SETTLING IN / RE/CONNECTING 10
PROGRAMME STEP 5
BRING A HALTER & LEAD :)
It is important to know you can't skip any steps along the way ever in our programmes, and this step is only to be completed after you have done the previous step at least x 3 times. Otherwise this step won't work in achieving what we want to achieve mentally. Also if at any stage you encounter a hiccup or issue and lose mental ground, simply go back to a step you can achieve then continue from there ;)
So many people read their progress with their horses by what they are physically achieving. For example: by simply grabbing the horse and lungeing it with the saddle on you may have achieved physically to be able to have the saddle on and have the horse obey you.
Mentally however this horse and your relationship have taken immeasurable giant steps backwards from this session and the horse will now the next day be more spooky and nervous, unsettled and unpredictable and at it's first opportunity get the hell away from you.
What we are doing is achieving MAJOR mental steps forward and laying a mental framework which will support all you ever do with this horse and no matter what happens after that, this framework of trust and relaxation and your friendship bond, won't change.
We are currently building this mental framework.
Be careful also to not do these sessions at a time he is distracted ie at feed time, nap time, (normally noon), etc, so he can concentrate or their is no point he will learn nothing ;)
You start by going and putting the halter and lead in the middle of the paddock and leaving it there. Then going and doing your I'm picking you the good grass and finding you some good grass thing. Make sure you use talk ALOT, so your horse gets to know your unique way of communicating and will learn what you mean etc, he will get to know your mannerisms also and start knowing what to expect from you. So will be so much more relaxed because you have been so un-intimidating and delightful for so long now.
You should now also start being very chatty in all you do with your horse during feeding, rugging and all you have to do with him also, this way he will very quickly learn all your little mannerisms, noises, tones, what you are like and this will make him understand so much more when under saddle.
Then after a while when your horse is engaging in the game but before he gets bored with it, put the halter on and continue as if nothing changed, careful he doesn't step on the lead which you hold.
Make sure you are very chatty. Then start pointing out other things. These can be anything, a post, a tree, a bird, anything and talk to him about it then say, shall we go get it, and lead him up to it, talk to him about it and then go find something else. Let him investigate these things you point out if he wants to. Key is the chatting, if you don't chat you will in effect be just dragging a horse meaninglessly round a paddock lol.
Then take the halter off, pick him some grass and finish.
This all translates later into when you're say out on a trail ride and you see a tractor working close by the road but in your bonding paddock time whenever he has seen something you have said to him, what's that, shall we go see, shall we go get it and bowled on up to it and he has come with you and found it a lot of fun, so you see the tractor and say, do you see that tractor boy shall we go get it and bowl on up to it and he tries to stick his nose in the drivers lap rather than being terrified and wanting to not pass ;)
Note: just don't add squeeky nervous noises onto that or just say what's that!!!, you need to imply your NOT scared of things lol.
Whatever you do also, don't defensively say, whoa, whoa etc... this is the worst thing you could do and will create a spooky horse. All they hear is you, their "parental figure" panicking, so if their parental figure is panicking they think there must be something to panic about!
In one session just doing this 'getem' thing with horses, I've seen them go from the most timid horse in their environment, to one that wants to explore and rocks on up to anything horses would normally gallop away from and I am not exaggerating!!!
I had a break-in horse try to climb inside a tractor, a spooky filly turn and chase away a dog that had broken it's chain and was coming at her etc etc so many stories :) , IT WORKS.)
STEP 5 GOAL & OUTCOME:
The goal of this session is to get your horse really listening to you and allowing you to guide him more and trusting your guidance more ;) You need to do this step about 3 times ;) You will bless your little cotton socks you did this later during riding believe me!!