TB Training week 12
We decided that Sassy wanted another session today since she made so much progress last week and she proved us right. She was right there at the gate of the arena watching us finish work with Hank and stood quietly while Katie slipped a halter on her.
After just a bit of warm up Katie and Sassy got right to work on desensitizing those legs and feet. Arie commented on how loose her entire body was compared with the week before - softer eyes, head lower and nice sighs that usually only happened after an hour with Katie's quiet work and gentle touch.
As any trainer knows, a milestone to look for is when a scared, defensive horse becomes engaged and wants to work - wants to be less fearful - and we are seeing that with Sassy today. Of course, she loves her clicks and treats but she is also anticipating the next task and "thinking" about how she will react rather than just popping that big head up at anything that feels like a threat or a blocked exit.
Katie used the cotton rope and moved around to the front legs getting the legs up and hooves raised without the usual pawing and backing. Katie saw something that gave her permission to set the rope aside and ask Sassy for her leg with a bare hand - yes, we know it sounds like nothing much- but for Sassy it was a major step forward (some pun intended 🙂) Sassy is still not comfortable holding that foot up for any length of time (fear of being held left over from lord knows what restraints used on her in the past) but I'm guessing we might see those hooves sitting on a hoof jack in the near future.
Quote of the Day from Anna to Katie to us: Why do we lunge a horse? Because we get the answers to 300 questions we need to know about the horse if we watch carefully and don't push hard.