This week, we continued to work on catching in the pen with hand targeting. There was no running around the pen at all this week. Success! We also moved into the round pen where we worked on round penning (which she clearly has a foundation of), reviewed the previous foundation groundwork exercises we've been working on while adding Run Up & Rub (a big confidence builder for Florida), & Laying Down.
She surprised me a bit with the laying down. I expected her to be a bit more worried when I initially tied a foot up during the first lesson, but she went up & down calmly a few times before laying down. By the time it was time to get up, she was pretty content to remain laying down. On the second day of laying down, she folded her front legs nicely underneath her immediately & lay down.
While she's laying down, I spend a lot of time rubbing her all over & letting her know that she can relax & I'm going going to do anything to hurt her in such a vulnerable position. I've seen many horses make quite a change after going through a handful of laying down lessons.
I didn't get the videos I was hoping to get this week due to the off-&-on rainy weather, but next week looks very favorable & hope we can refine the lay down a bit to show on video!
Today, we spent some time working on feet handling in preparation for her first trim here on Monday. I hope to be able to get it done without sedation, but have some oral gel on hand if need be. I want to be able to get underneath her safely with enough time to do a great job so that we can have her feet shaped up before her Equinitry session next week. Going forward, trims won't take quite so long & we should be able to do them without sedation.
Next week, we'll Lay Down a couple more times & begin Leading by the Feet & continue to build her confidence. We have an Equinitry & Dental appointment on Thursday, May 12 so once we have that done, I anticipate saddling for the first time here the following week. It looks like we may have a couple warm days so we may shoot for a bath, too.
Next week's update will be posted on Thursday night.