Yes. I know this attitude isn't in line with the philosphy on the forums or the relationship I want with him. Unofrtunately it's a very very deep rooted thought pattern in myself though and is probably going to be the hardest thing to overcome in all this training.
Oh boy do I identify with that!!
I have struggled much of this winter and spring with an incredible feeling of "wasting time" when I do not get to ride or do something "productive" with him (meaning excercise).
There is no reason why you cannot be productive in another way. You could play chase the tiger, practise movements from the saddle, work on leading, everything you normally do just approached in a different way. Body language, awareness and motivation to change what you are doing is all that is needed.
..Really putting myself out there =/ but...honestly is important in the journey.
I don't think it's a weak position to take, I think it's a brave one. The end goal is much higher than anything you will achieve in a traditional way.
Exactly. Which I why those comments are usually followed by a sad face.
It's not a bad thing at all, it's an invitation to do something better.
He just doesn't know what you want so tunes out for a while. Encourage him to engage with you with treats (if you haven't used clicker or treats before then please read the correct way to introduce them). Find things he likes to do and praise every attempt he makes to offer something that will earn him a treat. My horse loved to put his feet on a bucket to start with and enjoyed targeting the end of a stick with his nose. These earnt him easy treats and we progressed from there. Later when we had a better relationship I could go back to asking more and putting a little more pressure on because he knew he would never be really pressurised unless he did something dangerous. Today he has free choice at liberty and will offer, or choose to do or not, anything I ask, but I insist he do as I ask if he has a line on or is under saddle. He is extremely light so a correction consists of body pressure/position/vocal and a light contact on the line when needed. I still reward him for correct behaviour with praise and occasional treats. I ride him barefoot and bitless.
A neat treat (Glen has ownership of this!!! lol) is rabbit pellets. Morgan loves these and is super motivated by them!!!
I also loved the ideas when I first got here of taking a picnic with your horse. Go for a walk or ride and get off and stop somwhere nice and share some treats with your horse and allow him some grazing time.
I did try hiding some of his favorite treats in a bag once and leaving it in the middle of the arena (I do alot of free work with him in the arena nowdays). I thought he might grab the bag and run off but he very slyly unwrapped a treat out of the bag and would run off with it, then come back for another swipe.
You can also teach him to target the bag with his nose and click and treat for touching it. He will then search to touch the bag and you can move it bit by bit clicking and treating every time he touches it. He may like to pick up a plastic cone (I bought a few of these quite cheaply at a sports shop). It sounds odd but when I want to teach Morgan a new trick I encourage him vocally like I would a child or dog. This works well for him and transfers also to a negative tone when he is doing something I don't want.
Glad you are here.