Sunday, July 20, 2008

Getting up to date (6)...

Training philosophy:

Boomer's first day at Sequili was a calm, quiet one. I worked him for a short time in the round pen, spent time grooming him, and watched him interact with the other horses.

I have been developing my training philosophy as I have been learning more about and from Boomer. I have learned that Boomer is generally open to new ideas but when he becomes afraid he quickly makes the switch from rational thinking to reactionary behaviors. His fear bar is pretty low and my goal is to raise the fear bar and raise his confidence levels. I think Boomer is very smart, as long as he is not the slightest bit nervous. As soon as he become more than a little wary, it is all over.

So, my goal is to create a strong bond with Sabumi which will encourage him to trust and respect me. He is seriously lacking in respect and has on several occasions lashed out and tried to kick me and others. I'm sure he is somewhat nervous and defensive in this new situation, but it is not acceptable behavior. So far our bonding is going really well. I know a few of his favorite scratch spots and he comes to me in the pasture.

After witnessing his reaction to things he is afraid of I have decided the only way to train this horse is to push him just below his fear bar and keep him there until he relaxes, bond with him and bring him back down, and then push again- a little harder each time. This tactic has so far proved to be useful and beneficial to us both.

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