Tuesday, May 26, 2009

time to get on

The few times I got on Nina last fall she planted her feet, gnashed her teeth, pinned her ears and refused to move an inch...in any direction...totally stuck.
When other people have gotten on her she has reared, higher each time...then refused to move.
Almost a one-trick pony.

So I spent a day just getting on and off, many times. She was fine with that.
Then I had a friend with a handful of carrots entice her to move a few steps while I just sat on her like a sack. That involved pinned ears, but otherwise it was ok.

Then we started moving the bar up a tiny bit each day.
Walk on verbal command.
Move my legs around on her.
Eat carrots.
Move legs more.
Turn around with big plow rein and walk the OTHER direction.
Walk away from the carrot machine...this was was tough and involved some tail wringing and a half hearted attempt to rear.
Repeat all above.

Other than some dramatic gesturing with the head and neck...this has been progress. Her body is fairly relaxed, off and on, and if I ignore the dramatic face making...so is mine.

This tiny bit of progress is the absolute most cooperation I have seen out of her since the day I got her. My friend with the carrots convinced me that Nina has come to trust me and at this point if she is going to let anyone ride her, it is going to be me. I think she is right. Nina is responding to voice, not just commands but also some growls when she starts to wind herself up.
Baby steps.

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