Does this mean under different circumstances we communicate differently? Is it possible that when we are with our horses say at a show versus at home that we also change? It is an interesting thought and something to ponder, does our location dictate our communication style and thus our relationships are affected? Are you a different person when on vacation with your significant other than when you are at home? Just something to think about. In any event, we had a great deal of fun this week including but not limited to horse time! Yep, I finally got in some time with my equine partners.
One of my nephews (he is 6 or 7 years old) has been obsessed with the horses even since the time he needed to be pushed in a stroller (my other nephew is fearful of them). Fosse, my Arabian gelding has always loved visiting with him. (My dogs particularly love this kid too...he is an animal magnet!) This week, I decided that Fosse and my nephew may be ready to be together. I played on the ground first, testing Fosse's focus, seeing if he was ready to be a partner with me. He was rusty to say the least, totally my fault as we've not been playing much. However, he was okay and we were connecting on some level. I then tacked him up with the bareback pad and hackamore and started pushing his buttons while mounted. He really was still okay, he put up with everything I thre at him. He was a bit pushy, a bit overly alert, but not spooky per se (despite the wood splitter running, a dump trailer clanging, and all kinds of other distractions we had at the time). Fosse has really become a nice horse which is intersting because his left-brained extroverted personality makes many people fearful of him.
I decided that my nephew could ride. I put him up on Fosse and taught him how to sit in the passenger position. I showed him a one-rein stop, made sure he understood that he could get dumped (but that the sand was deep and soft) and that the helmet on his head (that he didn't like) was part of horsemanship and he had to wear it. He is not ready to learn much with the horses as far as handling them, he is never here and does not have the same opportunity at home, and so a "pony ride" of sorts was appropriate and the only thins I was willing to do (except to let him feed the horses under supervision). He's never been on any horse except those poor little ponies at the fair. So, I lead Fosse around the round pen from here to there, played the games, used a few cones as obstacles, and everything went well. I explained eath time what we were going to do and my nephew seemed to have fun. Fosse is not a lesson horse so, this was interesting but I was very keenly focused to keep things safe. At one point, Fosse was about done with us I think, he trotted a few steps (and was not asked to), and my nephew asked to get off. He was told in the beginning that at anytime he felt uncomfortable that all he had to say was "off please" and he could dismount. That it was okay to be safe, etc. Everything ended on a good note.
Image from: http://carolinepratt.blogspot.com/