Unlock Your Horse's Potential

Lexy Nuesch Horsemanship

Iris: September 14


So far, Iris' groundwork has been going pretty well. Comparing how she's doing here versus what I had heard from Dr. Kendal, I'm pretty pleased. She's not really offered any of the complete behaviors that she had mentioned seeing.


Iris did take a bit to settle in & did a lot of pacing initially, even kicking at the other horses from time to time. Now, she's penned with S'More, an 11-year-old mare, & Socrates, the little 9-year-old Mustang gelding that I got from Andrea. Socrates is proving to be a great horse to have in with these mares. Though he's little, he does a great job of establishing himself as "top dog" in the pen in an efficient manner & keeps the other horses from becoming too pushy at feeding time. The three of them get along well. I wish I had two Socrates to have him in with the two stud colts that I have as well.


Before putting her in with the other horses, I spent some time in her pen, Matching Steps with her - something Warwick Schiller has been doing a lot. She spent most of the time pacing but eventually noticed that I was tuned into her & she would periodically come to check in with me before leaving to pace again. That became more & more frequent until she finally stood next to me for longer & more extended periods. I started our round pen session like this as well. It seems to build more of a connection & an understanding with the horses that I'm aware of their movements (an ear flick, turning an eye towards me, footfalls, etc.) & see the things they see (as I'll often look in the same direction that they are looking) versus starting to send them around the round pen immediately.

 

Iris has a tendency to be right on top of you with her head & neck or with her shoulder. In Jen's work, she's found that many horses tend to hold their breath or suck their tongue to get a dopamine hit. This is what I'm working on when I list "Back Up & Breath.