Weanieeventer introduced me to Warwick Schiller videos. I've heard of him and seen some videos before but right now they are resonating with me. He doesn't do special gear or act like he's a magician. He simply applies simple common sense. He reminds me a lot of Royce (the one who helped me back Steele). He has some lovely short videos on leading. it's very similar to what is done with dogs as well. The idea is that the horse is to stay behind you and follow wherever you go. They cannot drag you or pass you or act like a kite on the end of a string. What he does is walk around with a loose line and whenever the horse is distracted or is trying to lead he changes directions. After a while the horse begins to really tune into him because they don't know where he's going next. And once they do that they stop worrying about what else is going around. He also says that as a horse begins to trust your leadership the separation anxiety will fade.
I've been applying his techniques as I lead Carmen out in the morning and back in. Initially she was quite anxious as Irish goes out first and in last. But now I walk around with her until she's listening to me and not focussed on where Irish is. And it's working. She waits in her stall for me to lead us out and does not try to drag us back to the barn. She is quite smart and quick to figure out what I want.
Last night we went out and walked up and down the driveway by all sorts of things and, while she was a bit worried, as we worked she forgot about the house, flapping flag pole, garbage can, snow etc and focussed on me. I could walk and she followed behind. When I stopped she stopped and stood there. As soon as I moved she moved with me. I brought her in and gave her a nice groom. She stood well with no pawing. I took Irish out and she stayed calm and, rather than stand at her door looking anxious, she simply ate her hay.
Today when I came home from work I changed to go out and do my barn chores. As soon as I came out she lifted her head, looked at me and gave a whinny. It warmed my heart in way I haven't felt for a while. When I brought her in she was not panicked about where Irish was at all. She was a bit worried but she's moving in the right direction.
I have a horse who is both smart and beautiful.