06.09.05: Fear Makeover

Yesterday began like most others. I was thrilled to have my gloves and ear warmer to keep me toasty now. Breakfast was uneventful, and feeding was brief.

We started the day discussing Fluidity and what makes up fluidity. The focus of the course is freestyle riding which is very loose and casual. There are trails and cows in our future, which has me pretty excited. We finished up our discussion and headed outside to explore the seat builders.

Seat Builders are a great tool to help you identify tension in your body and work through it. They look a bit like a bucking machine thing, but we certainly don't use them that way. The exercise for the day was simply to ride it and move around and try to identify where there is tension in your body. It was amazing how easy it was to see and feel the tension.

We had a brief explanation of the shadowing game by Jesse and Tina. We did it previously but they instructed those of us that had been here to try it from zone 4, and continue to explore what our horse likes to do. They also finally managed to explain the poop sniffing issue. Since horses (and dogs) are creatures that identify by smell they explained that sniffing poop is like allowing your partner to watch a pretty girl (or guy) walk across the room. It means that the horse is not thinking about you and the relationship if they are sniffing poop. Glad to understand that a bit better...

Lunch came around, same as it always does. I headed off to give Roscoe a bit of lunch after I finished up, and we worked on the shadowing game a bit, and things were fine from zone 4. We didn't get far, but I didn't mind since there wasn't much time.

I put him away when I found out that Don was going to work with Lillan and Domel on her fear of the wash rack. We hung out on the fence and watched that for a while he desensitized her to a plastic bag over her whole body, moving it around similar to the way a hose would move. Damo did really well. He had Lillan bring Damo up to the wash rack and start working with her, asking her to send Damo to him in the center of the wash rack. Damo did really well, especially when you know that her fear of wash racks and hoses comes from being washed and having the water hit an electric fence on the other side of her and arc over and hit her.

About that time it was time to head up to the coverall to watch Linda do a fear makeover session. The first session began with a horse that was afraid of balls. Linda made it not about the ball, and by the end of the session, the horse was coming to her in the center of the ring while she sat on the ball. The fear was not completely gone, but huge steps had been made to get the horse over it.

After that Linda worked with Nina on getting over her fear of riding. They discovered in talking before they started that Nina had an unconfident horse at home. She was using a lease horse here and had discovered that after a few days with him, he was becoming unconfident as a result of her own feelings. My horse is my mirror.

Linda worked with Nina on how to shut down a right brained horse, and Nina really made some great strides. It was hysterical to watch Linda racing around the ring pretending to be Nina's horse hollering at Nina to shut her down because she was tired of freaking out. Nina did tremendously well, and will make great strides in the next several weeks.

We finished up with that and headed to feed before dinner rolled around. We had a lazy evening, and then ended up staying up late talking before we finally fell asleep.

Next Page:
Wednesday, September 6, 2006: Painted Ponies