So Laz and I have been re-working on his ground manners a little more. He's awesome, like 90% but he does have this mental block on that I don't want his face/neck/shoulder area SO close to me. When we went on the hand walk down the road last week, and he got panicky, it was the first thing he did, jump in toward me.
No no no.
So, I reached out to my Parelli trainer (I've only had her out once but plan on a 2nd session this summer) and she suggested going back to on line, to the 'sideways game'
So we did.
It was like Laz had never been asked to do this. He got SO pissy and animated and dramatic. She was spot on right. This was his issue, and I had not taught him what I had been looking for/requesting.
He yields his hindquarters perfectly, I just have to look at them and he moves around quickly and politely. When I ask his shoulder/neck to move as I walk into him, he just stands there like a wall. So, we have been re-working on that...see below for what I'm talking about:
Anyway, it went OK. We need a ton of work in that department and we'll practice a few days a week to nail it down so he does understand. I started by standing at the fence and asking him to side step over away from me. He would slightly, and then it would turn WAY dramatic, he would grunt and then FLY over and then, turn bolt away from me. He didn't get anywhere, I had him on the line and all is was able to do was run half a circle to the other side of me, and the fence stopped him.
LOL, as if he'd never seen my stick and rope.
"WHAT IS THIS...HELP my Mom wants to beat me!!!?!?!"
It was comical. We worked on it, until he could do what I wanted calmly and with his head at a normal non-giraffe elevated position. He tries, bless his heart!
When Laz doesn't understand, his personality is to RUN from it. Literally. So, as long as I get tiny little shows of attempts to process it, we'll get to the end result where he'll be awesome at it and avoid/respect my space even more.
Now, this being said, he's NEVER run into me, but he's come close...too close for MY comfort...so we are addressing it now being he's showing me, it's spot that hasn't quite registered for him yet.
Again, it's nice to have these tools to go back to, when I know something is off or I want to improve it.
I'm sure every trainer has some form of this method....this is the one we chose to practice.
After his explosions, I decided to end our Parelli games, when he gave me small attempts of "is this it??"
I never want him to think the games are annoying or too much for his brain to handle. We always search for the good spot to end it on, until the next session. So, I put on his bitless and decided we would ride for a bit. It was sunny, 80, and there was a great breeze which kept the heat and bugs off.
The wind picked up a bit, and he got a little worried but he didn't react physically and we had a great ride in the arena. I decided, to again, present another task for him to see if he would be willing to tackle it.
I rode him out of the arena and down the dirt road.
Heading down it, he was coiled and a more little tense than normal.
Once we got from the barn driveway to the actual road, he sighed. I think he just needed to see the road and make sure there were NO dragons. With the wind blowing, he just couldn't smell for the dragons. ;)
So, he, myself and Mason walked down and it was awesome, peaceful and serene.
The wind didn't bother him, the garbage cans didn't bother him, the birds flying out from Mason snuffling them out of the weeds, the man working in his garage...nothing.
Laz seemed to enjoy this walk as much as I did.
He kept looking out, glancing to the right gently, glancing to the left gently, and had such a nice forward walk going in both directions.
I love when he's brave and enjoying his time out.
There was a point, when I was nervous to ride this horse alone.
Now, I love it and never worry
Our road walk..all the way down and back (shy of one house..too close to the main busy road)
And of course Mason enjoyed his Sunday romp out too.
He found some little streams to roll in and get as wet as possible, and followed us our entire ride (arena and out)
sweet water dog.