisk grooming session we begin the round pen training. Well, the new rope halters do seem to work! The horses cant lean into them has they can with the wide webbing halters. It is much easier to get “two eyes” and to get them to use the thinking side of their brains! My mare Jolene is REALLY focused on my new way of moving! I adjusted my body language a bit which made my intent very clear. I also became “more sensitive” to where my “personal space” was and not allowing her to enter it without my invitation. We did some new sensitizing exercises, moved feet forward, back, left and right, did direction changes, lateral flexing and more. As it is stated by many horse trainers…the more YOU move THEIR feet the more RESPECT you are given. We also work on desensitizing as well. Her little brain just went POP! She looked at me with an expression of “Who are YOU and where is MY human? You look like him and smell like him but you don’t “talk” like him!” There was some resistance to this “new me” and we had a few “discussions”. Yes, most horses can be stubborn and mustangs are even more so, but when it was over there was a new level of respect on many levels. Since the horses are coming home from Auburn on Tuesday we will be able to be more consistent in training and offer up more time to “work and play” together. Pretty jazzed about that.
Our next session will hopefully include some saddle time but we ALL are being flexible in our goals as we apply and use these new tools, skills and attitudes. We picked up some mecate reigns with nice slobber straps and a new style cinch at the clinic. The new cinch was very light and very comfortable for the horse. It really allows the elbow to move more freely. We put on the saddles last night but did not put on the head stalls. That is for our next session.
Whew! So a new chapter in the development of our horses and our own horsemanship has begun!
Richard de Camville