I have got a few minutes before I have to leave for the jail and thought I would update you on the horse I am training. She is a 7 yr old Qtr horse. She has been ridden in a parade on trails and in the Sherrif's posse. But she has some bad manners and the owner wanted me to work with her some. I thought she would be an easy one to work with and would be on her back in short order. However, I was wrong. When I got her I discovered that she is pushy. She had no respect for my space. So I had to really work with her over the course of 5 days last week on teaching her to respect my space. She was not, in my estimation, even halter broke. Which to me is more than putting a halter on her and leading her around. I wanted her to be move her feet wherever I wanted with a slight 'feel' on the lead and pay attention to my body language. So after working for 6 days, roughly 8 hours I have her backing and moving her shoulders and hips over also lungeing to the right and left fairly well. She still has a ways to go to be really soft. Friday I decided to flank her out, which means putting a rope around her girth area and moving it back to her ribs/barrel and finally to her belly and making her move off and give to the pressure of it with the least amount of resistance. However, I have since realized that I did it with too much pressure and too long. Now I have to go back and do it right. It might take a while to do get her where I want her. The reason I need to do this is to try to help see that bucking is not the answer, but yielding to the pressure, any pressure is the right answer. You see, the owner has been bucked off 2x when trying to get on. When I was rubbing her with my hands I found a spot she didn't like touched under her girth area. So I have had to rub on that area alot until she is relaxed or allowing me to put pressure there without her getting excited.
Today my plan,after I get back from the Jail is to work on her softness with backing, moving hips and shoulders over and flexing her neck. Then to lunge her on a lead line both directions, she doesn't like going to the right/clockwise so I will work on that a bunch, and doing transitions from walk to trot to canter and back down. Then I will do this without a line in my round pen. Finally, will flank her out again, this time alot softer and hopefully with a lot better response. So pray for her and me. My desire is that all of this will be done with good communication from me to her and that I will pay close attention to what she is telling me with her body language. My goal is to be saddled and riding her by the end of this week with no issues.
Anyway I intend to give a daily report over course of this training.
The bottom line is that she needs to be willing to come under my authority and yield to me if she is going to be any good as a riding horse. The Bible talks about the same thing with people. If we are not obedient to the Lord we are really no good to anyone. As the Lord Himself submitted to his parents, see Luke's gospel chapter 2, and to the will of The Heavenly Father (repeatedly He stated, "I am come to do the will of My Father in Heaven."), even submitting to the soldiers and authorities who put Him on the cross ("He was obedient unto death even the death on the cross" Philippians 2:8) so we should make ourselves submissive to His will for us. The more sensitive we are to the pressure God puts on us in life the softer He can be with us. As it is also with horses. Softer is better. We call that 'feel'. I want to work with feel both with horses and with God. How about you?