The Monthly Muster: November

Hello, and welcome back to the blog! Today I am sharing my Monthly Muster for November- a roundup of how the month went in my training with Bryni. It has been such a quick month though I feel I’ve been productive with Bryni and found a system that works.

Bryni is doing well at the moment. I am only working with her twice a week as she only turned 2 in September, and I don’t want to do too much with her. I downloaded the app ‘Ridely’ which has helped me so much. Beforehand, I would say I was going to do something with Bryni but I was never clear in exactly what I wanted to do and quite often the sessions didn’t happen for various reasons. It was unproductive and I felt like I needed more accoutability. The app has really helped with that. I now insert my plan for each week, mapping out what I want to do in each session and tweaking them as we train. I’ve also been doing a little reflection on the activity after each time and that has helped me a lot to make appropriate next steps or to consider my own training and how I can improve it.

The Monthly Muster: November

What the plan was:

Bryni has presented herself to be very socially confident/ dominant and has on ocassion tried to bite/ come at me with flat ears, usually surrounding food or the anticipation of it.

Plan to tackle this and to gain more respect and boundaries:

  1. No treats, stop feed.
    The grass is very strong just now and Bryni does not really need to be getting fed. I am also going to stop giving her treats until we are done for the day. I will give her a treat when I let her go back into the field again.
  2. Tying up to be groomed
    Bryni is a complete fidget when tied up and is not respectful in that she moves into my space while I brush her. We are going to work on creating boundaries and asking her repeatedly to stand nice; if she moves into me, I will be switched on enough to ask her to move back.
  3. Lunging
    I feel this is a good way to start earning her respect and to help her understand my position in her little herd. I would like to do light lunging up to twice a week. It will help her too to learn voice commands.

How did it go?

Goal 1- Treats:
Firstly, I stopped the treats and feed successfully and what a difference it made! I’ve noticed that Bryni is a lot quieter and is more relaxed when she knows that she doesn’t get a treat until we are completely finished and I turn her out. She also knows that after she has had her treat, there are no more and so she doesn’t follow me around with her ears back, she doesn’t mug me anymore and she doesn’t barge into my space or get annoyed when I ask her to move out of my space. It has been such a tiny change but one that has made a huge difference for us.

Goal 2- Tying up:
In respect to tying up, there isn’t really an issue with this now. She still fidgets a little but for the most part she stands nicely and knows now not to move into me. I firmly believe that if a horse wants to move away from you, that’s absolutely fine. But, if they want to move into you, that’s a no go. Bryni understands this well and we had many lovely grooming sessions.

Goal 3- Lunging:
The lunging has gone well too. Bryni has learned the difference between me asking for a transition from trot to walk and me asking for a halt transition, where she turns in and shows me two eyes. She also changes direction well on the end of the line and is very respectful on the lunge line.

We are still working on the voice commands as her attention span is quite short, so after a while she zones me out. I’d like to work on making sure the sessions are short, sweet and productive.

Stay tuned for our December Training Plan!

Happy Horsing!

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