Fantastic update on Annie from her foster mom, Julie!
I just wanted to give you an update on how Annie is doing. I have started
her under saddle and have put three rides on her. I have bridled her and
have ridden her with a snaffle. She is halter broke and leads safely. She
will put her head in the halter herself and no longer tosses it when being
haltered. She will move away from pressure when haltered and when not
haltered. She will also back up when the leadrope is squeezed and when
light pressure is put on her nose. She “lunges” both directions and will
move her haunches and shoulders out of the way when asked. I have picked up
all four feet several times. I have been working on her food aggression
issues and head-shyness and she is progressing well with both.
I can saddle her in the round pen without a halter on and she will stand
while being saddled. So far she has worn a western saddle, thick wool felt
pad, and breast collar. I have taught her how to bump up to the side of the
round pen and stand there while being mounted — this will translate to
standing by a mounting block.
I have tested her to see if she is a pull-back candidate and she doesn’t
seem to be, although I don’t want to say that she NEVER will pull back.
Today we worked on her giving to halter pressure when the lead rope is
looped around her back end and she did pretty well. I have worked on
de-spooking her to the leadrope being dragged all over her body and around
her legs. I have also pretty much desensitized her to the flag to the point
where it is difficult to get her to move away from it : ) . We are now
working on desensitizing to a burlap feed bag and a plastic tarp.
I can now consistently get Annie from a paddock or pasture — she will come
to me or stand until I get to her and will let me halter her. We also did
quite alot of practicing getting in and out of my trailer and have it down
to less than 30 seconds and without any treats!
Under saddle we are working on moving away from pressure, moving her
hindquarters away both directions, direct rein and weight aids, standing
still, and halting. I wouldn’t say that she is green broke but we are
Annie is good with other horses, both mares and with Cassidy my older
gelding. She is a smart girl and focuses well. She is still nervous and
suspicious of people who she doesn’t know, but is much better than when she
Let me know if there is anything else that you would like me to do with her
and I’d be more than happy to, if I can. I started her in a western saddle
because that is how I (now) start all horses, but it should be no problem to
change her to English when she is more balanced and steady. Western saddles
have a bigger pommel to hold onto and lots of cool rigging to bang and slap
around — great for desensitizing!
Thanks for giving me the chance to work with her. We are having a great
time together : ) .