I agree with the taking a break.. I think I mentioned it before...
Hanging out to me means that I am not asking anything of my horse I am just around. I usually take a book and read while he eats and then give him a nice grooming. You can give treats aswell but depends if your horse gets pushy or not.
You are thinking of everything to mechanically.. like everything has to be down in order for it to work but it doesn't. Owning a horse comes with making mistakes but also learning from them.
Take at least a week off and just don't worry about lists or training but just enjoying the company.
Ive done this quite a bit with her over the past month. Some days I will just go, take her in the barn, brush her, give her grass, put her back. Thats it.
I think you guys are seeing me working her on drills and excersizes every single time I see her - which is definitely not the case.
Today will be another off day for her, in fact I was thinking about it last night and I might not even go visit her tonight. I might take the night off to reflect, do more reading and research. Especially seeing how last night went really well, wouldnt mind for last night to sink in a bit longer and so I can be sure to maintain my focus on building from what I gained last night.
Thats why Im just super eagerly waiting for her to be put out in the herd next to her. This should be happening any day now. The original quarentine period was only 3 weeks but this Friday will be 6 weeks. I sure hope she is put in the herd by Friday, especially seeing how the BO and my trainer told me almost 2 weeks ago that they will be putting her out in the herd in 1-2 weeks from now.
They both said that, that is what she needs right now, to be put in a herd and be with other horses. Shes gone more than long enough being isolated (and this even goes back to her at the old barn, since she never has been in the field) and essentially has been in some sort of isolation since ive owned her (and even two months before the previous owner sold her to me). With her previous owner, in the 2 months where she was in her backyard and alone, she was very lonely.
Even though her having other horses around her for the past 4 months has made her happy and not so lonely, I have no doubt that the fact she hasnt been in a herd for the past 4 months has startled to have that lonely feeling start to trickle back in.
BO and I were talking about this the other day. He gets to see her much more than I do because hes there all the time. I notice this as well but we both agreed that my mare will spend most of her time (when in her pasture paddock), standing near the fence looking at the other horses in the 3 herds next to her. BO said she bascailly saying "hey I want to be with them, why cant I be with them?!" Which cant be anymore true. This is why I sure hope the BO puts her out in the herd THIS WEEK or I might go a bit antzy here.
So 4 fours + 2 months, total 6 months where she hasnt really been able to be a horse - make friends, run, play with them, be in a pecking order ,etc.
She made a few buddies at the old barn but that was through fences when they were paddock neighbours. Not quite the same as them being in a herd. When I put her in a 1 acre paddock in the old barn, (she was alone), she had a herd of 5 right next to her, just over the fence. But again, not the same thing as actually being in a herd.
Trainer, BO and I, all agree that the sooner she is in a herd, the better she will be, she will be happier and most likely be more in line and more well behaved as the trainer and BO said that her herd mates will keep her in line and I wont be the main focus for her anymore. Cause right now Ive been her herd for the past 4 months, her owner has been her herd for the 2 months before that. And when she goes into a herd, I will no longer be her herd.
Honestly though, the day she is put in a herd, I will probably cry. Not from sadness but happiness to finally see her be a horse again. Ive been waiting so long for this, it will almost feel surreal at first. It will take a couple days for it to actually sink in that it actually happened. Every time I go to the barn, as I pull in, Ive been greatly anticipating whether or not I would finally see her in the herd