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Touching TJ

Kate Fenner - Monday, November 04, 2013

Both horses had a great day today.

Dunkan-Doo has his head collar on:

TJ came a long way and I can now pat him on the cheek and neck. I showed him the halter and will see how we go putting it on tomorrow.

TJ has been most interesting. He requires things to be so broken down that it makes for fascinating training. I have to remain terribly aware of where I am and what is going on, in a way that I have never come across to this degree before (in a Brumby, Mustang or untouched domestic horse).

Two things remain uppermost in my mind with this horse. Firstly, that I don't flood him and he doesn't slip into a state of learned helplessness that is so common when that happens. And secondly, that he doesn't get hurt. I really don't think that it matters if I hurt him intentionally or he injures himself because I put him under too much pressure, the fact remains if he is hurt then that is a complete game changer.

I also need to make sure I progress at TJ's pace. He tells me how much he can do and how much I can raise his emotional level. When he is tried, he isn't learning, so I want to make sure he doesn't get tired (physically or mentally) by making the lessons shorter and breaking things down into manageable pieces for him.

I think he made huge strides today and it was wonderful to see him relax with being touched. He allowed me to get a lot further than I had expected to today and it will be interesting to see how he digests today's lesson overnight.

What a super little horse!

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