You are at Step 24 because you have a horse that has graduated from the Leading with Energy and Focus & Bend exercises. If you haven’t done both of these, please go back and work on those steps first.
Now that your horse has some tools –
1. They are connected to the flag and you can draw their thoughts with it and you (Creating Connection Through Change in Focus)
2. They can regulate themselves and stand still and present on the end of the lead rope (Standing Still & Present Flowchart).
3. They can lead and there is an awareness of where you are (collision avoidance) so you can safely walk places without worrying that they might run you over if there is a fright. You also have the tools to manage their speed while leading.
4. They have more collision avoidance with the proficiency of the Focus & Bend exercise and will yield off around you.
Up to this point, you have been doing these exercises in one place, so your horse is comfortable doing all the exercises there.
We needed to wait until you put all these tools on your horse (which will also give you confidence because you have seen what might come up) that you can safely move to this next step.
The next step is that you will begin to move from your horse’s comfortable training area. You’ll start by taking your horse to a different location that is not far from where you were doing all the work (maybe it’s just another end of the arena to start with). Maybe it is down the driveway slightly. It will depend on your horse’s living situation (because maybe you’ve been doing all this work where they live because that is what they needed). This new area doesn’t need to be far; it just needs to be different.
This step starts the minute that you have your horse online. You will constantly consult the flowchart to guide you in addressing any issues or challenges that arise as you begin to move to this new area. You will use the collision avoidance tools to get you to the new area. Then you will start over with the flowchart and not move on until your horse is good with standing still and being present in the new area. This may be the first day, this may be many days away. Do not try formally working on the Leading with Energy and Focus & Bend exercises until they are comfortable in the new area and are standing still and present very consistently.
Only then can you work on the Leading with Energy and Focus & Bend – and remember the one you do first is the one that is best for your horse – which may have changed. They may have started out with more drive than draw and now have switched to having more draw than drive. So, start accordingly.
Repeat this process until your horse becomes so familiar with the exercises that there’s no discernible difference in performance, regardless of the location. When your horse reaches a point where they seem uninterested or unchallenged by the exercise, you’ll know it’s time to move on to the next step.
A reminder how to use this course: click on Mark Complete below and go to the next step when you and your horse are ready.