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Step 13 – Observations

Step 13 - Observations

Now that the Creating Connection Through Change in Focus is working well (or you would not have moved on), it’s time to introduce you to the groundwork playlist.

From this point forward, we are going to start the day by asking yourself if you are ready to move on yet or not.   Think back to the podcast on Pass/Fail.

After watching today’s videos, we would like you to go out and halter your horse.  Then take them to either a round pen or an arena.  Then observe:  what does your horse tend to do if you just stand there in front of them?  

Do they move?  Are they twitching at all in the muzzle area?  What was it like catching them, were they easy to catch?  When you led them to the place where you are standing, how did that go?  Today is just an observation. 

This little exercise and the entire “flowchart” which is the next step, is where we are not ASKING anything of our horse (ok, you may have asked them to walk with you to the area you are going to work in, but once you get there, you are not going to ask for anything).  You are simply responding to what they do.  We are not training them.  We are attuning to them.  We are helping them feel better about themselves.  But, that is tomorrow. Today we are just observing so that when we watch the video explaining the Flowchart you will be armed with information about what you observed today.

Remember how to navigate this course? Just click on the topics below under Lesson Content. Then at the bottom of each topic, there will be a button to move you to the next topic. If you click on Next Lesson at the bottom of this page without going through all the topics, you will feel lost! LESSONS = STEPS and the TOPICS = What we want you to learn about during that step.

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I’m a new subscriber and I’m working through the Jumpstart course with my gelding. He’s coming 8 and I’ve had him since he was 4. I’d say we have a fairly good connection, but I’m learning we have some “gaps”, and I’m already starting to see changes in how we interact how that *I’m* changing.

I ride English and have hopes to jump and event, but I’m not in a rush. I’ve been realizing that my gelding is a bit of an internalizer or stress, but he is also naturally curious and likes to interact with his muzzle. I’m hoping to help him self-regulate and give him more confidence that I’m attuned with him through this process.

I’ve been working on creating connection through change in focus – I’m curious when you know you’re ready to continue to the groundwork? I’m not in a rush, but want to make sure I don’t get ahead before we’re ready.

We practice this in an indoor arena (we’re in Canada so the weather isn’t that great yet). My boy is pretty naturally curious and likes to wander around the arena we use and just explore, so he moves around a lot. He can often sometimes use the time to run around and get energy out. If he does that, I generally just wait until he settles before starting anything. He definitely doesn’t stay in one place even when he’s calm though.

I would say he has now started to come over more and more, and we’re getting to the point where he unlocks his feet and follows me, but it isn’t for long, and then he’ll kind of wander off and do his thing and we start again. Sometimes he wants to engage, so I engage, and sometimes (more rare) he will just come and hang out a bit. Sometimes, it can feel as though he wants me to follow him, if that makes sense at all.

Should they be staying/following for a certain period of time before you move on to groundwork?

Warwick Schiller avatar Warwick Schiller (Administrator) April 22, 2024 at 10:05 am

Hi there
It sound slike youi could start the groundwork, as long as he turns his head well when you draw his attention with the flag.

Hello. I have a bitey, pushy horse and another pushy horse. I’ve been working thru the fence and currently, they walk away when I approach but come back to engage. One by scraping teeth on my hand and the other stays back mainly cuz bitey won’t let him approach. I have not worked on CCTCIF since they both have more draw than drive. Should I move on to day 13 or is there something I’m missing in creating connection. TIA! D

Warwick Schiller avatar Warwick Schiller (Administrator) May 1, 2024 at 10:25 am

How is your energy when they are engaging through the fence. Do you feel relaxed, and not feeling threatened at all by their behaviour

Yes. Feeling relaxed and not threatened. I can create energy and they will back up and reach their nose out to continue engaging.

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