My new lease mare is a pretty, sweet thing.
However, she needs some work on her ground manners. When I first got her she would rush forward as I led her, would not back up, would crowd me, and would not stand still. All of these issues remain, however in just the week and a half I've had her, she is making CLEAR improvement with daily groundwork. All I have to do now to get her to back up is simply say, "back".
It's so nice to see this progress, because in the saddle she backs on command with such ease and willingness when just a week ago she refused to back. When picking her feet I simply say, "foot" and she picks it up without fuss when just a week ago should would dance around. I believe she is very smart and just needs a tune up and reminder!
As long as I keep her attention on me and keep her engaged in some activity, she seems to do fine. Especially in the round pen- outside of it her attention seems to drift more easily. When her attention drifts, she wants to dance around and pull me to the nearest patch of what little grass we have here in West Texas. So keeping her attention is key
, as I'm starting to learn more and more.
I've been using Clint Anderson's methods as a general guideline (I'd get more into it, however I'm afraid I'm not willing to spend $500 on a set of DVDs...) and am constantly going to my instructor for advice. I've been working on leading lightly, backing up, keeping out of my personal bubble, patience, being away from other horses, and tying without fussing. All of these things I will continue to work on daily as she still has quite a bit of way to go.
But what are some other activities and fun things (for the both of us) that I can do to keep her attention and those wheels in her head turning while we are in the process of getting to know and trust each other?