So a couple of weeks ago...you know, when we had one day of spring, one day of summer and one day of fall weather before we slipped back into winter...Teeheehee
Miss Megan gathered up her favorite little black mare, Snip and gave her, her once a year handling session. I'm just kidding. Actually, Megan has a very soft spot for this little mare and has been determined to use her to practice her groundworking skills with. Although I have been hesitant to turn Megan loose with anything that is not reasonably well broke...the fact is, she is not as little as I like to think of her and she does know what she is doing. The only way to get better is to let her work with horses that are not tremendously strong and although green, do have basic leading skills.
So here is Megan, doing her thing...
**caution, the wind is blowing in this video, so it is annoyingly scratchy sounding. You may want to turn your sound down.
I'm sure most everyone has watched clinicians do this exercise, so it's not anything new. But I think this is a pretty good example of what it looks like when your horse is being less than cooperative. It's really noticeable just how much moving of your feet it takes to stay in the correct position. When the horse doesn't really want to move their feet, that is when the person has to work harder to stay just behind the shoulder and work at pushing the horse forward.
I stopped videoing in a spot where Snip was not wanting to move her feet at all. Megan was doing all the right things, but Snip just didn't want to move. At this point you have several options. Myself, I would step toward the shoulder and swing the end of the lead toward the shoulder in bigger and bigger arcs until the horse moved away from me. I would just keep swinging that lead and letting it pop the horse on the shoulder until the horse could not stand it anymore and moved away. Megan chose another route. She stopped trying to push the mare away, pulled Snip so she faced up, stepped to her and then led her a few steps. She kept doing that until Snip finally moved off in the circle again.
There's always more than one way to do something and still get the same end result. The point is that you are working toward an end result. It took Megan and Snip a little longer to work through things, but they did and the end result was Megan leading Snip all over the corral, through a gate and in and out of the barn. Something this mare has not done in years. I told mom, we better be careful or we will look up one of these days and that mare will be saddled and Megan will be riding her...I was only about 1/2 kidding!