I am one week into the three case studies. What have I learned this week? I have tried to take my awareness of the horse to a deeper level. I will start with Tinsel. My goal was to bring her in Monday night and start working on her body. My hope was to show how her body has changed at the end of the 30 days. Of course, I know 30 days is a relative short time when talking about changing posture, but I was still hopeful to show some changes.
What actually happened? I went to bring her into the arena Monday and she raced through the door. I paused and thought, this is where I need to start. I need to start where she is at. She needs to feel safe. So I walked her out of the arena and waited. The moment she started to walk towards the door and freeze, I stopped and waited. I easily could have made her go through the door, but I wanted her to come through the door because she wanted too. When I gave her the choice, she choose not to come in. Some may say this is the wrong way to train a horse. In the past, I would have put pressure on her and made her come in and out. This time I just waited for her. It took her a long time and she finally let out the breath out she was holding and dropped her head.
Our next session, she still didn't follow me in. She froze at the door, but her head came down sooner and she perked her ears towards me. The other thing I realized is that while working at the door with Tinsel, Diamond was also learning. As soon as I used to bring Tinsel in, Diamond would pace the fence yelling for her. During this second session, Diamond just stood and watched Tinsel. Tinsel still chose to not come into the arena during this second session, but something very interesting happened. When I put her out, she quietly walked through the gate. In the past, the gate caused quite a bit of stress for her and she would race through and swing her butt around. Tonight she walked through with her head down and without stress. I call that progress.
Saturday we did Magnawave and she was a little worried about this new machine. She pulled back a few times which made me quite sad, but after her session her head was down and she seemed to enjoy it once she knew what to expect. Sunday evening I was hoping to post that she walked right through the indoor door, but that was not the case. She did however keep her head down the entire time and had a few moments where she looked curious about stepping in.
Sunday evening. Notice the lowered head.
The biggest thing I have learned this week from Tinsel is that her emotions have to come first. I could bring her in and work on her body and I do think that would help her emotions. I feel at this time though, changing her thoughts about our relationship will help to change her body quicker.
Buster - Good ole Buster. Man I love this little horse
I started out doing magnawave with Buster last Monday. When I got to his back and ribcage he had a lot of fascillations which are tiny little movements that show where inflammation is. I hate to admit this, but Buster is such a good guy, that I find myself saying "Oh Buster" when he tries to tell us something. Sometimes he tends to get a little grumpy with saddling and he tends to get a little grumpier during the winter. Well when I put the magnawave on him, I thought no wonder he gets a little grumpy. The problem with Buster is that he rides great and never puts up a fuss once you're on him.
The next time I brought him in, he was very quiet. I actually described him as having a quiet softness about him. He stopped at the gate with his head up and I put my hand on his halter and did oscillations in my body to help free him up. He dropped his head after a bit and asked to roll. I allowed him too and it was such a cool experience. We walked over to the sure foot pads and I put the medium ones on his fronts. He stood for a bit and than walked off. Next I put the hard pads on his hinds and when he walked off he stood and than shifted his pelvis on his own. That was another cool thing to see.
Saturday he had a lesson with a young girl. When we saddled him he was much better. He kept his head down. We did another magnawave session on Sunday and he had less fascillations than before but still had some. He seemed very intrigued and had a few episodes of yawning during his session. I did not bring him out today, but will be bringing him in tomorrow. Here are some photos during his session. The biggest thing I've learned this week is to stop and listen. I thought I was, but I had to take it to another layer.
Stayed tuned for net week for our two week update.