Baby Steps into a Baby Pool
Get ready...this will be a mini-series about my horses and a plastic baby pool....
Not earth-shaking, ground-breaking, mind-blowing stuff.
But, for me, a wonderful way to show how different each horse is, and how I try to find a way to help each one conquer their fears, build trust in me, and listen to what I am asking. I only worked them with this pool twice during one week this month--always at the start of our getting ready for a ride, to see where they were at mentally, to get them focused, and to get them to connect with my intention.
First up? Maia! The first time I tried this at liberty with her, it took me almost a full hour to get her to put one foot in. She would touch the pool, run away, come back...touch the pool, it might shift position, she would freak, run away, come back. At the end, I looped a rope around her neck to help keep her squared up to the pool; she finally stepped in and then stepped hurriedly out. I learned to lean on the pool to help keep it on the ground, and I am glad I let her take as much time as she needed, without pushing her to do it. However, when I went to see the video of that first session, I found the battery in my camera had died! So, sorry, you'll just have to take my word for it about our first session.
This clip is from the second time I asked her to step in the pool! It took all of about 12 minutes? I have fast-forwarded some parts so, for you, it will only take about 2! If you see me treat her without stepping in it’s because, the first time, she touched the pool. The second time is because she gave a huge exhale. I’m a little funny that way—yes, I want to reward stepping in, but I will also reward relaxation and try.
Enjoy! Any thoughts, feedback, suggestions are welcome!!!