Exciting things happening! First and foremost, I'm back in town and got to see my baby girl today!!!!!
It felt like nothing had changed but it also took me a few moments to get used to Tess again. After all the tiny Paso Fino's I've been working with, Tessa actually seems huge. And she's not that big of a horse
That's not the only thing! After riding gaited horses, her trot and canter were a bit of a rude awakening and required a lot more from me to keep my balance (I hopped on her for the first time in 4 months bareback...that's how I had my last ride with her too). I was, thankfully, able to stay on for her walk, trot, and canter. Though her canter was tricky since she spooked and kinda teetered into a gallop. Jumped into the deep-end after months off lol. It was so
nice riding a horse trained in dressage and used to being ridden off the seat. The other horses I'm working with at college are awesome because they require more of me in that they've never been ridden from the seat and have imbalances and underdeveloped muscles. But Tessa's so sensitive and used to being ridden in a precise way, it demands correct riding from me in different ways. So both are good!
I'm going to try something new and post the links to my photos/videos of these events on my horse training instagram to save some time.
From today: Riding, Tessa's sweet nicker and classic goofy faces, and Sioux! Sioux girl remembered our fun liberty and came to a whistle. So sweet being with my two girls again.
Now I'll update on my two other projects. I've been making such good progress with Rubina and Chiquita so it was kind of hard leaving in the middle of it, but of course I'm over the moon to be back.
I've worked with her for 4 sessions now and her transformation is astounding! The first day I worked with her she was skittish of humans, couldn't be touched, and she got aggressive. Now, I can get her to follow the target for most leading cues (forward, stop, turn) and I can *finally* pet her with her relaxed. I started by touching her with the target so 1) she'd get further desensitized to a scary object and 2) she could get used to being touched and if she did bite/kick like she had in the past, I would be safe. In the next session I switched over to using my hand and it went really well! She even runs up to greet me as soon as I step in her pen, leaving her food and buddies behind. It's so sweet when you earn a horse's trust.
Next, Rubina! I was right that she needed a chiropractor! She was out at her poll, withers, back, and hips. No wonder she was getting so defensive about being touched. I was able to do a full-body massage on her, which should continue to help her get back in shape. She was also able to enjoy the massage; she even started wriggling her lips when I got to her hamstrings and adductors, previously a very sensitive area. What's happening right now is her back is upside down: Instead of her back curving up and her abdomen contracting, her back is contracted and her abdomen is over-extended. I was able to release some of her back, but she wouldn't let me near her sides or belly. I think she has ulcers, so she'll be treated for that while I'm gone. Then, hopefully I can massage out the other problem muscles and start working on in-hand and remedial exercises.