I hope you & your family had a great Thanksgiving!
This week, we've been working on Leading by the Front Feet & Laying Down.
Initially, Roach was pretty resistant when we started Leading by the Feet. Once he figured out he received a release when he stepped towards me, it was hard to get him to leave me, which is exactly the thought process I want him to go through. When we moved to the second front foot, he was much less resistant & immediately thought through things.
Laying Down also went pretty smoothly. He did resist at first, but he really didn't get too worked up about it as he tried to find where he received the release (putting his knee on the ground, as you'll see in the video). Once he laid down, I make sure that I'm rubbing & patting him ALL over - finding those spots like his flanks that he's a bit nervous about from time to time. The lay down after the first day went much quicker.
I find this process to be a big help to horses who are a bit more sensitive, reactive, & have a lot of self-preservation.
On Wednesday, Dr. Kendal Smith made it up to work on horses.
Roach's "stranger danger" was on high alert with a new person around him. He did quiet down & allowed Dr. Kendal to work on his head, neck, & shoulders, but was a bit unsure & tense about having her working around his hindquarters. Because he was tense, Dr. Kendal felt it was best not to try to force it for the sake of working on him, as it could do more harm than good, both physically & mentally. We opted to end the session on a good note so that it was only a good experience for him. Overall, the areas she worked on didn't have anything major going on beyond the normal young horse growing & in training things that she expected.
Next week's update will be posted on Friday.