I didn't like it. I don't know if I'm just being hard-headed and stuck in my ways, or if I really don't like the way "they" do things. This person studied with the Parellis. Parelli isn't my favorite thing, and I really dislike their "carrot stick" unless I really need it, then it's a good tool. I just don't feel like I need it. Not with Joseph anyway, and not really with Scout anymore either. So... Am I just being stubborn because I don't like the tools and the exercises are just slightly out of kilter with my normal body language? Or do I have a bad taste in my mouth over it for good reason?
I did find some holes - we haven't worked on backing up from direct hand pressure on the nose and that was hard for him, although he can back up from halter pressure, lead rope jiggling, verbal commands, and simple body language. Funny how none of that translated to finger pressure on the nose.
He did a lovely pivot and dug himself a little hole in the ground.
He did not move his head away from the stupid stick very easily. I don't understand why you need to use the stick to move his head, so I asked, "Why???" and she said she uses it when riding bridleless. I don't think you should need sticks to ride bridleless... Seems like it would just be noise getting in the way of true communication. But we stuck with it, and we got somewhere.
We did the weird little exercise where you send the horse in a circle and then give them no input, expecting them to stay in the same gait going round and round (you don't even turn with them, you pass the rope behind your back) until you ask them to stop. I have always thought that's a bit goofy. Aren't we supposed to be having a dialog? But it actually was neat to watch him work his way through it. At first he was very worried. He'd start to stop and look at me, and I'd just point my finger and lift my stick if necessary, and he'd move along again. It wasn't long at all before he could go in a complete circle, and he was very calm and quiet. Apparently this helps them develop self-confidence and give them responsibility for staying on task. I don't think it caused him to become detached from me, but it wasn't a dialog. He went about as fast as a turtle too, but I think that was mainly because he was unsure. Usually he has my body language and the quickness of my steps to mirror in order to gauge how fast he should be going. On his own responsibility, slow was the way to go. Probably because he was trying to process while not making mistakes. He's a perfectionist. I think doing a bit more of this (without over-doing it) will be a good exercise for him. I can imagine him being proud of himself because he thought through it and figured it out on his own.
He recently discovered that apples are good, after all. He had a big sloppy drooly time eating my apple core right before I took these pictures. He thought the other horses were fascinating.
I'm not really complaining. Any time with my horse is a good thing, especially on such a beautiful day.