Soft Gestures have Maximum Impact

Well I just had to email you and let you know Max is not going to able to be ridden for a while. I was riding one of my other horses on Monday and was thrown and injured. I am going to continue to work with him on the ground until I am cleared by the doctor to ride again. I have been reading that new website that you put up on Phil’s Courage. That is just an awesome site. I learned several things I just did not even think of for training. I am going to start some of those things with Max.

Also Max is on a short break too. He had a small abscess on Sunday and it is now on the mend. He also has a “girlfriend” now. Three new horses were brought into the barn and one was a mare. Well she and Max are the dominant ones in the pasture. Neither one will let another horse get around the other. When I took Max to clean out the abscess she called and called for him but all he had on his mind was being with me. We had a real bonding moment that day. I have not seen this side of Max since we have had him. He was almost like a puppy dog. He was putting his head on my chest and just resting it there and he actually was in my “personal” space but it was like he asked to come into it and I let him. He was not feeling good and we gave him some Bute tablets mixed in with some sweet feed. Well one of the tablets got stuck on a back tooth and he was trying to dislodge it with his tongue. The poor baby we couldn’t get to it and he was drooling. He finally got it loose.

Max as I have told you in the past will not let anyone touch his ears if he does not trust you. Well he allowed me to finally rub his ears. I know it was not just because he was not feeling good that he let me do it. My barn manager and a friend went to rub his ears and he just turned his head away and buried it against my chest, too holding his head up where they couldn’t reach his ears. This was a big step in our bonding and trust. I think he and I will really make great strides from here. It was just such a cross over change in him and I am just elated it finally happened. I know once you hit that point with your horse the training will be so much easier. That whole trust issue…I’m so blown away with that huge step we made. My husband, Howie, is really happy at least one of us has been able to reach that point with him. It’s just unfortunate that when it was hit I can’t ride him.