Thanks so much everyone for the responses on my last post. Sorry for not replying to individual comments before now (but will do so in the next couple days). I've been mulling things over a lot in the last couple days. I'm still trying to figure out a solid plan of approach to move forward, but I am going to move forward.
I had an absolutely dreadful day at work on Tuesday. Like my boss made me cry kind of dreadful. I wasn't in the right state of mind to ride or do serious work but I went out to the barn to just spend some low key time with Kachina. One of her paddock-mates is a pest (she tries to chase Kachina away so she can get all the attention) so I took Kachina out of the paddock but instead of going to the barn I just spent some quiet time with her in the grassy area outside the fence. I let Kachina graze a bit and then did a bit of ground work there. I handled her feet, asked her to move away from pressure, and practiced leading, stopping, leading, stopping. Things weren't perfect, sometimes when I wanted Kachina to stand she would keep rotating until she was facing the direction she wanted to face, sometimes I had to remind her to focus on me instead of the grass, and it took some repetition to get her to stop when I stopped, but it was still a calm and productive little session.
Watching her relaxed body language reminded me that this horse is not tense all the time, she is just tense in certain situations. I was actually impressed at how chill Kachina stayed even when her paddock-mate was running the fenceline nearby and even when a chorus of coyotes started howling in the next field over. This horse has the ability to calmly think through situations and that means we can work on building up to tackle the problem areas. I'm still mulling things over and still trying to figure out the next approach to try. I really appreciate all of your thoughtful suggestions and I am considering which of those we can put into action and what makes sense as an ordered progression. The important thing is that through reading your comments and taking a step back to observe my horse, I have realized that she is not beyond hope, I think that fear was what was really bothering me. It's not going to be easy, I don't think there is any magic solution, but we are going to keep going. Thank you.
I'm so sorry to hear about your rough day at work <3 Sounds like you and Kachina had a lovely session, which is awesome! (and I apologize as I think a few of my suggestions you had tried already, I blame that on my bad memory/concussions! XD)ReplyDelete
Ugh sorry to hear that work is being toxic for you. I hope things get better soon.ReplyDelete