It's very interesting to have a 2 year old in the barn. I have gotten so used to my more mature equines that it's been a bit of an adjustment having a youngster. It's like having grown children and then having a preschooler.
Young horses are such sponges and they learn things very quickly. It can be a bit stressful, to not screw up. I am sure that you are all shocked to learn that I am doing my best to be methodical.
Things continue to improve with the three of them, which is nice.
|Carmen choosing to be in the paddock away from the boys. |
And Irish is not freaking out.
Carmen lost a shoe so I couldn't really school her. Fortunately, I have a boot so I could ride but not school hard. Then the weather turned really hot so I decided to set up an obstacle course.
I knew all the horses could enjoy it. I haven't set up one of these since back in October when I was teaching her to seek out the tarp. When I mounted Carmen walked around, spied the tarp and marched right over to it.
Carmen: I know this- this is where I rest.
We played with obstacles and then I brought Quaid up to the ring. A few years ago I wouldn't have set up something like this. Or, if I did, I would try to do all the things and push my horse. But the help I've had with Carmen has taught me a better way. And it really pays off.
The cones were no big deal. The first time we had to check them all out, which is fine. Curiosity is a good thing to encourage. My goal is not to get through everything fast. My goal is to teach Quaid that I can present him with puzzle and that there's always a solution.
|disengaging his hind end|
|sorry for the angle but he kept following me|
After reviewing all our current learning, I decided to introduce him to the plastic bag on the stick. It's the most scary thing I've done with him so far. And he reacted as I expected.
|Quaid: nope, nope, nope|
The trick is to keep just enough pressure for him to seek the answer but not so much that he can't learn because he's too frazzled. When he faced the bag I would move it away. It didn't take long for him to figure it out.
|Quaid: What is this thing and why must it torment me?|
Of course, it's not like he got it and then was all 'oh hey this is fine'. He would get frightened again and then face it. Once we got to a good spot I put it away.
It's so much fun to take these things that I learned because of Carmen and use them with Quaid. I am no expert by any means but I like seeing how these principles work. Do a little, leave it and then when you return to it it's all there.
In the past I would think drilling is the answer. I was wrong. But it was what I knew. I am guilty of reflecting on past horses and thinking that I did wrong by then because I didn't know 'X'. It's easy to fall into the trap of 'if only I knew then what I know now'.
But that is the real trap- being paralysed by guilt over not knowing what you couldn't know until you learned it. Each horse has taught me more, that's the way it goes. To quote Albert Einstein "the only source of knowledge is experience'.
|I am excited for what I'm going to learn from Quaid|