Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Backwards, Forwards, Left and Right

I bought some Clinton Anderson videos recently, and I'm quite impressed. Anderson presents exercises in a clear, grounded and practical way that makes them easy to digest and apply, unlike the Parelli camp of natural horsemanship. His no-nonsense attitude is similar to my own, and I believe that his approach can benefit both horses.

Today I noticed how severely afraid Tonka remains of the goats and decided to start working through it with him. I began by taking him to the driveway outside the paddock and getting him to hustle his feet backwards, forwards, left and right (Anderson's mantra). Then I drove him through an increasingly narrow gap between me and the paddock fence about 30 times, until he started to relax. Then I tied him to the paddock fence while I did some goat-related errands. Finally I brought him into the paddock and let him eat alfalfa from the goat feeder while I encouraged Roland, Morsel and Timbit to be boisterous and noisy. We'll be doing this daily for a while, as well as some lunging. Now that the big lug is sounding up it's time for his life of leisure to get a little less leisurely.

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