Ava needs some training...certainly a big refresher course. She and I are not really seeing eye to eye on who is the leader. I hate that she makes me doubt myself, she shakes my confidence and is making me rethink this whole horse idea. It should not be this difficult. I think we both need a little help, or sadly Ava is going to have to find another home. I need a horse who respects me and wants to be a partner, not one that is pushy and always testing me. I hate to admit it but I am starting to get really frustrated with Ava and borderline not liking her very much...and I certainly don't feel at ease when we spend time together, all of which I have no doubt she picks up on.
I have been watching Clinton Anderson training videos on YouTube for days...I wish he could help us, he makes it look so easy. I know she is not a bad horse, but I am not a skilled trainer by any stretch, and over the last year she has got real settled into her role of not having to respect a leader. Today I had a girl come out who is trying to get a horse trainer name for herself, she has been training using Clinton Anderson's method for 2 years now. She worked with Ava and I for 2 hours. The trainer did a nice job, but I think a bit more experience, and certainly many more sessions, are needed. I don't know what I am going to do with this horse.
It was a foggy dreary day...matched my mood LOL.
Rubbing her with the training stick so she doesn't fear the training tool.
Whipping the stick on the ground to desensitize her. She didn't spook at this stuff, took it all really well.
More friendly rubbing with the stick. Teaching Ava that the stick is just an extension of the hand...it can comfort and rub, or it can give taps and reminders. It is not used to abuse the horse in any way. I encourage anyone who would like to learn more about natural horsemanship to check out some Clinton Anderson videos. He is truly amazing with a horse.
Ava is very good at backing up, pretty good at yielding her hindquarters...even though she wants to keep moving and come into my space. She is not so great at yielding her forequarters however. Alexis is trying to get her to do it here, hand up by her eye so she won't move forward into the trainer, stick taps her shoulder and she is encourage to move her front end to the right.
It was a pretty miserable training day, but Ava did pretty good...though she wasn't happy about any of it.
The kids spent the night at Grandma's last night, they got to go to a high school play. The girls were especially happy that it was Beauty and the Beast...they said the play followed the movie really closely too. It was like a 2 1/2 hour play with an intermission, which the kids also loved because they got snacks LOL.
Fun times with Grandma!