Lacey has a lesson this evening with her least favorite lesson kid. The kid is super sweet but she just doesn't "get" the whole "being clear with cues" thing. However, she is 7 and comes off as a pretty immature 7 so I'm thinking that's probably a lot of the problem. I guess it's just frustrating to me because I've been teaching her for over a year and she's still a beginner beginner, not nearly ready to trot or anything. She does really well when we play games so I try to keep her lessons pretty light on skill-based things and heavy on the "learning but not realizing that learning is happening".
And poor Lacey wants so badly to be "right" that she kind of just shuts down when this girl is on her back. However, if I can keep the girl focused via games, Lacey has a much better time of it.
I think tonight we're going to play "Mrs. Horse" (a variation on "Mr. Fox", if you've ever played that).
(c+p from another thread):
Basically, you set up some obstacles that the child can maneuver without a whole lot of help. Then, the child, on the horse, is placed on one side of the obstacles and you go to the other side. Then, the child yells to you "Mrs. Horse, Mrs. Horse, what time is it?" and you said "Time to __do an obstacle of two___" ("go three circles around the purple bucket, back up 2 steps, and trot over the log" is an example).
Then, the child completes those and stops by the last thing he/she did. Then, they yell to you again "Mrs. Horse, Mrs. Horse, etc" and you keep telling that it's time to do something.
The "goal" is for the child to slowly be making their way closer and closer to you (I like to send them back to the beginning a couple of times, just to be mean )
Then, once the child has stopped within 10 or so feet of you, and asks what time it is, you yell "FEEDING TIME!!!" and start "chasing" the child and horse. Since the kids I play this game with are just walking, I walk after them, but your job is to catch and "eat" the horse (aka, tag the horse).
And I think that instead of having her ride, I'm going to have her lead Lacey and I'll lead Lady so we can each take a turn "being in charge". I've never done that with her yet, usually I'm just "ordering" her around, so she'll probably think it's great to order me around for a change!
She also needs to work on her leading skills so that'll be another bonus!
And it'll be good for Lady to think like that. I would let Kae lead Lady (she LOVES Lady) but Kae just doesn't "get" that horses could really hurt her, or something, and I pretty much know she would not take appropriate precautions while working with Lady.
Anyway, that's what we're doing this evening.
This morning I lunged Lacey just a bit (no new cuts on her legs! Yayyyyy bell boots?!) to get her moving and Lady wore the mullen mouth snaffle for probably an hour. She seemed to accept that one a bit more than the broken snaffle so yay that I have something that works for her! She was still making all sorts of faces about it but she was a bit (lol, puny!) more content.
She was also easier to bridle than she was yesterday. I think she may have never been bridled before yesterday (or at least, never bridled "the right way") given that she pretty much flipped her lid about me raising the bridle over her face and then refused to open her mouth for the lonnnnngest time. But today she was really pretty quiet about the bridle going over her face and I just held the bit to her front teeth, kept my other hand on her poll, and she opened her mouth within a minute or two. Yay for improvement!
In other news, she was a real brat about her food today. Like I said before, I have a specific feeding behavior regime that ensures no one is pushy about their food.
Well, today when I brought her food over, she briefly pinned her ears a few times at me before I went in the stall so I got my handy halter/whip (it's this crappy halter that could be a halter if need be but it's also a great "spanker"), just in case, right?
She put herself into her corner, got her treat, and promptly left the corner, so I shooed her back in. Then, she kept breaking her "stay" before I said she could so I kept shooing her back.
After about 5 minutes of this, she was FED UP. She then kinda turned to me in a weird way and started swinging her butt around, preparing to kick me. Thankfully I just hollered at her like she was a small child about to fall over a cliff and she promptly fixed herself and went back to her corner, where she stayed 100% perfectly (and I made her stay there for another couple of minutes so fake kicking was not rewarded), until I let her go. she was SHAKING in the corner too.
I'm just glad I didn't try smacking her with the halter, that WOULD have gotten me kicked.
She's really weird about confrontation. Lacey will do everything she can to get out of an argument while Lady will stand her ground and fight back if you push her too hard mentally or physically. I'm not sure I like it. It would be one thing if she didn't know she was much bigger than me and could hurt me but she definitely knows that she can hurt you so you better not push her too far... >.<
Yaaaaay for idiots raising an orphan foal! You guys did a FANTASTIC job! NOT.
Thank Jesus she's slated for training in September, before she kills me. I bet/hope that with more training, she'll figure out how to better handle her issues. I think right now it's just a lack of real knowledge and, what feels like to her, a need for self preservation that's "forcing" her to do things that are totally unacceptable.
Lacey used to be like that undersaddle and I fixed it but she was never like that on the ground. I guess I really don't have a whole lot of experience training horses on the ground. I'm pretty handy at solving things from the saddle but groundwork from step 1? I'll just look at you with blank eyes. I can usually start at step 5 (if there were steps, haha) and make out ok but earlier than that is proving to be a challenge.
I hope they're going to send her to a good trainer. Not some NH, Parelli shmuck... She would love Parelli, yay for no rules! Can Buck come over here and train/put the smack down on her?? Plllllease?
On the plus side, if I'm going to foster her through the winter, they've said that they would love it if I went out to the trainer's place and worked with Lady and the trainer while she's getting trained. That would be so cool! I'm sure I would learn a ton in general, even if it is some shmuck trainer.
so I'm just a smidge excited for that.
And, I do have threeeeee, ok four, whole pictures for you. No good camera yet - TOMORROW! but they are photographic images so there!
Chewing the bit hardcore. Silly horse! Also, look at how great she's looking, weight-wise!!
Aww, cute girl. All done!
That's all for now, folks!