Thanks, you two!! :)
I'm excited to be working there more!
In the words of Gentleman Friend, when I told him [he's SO stoked about this job for me..I think he may be even slightly more excited than I am! So I try to keep him updated on job happenings, hahaha] about this new development: "STOP!! THAT IS SOOOOOO COOOOOOL!!! You are perfect for this!!"
This kid. I really have no idea how he's my cheerleader when I need one, my shrink when I need one, and my straight-up friend when I need one of those...HOW IS HE HUMAN.
Anyway, TODAY WENT SO SO SO GOOD!!!!!!!!!!! Like SOOOOO good.
I don't even know where to start.
We only had two riders today, an Autistic boy and a little girl with Down's.
The boy was first, on Buddy. After he got off, he wanted to help me lead the horse, so we led Buddy together. The little boy held the end of the lead rope, grabbed my hand [!!!THE CUTEST], I held on closer to Buddy's face, and we walked Buddy back to his "spot" together. It gave my heart the warm fuzzies. :)
Usually Buddy likes to bite me and, previous to this, they've kinda just let him since "the horses need an outlet for frustration." NOT ON ME, they don't!!!! Haha Anyway, so this week I've really been cracking down on him and that ride, he only tried to bite me maybe 3 times. He got popped with the halter [I've switched all the horses over to rope halters, haha] each time and stopped after the third try.
Then the girl. She rode the TWH, Skippy.
She did super great! Skippy also did better about mouthing on me. Again, they've just been letting it happen...but that ain't going to fly now. A new sheriff is in town! Haha He was still somewhat mouthy/looking for "excuses" to mouth but each time I caught him and didn't even need to correct him because he corrected himself.
The little girl told me that I should give her my pants [I was wearing these purpley-magenta ones that have those metal studs on the patootie pockets - they're SUPER comfy and what could go wrong with brightly colored pants! Haha] because "they're pretty." I got complimented on my cat shirt yesterday as well...it seems that my style is well suited for the tastes of kids with disabilities. I love it!!
THEN!! It only gets better!
I got to work with my boy, Fabio. Basically I'm just supposed to be desensitizing him because, in typical form with Arabs who haven't seen a lot of the world, he's spooky as heck. Most of it comes from not having a bond with someone, I think, since he's "gotten so much better since Emily started working with him!" But there's also a whole lot of mental anxiety going on. He's A LOT like Lacey when I first started with her. Both of their basic personalities are anxious+distrustful to the core, so it's really a matter of teaching them to trust their surroundings and trust the human handling them.
Anyway, he is so great. He was terrified of this basketball hoop we had set up so we fed hm treats while he had his head down through the net - the shaking of the hoop, while he ate, made him nervous but the fact he was getting treats overrode the nervousness.
We also threw tennis balls over and around him, hitting the wall and a velcro target - he was initially very nervous but we started out with his head in between myself and my helper while we threw the balls, so he felt "protected" but could still see what as happening. By the end of 15 minutes, we were able to line him up parallel to the wall, toss the lead rope over his neck, and have him stand by himself while we threw the balls over and under him - hitting the wall and the target AND having the balls roll back to hit his feet and legs.
My boss was impressed. But really, this horse has a GREAT mind.
And!! My boss gave me permission to ride him whenever I want and to take him on trail rides because she feels that she's never seen him respond to someone like he responds to me. MORE WARM FUZZIES!!
So I'm thinking I might take my saddle over there on Tuesday and see how it fits him. It is a wide, he's definitely wide, and they only have western saddles there. I like western saddles but if I'm going to be trail riding a spooky horse, I would prefer my Aussie! Haha
If it fits, I'll probably just ride him around in the arena a bit - get a feel for him from his back. Should be fun!! He has a nice quick walk like Lacey. #favorites
This is Buddy.
This is Skippy. As you can see, he kind of hates me. He mostly doesn't like that I've single-handedly ruined "all his favorite games!!" Really, he's much better than he was. Baby steps!!
And then this is "the Old Man", Tazzy. He's a National Show Horse [Saddlebred+Arabian, I think he's mostly Saddlebred] and he's pretty nice. We ground drive him = super fun.