Hey Jennifer,Just a quick update on Flory. She's doing FABULOUSLY. I haven't had alot of free time to work with her, been pretty busy, but she's responding really well to the small amount I've been able to do.She was so spooky at first and her answer to anything that worried her was to bolt, so I've been taking things really slowly allowing her to process things and telling her it's OK to move your feet, just don't take the slack of out the lead line.She's gotten to the point that she still jumps when something startles her, but then instead of bolting, she's finally starting to get curious and check things out vs leaving. She loves her lessons and when I go out to halter her, she pushes her nose into the halter. :-) I've grown quite attached to her.We're almost to the saddling stage..not quite yet though. I'll be starting with a bareback pad today. I'm glad that her filly found a home. I was hoping that you could either give them my email address or give me theirs in case they'd like to keep in touch. Lori and I started a small yahoo group called "The Psympson's" for people who have Psymbol's relatives to keep in contact with one another and share pictures and stories.I'd like to invite them to join if they are interested.Well, I'm headed out to play with the horses. The weather here is BEAUTIFUL today!Take Care,Big Hug!Dani
Hey All,Just thought I'd give you a Psys training progress report. I was laughing as I was addressing this email to her "Godmares" and everyone who has been along for this little journey. She certainly has a following! :-)I spent alot of time with her today and we got alot of really cool stuff accomplished. :-)We started out with our normal grooming routine and this time I added a flymask. She really didn't care about it too much once she got past the velcro sound.After grooming, I attached an old tarp to another lead rope and drug it along the ground, asking her follow it for awhile, then I let the rope attached to the tarp out long enough that it was dragging alongside her as she walked. I eventually let it out far enough that it was dragging just behind her hind feet. She's gotten so cute. Rather than bolting, which used to be her first choice when something scared her, she now stops and asks to check whatever it is out, sometimes even picking it up or pawing at it. We can only move on when whatever the object is meets her approval...lolWe did the tarp work on both sides until she did no more than flick an ear at it.After that, I drug it back and forth behind her hind legs from right to left and vice versa and then back and forth right under her nose. Once she was comfortable with that, I drug it underneath her from one side to the other. Once those things were no big deal, I put the tarp and lead over her back so that the tarp hung off of the opposite side I was standing on and I asked her to walk out as I slowly moved the tarp up and down on her side as she walked. Right side went OK, left side needed some work. The wind came up and shook the tarp a little harder than she was ready for so she spooked and started to bolt but as soon as I said, "Easy, you're OK", she composed herself, stopped and looked to me for reassurance. She was funny, I think she thought I'd done that to her for moving forward and after that she was a little hesitant to move out. I encouraged her to try one or two steps then told her good girl and eventually one or two steps turned into 5 or 6 until she was moving out again with some confidence.After the tarp we went to the bareback pad. I've already done the rope work and the saddle pad work, so adding the bareback pad was no biggie. I put it on several times from both sides and her head doesn't even pop up a little anymore. I tightened the cinch and asked her to move several times. No big deal. Then I moved the bareback pad back so the cinch was in the center of her belly and I asked her to move. No big deal. Then I moved it back so the cinch was in her flanks, tightened it, asked her to move. No big deal.Next came the sidepull. :-) I've worked enough with her ears that she was fine being bridled and kept her head nice and low (I think after the flymask anything would be easy..lol). I attached two really long lead ropes and walked her out into the mid sized paddock for her first driving lesson. At first I think she thought I'd lost my mind. We've done alot of follow a feel stuff from behind so when I'd take my positon behind her, she thought we were doing that, so it confused her a little when I'd ask her to move forward then ask for a little bend, but not too much. We made alot of "S" progress meaning two steps to the left, two steps to the right, two steps to the left, two steps to the right...lol. I finally put her along the fenceline to help her understand that she could move forward in a straight line even though I was behind her and when we reached the corners, I used them to support left and right turns. Pretty soon things were going a little more smoothly. We did some stop and backing work and then I quit the driving on a good note. After she was "unsaddled" we went for a walk around the yard to graze on some of the green stuff that is coming up around the fenceline. She hasn't been out much but it was cute to see her keep checking to make sure I hadn't wandered off. She and Jay are so different. He is so confident. He says, "Hey look what I found, come here and check this out!" when he is away from his horse herd and she says, "Don't you dare leave me!".Following our walk, I trimmed her feet. She's gotten so much better. She made some choices that I didn't agree with when I did her fronts, but they weren't made out of fear, I think more out of discomfort. I'm pretty sure her hind end needs a chiropractic adjustment. I see her "fall out" every so often and alot of times when a horse is good on one set of diagonals for trimming and hard on the other, they need to be adjusted. It's on our list, but I don't think she's quite ready for that yet.After that, I climbed up on the fence and asked her to come up next to me for some good wither scratches. Then as Ima Mary suggested, I put a leg over her back while still standing on the fence. She was OK with it on her left side and less OK on her right.I'm not as steady on her right either, so I think she was picking up my tightness trying to stay steady on my somewhat wobbily fence..lol. Then I sort of dismounted between her and the fence so she can get used to seeing a human drop down on the ground next to her. She is one BIG mare!Anyway..that's where we are today. I took a little video of her in her bareback pad. She really reads me well and when my attention was divided between her and operating a camera, she got a little confused with me. Many Hugs,Dani and the Psympson Kids