Building trust, relaxation, confidence, and connection may look pretty strange sometimes, but thinking outside the box can help.
What could I possibly be thinking here? Brynn said her pony resists bending, slowing down and turning sometimes.
Small But Mighty
She is small so she has really worked hard to be strong and effective. That’s awesome. But sometimes we get addicted to controlling everything, and our horses/ponies, especially the girls, decide they are going to brace and push back.
So I encouraged her to ride her with just her halter, and play with using circles and targets to find more ways to talk to her.
When that wasn’t as effective as I’d hoped, Brynn asked to put her bridle back on. When I resisted, she asked if we could use a lunge line. I thought it was a great idea!
Take the Reins
So she started letting go of the reins at the walk, trot, and canter sitting facing forward. Brynn then dropped her stirrups and reins, with no hands/no stirrups, pretty darn impressive to me.
I wanted to try something fun that might stretch them both into trusting each other a bit more. She turned around and, in a few moments, it was magic! Thank you so much Taryn ‘Gaudet’ Garrett for sending me these two pics!
Take a Look
Check out Cassidy’s eyes, ears, and top lip in both pics, soft, relaxed, endorphin top lip poked out. See how she is offering the bend in the second pic, I’m not pulling, and although Brynn has some contact, it’s not forced.
Check out how Brynn is solving this stress/fear puzzle with connection with me in the first pics, and relaxation in the second.
It’s fun when we start to find new approaches to old problems. Will this fix everything, no, but can it help the pony and her girl, yes!