Monday, January 30, 2017

Working with Tanka

Tanka and I had a lovely time today. I brushed him and combed him and cleaned out his front feet [sort of]. I walked him around the back acre a little bit. We walked over a few logs. I really praised him for that. He pushed the ball and he touched the hula hoops.
What have I learned about Tanka. Tanka is afraid and lacks self confidence.
He is curious and willing if his fear isn't too great. He does obstacles really well.
He's pretty smart. He has learned to push the ball and is learning "Pick it up"
He's definitely overwhelmed and very afraid of animals that are strange and/or if they are moving. On the other hand, he seems okay with the dogs going in and out of his pen and running around. The goats don't seem to be too awful although he still feels cautious about approaching them in their pen. But cars don't seem to be a problem.
How am I going to conquer his fears? I am not sure. We know he already feels better about people being taller than him by climbing up on a rail. He looked okay with having Hubby and his friend walk out to the pen and then around the yard.
Since he and Pony didn't try to kill each other, should I have them spend more time in the big pen? Will that help Tanka?
Any ideas on how to build his self confidence? Maybe help him conquer his fear? Do I just keep doing the ground work and encouraging him to desensitize to new things?
Does my caring about him help? Do you think he knows that I care about him and want him to do well? Any opinions?

 Hi Liz, if you've read my comments you can tell I'm a ground work advocate. You can teach your horse many things from the ground that will translate to the saddle. You can gain respect and a stronger, bonded relationship. That bond increases your horse's desire to please you. Thus, he will try things simply because you had confidence and asked him. As he experiences new things his self confidence and confidence in you grows. That will help him to be less fearful and look to you for leadership in new and unknown situations. As to he and Pony, as long as they are not aggressive I would let them spend time together. Turn them out together for 30minutes, an hour or more so they can chaise each other and horse play. Yes, your caring helps and he knows you do. Best of luck.

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