Jewel came to us a nervous wreck, terrified of human touch. She was curious about people and would walk up to you for a sniff, but as soon as you reached to touch her she'd turn away. The last couple of months she's just been turned out with the herd, just learning to be a horse again. She has slowly started to come around and now allows us to walk up to her for a scratch and to put her halter on. So last night we began groundwork with Jewel on the lunge line. What a lazy mare! It took a lot of convincing to get her to trot, but once she did trot it was slow and rhythmic. Even when she broke into a gait... yup, Jewel appears to have some gaited horse genes in her some where. As training progresses I'll encourage her to gait as I believe that will be a bonus to a lot of potential adopters in this area.
I only worked with her for about 20 min, mostly at the walk. Her right side is her stiff side, so much of the time was spent going to the right, bringing her in to a 10' circle, letting her out to 15', back in to 10', etc. Not once did she lay her ears back or act afraid or upset.
I've still got a ways to go with her feet. I start at her shoulder and slowly run my hand down her leg, but as soon as I get below the knee she freaks out and jumps back. Once she's more responsive on the lunge line I'll start sending her out to work every time she jumps back. This method worked really well for Meghan who was also terrible about having her feet worked on. But right now, she's such a lazy mare that sending her out on the lunge would be so much work that she may not associate working with the bad behavior.
Once, long ago, there was a Monday from hell
6 years ago