We must accept finite disappointment, but never lose infinite hope.
~Martin Luther King Jr~
Thank you everyone for listening to me vomit up all my frustration and disappointment yesterday. I was bouyed up by all the support and positive advice I received. Thank you for not saying that I suck (that's what my internal voices are for).
I have been thinking about the groundwork and how to make it meaningful so that she learns to tune in rather than shut down. I like N's idea of doing patterns in hand and googled a few on my break at work today. I can see how it would add focus for me and her.
Today I was in the city all day which makes for a long day. In the morning as I walked the dogs Carmen came over to the fence to greet us as we walked by. Clearly she is not viewing me in a negative light. The same thing happened when I came home and walked the dogs again. I prepared the stalls and fed the horses (I'm making some changes to her feed too but that is probably a different post).
After we ate I decided to take her out to the ring to do some work. Since the dogs had been in all day I decided that they could come with me. It was getting dark and was quite windy. I figured that and the dogs might make things interesting.
My goals were simple:
- respect my space
- respond to my directions
- focus on me
I started with the leading up to the ring. I made sure she followed along and did not try to graze (confession: I've been letting that slide). At first I took her to the centre and asked her to walk a circle around me. She was ignoring me and looking into the next field so I firmly increased pressure and she trotted off. After a few minutes of lunging and changing directions I asked her to walk beside me and the discussion about 'where' her spot was really short. We alternated between me sending her off to work on the edge of the lunge line, to leading, backing up, turns on the forehand and haunches.
There was an overall difference in our work this evening. She was softer. The corrections we able to be lower in intensity. There's a lot of possible reasons for this:
- the stomach meds are working
- the dogs added security. She definitely wasn't worried about them even when Guinness was trotting at her heels (we're working on what he's to do when I work the horses. He's like a young child 'mom, mom, MOM').
- the work I did sunday
Clearly I have altered too many variables to identify one #no_scientific_method #throw_everything_at_the_problem. Probably some combination is working. I brought her down by the barn to do some ground work there too. At first she just wanted to graze and became annoyed by my asking her to turn her attention to me. But after a short discussion she stopped even trying to graze and kept her attention on me. Not in a 'oh my god why are you so mean' way but in a 'what do you want' way.
Either way, this feels like the right path. We shall see.
|Irish looks so good in the fall foliage|