Thursday, June 4, 2009

Progress with Jasmine

No, I don't get my trophy yet...but I think I've had an epiphany!

Remember when I last blogged about putting the long line on Jasmine and working her in the roundpen? I allowed her to be "free" and drag the line behind her if she felt she needed to escape the pressure.

Well, yesterday I walked into her large run, and for the first time, she didn't trot away from me. She actually stood there and let me pet her. And, her eyes didn't bug out half as much either!

I know. I know. This is a seemingly small step, but it's the fastest small step we've ever taken together--which tells me--I'm onto something.

I'm breaking the cycle of her little pony escape tactics which always had me spending 3/4 of my time on catching her. A negative spiral had occurred, and she'd developed habits of running from humans.

I'm trying to teach her to come willingly, but she has to see that she is safe in doing so--only good things occur when you come to humans.


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  2. I had a similar situation with my Arabian mare, she enjoys being ridden but she really didn't like anyone and the more I babied her and tried to be sweet the more unhapy she got.

    I tried lounging her but the typical flighty Arab that she is was terrified being attached to me, sure she'd be obedient, bent and have slack in the lounge but she wasn't happy.

    I don't know if you're a believer in round penning by itself but it worked wonders for me. Once I got control of her feet there and taught her to turn into me she turned into a MUCH happier horse, once she got the hang of, if i turn into the fence I get more pressure and have to keep making turns till I do it right and if I turn to her she leaves me alone, lets me get my air back etc. However as soon as she turned away she'd get worked again. In less than 20 minutes of quality work she trusted and liked being around me.

    It also does wonders for catching now! It's wonderful, Now I can easily catch her in a pasture just by catching her eye and moving her hip away and she'll follow me whereever ears up and interested instead of her previous grumpy attitude.

    Obviously before you do this you need to make sure you have desensitized her to your whip or whatever you use to keep her feet moving so the experience is positive and not negative for her.

    I'm sorry if you already know this and it's remedial, I just thought i'd add my two cents on what has worked for me. It's awsome that the two of you are doing better, that's one of the most wonderful feelings in the world when I realize a horse in finally opening up to me.

  3. Small steps are always progress. Sounds like Jasmine wants to accept, but is still hesitant. I'm betting once you get her trust, she'll always be your girl!

    Six things about me...
    1. I'm an only child.
    2. I swam on a swim team for 5 years when I was a kid. Loved it!
    3.I had a Honda 50 mini trail bike when I was a kid. Tried to show up the boys in my neighborhood with disastrous consequences...flipped it on a hill, landed, bloodied my lip. Blood down the front of my sweatshirt.The boys all thought it was cool. Got respect after that. I didn't cry until I got home!
    4.Favorite months are September and October. We have gorgeous colors on our hills at that time of year.
    5. Would like to one day participate in a Limited Distance Ride with one of my horses. Long way to go for that goal!
    6. Enjoy my first cup of coffee in the morning!

  4. Sounds like the beauty of positive reinforcement, having her slowly come around. I see a change in the photo, a little bit of that curiosity, that wonder, of your presence maybe?

  5. Caitlyn--Thank you for your well-thought advice. Sometimes I do roundpen her, but recently changed gears to this other method with the long line. I think you're right on, though, and I'm a believer in getting horses to move--just like they do each other in their own herds to establish order.

    Leslie--What a story about you on your motorbike!! I guess that toughness translates to horses now! I HAVE to have coffee in the am.

    Joanne--Yes, I think she is locking on to me a bit--I'm amazed. That is actually an older picture, though. I'm going to have to ask my daughter to take some new pics this weekend!!

  6. Sounds like she's beginning to trust you, just a little bit. Every bit of positive reinforcement you've brought her has added a bit to the "bank" - keep up the wonderful work!


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