Originally Posted by Dreamcatcher Arabians View Post
Yup, and save the money you'd spend on gas or other lessons with a 2nd trainer to pay for some clinics in spring and summer. They are a lot of fun with or without your own horse. It's a lot cheaper to audit than to be in the clinic itself, so if you want to go to several, I'd audit and make a nice weekend away to several nice places.
What do you mean by audit? Watch?
I definitely plan on attending some clinics next year. Im very much looking forward to the experience.
I got to the barn today and found out the trainer wasnt teaching today and the arena was free. I was so happy, knew today wasnt a better time to setup the logs and introduce her to the tarp.
I wasnt quite sure how to set them up. Unfortunately, we dont have a ton of logs, about maybe 12 total. It takes a long time to setup lol, these logs are heavy. I always wonder (even at the old barn) how so few people are into stuff like this. Im guessing theyre too lazy to setup?
Yes it takes a lot longer to setup and tare down than the amount of time your horse is actually in it lol.
Ignore the orange cones, those were left there from yesterdays lesson, me doing the 20m circles lol.
I lead her through the obstacles with me on the outside of the logs and just leading her as usual. Weaved her through the poles in a snake like figure. Then the 2nd time I did the same, but I gave more slack on the leads around on the poles and let her go about them on her own with me directing the lead ahead. Then after that I moved the logs in much narrower (about 1/2 the width and then did a few more circles, even went in both directions. As we would hit the last pole, we would circle back and go the direction we came from.
The whole time I was just going about it like normal, I wasnt nervous at all, I wasnt super comforting to my mare saying "its ok, easy, easy"...but about the 2nd lap going around, (Im not sure what it was) but I just had this feeling, something my mare was telling me that she was enjoying it. (REMEMBER: According to her previous owner, obstacles is what she enjoys the most as it keeps her mind stimulated. She likes to have her mind stimulated.) She was relaxed and the first time I brought her into the logs, she was sniffing the ground (is that good?)
After that, I brought her up to the tarp. When I laid it down, I first though "whats the best way going about this?" lol then I quickly flashed back to when we desentized her to the flagstick.
First I got her to sniff it, and of course she snorted (as expected).
I then walked her past the tarp about 4 times with me leading her so that I was inbetween the tarp and her. I just lead normally, didnt look at the tarp, nothing different. Then I let her sniff it again. NOTE: Obviously me letting her sniff it is suppose to be mimicking me rubbing the object on her body (which I did with the flag stick), but I felt there was no way I could rub this large tarp on her right away, she would freak out.
Then I put her between the tarp and me and did 3 or 4 circles around the tarp. She was fine with this, she wasnt bothered by the tarp being right by her legs and she didnt look at it. Let her sniff again.
Then I walked her again but this time I walked on the tarp (so she can hear the sound). I just walked about normally. She was fine. Did this a few times.
Then I walked again but with her heading towards the tarp and she wouldnt go on it. She stopped right when we got to it, she sniffed and went around it. Thats ok! I didnt want to try again, so instead we just ran through the obstacles one more time to leave things on a good note.
Whole time was about 25mins? Tarp work was about 10?
I felt it was a good first time exposure for her to the tarp! We can build from here.
I think people at the barn were shocked about me setting all that up (Im not lazy!!!). There were a few in the barn who were getting ready to ride and another saw me with the tarp (and the BO saw as well) probably a bit surprised cause I dont think desentizing to the tarp is very popular at barns. Again, you have to be all into this liberty training and obstacle desentizing (which I am) and most people arent. Most just want to ride, thats it.
During the whole time, I said "good girl" after each time my mare would sniff the tarp or we would finish a lap around the obstacles, or we would walk past the tarp and she was cool with it. I just said good girl, I didnt overly praise her, I didnt stop and scratch and rub her over and over telling her "its ok, its ok" (what I would do in the past) cause I remembered me being told (I think by you guys) that I need to just go about things like normal and the more comforting I try to do with her, it will only make her nervous. Do you think I did this right?