(okay, at least try to act surprised at that!)
I am not really any further ahead then I was before but my head is much calmer.
|I really want to get in this space not the other one|
I was 99% convinced that Carmen's responses was not based on fear but decided to test it a bit. Carmen is really good with the ground work so I decided to introduce a distraction- I let the dogs be out while I worked with her.
I figured that this would accomplish 2 things:
1. help me work her through being distracted
2. get the horse and the dogs used to being together and no one dying. (#1 goal of working with animals: avoid death).
I expected the ground work to go well and it did. She gave zero cares about the dogs, even when they wandered into the ring. And, even more importantly, when they moved around in the tall grass.
|this is the most tense she got. Guinness is in the grass behind her.|
I took her down to the end of the ring that has been causing all the issues and see if she would graze. Carmen will not graze if she's tense. She just stands there rigidly looking around. If she's less tense she will bite the grass and then raise her head quickly to look around. You can see the tension in the way she chews. But when I offered the grazing she sighed, dropped her head and went to work.
Guinness wanted me to throw the ball and Ripley (my son's dog) was hunting mice in the grass. I called Ripley to see how Carmen would react (and to make sure that the dog didn't wander too far). You can see the explosion in the video below:
See it was so fast it was almost like she didn't react at all.
I threw the ball for Guinness down in the grass that she was acting so terrified of the last few rides. Once again look closely because you might miss her reaction:
Which leads me to believe it's more about evasion then anything.
I know that I can get her to do almost anything from the ground but translating it to under saddle has not been so smooth. So Shanea and I are planning to try to combine the two to see if we can get Carmen over this hump.
I'll let you know how it goes.