Sunday, October 21, 2007

She's Baaack!!!

My girl is home! I picked Lakota up from the trainer last week, and I am soooo happy to have her home (and so are the rest of the girls!) I unloaded her, and brought her up to the paddock, which elicited horses running to greet her, April screaming her shrill scream and running over, and Whinney was actually first at the gate, I never saw her so excited, with her very deep, low throaty nicker. She’s so cute, and was so excited to see Lakota. Ana came running over to say hello, too, and was sooo happy to have her Auntie Lakota back. Jen looked and whinnied to her, but that was about it. I gave them some lunch, and Jen got really defensive with ugly faces, but by the next morning, all was back to normal, with Lakota moving everyone else around, and Ana soaking wet and crusty from having a her grooming buddy back.

Then on Friday, Lasell Barlett came by for a couple of hours. She showed me some tools to use to help Lakota think about seeing things my way, and giving her the power to choose the correct answer. Unfortunately, it was pouring down rain, which was distracting I think to all of us.

Today is the first time I took Lakota out after her training (besides Friday). She is definately more forward, and she has a better stop on her now as well, which is good. We did have a few backslides to overcome, though. She didn't want to be haltered, or saddled. She was worried about the dressage whip, and was a little headshy and was very resistant to bridling again. These are all things we've worked on over the last 4 years, so it seems that she has regressed a bit in her time away (maybe because it was ust someone other than me handling her?) I don't think anything bad happened to her, though. So we used clicker training to work on these issues, and she softened and relaxed quickly after she realized that I was still the same and handled her the same way as I had done befores he went away. Lakota is a very, very sensitive horse. She also takes everything personally. She doesn't like to be handled matter-of-factly. She likes to be loved on and romanced. She likes a little foreplay first, before she'll relax and then she will do whatever you ask. We have worked this out between the two of us, but I think that while she was away, she wasn't indulged, so she got a little unsure and resistant because she wasn't molly-coddled . I don't mind at all, she's my girl, and I don't have 20 head to deal with, either.

In our little session in the roundpen, she didn't want to walk over the groundpoles that were in there, and she kept avoiding them. So I used Lasell's idea of leaving her alone if she was heading in the right direction, and asking her to move when she was not. It worked out rather well, and after I layered clicker on top of it, giving her a treat when she got closer to going over the poles, it was like a light-bulb went off, and she realized that I really didnt' want her to avoid the poles but go over them. So then she went over them just as nice-as-you-please, and after two rounds over the poles, I decided to quit there for the day on a good note.

I'm so glad my girl is home. =D

1 comment:

Brie said...

I know when Sage was started under saddle this spring that we had a few issues to work through as well when he came home. For instance he was getting cranky and nippy about the girth being done up, but that went away as soon as I took my time and did it in stages and he realized I wasn't going to just girth him up really quick.

I found it very hard to find a trainer that I felt comfortable with, which was part of why Sage wasn't started under saddle until he was 5. I take it the trainer Lakota went to didn't do clicker training like you do? Which is too bad, because she seems to do well with it. I couldn't find a Parelli trainer to continue that with Sage either (not in my price range anyways) so he did Monty Roberts stuff with the trainer. It was a little frustrating for both of us I think, and its taken a few months to re-establish the routine we have with Parelli techniques.

Anyways, glad she's back home, and doing well. Sounds like you're having fun.

Oh, P.S. I don't know about you, but for me the hardest part was pushing myself to keep doing all the new stuff Sage learned. I go too easy on him sometimes which keeps us from moving forward!! I tend to want to do familiar stuff over and over...