A few weeks ago I wrote about a mare I’ve been working with. I’d only had a handful of sessions with her at that time. We’ve since had a few more sessions together. Each time the mare has improved dramatically. I just love seeing these kinds of transformations. When we first started the mare, Cheyenne, was very distant. Mentally, her thoughts were so back with her buddies. As you may recall, the first time with her in the round pen was spent mainly with her wanting to hang out in one part of the pen closest to where she might be able to see her friends. The entire focus of that visit was about convincing her that looking at me might actually work out pretty good for her.
Since that day, things have steadily improved each visit. By improved, I mean instead of her resisting looking at me and telling me in no uncertain terms that really she had no use for me, she has become soft and attentive. During the last visit I was able to even ask her for a little bit of trot on the line. In the past, she would be rushing, crooked and always looking to the outside of the circle. Not so, today! She kept an ear on me and when I asked her to pick up a bit of speed to go to trot it was nice and soft and with me. It is easy to see how gymnastically valuable a circle can be when the horse is choosing to relax into the circle work
Her owner could not be more pleased. She has said that in the past, she would have to spend 45 minutes at trot to get her to walk the way she starting out now. This is so huge and it is news that warms my heart, for sure. The key has been keeping the focus on relaxed attention and making those objectives the easy and obvious choices. The best part is we have only just begun. This will only continue to get better.