I had an Arab mare in my training program for fear, spookiness and general distrust of the human herd. Whenever I walked into her stall she always walked out calmly into her paddock. It didn’t matter that my shoulders and head were dropped, eyes lowered and I walked in softly cooing to her with an outstretched hand. Typically when a horse turns their butt to you and walks off you should run that horse off; he who moves the others feet first is in control. But if I ran her off it would reinforce her fear and lack of trust. Therefore, I allowed her to walk out of the stall into her paddock where she felt safer. When I stepped into her paddock I would turn my back to her maintaining my soft countenance and outstretched hand. When she stopped and turned to look at me that was the signal that she was ready for me to put on her halter. She just needed a moment of her space which I recognized allowing her autonomy (one of the Four Core Concerns we share with horses).
It really helped getting to know the Arab mare by discussing her past with her owner, then evaluating, observing and applying different pressure techniques along with my “W”Holistic Joining”. I made mistakes applying too much pressure at times which quickly taught me what did and didn’t work for this mare. If you find a technique is too much pressure for your horse change the technique. Listen to your horse. Keep in mind there is no one technique that fits all horses because every horse is different.
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Wishing you a great day – Missy