I had a great breakthrough with my somewhat-new horse, Kainne, today.
It's been interesting for me to figure this guy out. He's a lot different than previous horses I've worked with and I've learned a lot from him already.
Recently the weather has been getting him all excited and he's been getting a little bit full of himself on the ground..thinking that he can start telling me what to do and I've needed to be really firm with him to keep him in check. He's really the sort of horse where he's like a saint under saddle but hasn't been worked with much on the ground. He starts to get pushy and when I would reprimand him (even just the slightest response) he'd respond by throwing his head up into the air, pinning his ears, rearing, and trying to take off in the other direction..and I'd keep with it and stay consistant in firmly telling him, "No, that is not what you're doing, what you're doing right now is moving around in this circle/moving your hindquarters/backing up/etc." but I was being a bit impatient and not taking enough time to get him really respectful.
So today after his turnout session I went to take him out (usually I just walk up to him, pet him, and he follows me back to the gate to get his halter on so I didn't have a halter with me) and he was acting this same way, trying to nip at me and shaking his head/pinning his ears, etc..so I proceeded to move his feet using only body language and gestures..he'd get all worked up and when he'd try to rear or do something dominant/defiant I'd yell NO and give him my meanest look and wave an arm towards him, then continue the command and just stuck with that, moving him all over the arena (without a halter on, it was pretty cool) and staying consistent with all of this and giving him a quick pet when he'd listen, until eventually he FINALLY dropped his head, licked and chewed, and totally settled down, changing his body language back to that calm, passive acceptance that we all know and love, and he got a huge GOOD BOY and lots of pets, and very calmly followed me back to the gate.
I was very proud. With him it's such a balance act between very firm and very soft training. You could say my last horse, who actually had much less training on him, had a much "easier" personality. There's been a few times in the last few days when I looked at this wild thing rearing at me and running around like a crazy thing and just thought, "What am I doing with this huge, crazy Thoroughbred? Where is my harmless little pony?", but I'm so glad that I'm figuring out how to get through to him on his "naughty days"..
He's a really great horse for me to have right now. I'm struggling with a lot of things about him, as some of you may have read in my other posts, but how would we ever learn without challenges like these?
Plus, most of the time he's a complete angel. I just love his personality. From this post you wouldn't know it but he's a TOTAL sweetheart. I'm really loving this guy
And I'm sorry for kind of going on here..as I've said before, I really don't have any horsey friends so I either talk to them (and they don't understand a word I say) or post here..haha