It’s been pretty hot here in the Midwest, but we’ve still been putting in the miles, just earlier in the morning though! We went to a lesson a couple of weeks ago, have another lesson a week from Saturday, and did a video and entered another online dressage show a couple of days ago.
We’ve been working on getting Cruise habituated to other horses in our lessons. He’s been doing ok with one horse and since SW had a student come early, we decided to try two horses and Cruise promptly lost his S#$@. To quote SW, “I’ve never thought of him as a reactive horse but WOW!” I got off and schooled him on the ground until he was calm(er), got back on and then got some decent work, but as my husband said, “He really showed his A#@. Now I get why you have been hesitant to go to shows.”
Anyway, the plan is to continue doing lessons with other horses at SW’s and to keep doing online dressage tests to keep improving and checking our dressage progress. Since the show season is starting to wrap up, I don’t think I’ll make it to any in person dressage shows this year while we work through this issue. The good news though, is he’s working great at home, the canter is coming along, and SW really likes how he is going other than the losing his S#@$ thing with other horses on occasion.
After our last interesting lesson, I remembered that the TRT Method had a section about horse shy horses. I bought a lifetime membership way back in the day, so I looked up my log in stuff and got back on the site. And WOW. Talk about a site upgrade and volumes more content than the last time I logged on. I started with the horse shy section and then went backwards to refresh the “horse yoga” postures, the use of the “tools”, and using my energy to influence his energy. And again, WOW. Huge amount more detail available in all those things.
I feel like I’m unwrapping a whole missing layer from when I dabbled with TRT a while ago. The extra content really helps and also, I think, my other knowledge gained in the interim. I’ve realized I didn’t have my “horse yoga” quite right last go round, so it was less effective. I’ve also realized that Cruise does actually tense up with the spooky “tools” but it is less obvious for the most part until he does a big spook. Which he doesn’t do often-but the tension is there. His tell is he stops blinking. No head raised, change of breathing or etc. just the blinking. Who knew? Now I do, and it makes a huge difference. And the energy connection. If for nothing else I am so glad I came back and watched that section. I finally understand why I couldn’t get him to go easily forward and it was because of MY energy and how I am directing it.
I’ve been playing a lot with both boys and it’s been so interesting to revisit the TRT concepts and come to another level of understanding. Hopefully, this will help a bit to have some tools to work through the other horse reactivity. I’m really loving the learning and the boys seem to be enjoying the fact that I can use my energy more effectively and read them a bit better. So fun delving into this a second time!