This is an update on Pamela, a horse I talked about back in February. Just to remind you, Pamela is a 6 year old Tennessee Walker who had been used as a ’show horse’ prior to being acquired by my client, Michele Williams. In the previous installment of her saga I had managed to reduce the catching/haltering process from 30 minutes to 5 minutes and I had gotten on briefly. The picture to the right is from that day. Not a pretty sight!
It is now 3 months later. Progress is slow but I generally only work with Pamela once a week although recently while her owners were away they asked me to spend extra time with her which allowed me to move the process along a bit.
According to the previous owner, an ‘old-timey’ Tennessee horseman, Pamela was bred to be a show horse and thusly was just ‘high strung’. This was to explain why she would just take off running when Michele got on.
This was also the reason given as to why we would never be able to ride her in a snaffle. She had to be ridden in a long shanked curb bit.
Oh Ye of Little Faith.
Of course, Michele just ignored the man’s ravings confident in my certainty that Pamela really didn’t want to run off like that it was just that she didn’t know any other way to be.
And so here we are. Baby steps baby steps. The real problem, that the old owner just can’t see, is the deep worry in Pamela. As soon as you get on her first thought is to get back to the barn ASAP! So, our rides are all about making 1) being away from the barn a good thing, and 2) any and all efforts to relax and bring her attention to me is a Really Good Thing. She is trying SO hard! She really wants to let it all go but as yet still doesn’t fully trust that those old days are really dead and gone. But she is getting there. Last ride ended with a good half a minute of totally relaxed, neck out and down, regular horse walk. I’m so proud of her!