Hi all, again the story continues. Farina is learning at the speed of light and she is becoming so light and responsive now to all of my suggestions. The only moment she does not respond is when she has a mental brace.
I noticed that her mental braces are rare, but they are strong.
The mental picture (or metaphor) I had of her today was the little girl in an “all-girls” school that is so willing, nice, polite and does pretty much anything that is she asked for, but boy when you push her buttons, the REBEL comes out! 🙂
Today I found the REBEL when I was trying to get her to pick up her hind feet. She did not want to. With the trimmer she already showed a big brace in keeping her hind feet up and she ended up kicking the trimmer so to make sure I was safe, I used a rope to hold her foot up.
She was frantic! She did not seem to believe that there was anyone strong and flexible enough to keep her foot up all the time while she was kicking, turning, jumping and leaping in the air. The moment she realized that this “thing” was not going to let her go, she calmed down and stopped to think about it, that’s when I gave her relief.
I saw a dramatic change in her after this, her head was down, she was blowing, chewing and licking her lips. I almost got tears in my eyes as I felt her having a major breakthrough. She was shaking her head and it was almost as if she finally realized that she did not need to brace, it was ok to give in and to let someone keep her foot up.
Now why did I do that? Why her hind feet?
I can only say that it’s my intuition kicking in. Bucking, kicking the trimmer after being the perfect horse, moving her hindquarters easier than het front feet, all of these clues make me feel that her hind end is what bothers her. Either she is hurt there, or was hurt there before and is dealing with a bad memory, or she just naturally does not trust things to happen or to be in her zone 4/5 . The test today proved that I was right. The reason that I don’t believe she is hurting there right now, is because I did some tests. I let her jump barrels, several times in a row, I asked her to spin around on her hind legs, when I rode her I put all my weight back (extremely) and she did not react negatively to that, she even seemed to naturally put her weight on her hind end, which is how it should be but not what a horse would do that is hurt there. And of course I watched her play at liberty in the pasture with the other horses, she seems like a completely physically healthy young horse.
And there is also a gut feeling (probably a little Pat Parelli voice inside) that tells me that if I don’t have control over her feet on the ground, I won’t have control over them riding either. Trust is good, but control is better!
Today I also focused on trailer loading. The crazy thing about her is that she does not need any encouragement. She goes to the trailer herself, goes in and comes out but never stops trying. She does sometimes feel unconfident and spooks of something, so she barges out of the trailer again. But I basically just stand there and rub on her when she is trying. When she comes out, she looks at me as if asking if she could be brave enough to go in again, and then she does! As I am writing right now, she is actually going in and out of the trailer on her own in the pasture. She is a very brave and cool horse that does not hesitate to come out of her comfort zone. She just keeps on pushing herself to new boundaries, how many horses have you met that do this?
This only tells me that this horse has a huge potential, can you imagine this horse in a completely unknown arena for a Dressage competition? She probably would just investigate everything from up close and laugh at all the other horses for being big chicken. That alone gives her a huge competition advantage as so many horses are just bombs ready to explode when being ridden in an new and unknown environment.
Ah well, who knows, maybe one day I will be lucky enough to see her competing, that would be incredible.
Thank you for reading dear bloggers!