Let’s Compare…

I’ve been meaning to do this for a few months… it’s been a while since I’ve done Charm’s Horsenality Profile and I know a lot has changed over the past year. Today I finally got around to it!!

Here is Charm’s profile from October 2007:

CharmsProfileLet’s see… yup, this was her. Mostly LBI traits.. a few LBE traits. Basically she was a sassy sticking her tongue out at ya LBI.

Let’s compare… this is now:

Charmer5-2009Things have shifted a little… I know they have.. because when I changed my approach she started to come out of her shell. A lot of her negative traits have lessened or totally disappeared. Defiant, Non-Responsive, Stubborn.. all gone (not that she can’t be any of those traits, it’s just not a regular thing anymore.) When I understood her needs… to go slower, to do less more often.. the walls between us broke down. I know I’ve blogged about this before.

She definitely has her days where in one session she will visit each of those quadrants. I’ve learned to adjust to her and address the horse that shows up. When she needs me, I’m there.. when she’s sassy, she’s corrected, but not in a harsh manner.. because I’ve discovered how sensitive she really is.

I found it difficult to do this latest profile.. I tried to keep it her general “mood” most of the time and tried not to think about the spooky RBE session we had last night! lol She’s not usually like that, but she does have her moments and that’s ok. I just have to be there for her and adjust. If I can’t do that, how can I be viewed and trusted as her leader?

Last night was a perfect example. We ventured out in to the round pen with a couple barrels for jumps. Started out online for a little while – jumps, change of gait and direction yadda yadda yadda. It was REALLY windy and she was a little snorty. As soon as I took her off line she started eating and ignored me. After giving her plenty of chances to disengage and look at me.. I slapped the ground with the string and she went berserk. Running around, her head over the rail, back and forth, couldn’t look in my direction. UGH. Finally I walked over by her and did a exaggerated disengagement and drew her to me with as much energy I could muster up. She disengaged and locked in and trotted to me .. it felt like she didn’t even know I was there then saw me and realized I was her safe haven. I pet her, rested, she licked. Put the lead right back on her.

Back to the online stuff we went to.. things got good again and I unsnapped the line for the 2nd try. This time we played stick to me for the first bit to get her really latched on (Charm’s secret) and proceeded to play with changes of gait and direction. She had some trouble standing still and assumed some things and after a little while she was on the RBE rampage again (mind you I had not touched her with the string this whole session) The exaggerated disengagement worked again and she trotted to me with the “Oh! You’re here!” look on her face. Snapped the lead back on again…. and started over. Patience.. at this time I felt we had taken 10 steps backward, but I kept a good attitude and decided instead of being frustrated, I would take my time with things, and pay attention to this little lesson!!

Third times the charm right?? 😉

Finally things started going the right direction online and at liberty. She was paying attention, her head was low, there was blowing and licking. All key signs. As she did the canter / trot changes of gait at liberty she was really paying attention. She offered close range circling at the end and that’s where we ended the session. She was calm and sensible. Then she grazed a little and we called it a day.

I learned SO much in that 45 minute session! Being patient through it all, in the end I was given the opportunity to end on a really good note.. after all, we are always riding for tomorrow.

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