Mark Rashid had Brett work on turns on the forehand and turns on the haunches.
He said that Pistol is a "been there, done that, solid citizen horse." Brett struggled to get the timing and flow right for the exercises and Pistol kept her patient, willing attitude throughout.
|Turn on the haunches; rock back to elevate the front and then turn -- smoothly|
Brett did get it all coordinated and they ended on a very good note.
I had time to put away the camera and get Tex ready; then we were up. Mark remembered Tex from a year ago; Tex had a major meltdown and Mark saw the fear and flee that consumed Tex. You can read about that here. We talked about the work I've been doing with Tex and I mentioned that Tex is unable to flex on a circle and can't figure out lunging. Mark thought we should start with lunging and asked me to demonstrate what I've been getting.
|Demonstrating our slow, small circle at walk.|
He watched us for a few minutes and then walked over. "I can fix that in five minutes," he said while taking the lunge line from me. And he did. Tex initially did the same thing with Mark, swinging his haunches away instead of going in a circle. Mark fixed that in a minute or so; sending Tex around with his body language.
Tex initially went into "flee" mode, racing around like a demon. Then he settled as Mark continued to give direction with his posture. When Tex was able to do walk-trot-walk transitions calmly, Mark changed direction. Tex fled again, but came back sooner.
He told me to walk with Tex instead of standing still and having Tex go in a circle. Tex needs the feedback of me walking. I was to regulate whether we walk or trot with the speed of my walk. To halt, I stopped.
I started by walking with my body angled behind Tex, as Mark had done. Mark corrected me, saying that Tex knows and trusts me so I could immediately connect with him. Mark angled his body away from Tex, to give Tex space and remove pressure. Tex remained relaxed when I connected and we worked in perfect sync. I would have cried but I'm pretty sure that is bad form during a clinic lesson.
By the end, we were changing direction, doing transitions, and walking in and out of lunging v. leading.
Mark noted that Tex is very willing and tries hard. He said that someone in his early training may have taken advantage of his trainable personality and over-loaded him with too much, too fast. And, clearly, he's been roughly treated. He said that I did a good job with Tex and that we may be able to work through Tex's issues. He suggested that I check Tex's registration papers to make sure he hasn't been inbred; if so, we're pretty much sunk. If the flee response is the result of poor breeding then there isn't much we can do. I've looked at his papers in the past and I don't remember seeing the same name twice so I think we're good.
Besides, I believe Tex can get there. I believe we can get there together.