Jennifer Kirkman with her wonderful partner Orion. Jennifer has done a great job with her boy. He had a few fear issue , so we chose to play at GMHA casually to explore what he was about. Water was one thing she said needed work, and he walked through it , trotted through it, and as you can see in the picture, jumped into it. His willingness was wonderful. What I did note durring the course of our play was his sensativity and introvertedness. Though big and ploddy he is very aware of her energy and it doenst take much to get hi to respond. A huge respsosibility going foreward to not blow him out of the water. Sorry no pun intended. LOL
He gets it just needs more time to process. Dont rush him and he will be wonderful .
Jen mentioned he is good with things like water when she leads him but going on his own , if she is riding is a different story.
Great teaching point!!!
I see this a lot the confidence is on the ground but not when human is mounted. One way to develop this from the ground to the saddle is to begin to have them meet things first and put yourself in followers position rather than the leaders. This is including leaving the barn area. Another topic all together!
Lets break the horse into sections A nose and forward, B neck/ shoulders, C mid section ( saddle area), D hind end, and E everything tail backwards.
What we want to do is begin to guide our horse from section A, normal area, to E. It is not needed by all to do this especially from the rear sections but if you so desire it to be, then it is a progression. Nothing wrong with confidence in all sections. Driving horses do this as thier job. Some horses, non driving , need it to be addressed others are very tollerant and its never an issue. All depend on personality and how they have or have not been developed.
For Orion and his water:
For Jen to be able to x water aboard him she will need to begin to ask him to step up his part of the bargain and grow in his confidence step by step. The water at GMHA was a great intro. We crossed large streams and stood to play and drink. He ended up taking the lead and looking for Jen to come along. This is super. In the end we came to the water obstacle seen in photo.
In the picture we can see a split second in time. Some mixed messages it looks like but being there I can say it was a split second in time. Still a teaching moment taken, Thank you Jen! To allow Orion to do his thing the guiding hand( with line) must say and denote the freedom to go. We see a bit of a holding tension in photo. “The door is open this is your route forward” is a way to think of it. I beleive the taughtness was a bit of negotiating direction on Jen’s part but still it is his jump and we need to allow him to make the manuver on his own. We can move our feet if need be, or let slack out in rope. we must be flexible when teaching. Every horse is differnet and needs different support styles. Micromanaging will only get in the way of progress in anything especially his confidence. Orion, made a wonderful jump down into the water. He sized it up all on his own, and when he found his sweet spot he went. The secret is to give him, them , the time they need to think it through and do it on thier time. Rest the encouraging arm and allow with the guiding one.
Big day for Orion and Jen. Well Done!