Tinsel - 30 Day Case Study
Tinsel will be our second horse in the 30 day case study. If you have been to any of my workshops, you have heard about Tinsel. Tinsel is an Arab mare. Her body shows me that she has been disengaged repeatedly. The disengagement would include both her hindend and flexing her neck. She is a very worried little horse. She often spooks at different patterns in the ground. For example, if I have picked up poop in the arena the fork will have made a pattern in the sand which will cause her great concern. She worries about going through doors and gates. I'm assuming she was pushed through gates and than asked to immediately disengage and look at her person. She is the typical body of a horse that has been disengaged over and over. She is also a freezer. So if something scares her, she immediately freezes with her head up and when she comes out of freeze she is into a flight pattern.
Now she is not a new horse to us. My daughter actually brought her to the fair two years ago. I believe she was in a freeze pattern throughout the entire fair weekend. The reason I believe this is that she would not eat her grain while she was there. When we got her home, she spooked and snorted at the grass the entire walk back to the pasture. She has improved a great deal since we have owned her, but reverts back to her patterns rather quickly. Because life is busy, she sometimes gets put on the back burner and this is one of the reasons I picked her for the 30 day case study.
My main goal is to help her feel more comfortable being with us. I want her to know that we are not going to compromise her body, but instead help her find a healthy posture. My hope is that once she learns that we are giving her time and allowing her body to feel balanced that she will begin to trust and be less anxious.
I started this challenge on Sunday and am a few days late posting. This photo was taken on Monday. As I said, gates and doorways create a lot of anxiety for Tinsel. I brought her into the indoor and she raced in. So I walked her back out and waited for her. I stood in the indoor and breathed. She started with her head up and braced. She finally took a breath and dropped her head. At that point I turned and walked her away from the indoor. This may surprise some, but again I want to give her completely new and different experiences. The other photos were taken on Sunday.
Monday night after a deep breath. She has an ear on me, but she also still has an ear on the herd behind her.
Here she is standing outside in her normal, no influence by a person or halter, posture.
So this is the same photo as above but with a line drawn through the base of C5 and the point of the hip. You can see she is very downhill.
This is her classic neck position and this actually very improved from where we started. Notice how she is a again downhill
This photo was out in the field. Where is her weight, which leg?
Sorry about the poor photo. I was trying to post a short video of how she freezes, but could not get it posted. So instead a photo of her freeze. Here we were walking and than suddenly she stops. I should be better prepared (something to think about during these next 30 days) cause you can see I have pressure on the rope. I quickly stopped and turned towards her and rocked her head away to help her unfreeze and lower her head.
Thank you for joining me these next 30 days. I will be posting updates on Sunday each week.