Takoda Update–Horse Development Progress In Confidence In All 4 Areas.
As I was sitting here thinking about what I should write about this week it crossed my mind that it has been a while since I wrote about the progress Takoda (5yr old Hanoverian Mustang) and I have been making together. So I think it is a good time for an update to make it to the pages of this blog.
I must say that the improvement, confidence, curiosity and trust that has been developing over the past weeks in astounding. Each new situation, every challenge, and all the individual learning experiences that I have introduced to Takoda have resulted in him showing me time and time again how much trust he has in me. And how he is gaining more confidence in my leadership abilities.
Assessing The Red And Green Lights To Know How To Proceed With The Horse’s Development.
I have been able to progress to mounting him bareback as well as the beginning stages of bareback riding. These times are determined by his confidence on the day and whether he gives me green lights all the way. Some days there are enough green lights that I can sit on him and ride around with one rein and other days I only play with him online and at liberty. But that is all part of building confidence in a horse that lacks it a great deal. I won’t push him past what he is able to handle and every time we successfully go through a situation he gains more and more confidence in me as his leader.
The bareback pad has been a challenge for him as well but with a great deal of consistency and with the help of a 45ft line to give Takoda enough room to move and get used to the cinch he is now able to wear it without bucking like a bronco, while alternating between rearing, freezing and then exploding. I am assured time and time again that over preparing on the ground has saved my neck so many times.
Take The Time It Takes, And Judge The Fruit of Your Efforts.
No matter how long it takes the proof is in the fact that now when I go out to the pasture Takoda comes to me to be caught. He is now looking to relax when in stressful situations. Where he used to disconnect and escape he is now looking to me for answers. And, his curiosity is remarkable to say the least. He loves to play with our big green ball and is finding more and more confidence in himself in being able to push it around.
Jumping is something that even now I am amazed at his natural athletic ability. Just the other day I introduced him to barrels standing on end and within one session he was jumping them confidently from a trot and clearing them easily.
Prince and I have been having much success in developing his ability to be ponied. Our last session like this Takoda confidently walked, trotted and cantered beside us both directions both in straight lines and circles. He jumped the barrels, was picking up both left and right leads (the right lead being his hardest lead to get), and pushing around the ball.
Trusting My Leadership, Means Trusting My Toys, My Tools and My Ideas.
With summer temperatures arriving Takoda has been introduced to baths. At first he was very skeptical but after a great deal of approach and retreat as well as a lot of repetition I am very pleased with the confidence and relaxation Takoda demonstrated the last time I gave him a bath after our session. Almost immediately he relaxed, lowered his head and processed the whole experience. Staying connected the whole time. Not only was he relaxing but he was curious about the water spraying at him and stuck his nose directly in it not long after we started.
I have been playing around briefly with liberty in the arena. Liberty is not hard for Takoda because he has caught on very quickly to the fact that safety is with me. So we are about to do stick to me at the walk and trot, hindquarter and forequarter yields, touch it and other small, but significant, yields. All the while he is to stay calm, connected and responsive.
Becoming The Leader He Needs So He Can Become The Best Horse He Can Be.
On the whole I am very encouraged by how far he has come and I am excited to see the progress that continues to be made over the course of the summer. I am not where I had hoped to be right now but definitely right where we need to be.
As I learn more and more about this intriguing horse I am learning more about myself and the leader I need to become for him to trust me as his leader. In turn I will be able to better serve you and your horses through the experiences I have had developing this very complex horse.
Let’s talk (using the reply section below, or on Facebook…) Is your horse growing in confidence because you are becoming a better leader for him? Have you seen evidence that your horse trusts you, your toys, your tools and your ideas?
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