SETTLING IN / RE/CONNECTING 13
PROGRAMME STEP 8
So today we need to take things a step further, building on what we have done, but walk to your horses paddock with the halter and lead and ask your horse if he wants to go for a walk to get some grass ;)
Like you would a dog, catch and take out immediately and let graze around the paddock gate area and where they are comfy, if they don't want to graze pick them some for them and feed them with it and repeat.
For horses not interested in eating at all that's ok but if you can coax them to it is better. You can let them now instigate some exploration. The key at this stage and critical is the horse takes you for a walk not the other way round.
Where they go, within reason, needs to be their choice, you can guide a little to where is safe to walk etc but generally allow the horse to check out stuff and places.
Repeat this step at least 3 times and make sure you are chatting away in a non-threatening un-intimidating and friendly way, so they learn your mannerisms, language and cues.
If the horse becomes spooked by something don't react just place a hand on their neck and continue as you were, a hand on the neck goes so far mentally and when riding is the biggest assett you have in your arsenal to keep safe on horseback. Because a relaxed horse is a safe horse and a hand on the neck relaxes a horse.
STEP 8 GOAL & OUTCOME:
The goal of this step is to get them branching out and extending their comfort in zones which are outside their normal comfort zone and to be inquisitive and instigate exploration so they feel un-pressured into this more uncomfortable zone.