We almost didn’t leave today, and I’m having the same struggles as usual lately about it. I let Tarma roll and let out some spiciness in the ring (I now know she can really get her butt in the air!). I hope it helped, but as soon as she saw the trailer hooked up and waiting she pooped and gave me four other “I’m not down with this” signs. I asked her to load anyway and she did, but was still unhappy, pawing and shifting whenever we stopped. But she did load so we headed back to the farm we visited last weekend for a lesson with a different trainer.
Watching what Clay Wright asks of horses can be like watching paint dry for non horse people; it seems quiet and still, not a lot going on. This is where the learning happens. I introduced ourselves to him, explaining how Tarma makes me feel like a novice, that we’ve had signs that if we can work through a few things, and actually train her correctly to others, we’ll make quite a pair.
Today really showed me that while Tarma has learned to eventually do what the human asks, it’s not always from a calm place. With Clay we worked on yielding and softening, teaching her to use her body correctly, not just rush away out of worry. I’m happy to report myself a decent student; when she was doing it correctly I could see it and feel it (mostly in my weak ass arms; when she lifted her shoulders and moved off of my hands my arms didn’t get so tired!) We also touched on getting her to rely on me to deal with scary things above her, she’s still super worried about it but not mean or explosive.
Unfortunately on the way home we ran into an accident at a critical point so our haul was a half hour longer than expected, and Tarma pawed and stomped every time we stopped. She did forgive me enough to ask for scratches as she ate lunch though. A bit of a mixed bag day for sure, but I’m overall happy enough with how it turned out. We’ll practice a few things together this week and then she’ll have just over a week off while we’re on our spring break trip. It was awfully nice to have two respected trainers complement Tarma, for her looks, build and brains!