Now, my newest idea, is training without anything on the horses face. No bridle, no halter… I realize that it may be easy, if you have a hall, somewhere you can lock your horse up, where it is only you and your horse. Somewhere, your horse is not distracted by the other horses, where it doesn’t have the option of just walking off in the opposite direction, or eating grass, but I don’t. I have my pasture and I wouldn’t want it any other way.
The idea came from the fact that Apocalipse seems so bothered by the halter, and I find it hard to work with him, when we are both distracted by how much he resents wearing anything on his face. So, like the crazy person I am, I tried getting abound it, by simply placing my rope around his neck, and lunging him without any kind of restraint. In a perfect world, I wouldn’t need the rope, because he would stay with me and work with me, without it, but this is a four year old, on a pasture, so a lose rope around his neck, I find that to be a very well trained young man, actually.
I did realize how much you use the halter though, at all times. When you want to move the horse, it is instinct to just pull on the halter, one way or the other. This, forces me to fine tune my body language, it makes my horse much more aware of me, and best of all, it only allows me to work with him, if he wants to play along. Wearing a rope around his neck, I cannot force anything, I cannot apply too much pressure, I cannot tell him, “Do this, because I say so,” I can only ask, “How about it, please work with me here…” And I have to say, getting such a positive response from him, has been awesome.
Even more so, from Saleem.
I showed my boyfriend Saleem on a rope yesterday, and he was kind of astounded. Saleem is relaxed, steady, elastic… the kind of trot he displays when his face is not bothered, is unseen in him before… and absolutely no headshaking what so ever.
So, my boyfriend had to try with Apocalipse. Cell phone pictures, sorry. I didn’t bring my camera. We are still in the process of separating Tardis and Ablaze, to make her stop lactating, and I am more stressed out about it than my horses… Or well, Saleem is tired, from watching Ablaze and Marble, so we don’t ride much at the moment. Apocalipse is bored, from being stuck with Tardis, and Tardis changes from being okay with not having her foal, to calling for him, making him hang out by the fence, so she can keep an eye on him… So all, in all, I totally hate this, and it didn’t think to bring my camera, because, well, I just want this time to be over…
Still, here they are.
The rope is not used to stop the horse, that is your body language only.
The only function of the rope is to encourage the horse to not run away. Apocalipse has a tendency to lose focus and just slink off, forgetting the puny human on the end of the rope, whenever he feels like it, so it is going to be some time before this is working perfectly with him, like it is with Saleem, but I really do think, this is the way I want to go.
At least, I am giving it a try. In a perfect world, I will ride this horse some day, while wearing no equipment at all. Saleem too. That is what I am aiming for. I just need a bit of help getting there. And this rope- thing, is my new game. I’ll make this work. With the girls as well. Give me time…