Hello! Recently my friend brought a couple of her horses to my house to board. When her horses arrived, my 3 year old filly got VERY excited. Understandable --she really hasn't been around other horses, besides mine, too much because I live in a very secluded area. We had to finish setting up a divider in my corral, so I had to pull out Sasha (filly) and Dandy (her mom) out of the corral and tie them up.
When we got out of the corral and started walking in the direction of my friends horses Sasha got even more excited and tried walking ahead / tugging on the lead a bit. I expected this though, so when she started to get a little over bearing, I'd walk her in a couple of tight circles around me and ask her to "whoa". If she couldn't stand still, I'd do a couple more circles and ask her again. Once she could stand reasonably still (not moving her feet or pawing) and seemed to be paying a safe amount of attention to me again, I'd move forward. As soon as she'd become over-bearing again, I'd repeat the above steps. Each time she'd calm down a little faster and could go a longer distance without getting fidgety again. Was that the right thing to do? Once she was tied up, she jigged around her tree a little bit them calmed down and seemed to be content with just staring at them.
Here's where I need suggestions (I think, I may need some from above too haha
). My friend had put her horses in her half of the corral before I got mine down there. When I walked Sasha down there, she was more calm than before, but I did have to do a couple circles with her. Once we actually got in the corral though, her manners seemed to go out the window. She would not pay a bit of attention to me. All her focus was on the horses across the fence. I couldn't get her to bend (in/away? Where her head is facing me, but her body is arching away from me. Sorry brain fart!) her head was bent away staring at the other horses (we weren't close to the fence, I had her in about the middle of her corral). She even started to step into me and my space. I used the tip of my fingers and poked her side to get her to realize I wasn't going to let her trample me. This seemed to get her attention enough so that she wouldn't step on me, but she never even once glanced at me. Kinda like "Oh yeah!! That's right, you are standing there. What's that, you want my attention? Well hold on a sec kay!!!" When I asked for circles she was trying to step into me and I couldn't get her to bend her head towards me and give me the respect I was wanted. I held my ground, she tried tugging me towards the fence and I stopped her with circles and returned to the same spot in the middle of the corral asking her to "whoa". I didn't want to let her go in this state, so I got it to where she was standing still and gave me a little eye contact first. After that I turned her loose, trying to end it on the best note I could because my friend's boyfriend (not super horse savvy) turned Dandy loose in the corral with me who started to dance around excited to meet the new horses. [He is horse savvy enough to lead and groom calm horses (like Dandy). He just didn't realize I was having some bigger issues with Sasha.]
Did I do a half-way decent job at least? I have had space issues with her because she thinks she is dog and wants to be in your lap --licking you, nibbling, ect... I've been working with her though and she now moves away from pressure: I touch her shoulders she will step away crossing her front legs and pivoting on her back legs (turn on the haunches I think), I touch her side, she will side-step away from be crossing both her front and back legs, I touch her haunches and she will cross her back legs and pivot on her front legs (turn on the forehand?). I will draw a line in the dirt that I don't want her to cross and hold her on a lead rope. If she crosses that line without me asking, I back her up sharply a few steps then return to my position. When she is good, I'll bring her into my space, reward her with some attention, then calmly back her out again. This situation showed me though that we aren't quite there yet. What can I do to make sure that she will keep a level head and respect me when we are in "stressful" situations like: new environments, around new horses, or leaving other horses. Thank you!