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“Hello, Goodbye” …. What’s Your Horse Saying?
“Hello, Goodbye”…. remember that Beatles song? That’s what Scottie seems to be saying… For your viewing (and listening) pleasure here is a link so you can listen to the song, while you are reading about greeting your horse! Besides… their attire is worth the look! http://www.dailymotion.com/video/xilr3e_the-beatles-hello-goodbye-high-quality_music
4th Lesson: Greeting Your Horse, Day 1
As Seen in the Photo….Scottie: Scottie’s never been a demonstrative horse, and he really doesn’t seem like he wants any part of this (as shown in the photo). He doesn’t really physically away, but he certainly doesn’t connect like Elmo. He has never liked to be fussed with much. He likes to be scratched on the belly, but not a he’s not a horse who seems to enjoy “petting”. I thought that even though he’s 27, maybe a different approach would make more sense to him. Well, let’s just say this first time, I gave up. After quite a while, he never found it interesting, or beneficial. I’ll try again next time.
Elmo:. Just as usual (as seen in the first photo of this series), with a “Hi Elmo”(no halter), he lowered his head, and arched his neck, so I would rub his forehead. I rubbed his head, then dusted off the shedding white hairs from from his eyes, and enjoyed the moment as much as he. There really is a different sense from the horse when you approach your greeting this way. It becomes mutual.
Lexi: Next, I decided to try it on Lexi. I remembered some points from a clinic by trainer Chris Irwin, (and from Bee’s previous exercises)—that a horse needs space in front, and approaching without projecting a strong intent. (This is a greeting. How would you feel if a person came on too strong?) I kept my eyes soft and glanced downward. This took a long time, more than 3 minutes. Lexi kept reaching for my hand with her nose. Then I realized that I should keep my hand about my chest level, and extended softly out. This helped. I will keep practicing this greeting method over the next few times and let you know how it goes.
Maggie: She was interested in the soft greeting, showing no resistance, and was curious and relaxed. She even reached forward into my hand after a couple of minutes. I think she might look forward to this method as she is so sensitive about her space, but is a very kind horse that enjoys people. I’ll need to start to read her limit better, and see if I can stop before she does.