Madeleine Balcer wrote:
Something changed since I do the Rituals: our riding is more smooth, also I have been trying for years to made her lay down and rub her back. I was able to do it 2 weeks ago for the first time ever. She laid down because she wanted to roll but she let me come close and rub her back. Usually she gets up before I come more than 5 fett from her.
I am anxious to know how you use the rituals
The beautiful thing about horses is that they are so adaptable... please don't think you have poisoned your bond! I think a bond is flexible and can always be rebuilt as long as we haven't done anything truly horrible... which you have not.
What I noticed about my pony is that she is extremely quick and sensitive. She is the perfect horse for me to test with as she will tell me immediately if I have goofed up or not. I think ponies are more primitive (something Klaus Hempfling talks about with his horse types) and because of it they are more of the earth then perhaps their larger kin.
Perhaps you could combine the Reciprocal movements exercise with the Saying Hello? Since he came to you with Sharing Territory you could combine it that way too. Once he came up to you, give him affection/little treat, then pack up and leave.
With shy horses I find walking backwards away from them can also help. Like approach enough that they notice but do not flee. Once you have their attention, walk backwards, then stop and see if they approach. With Saying Hello I don't think it would be necessary to actually touch him but just to insert yourself on the fringe of his territory where he feels comfortable but if you went any more would make him upset. Does that make sense?
If it was me, I wouldn't even do the Taking Territory or Leading from Behind until you see a huge difference in him wanting to be with you. You might find Go Trot would be easier on him then TT or LFB.
With my pony Pandora, we were rather pass Sharing Territory and Saying Hello, just because she is eager to be with me and will run across the field to be with me. We have been doing Go Trot and here is a little video of us doing it.http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VuHu3EKz7cw&feature=channel_page
Carolyn talks about the horse that is too shy then becoming too dominant, then too shy and you have to balance it. Pandora is becoming a bit too dominant so I will probably try Taking Territory just to remind her.
Would you characterize Bravada as dominant or a leader?
My two year old filly is very dominant. She is very friendly and curious but things had gotten dangerous with her not respecting space. After doing a bit of Sharing Territory, Saying Hello, we had to get right to Taking Territory which was an interesting exercise.
I took her to our arena, where I had laid out a flake of alfalfa. Instead of letting her take it, I guarded it from her. Then I asked her to come in and eat by walking backwards with my hand out. After she settled down to eating, I circled, stopped, circled etc... She didn't pay me any attention. When I got behind her she hadn't moved and was still gorging her face! It took a lot of energy to move her off!
After about three different sessions, she has completely changed and waits to be invited. And she watches while I move around her. If she watches, then I walk away and let her continue.
I don't have a video of that but I do of our leading from behind.http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aKaZGAZHsXA&feature=channel_page
One day I had a brainstorm - I lead her from behind from the one end of the pasture to the other where the gate was (her favorite place so it was easy to point and keep her going). At the end of the gate, I had hubby hand me her food over the fence, and I fed her... essentially leading her to the food like the leader would.
One thing to keep in mind is that I think this is a very slow process. Don't get too discouraged if you don't see results quickly.
I also combine Clicker Training - Carolyn Resnick doesn't seem too fond of CT but she does state on her DVD and articles that if you are using a method and it is working for you then go with your heart. I use more CT with pony as this motivates her strongly. It is not as big a motivator with the filly.