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Training diary 2008-2018

January 1, 2019

Back to work in the arena with Carlotta this morning.

I can feel how everything is starting to fall into place - fan-tas-tic! Most of the time, a small shift, a minuscule twitch with a finger on the reins or change of focus - and off she goes into the desired direction, changes laterals, does turns on haunches etc.

Being the badass smartie she is, she sometimes misinterpretes my cues, especially when she doesn't want to do what I am asking for (mainly backing), she offers something else instead. Quarter turns are soo much less demanding, hahaha. But, of course, no way, Madam, we are doing this now. And suddenly she do can do it promptly and softly.

All the many changes of direction with outside rein (most of the time, still struggling a bit to the left) make things so smooth by now, it's pure pleasure.

I still have issues with lifting my hip (ouch at times!), so working on making it smaller and smaller, so we are both happy.

We did a lot of stops upon just coiling my pelvis, without reins, worked in about 80% of the cases. For the rest, a tiny additional squeeze on the long rein did the job. Will experiment a bit with an additional voice cue over the next few sessions. Problem with this is that she immediately slams on the breaks from any gait when I say psst or aaaand (whoa), but on the forehand at the moment, so not what we really want. More time for trial and error.

Anyway, a great start of the year

January 4, 2019

Got my riding session in this morning at 7, when it was only 31°C :-D

And Carlotta and I are starting a new adventure: we are part of the Intrinzen Project Proprius.

Fascinating, but at this stage still everything to learn - will be an interesting journey. Another one....

Riding went well. I took a bit of video, which is taking time to process. And lots of empty arena in it. I need to learn how to use my camera effectively on a monopod (tied to an arena post)

January 6, 2019

Cliff adjusted my seat during yesterday's lesson. He said my left hip was too much up (and not enough weight in left stirrup) and my right shoulder too. Boy, did that feel weird when I sat in that position!

So, spent this morning's ride to practice this posture. Starting to feel slightly more normal.

Carlotta was surprised, for sure, about my fumblings! But I got some nice feeling of her tuning into me. Backing came very softly, and the turns are nice too. Then I just had to be baaad and asked her for a little spanish walk. Um... from then on, she wanted to do but that for at least another 5 minutes ;-)

Then some lovely laterals (remembering this time to look into the direction of travelling for shoulder-in, duh!), including half-pass. This is still a struggle for her, especially to the right, but even Cliff had to work a bit to get it right with her.

Once unsaddled, I asked her for the "crunch" from our new Intrinzen work. The first attempt had been... well... not very successful, but this time, I suddenly felt her withers, then her back, lift under my hand. Wow! Didn't expect that to happen so soon!

January 9, 2019

This morning was really interesting.

Carlotta worked nicely under saddle, but wasn't really sure what I wanted when I asked her for crunches from up there...

I did notice that her canter has been becoming very elevated and powerful the last few times, almost like a "panther walk in canter". Not the most comfy thing to sit, but she really seems to pick up on the Intrinzen idea of autonomy. And her turns in canter became easier for her as well, so increased agility already!

But then came the Eureka moment! After unsaddling, I just stood at her side, about mid-rump, very softly resting my hand on her back, and doing nothing else. And suddenly I felt her arch up, lift her withers and back into a beautiful crunch! She got biiig praise and hugs and goodies. I walked over to the right side, put my hand on her back and again did nothing else. And there she went again: lovely crunch!

Couldn't wipe the smile from my face.

January 10, 2019

Crunches under saddle are starting to work.... as long as we do them in her "comfort spot" on the north corner of the arena. I tried one somewhere else, and she just walked on.... :-D

And she can do them (me on the ground) now with my hand held in the air above her back or withers.

Smart girl!

January 11, 2019

Another lesson with Cliff today. Boy, do I have difficulties sorting out that lifting of inside hip!!! For sidepassing at this occasion. I kept collapsing my inside hip and at times looked like Sebastian the Crab from The Little Mermaid! ;-)

One day, it will work. And I have a week to practice now. Love the way Cliff picks one thing to work on each time, so we have all the time we need to process it.

Chris had brought her Vicente for the first time today. He was a very good boy and took it all in his stride.

January 12, 2019

Am I dreaming?

Today's riding session included quite demanding elements (for me to use my inside hip correctly and for Carlotta to learn sidepassing). So, in between, I took her to her comfort spot and asked for crunches. She was very happy to perform, after one or two even with me just sitting passively and no cues!!

A bit later, I asked her in another spot, also with reins on her withers and doing nothing. She thought a sec, then walked off. But at next try, she lifted both withers and back beautifully, and each time from then on.

Suddenly, I heard rattattatttaaaaa in the distance. Yes, the local motorcycle kids were arriving, about a dozen of them. Steinar's (Intrinzen instructor) remark came into my mind to allow the horse to be the master of her own fears and tensions. So I stopped in the middle of the arena (which is about 30 m from the road), dropped the reins on her neck and did nothing (no expectations at all). When the gang came noisily thundering past, Carlotta watched for a moment with high head, then suddenly went into a beautiful crunch! This was such a wonderful moment - feels like an enormous breakthrough.

Back in the paddock, Keldan came to greet me, so I decided to just play a bit with him, walked to his side and put my hand on his back and shifted my weight a bit backwards. I could see the wheels turn in his head, and then he started to shift his weight a bit back. CT! I changed position frequently (satellite crunches) all around him. Very soon, he started to lift his withers a bit. Being Keldan, he arched his neck beautifully. And then I started to leave some air between my hands and his skin, and he could do it too! I suppose here is a candidate for becoming a superstar!

January 15, 2019

Chris came over early this morning (it was already nice and warm at 8 a.m.) with Margaret and brought Vicente, so we could have a bit of fun with him and Carlotta in my arena. Another good opportunity for him to gain experience under varied circumstances.

Carlotta was not impressed - she immediately switched to Grumpy Bum and growled: This is MY arena! A lot of flattened ears, but she did cooperate with me after all ;-)

Vicente was just a gem, very unimpressed and calm and happy to do whatever Chris asked him (remember: he is still very green), be it walking or trotting, turning, doing nice bends and some more advanced stuff already. Very impressive, this horse.

For once, Carlotta and I felt small when standing at his side. Usually we are the tall ones :-)

I practised my stuff, as usual. Still being crooked here and there and dropping my inside shoulder, hggggnnnnn....

But from time to time, it worked quite well at least.

Margaret kindly took lots of pics and a few videos. And Greg came out and took one to:

Too funny how Carlotta switched to a hint of school walk at the end of the video :-D

Thank you, Margaret and Chris.

Thank you also to our wonderful CJ, who built a rail into my tack room, so I can hang my horse rugs over it.

January 22, 2019

Oh what a beauuuutiful summer day, euh, I mean, how st*nking hot it is! And we had a riding lesson with Cliff. I was really half expecting to keel over and fall off my horse from a heat attack ;-)

Chris kindly let me ride first at 10 a.m., but I only held out some 20 minutes, then handed my steed to Cliff who gave her an intensive and impressive training session.

Even Rev was on economy mode today, so they didn't do the full hour either, but rather stopped after a couple of good performances.

Again, a lot of useful things learned and some progress made. Cliff, you are The Best!

January 23, 2019

Another Intrinzen session with Carlotta in the arena. She was happy to walk with me and offer Panther Walk from time to time. No significant improvement on PW since last time. But instead, the crunches were a lot more upward - yay! :-)

So I tried to point forward from a PW, and she did the same trick she had invented last time: going more and more forward and down with her front legs, until her chest almost touched the ground. She looked like a big dog, doing a doggie stretch, and with her front legs crossed on top. So hard not to laugh, and even harder not to reward her for such a splendid creativity!

We did most of our current programme under saddle. Her leg yields are becoming pretty fluent and straight, with very little help from her human friend. Seems I am starting to get my act together on this now.

I asked Cliff yesterday whether it would make sense to do the turns towards the fence from a standstill at first, as we both struggle with this. But today, when I followed Cliff's suggestion to put her into a slight travers position, then ask for the turn, it worked very well and fluently.

It is such a rewarding feeling when you notice that suddenly your aids are becoming so precise that your horse has no problem to react to them correctly! All of Cliff's explanations I can now feel - amazing when I twitch this muscle in my upper thigh, or lift my inner hip and keep my focus straight ahead, or put my knee in just the right spot, and everything suddenly is so easy for my horse and comes so naturally. Wow and wow and wow.

Wish I had known such an instructor some 40 or 50 years earlier - I bet I would be just brilliant by now!

January 24, 2019

Much too hot for whatever outdoor activity. Even the horses are hiding in the deep shadow.

But this morning at 8, it was just perfect, nice and cool and a little breeze. Was fun to play with Carlotta - we enjoyed our interaction, first on the ground, then with a quiet riding session.

Working on improving the crunches, and some of them are starting to look quite nice. She was less keen about the PW, so maybe I have taken the poolnoodle away and out of knee reach too early.

Towards the end of the session, she again offered a deep doggie stretch with crossed front legs and chest going far down towards the ground - caught it on video :-) But maybe not something to encourage her to develop and put into her tool box ;-)

Later nice leg yields, with only small cues, and turns towards the fence and other goodies. I sometimes did some stupid things with my inside hip again, but I was forgiven.

Thank you, Carlotta, you are just lovely!

2 videos (not ideal, as camera too far away) on my youtube channel. When I look at her in the riding video, I hardly can believe her transformation - she looks so incredibly beautiful and noble.

January 27, 2019

Nice progress with our Intrinzen work. There seems to be quite a mind shift in her (and me!). When I come into the paddock to halter her, she has now started to walk towards me! That from Carlotta!!!

And when she needs a break and a good stare into the distance during our sessions, I walk away and do something else, but now she almost immediately turns around and follows me. Each time. Wow!

Today I decided to do something new and put the saddle on her while we did our exercises. And she was a different horse. Much prouder posture. Tentatively, I started to speed up myself and, after a bit of hesitation, she copied me. Went into a slow corto and then, suddenly, she offered two (very low) steps on Panther Walk. But PW it was, definitely!

Jubilees from me, and big praise and cuddles, and goodies.

January 28, 2019

Interesting yet again today. I tried to combine the crunch with forward into the PW for the first time. Lots of puzzles to solve for Carlotta, but she tried so hard, the dear girl.

My attempts to animate her into "crunched forward" went a bit over the top, like hopping around like Bugs Bunny, haha. When she managed her first little tölt/trot ending with a creative hop forward and up, she needed a big break for processing. 3 and a half minutes, before she was ready to interact again.

I was very happy with her cooperation and tries and good will. I have made a number of mistakes, like too far forward at her side and target held too low, putting mental pressure on yet again, but she figured things out nevertheless :-)

The riding session afterwards was just delightful. She was overbubbling with energy and proud posture. Wanted to go into piaffe, but I just said thanks and asked for a walk. Very nice turns and leg yields to both sides upon just lifting my corresponding hip. And yes, I finally remembered to look in front of us for leg yields and shoulder-ins ;-)

She is now offering shoulder-in in corto on her own! After 10 minutes or so I asked for canter and slightly turned my body while she was cantering, and here she went, right into a shoulder-in. Wow! Dismounted immediately and ended the session on this highlight.

Carlotta Super Girl!

January 29, 2019

Backed off from the inadvertantly demanding stuff I had done yesterday and opened my mind to the desirable approach.

Waited for Carlotta to come to me. Tried to run around when she did, but she wasn't ready to follow me yet. No worries.

Stood at her side, asked for crunch with my body language (doing a crunch myself and slightly lifting one hand, palm up) and also introducing a verbal cue: "lift". She got the idea very quickly. So we proceeded to start walking in PW out of the crunch. She is becoming very willing to do this, i.e. go into PW right away.

I have to pay attention to use external focus when we are about to start walking, which means that I point forward with the poolnoodle (or my arm) and take my look off her and look ahead instead. And Crunch and PW myself. Which is pretty hard, especially trying to throw my legs forward. Working on it... but it definitely has a positive influence on the way Carlotta moves. Duh!

There was half an hour left before the hoof trimmer was due, so threw the saddle on her and we worked a bit. As the days before, she was overbubbling with energy, wanted to offer all sorts of fancy things and had lots of power and enthusiasm. I really love the way I can influence direction, bend etc. with just a tiny bit of "knee on", and she stays straight and on track a lot better by now. And when I get carried away, then suddenly realise to readjust my seat, I can see her ears play vividly.

January 30, 2019

My faithful friends and readers here on FB might wonder why I am doing this "weird Intrinzen stuff", so it might be time for an explanation what it is all about. Intrinzen is based on functional human movement (which is scientifically based) which opens new pathways in the brain (not only the horse's!!), in order to create new ways of learning and achieving things.

The goal is to help our horse become autonomous which will in normal cases, along with special work we do with motivation, empower our horse to make his own decisions during training. This does of course not mean that he will from now on be allowed to walk all over us and do only as he pleases. Via well sought-out exercises, the horse learns to use his body and mind in a very efficient way. Insecurities (as well physical as mental), lack of balance and agility are addressed in various ways, always giving the horse time and space to figure out the solutions himself. And allow him to decide when he wants to apply what he is learning. Especially in the beginning, he will very often appear "switched off", i.e. will stare into the distance and seem to ignore his human partner. This is a sign that he is processing (it is not a break, as his nervous system is working overtime) - it may look like a break, but it is not - also staring at something in the distance is not taking his mind off things, but also is processing Once this is done, he will turn towards his human and be ready to continue.

There is a great variety of exercises, which go from doing a "crunch", which is a lifting-up of his withers and his back, while coiling his loins. Then it is combined what is called a "panther walk" (PW), which is a collected way of walking, incorporating the proud posture of the crunch. It can vary in how it is carried out, but we want to see the noble, collected, upright posture, with front legs reaching out far in front, making room behind the elbow. And hind feet following, of course. PW can be done at the walk, but also become much more spectacular, showing very vivid movement, like going up into the air and forward, doing it at the trot, at the toelt (maybe even at the canter).

Once the basics are solid, there is a huge number of things we do with saddle weights, acqua bags and passenger lessons before we ride our horse AND the test is can our horse crunch (like an expert) with our weight - if not we get off and work more on the ground - this is something Steinar is very particular about.

The end goal is a horse that readily makes the decision to be proud and collected in any circumstances. Which means that he will stay sound for a very long time, as he has learned to carry himself in a very effective way. And he has learned a mindset and self-confidence which make him a very safe horse to ride.

You can see some videos here:

One word of warning about the addressed "bad ass" behaviour. Bad ass can be running around free and proud BUT is more about being proud and having the proper core structure in place and capacity to do movement well - this takes the time it takes and a lot of people just go and do what they see and then their horse falls apart or they get hurt as they dont do the work they need to do first - and if a horse crunches and nickers THAT IS bad ass.

February 7, 2019

After 4 ride-free days, back in the saddle again today for a brief ride. But before, we did our Intrinzen session. I am trying to introduce the gymnastic mat, but Carlotta is still too worried to step on it. So, I am now trying to just put a feed bucket on it and let her eat from it, and decide herself when she will be ready. Which is what Intrinzen is about, of course.

Played with a bit of PW and crunches, which are improving a bit, but still too far back instead of up - ah well, takes the time it takes...

Today, for the first time, she responded to my body language suggestion to increase speed a bit: staightened herself up at the walk and increased energy into an almost corto. Click and treat.

She was full of enthusiasm for the ride, did lovely laterals and prompt, very soft walk-canter transitions, wherever I asked for them.

During one of the breaks (standing calmly with reins on withers and breathing out), there was a Eureka moment: she suddenly walked off in PW. Lots of praise (dang, I didn't have my treatbag with me!), then a bit of walking, and - bang - she decided to do it again! Felt heavenly. Biiig preaise and hugs and end of session.

February 8, 2019

Nele kindly brought Hanna here, so she could pick up her painting. And have a little ride on Carlotta. :-)

Nele's kids, Nelson and Ellie, provided some nice distractions, so we had a slightly modified environment to work in. We started with taking a video (thank you, Hanna) of some Intrinzen work, then Hanna was happy to give it a go.

Quite a challenge, as this was a horse she didn't know at all (and vice versa), in an unknown environment and the horse at liberty, not even a halter on. She did great, and Carlotta really seemed to like Hanna, as she affectionaltely licked her and gave her kisses.

And worked very nicely for her. Then riding time. I hopped on briefly, just to show Hanna the way she is ridden, then it was Hanna's turn. Very good rider with lots of feel and great seat, so they both clicked immediately. At the first corto, Hanna giggled in delight and said to Nele: I am taking this one home!

And she loved Carlotta's level of education and cooperation. But the absolute highlight was that Carlotta started to offer us (first to me, then to Hanna) Panther Walks under the rider! Once she even did a little hop, wanting to speed up, but wasn't quite sure whether this was desirable. I loved her display of raised energy! Julie saw the video and spotted a crunch (which I hadn't noticed!) while doing PW.

From then on, she kept doing PW, and we both laughed with delight when she did. It was SOOO much fun! Thank you, Carlotta, you are an absolute Star!

Took Carlotta back to the paddock and asked her to lie down on hand signal, which she did. Hanna was amused :-D

Video of Carlotta's PW:

Notes form Julie:

going well and it is nice to see her moving- I think you need to click less for the most part - we need to let her go a little longer and wait for effort before we click - this is especially so in the crunches as she needs to poof up allot more and not use her neck - when you ask her to focus externally in the crunch - we need the stick long and we need her to crunch while she is doing it (so dont click if there is no crunch) - I am hoping we get some film of this from Steinar this weekend while he is in Denmark - it is linked up for him so fingers crossed. Also watch you are not chasing her - a couple of times you were way behind the 'riding' position so when this happens - do some turns - so mix it up and vary the direction allot and that should help maintain the riding position as it is easier for us to drop back than to catch up.

the reason we struggle here is because we want to click all the time - wait for more effort before you click but her neck needs to get out of the way - so no we dont want to bend yet - just askj her to look forward towards the pointer

a secondary reinforcer should not be a compromise it is the same as a primary so it is the same as a click when a click is not really deserved - she will have days where she does not want to do much so a couple of crunches where effort is clicked for and then stop will work wonders for her

February 12, 2019

Carlotta really surprised me today. Upon Julie's urgent suggestions, I finally gave in and decided to allow 2 weeks without riding and "only" doing Intrinzen. We played a bit with walking together, a few PWs (she wasn't overly keen on that today), and some crunches, trying to improve them. Got two really nice upright ones with chin slightly tucked in. Good I had some jackpots in my treatbag!

Then suddenly, while I ran at her side, she took off at a playful canter and then joyfully put in a kick - at good distance from me. Who would have thought that she had it in herself to play?! Wonderful!

February 15, 2019

Early in the morning, I had the first ride after 2 weeks off riding (for Intrinzen purposes). Princess was pretty hot and goey, no walk or stop possible for about 5 minutes ;-)

But did she look pretty (even from above) with her arched neck and collected posture. The laterals and the leg yields came fluently at the corto. She hasn't forgotten a thing :-D

When she offered me a very calm series of walks and transitions, we called it a day.

February 17, 2019

Have the feeling that she had bee trying too fast and too hard to please me over the last six weeks, since we started this journey.

She is going through a phase now, as I suppose, where she needs time to process. Today again, she didn't want to do PW and only hesitatingly some crunches. So I just asked for 3 or 4 crunches, but those with poofing up, which worked quite nicely.

Then briefly to the mat, and she put her front foot on a few times. Still worried it might move and eat her... . Never mind how long it takes. Will see if I can bring myself to just WAIT now and let her decide (at liberty) when she can approach it and walk on. Even if it takes forever. When I took some hay to the paddock a bit later, Carlotta stood at the gate, then went into a deep dog bow!

From Julie:

there is going to come a time when the mat is going to be poisoned - you need her to have the autonomy - I would recommend that you stop asking her to come to the mat - if she goes to the mat or even thinks of going to the mat click and treat BUT walk away do not take her to it. Often when our horses don't really seem to 'want' to engage it is autonomy at work and this is crucial that you respect this - I see it allot and we need to do exactly as you did BUT you dont ask for anything - see what she offers - give her a massage - then if she does something click and treat for it - this is the hardest part but it is really worth it and once we honour it - it will be done, but if we dont, it is going to happen again and again and with each time it will be harder as our horse will not have the confidence that we are listening. If we respect it straight off the bat and when we find a clickable moment we make a huge fuss and finish up, that process will go very quickly and it does not really come back again unless we start telling our horse what we want. There will be days when they say na not today and thats fine - it is their day of massage

it is hard and intrinzen is harder for us than it is for our horses! it is not really a demanding personality it is more about habits that we form when training - dont look at any of this as training, just look at it as releasing emotional and physical parking brakes.

OK hahahaha - no what she is showing you now is a test of autonomy - so she is asking you to put your money where your mouth is

- you see this is autonomy and 6 months ago you would not have thought she had this in her - so hang in there and trust me with this - I have been through it with Star and I have had contact with so many people with this same pattern

just my views and someone else would probably tell you something different - but it really works well this way - I think it was about the 7th month mark with Star because we were in the first next steps way back when this stuff was not really spoken about - hahahahahaha what have you got to loose...a couple of days of really checking ourselves will tell us for sure

February 17, 2019

Difficult day today, very hard not to feel frustrated.

She was packed with autonomy for the brief Intrinzen session, most of the time wanted to graze. Turned to me once or twice and was willing to walk along my side for a lap, then off again. Gave me one good crunch, so I left it at that.

Looks like my calm, relaxed riding horse has gone out of the window. Carlotta was pretty tense yesterday (first ride after 2 weeks) and tense she was today again. Stopping (which works on coiling my loin and no reins normally) was only possible in her comfort spots, and standing still was soo hard. Took me a lot of work to allow her to simmer down to panics, as Chris calls it jokingly. When she finally managed to give me a good stop and breathed out, I dismounted and called it a day. Oh my, poor girl, this is so hard for her, as it seems.

I know that there is a lot of stuff going on underneath, but I am not (yet) zen enough to allow it without feeling worried and somewhat frustrated.

So, I hear you, and I hope she will be OK and not hold a grudge against me.

From Julie:

these days happen and there is no need to feel frustrated - you respected her choice she gave you a good crunch and you left it at that - it is these days that will really make a difference - embrace them - when you come out the other end you will understand

Ok so you rode her as well - the stuff with Cliff is important to you so you need to weigh up what is best for you and her as I am quite sure riding her with Cliff is not providing any autonomy and the difficulty for her is that one day she has it and the next she is under control - even Steinar with a fully autonomous horse would get off if he had any hint that the horse was not happy - so you need to make the best of the situation and accept that she cannot be provided with autonomy - see the problem is that she was starting to feel empowered but it is not fair to her for her emotions to be up and down like this. You probably have to think about what the trade off can be - I will give it some thought and when I next speak with Steinar I will see what he can suggest (other than what I know he will LOL).

So, I had some thoughts about this:

Cliff is a brilliant rider with perfect timing and very good hands, but there is zero autonomy for the horse when he rides.

It didn't seem a problem for Carlotta to switch between autonomy and being ridden before she had that break. I used to do Intrinzen, then let her graze a bit while I got my gear out, then rode her for 20 to 30 minutes, and she seemed fine with it, all soft and happy to go. Now it all seems changed.

Yes, I will have to weigh what to do, and yes, I understand she must feel betrayed by switching between autonomy and obedience. I wonder whether this is not too much for her and maybe I should postpone Intrinzen until I can give her really several months of break from being ridden, i.e. when I have her bred toChris' Morgan stallion and she gets around 5 or 6 months pregnant until the time the foal is ready for weaning.

I would really love to continue, as in general she seems to love it and showed a lot of enthusiasm in the beginning. Thank you for asking Steinar what he thinks.

When I ride her, I can give her some autonomy and I am soft wherever I can, but there is a programme I am working on, and I just cannot let her "off the leash" while riding her. I do put in frequent breaks, allow her to stand on reins on withers, take deep breaths etc., apply minimal cues and let her think about things for a couple of minutes. But in between, we are doing work. I am absolutely passionate about becoming a really good rider, and this takes hard work at times, and my horse is asked to cooperate, even though asked gently, wherever possible. And it was starting to become very possible very often.

Here is an example of a riding session from end of January (just before the break):

February 18, 2019

After feeling so miserable all yesterday about the whole thing, I decided to change things today. Asked for a crunch before saddling, then had about 5 minutes of practising our stuff, then stopped in her favourite corner and did nothing. She sighed and then did a crunch (her own decision). Biig praise and goodies (have now your little bag hanging over my shoulder, which works well). Then did nothing again, and she walked off purposfully, then started doing PW!!!

Another big praise, then I let her decide what she wanted to do and where she wanted to go. She happily wandered around, then started to unroll her repertoire (shoulder-in, travers, corto, canter, and even a shoulder-in in canter). When she decided she wanted to finish and walked towards the gate (I ride with the gate open), I just let her and she went and lined up at the MB for me to dismount. After unsaddling, I took her to the arena, brought the mat (folded) and placed the bucket with her supplements on it, where she happily ate it while I took the hay to the paddock.


dont feel bad about things - I know it is hard not to and we all go through these things - it is a very hard commitment to be 'all in' and it does not suit everyone and their dreams and goals. What your experience shows today is that autonomy is very important for her and when you give this to her she gives you all of her repertoire by choice - and that is the best feeling for us and for our horse - I think your approach is great - aside from a little bit of a parking brake in her left hind area (and the fact that I do not believe she has the capacity I now believe to be true after all these years with Steinar) her parking brakes are more emotional AND the only way these can be released is through autonomy - I think it sounds like you had a wonderful morning


Yes, I did, and Carlotta did as well, which is even more important. So I will let her decide what she wants to do during our rides most of the time and not ask for anything from the ground for now, apart from a few crunches here and there.

I can't be "all in", was already very hard for me not to ride these 2 weeks! But I can try to work around and give her as much autonomy as possible. Maybe we can meet on this ground.


crunches need more effort so you do need to ask for these on the ground if she shows you she wants to do them - so more effort will give her more capacity and go with it in the PW if she offers this as well, but remember again to ask for more effort - you only have to get 1 or 2 good ones. yes I think that it is a good compromise

February 24, 2019

All going well with Carlotta. I have dropped the liberty work for now and decided to incorporate Intrinzen/autonomy into our riding sessions, so she can have a say and not become frustrated by "obedience all the time".

This seems to work very well. After a few laps on long rein, we do a bit of work. At the moment, Cliff is teaching us counter-bend work, i.e. how to use my hips effectively and smoothly. Carlotta was starting to respond very nicely this morning, was a real pleasure.

Then reins on withers, do nothing, and let her decide. Usually, she now does a crunch or two then walks off and wanders around in the arena, sometimes adding some PW.

An interesting moment was when she suddenly decided to walk through the scary bottleneck between the pedestal and the labyrinth. :-)

Then pick up reins again and continue with some more work. Her general tasks have improved a lot, I feel. Much more suppleness and agility in her movement.

And I think I have improved myself, also for my posture. It can still be hard at times, but there has been a biiiig leap forward. Great feeling!

Thank you so much, Cliff!

The canter can still be sticky at times, especially her tendency to drop the right shoulder. Cliff showed me what to do in this case and it works nicely.... IF I do it correctly! ;-)

She still loves to come to me in the paddock, nickering or whinnying. Sweet! :-) And she is starting to nicker while doing crunches. I can see the connection between us - wonderful feeling.

Love my proud, noble horsie!

February 25, 2019

This about the dogs:

Something extraordinary happened today.

While I was clipping Leo's toe nails (with clicks and liver treats in between), Niko came into my office. He is the one who used to be terrified beyond belief by the idea of having any of his nails even touched by the clippers, and it took a lot of patience to get him over it.

He stood close to me for a while, but I was busy with Leo, so didn't pay attention to Niko. Suddenly I heard a "plop" behind me, as Niko lay down on his bed and waited for his turn to have his nails done!!!!

This was so suprising that I could hardly believe it. But I turned around and did Niko's nails, while he enjoyed his liver treats after each nail.

Turned out that Greg had sneaked up from behind and taken some photos.

February 27, 2019

Very pleasant lesson with Cliff yesterday. We worked more on counter bends, adding some canter too. Carlotta was very cooperative and is now gliding into the movements very gracefully. No photos or videos from it unfortunately.

Got some high fives from Cliff about what we achieved together. Yayyyyy! When I ran out of steam, Cliff took over and did a few minutes of canter work with her. And - tadaaaaa - she once (very calmly and beautifully) gave him a flying change! The first one right at the beginning of the video, and there was another one a bit later too. Wow!

For the warmup, Chris grabbed my umbrella (which I had taken for sun protection) and did some elegant moves with Rev.

Then Renae was having her baptism as a jouster on Paco, teamed up with Chris on Rev. Cliff coached from the ground. All did very well and had a ball on top. Great job, girls and horses!

This morning, Carlotta and I practised at home, adding cortos and canters, as well as switching from counter-bend to half-pass. Once she got the idea, she very happily performed for me.

She was so engaged in the process and hyped up that she couldn't stop at times, especially when we had worked on some collected (school) walk. I didn't force her, but instead gave her the reins and let her show initiative. Which mostly quickly turned into Panther Walk and some crunches. This seems to be a concept that really suits her.

March 2, 2019

Anyway, had my extra-lovely b'day ride this morning at 8. Inaugurated my new air vest (a Two Point Softshell). Boy, sits it tight (or am I just fat?!). I hope it will stretch a bit over time. But I like it a lot better than the Hunter. I think that one will be up for sale soon...

Princess Carlotta was at her best, just one stare-freeze-growing-in-withers moment when neighbour's cat had the audance to walk around their lawn, haha.

Our combos of counter-bends, half-passes, shoulder-ins, travers etc. came fluently and softly - much fun for both of us.

I often see the benefits of our Intrinzen work (even though it wasn't much yet), as she is willing to be brave and walk through the scary bottleneck between pedestal and labyrinth, all by her own choice. Or the repeated crunches she did today and some nice little PWs as well.

It seems to me that her posture has become a lot stronger already - I feel so much more "elevated". And it is easy for her now to respond to my request to lift her inside shoulder.

We had slightly different opinions about canter work, as she thought it was too hot to go through too much effort, so started to canter, then slowed down after a dozen strides. OK, back to walk, and canter transition again. She finally gave in, being the wiser one of the two of us. So, I tried a flying change. After all, Cliff got two, so why not me!

I looked into the opposite direction and lifted my new inside hip, and I could feel the "jump" under the saddle when she changed lead. Her feet got a little bit muddled up, but she did it. It was a premiere for me too. Yay, thanks, Lolle!

March 5, 2019

At today's lesson, Carlotta had the honour to be the first one to set foot on the luxurious new layer of sand in Cliff's arena. Not completely, as we discovered various footprints of small animals who had tested the terrain already.

Of course, Carlotta saw gremlins, sharks and who-knows-what in every corner of the arena, but we managed eventually to get a bit of work done ;-)

When I ran out of steam, Cliff took over and got some canters which looked really nice.

Oh, and I love my new Point Two Softshell vest.

March 8, 2019

We are having a visitor over the weekend: Bindi, Vago's daughter.

The boys (Leo and Niko) are delighted about the female company, and there is a lot of happy running around in the garden. For the moment, they are all a bit pooped and having a nap.

Oh, looking into those Vago eyes, she definitely has her dad's head. *sniff*

But before she arrived, Carlotta and I did our daily half-hour in the arena. She still has problems with half-pass to the right and canter to the right, where she tries to do sharp turns and at times drops her shoulder. More work to be done.

Her canter to the left was very vivid today, and when I tried to get a flying lead change, we somehow got a bit mixed up with our intentions and almost landed in the fence. Narrow escape. It can get tricky when your horse reacts in the split of a second to your slightest cues and even (in this case undecided) intentions... ;-)

The lateral work is becoming lots of fun: very fluent and soft most of the time. And I am trying to keep my leg position where it belongs. I am adding a little video from Wednesday.

To finish the session, we did a bit of school walk. Feels so good when she becomes all proud and arched and upright and floats along with so much controlled energy. I automatically adopt a very proud posture myself! Then a few steps of piaffe attempts. At the end, she went into a bit of passage! Big jackpot and end of session.

March 9, 2019

Can't stop laughing with delight. Carlotta has made PW her default behaviour, as it looks like. We spent at least half of today's session in it, haha.

She is becoming very comfortable with it and offers it all the time. But today she started to lift herself really, really up in the withers, arching her neck so proudly and coiling her loins - all of her own making! That little bit of Intrinzen we did was apparently enough for her to change completely in her attitude and capacity.

She must have looked like a very noble alta escuela horse.

And when she heard my delighted giggles and jubilees, she lifted even higher, and her legs flew out straight in front of her. She is so light in the front end now that levades come almost automatically. As I didn't ask for this, I didn't encourage it, of course.

Backing is very easy now, with chin nicely tucked in and back lifted. The canters were animated again, she seemed to get carried away by her own beautiful movements ;-)

Such a pity that nobody was there to film my Carlotta Superstar.

From Julie:

YES now we have the proud movement that will change her nervous system - we speak about this in the video - I am sooooooo HAPPY for you and we also speak about the social engagement and how that also alters the nervous system which is what your joy is sending her. I would not worry about the crunches they will come when she wants to show you - yes the passage will come also after the PW - and gee we dont even have to train it!

and see all this is is giving her the opportunity to do something she is proud of - yep I understand how you are feeling

remember all horses regardless of their breeds begin with a great posture and it maybe that she is now rediscovering her true posture

maybe - for me it is really more like a proud behaviour that shows us they feel 'alive' this is why they are doing this in the fear situations - when their reliance is higher and the come down from the sympathetic state they do what makes them proud

I am not sure where all this will take me but I have wanted to work with Sarah for such a long time and at the present time Steinar has taken me as far as he can - I am grateful and I will help him if he needs it but I am pleased I am back where I want to be AND that this movement stuff is complementing it all OK so the video I am editing will help you see what she maybe going through - the three pathway model of the Autonomic nervous system is the key

our job is to get good at what is high and low and then support her

March 10, 2019

Can't stop laughing with delight. Carlotta has made PW her default behaviour, as it looks like. We spent at least half of today's session in it, haha.

She is becoming very comfortable with it and offers it all the time. But today she started to lift herself really, really up in the withers, arching her neck so proudly and coiling her loins - all of her own making! That little bit of Intrinzen we did was apparently enough for her to change completely in her attitude and capacity.

She must have looked like a very noble alta escuela horse.

And when she heard my delighted giggles and jubilees, she lifted even higher, and her legs flew out straight in front of her. She is so light in the front end now that levades come almost automatically. As I didn't ask for this, I didn't encourage it, of course.

Backing is very easy now, with chin nicely tucked in and back lifted. The canters were animated again, she seemed to get carried away by her own beautiful movements ;-)

Such a pity that nobody was there to film my Carlotta Superstar.

March 14, 2019

Yesterday I felt like trying the beautiful new bit Chris gave me for Carlotta. Princess made a few wrinkles around her nostrils and lips, but went well in it.

I have switched back to her usual one today, as she really seems to like this one. The other one will be for a bit later, in our more advanced stages.

Carlotta was in a good mood today, performed beautifully and often offered me crunches, sometimes a whole series of them. And some nicely elevated PWs. She seems to have come to the conclusions that, when I tip my hip (stop signal), this means that she should do either school walk or PW. She is so funny with her creative input.


March 15, 2019

Lovely lesson with Cliff yesterday, and he seems to notice that my own posture has also improved ;-)

Carlotta had her hands full to learn some new moves, like working in renvers and turning to the opposite direction from it. After a few repetitions, a whole series of switching between travers and renvers. Such a talented girl! Lots of homework for us.

And, for the first time at Cliff's place, she offered me a few tentative steps of PW! Took me completely by surprise. :-)

Then a big session where Cliff was teaching Chris and Renae jousting. This got pretty animated at times, but always under control.

I took "only" 250 photos and 20 videos... took me all yesterday to process it all. Thank you Chris for taking some photos and videos from my lesson.

It was very impressive to watch how the girls and their power steeds did pass after pass. And Cliff always watching closely and coaching. Fasacinating!

Video footage:

March 17, 2019

Phew, Valeta is a real little pest at feeding times! She knows she isn't allowed to come into my space when I arrive with the wheelbarrow full of hay, so she takes it on poor Aliyana!

This morning, Valeta was at her hay pile and I was about to pick up the wheelbarrow and make another pile, when suddenly Aliyana reared up at my side and turned into me. Fortunately she was able to avoid me. I noticed that Valeta had come running over from her pile, ears flat and trying to bite and push Aliyana. Believe me, she got a big swearing session and a set of schmackos!

Riding session went super-well, on the other hand. Carlotta was in PW mood. She kept offering it to me all the time. When she thought that my request for, let's say, backing or stopping was inapprorpiate, she immediately started PW'ing, and it got bigger and bigger. Must have looked great. And several times, she started to do Power Trot! Or maybe Power Corto? Couldn't tell, as it were only one or two steps ;-)

But it's great to see her so empowered and enthused!

I became creative again and started "jingling" on the reins a bit while she was in PW, to encourage her to tuck her chin in. Which she did. Wish I had had the camera on....

Threw in a bit of our homework as well, like working on longer cantering (which was very expressive and upwards today) or the laterals. Also some prompt turning upon neck rein. Cliff would have been pleased, I bet ;-)

Better get back to my photo and video processing. Then back to the Cliff clinic, Day 2, and take some more photos.

March 19, 2019

Caught Carlotta in PW mood today and fortunately had the camera turned on:

Got some very valuable coaching from Julie about it:

Carlotta seems to be using her back more

Ok so where you are cueing her with your hand - you are not using your upper body just before the 3 min mark - chest and shoulders up at this time

so now I think we need to hold the crunch a little more when you ask - practice on the ground first and remember her standing posture

no we all do it but we need to raise our chest when we raise our hands (this way the horse feels it from the seat as well - can you raise your vertebrae we need to use the pointer - when she crunches AS she crunches move the pointer to in front of her head - here look at this - so no more clicking if she is using her neck

At 9.09 CLICK CLICK CLICK that is her autonomy and wonderful - she wanted a game!!!!!! and under saddle to boot!!!!! see how she then tried to go straight into a PW

but yep I see maybe you cued her at the same time as she wanted to PW hahahahaha - and she let the PW slide

and again at 9.27!!!! that was a late click LOL - go with this - trust her I would break this ride up allot and go into the labyrinth love the PW at 10.20 ish but see how she is dragging her back legs? this is a capacity issue it was a better one at the end for the back legs

March 22, 2019

Was a last minute decision to participate at Arne's clinic. But a good one - it was such a wonderful learning experience, as always.

Chris and I shared a rider spot, one in the morning and one in the afternoon. It was becoming pretty hot by the time of our second ride, and I had my usual heat-related difficulties, but managed to stay until the end of the session.

Chris rode Rev in a sidepull in the morning, and he behaved very well and shone with the exercises. Carlotta was very well behaved during the whole clinic and did her best to solve all the puzzles Arne gave us.

We worked on combining laterals (shoulder-in and renvers) on a straight line in the middle of the arena in preparation of flying lead changes. This was quite a challenge for us, but started to work out well. But, just as I wanted to try it in canter, some cows walked into next-door paddock. Carlotta spotted them (arena is open) and froze. From then on, her birdie was gone, and no chance to get it back. She did cooperate a bit, each time she was looking into the other direction, but that was only momentary and she was still tense. Anyway, was the end of the session, so never mind.

The theory part after lunch was very inspiring again. The influence of the rider's seat and cues on the balance and way of moving of the horse. We had heard most of it before, but it was good to be reminded of how much impact very small things have.

In the afternoon, Katherine wanted to work on preparation of piaffe, and Arne gave her and her horse great help via lateral work. I have taken lots of video of this, as it will come in handy for Chris and me once we will be at this level! :-)

Chris tried a few little piaffes, and Rev put in a good effort. When I did a brief try, Arne said drily "that was very lateral" and the audience burst into laughter. Including myself, as I knew very well what it looks like when my gaited lady tries this ;-)

Arne then asked us to walk together in patterns of shoulder-in, then circle, then travers, then half-pass. I was so focussed on trying this that I didn't wait for Chris (who had waited for me) and was too far ahead. Sorry, Chris!

During the afternoon session, Carlotta wanted to do a bit of Intrinzen when Arne was busy with Chris, so I let her, and she started offering a series of very nice crunches and once walked off in PW. Looks like she is becoming able to generalize this now and do it in unknown locations. Bingo!

March 24, 2019

Carlotta had yesterday off, but this morning we put into application Arne's homework tasks. I really tried to lift my base, and Carlotta responded beautifully.

After some 10 minutes of work, I "handed the (mental) reins over to her". She was in play mode and offered me several joyfull skips, then PWs, some of them quite spectacular. And we managed to improve the crunches considerably, in height as well as in duration and quality. Nice quantum leap forward. Thank you, Princess!

Julie's comments:

not sure if the first one got through so here it is again

although I would normally ask for the pole to be higher it worked well where she had it - the idea is (for the most part she did it) to click at the crunch

yes as I said I would not be holding it under the nose but a little in front - but it is working this way for Bersi -yep shape the lift a little more but now and again delay the click - a few small one delayed, small again

it takes time and often it is because we actually do not wait long enough to see if we can get more crunch - can you crunch a little more ??? so our horse takes the 'easy' way out as this is the one we click for all the time

yes just ask again (your mind will be saying - ok that was good now try to get this a bit bigger)

OK so your friend is using a form of a keep going signal - yes - but we need to build duration in normal clicker ways to help our horse understand this - I use yes yes yes YES (click) or sometimes x x x x xX(and X loud is the click)

in the first one, she is really crunching but you are not seeing the crunch - place your had lightly on the wither as at the time she really lifts up ( really well) - you ask for her to focus on your target. Can you see at 1.55 you clicked before the crunches (the two before this) - she gets herself ready at 1.55 and then you click - so maybe if you feel her lift it may help time the click. So crunch look click. at the 2.50 ish mark she is processing - wait till she cues you

In the second one - cruch look click (hahahaha asking for her to look at the target is not going to work - so think of it this way - can you take your neck out of the crunch - OK so crunch - now neck now click (it does work) - yep so same as the first take the figuring out 'out' of this by placing your hand behind her wither and feeling for the lift - as she lifts can you ask her to look a little more forward - and click before she looses all the crunch. so try it this way and see how you go - she is doing good crunches (better in the first than the second) just a little tweaking - crunch head click - it was a pretty good one at 2. 00 though - 2.21 when you delayed this was really good - you did crunch more look click!!!!!!!! Processing then again at 2.44 - let her process and wait for her to cue you - she will....thats why she walked away (as the end of the first) LOL.....breathe and look at the scenery

no you did not miss the crunches you just clicked too early - yes for sure there were some good ones there

see she heard the click but kept going - this tells me that there may be some inconsistency about clicking and treating

yeah I think she is trying to process and when she does and she is not given the time she kind of zones out a little - try and work on when she looks like she was in these two videos you take a step back and wait for her - just need to be consistent with this and she will be fine

March 26, 2019

Still pretty windy this morning, and cold, so Carlotta was in active mood. She put in a few spooks in place and was generally pretty animated. Got some nice work on the combined laterals Arne had suggested. Then she took over and went straight into crunch and PW. Lots and lots of them. Funnily enogh, after each spook, she started doing PW!

And lots of skips, several even in gait! Quite elevated too. Looks like she is becoming really playful and creative. Once she started trotting (or gaiting?) in PW for several steps.


yes :-) she is using her ventral vagal circuit to triate through her nervous system - this is EXACTLY what we want to happen and how I am now using these things we learnt in intrinzen -you should post this to Sarah Schlote in the human horse bond page

I am convinced that the crunches and the PW do not work because of what the project says but rather what Sarah says - hey Steinar had his choice to get in on this but his loss - LOl - I am speaking to him tomorrow so who knows what will happen in the future

March 27:

Much more of it this morning. Each time Carlotta wants to do something else than what I suggest, she first tries to touch my stirrup and then immediately does PW. To a point where this morning I finally said: sorry, girl, we are doing one or two more of my things, and then you can have your way again.

What was really cool, was that instead of spooking, she did a crunch today. She really loves doing skips. I hope that this will not turn into a monster, i.e. getting so elevated that I will have problems sitting them...


Interesting can you try and video this next time i think i need to see it and then we can see if it is something we can tweak

The skips put on cue at the time she does them click and treat. ...a verbal cue then it will only be done on cue

no need for PW today from her end then?


She did really well, and it was very visible how she gradually understood and processed everything. Some really nice crunches and PW to start with, but then she became so enthused with the skip that i felt a bit like the sorcerer's apprentice: The spirits that I called...

And then I realised that the recording hadn't worked, grrrr. All because I didn't want to waste your time, so pressed the button from her back. From that angle I can't check whether the little red light is on.

Julie: hahahahaha it is sounding really good - as long as you keep the 'hop' said as she skips for a while and click and treat and then start not saying 'hop' when she skips and do not click then follow with the word 'hop' and when she skips click and treat

March 28, 2019

So, put gear back on Carlotta, turned camera on again and asked her to perform again for me. She was willing, the good girl. By that time, the skip had become a lot more pronounced and frequent. In fact all she wanted to do was that!

At around 3:58 she offered a levade, but I declined, as I don't like her to do it. She has a tendency to go up very high very soon. NOT good in my book!

But she is already experimenting with using skips while moving, and even a little bit in corto, unless it was a half-hearted canter, hehehe. She seems to go in quantum leaps at the moment.


OK so she is moving allot more forward so wonderful - think about when you are on the ground practicing your skips that you are ready and move forward - so it becomes a skip into a canter not a 'jump up'

when she starts to get a bit 'above the bit' this would be when I would ask for a crunch as she is walking

yes these skips she needs to be more forward - she is loosing her crunch when she does it - so allot of practice on the ground here will help - yes I know she is enthusiastic but this will come as she starts in the crunch - skip (hop) you move forward at the same time

She is offering all sorts of things, now that her autonomy is growing, so I feel it's normal that some unwanted stuff happens. And she wasn't offended, when I gently said I didn't like it.

yes that is true, she is allot more active - you have to be happy with this

definitely am, as long as it stays in my comfort zone, which it does for now. Not sure how well I could sit big Power Canters though....

It looks like a new transition period right now, and it's good that she experiments so happily.

yes thats for sure. you will be fine and she will as well - remember the ground is the better place to finesse now

March 29, 2019

OK, have been eager again. Took Carlotta into the arena for 10 min of groundwork. We played with crunches, then movement. I ran at her side and when she was cantering, said "hop", and she did! She was very happy to move, and at one stage, took off bucking and fartig :D

But always happy to come back and do some more. Head is still high, but I hope it will eventually happen....

Julie: crunch hop :-D let her take the time when she goes off and she will come back :D

March 30, 2019

Interesting again this morning. I was hardly in the saddle when Carlotta already walked off in PW. So I said, no thanks, let's do something else first. Which she accepted. After 10 minutes, I stopped and let her decide. She stood and did crunch after crunch. Very nice onces, some a bit extended in time. Big praise. Then she decided to practice her skips.

Some of them were considerably higher (as it felt and looked) than yesterday's. She kinda proudly lifted her front end in an elegant Andalusian way. And several times from that lift, she took 1 or 2 strides of canter! She is so good at figuring things out!

I wasn't sure where this would lead to, so ended up saying "gently", and she went into normal PWs instead. When she crunched, three or four times, I said "hop" while she was in it, but she didn't associate the cue with the crunch (yet).

Forgot: at the beginning of the session, she did a nice, elevated canter. And the skips+ steps of canter felt like those Panther Canters that are shown in some of Steinar's videos.

Julie: thats great - I think her PW is also becoming a good proud movement so thats great!

March 31, 2019

Coudln't ride yesterday, too many showers, but today I was determined! ;-) Poor Carlotta shivered a bit when I took her rug off, but was happy to work for me. We ran through our homework (another Cliff lesson tomorrow) for 10 minutes, then she wanted to play. She is like a Ferrari: from 0 to 100 in 2 secs :-D Which means, she switches between "work" and "play" very quickly and happily. A few crunches, then off into PW. Then she suddenly went into a series of very elevated canter skips. Eeek! I ended up saying: Nonono! and she stopped. It worries me, as I know how quickly this can escalate with her.

So we carried on with some "normal" PW, looks like she understand that she shouldn't go overboard too much. I hope at least ;-)

She was also happy to do a bit of normal corto and canter in between. During a few of them, I said "hop", and, after a sec of hesitation, she did!

Now, I will have to work out how I can keep her within a comfortable way of doing that elevated canter.....

In the worst case, we can always reserve it to liberty work on the ground.

April 1, 2019

While waiting for Chris who was running late, Carlotta and I played a bit in the arena. She was happy to canter and skip and hop around happily. Also did lovely crunches. She still isn't tucking her chin in, but her back definitely goes up and sometimes she brings her weight back when she crunches.

During the lesson with Cliff (he said "let's work on canter", so we did), she was quite engaged and eager to perform, so still struggling a bit at times. But most of the time, she used her new high-and-wide canter. I had to adapt to it and Cliff gave me some good hints about the use of my hands and legs and weight. So it must have looked quite nice in consequence. Didn't bring the camera unfortunately.

I said to Chris that the canter felt really elevated in front, but she said, yeah, certainly for Carlotta (as it was always pretty flat and smooth before), but looked indeed like a "normal" Andalusian canter. But after all, that one is high and "jumped". I have enough opportunities to see Andys at work...

Anyway, very happy with my girl. Cliff noted how much more she uses her back and engages her hind end now. And those muscles on her bum are very impressive.

Oh forgot: during the groundwork session, she decided she wanted to practice levades as well. I was happy to let her experiment. Very funny how she tried various movement, like shifting her weight back, then lowering her croup, then lifting her front end in slow motion. She got lots of clicks and treats, of course. At one stage, when I didn't click her for a nice skip, she stopped and looked at me sternly! Had to laugh.


sounds great for sure - I forgot to film the crunch with the neck out yesterday but will do it for you. If you have a clicker then you will click as it is habit - I only use X when I am not holding a clicker. it is good that the movement work is helping her posture and her canter

It has made a huge difference!

yes but importantly for me she is having some autonomy and having a ball I noticed this morning that, at times, she was kinda coming a bit towards me sideways, as if she was insecure and was seeking a bit of help through contact.

Lots of autonomy and enjoying it SOOOO much. And so do I.

let her do what she wants to do when she goes sideways it is more akin to her finding a threshold for herself to get herself more collected in the moment - something you may not have noticed may have worried her

We are really warming up to ground"work"!

yes you will even more - groundwork is really good as it takes out the 'worry' of the larger movements for us

Possible. It didn't feel threatening or whatever

and also the larger movements without having to worry about if our horse has the capacity to carry us during them

Good point!

no a sideways movement is not threatening - it is a slow motion movement from the horse who wants to take a little more time to work out their 'safe spot'

It is such a wonderful thing that they can decide themselves whether they are ready or not.

yes thats very true

That sounds very right, Julie. It felt that way when she did it. Like reaching out for me. Difficult to describe.

April 2, 2019

After the ride, it was playtime. Carlotta experimented with new movements, some cute badass, running and kicking joyfully, and towards the end, came up with some quite creative levades

For those who aren't tired yet of my constant talking about Carlotta's progress as a high class riding horse, here is another little video from today.

Still trying to put the skip on cue and ignore the unwanted ones. Will take a while, as she is so fond of it ;-)

We are trying to put into practice Cliff's yesterday's exercise (a really cheeky one indeed!): ride around something, in this case my orange pylon, with head facing the pylon and hindquarters moving around it in a bigger circle, BUT with the horse being NOT bent! Sounds like nothing, but just try this!!!

Carlotta managed one or two short correct moments of it, which is at least a beginning.

Yesterday, when I fumbled with this at Cliff's place, she got really grumpy about it. No wonder, I must have been pretty clumsy in my asking. Sorry, Carlotta! But today, it felt a lot more promising already :-)

She was also beginning to combine the skips with striking off into canter and tried for several strides in a row. Was her own input. Good girl!

Video from Julie about crunches:

Exchange with Julie (easy to tell us apart, as Julie writes everytghithing in lower case letters):

This morning during the ride, Carlotta only 2 or 3 times briefly did little skips, which I ignored and then she didn't offer them anymore. But very keen on immediately throwing in PW when I asked for something she didn't wanna do. I allowed her to do it a few times, then asked to please do a bit what I wanted.

When we practised Cliff's difficult exercise, immediately afterwards she used PW to let off inner steam.

Have watched your video about crunches. My problem is that she does not (resp. cannot?) arch her neck, but instead uses her neck most of the time with chin out. I can get very small beginnings of it, when I click very early when she barely starts to lift a fraction, but haven't seen much progress for quite some time. I wish you were closer so you could work a bit with her. I am sure that I am the one who does something wrong, but can't get improvement.

She does lift her withers and back from time to time, but nothing as beautiful as Sharney does sigh Will try again this afternoon. And all the other days to come.... Will rewatch your video several times, so I don't miss the details. Have started to use exexex while she is doing PW.


oh thats more like it PW when she needs to self regulate :-) - it is still the same with the neck - just manipulate the actual scope - to being further towards the ground (like Catrine did with Bersi)

the idea is that she knows this well enough now not to get a click for 'less' so ask again but be sure to click the second time so she is not offended

thats good if she is beginning to understand a keep going signal - anything that is easy for you will work - xxxx is just something I used to use with SATS so it stuck

syn alia training systems - just a different way to look at fear issues (some parts good some parts too off with the fairies for me) - the second time ask for less so we set her up for success - just for a little while for you and her to get into the habit of not feeling the need to click or expecting a click

But it makes a lot of sense to see how you do it in your video, i.e. for example rest the pointer on her withers or just behind. Will do this a lot more often now, and see how we go.

yes they need to know what it is for - so even just stand use your pointer and when she moves her head towards it click and treat - do this a couple of times and then say can you crunch and do this?

plenty of time for everything! just play around with it in different positions - we dont want her to touch it just 'follow' it

April 4, 2019

My exchange with Julie:

This morning during the ride, Carlotta only 2 or 3 times briefly did little skips, which I ignored and then she didn't offer them anymore. But very keen on immediately throwing in PW when I asked for something she didn't wanna do. I allowed her to do it a few times, then asked to please do a bit what I wanted.

When we practised Cliff's difficult exercise, immediately afterwards she used PW to let off inner steam.

Have watched your video about crunches. My problem is that she does not (resp. cannot?) arch her neck, but instead uses her neck most of the time with chin out. I can get very small beginnings of it, when I click very early when she barely starts to lift a fraction, but haven't seen much progress for quite some time. I wish you were closer so you could work a bit with her. I am sure that I am the one who does something wrong, but can't get improvement.

She does lift her withers and back from time to time, but nothing as beautiful as Sharney does sigh Will try again this afternoon. And all the other days to come.... Will rewatch your video several times, so I don't miss the details. Have started to use exexex while she is doing PW.

oh thats more like it PW when she needs to self regulate - it is still the same with the neck - just manipulate the actual scope - to being further towards the ground (like Catrine did with Bersi)

Think she is beginning to understand.

the idea is that she knows this well enough now not to get a click for 'less' so ask again but be sure to click the second time so she is not offended

Ah, I see.

thats good if she is beginning to understand a keep going signal - anything that is easy for you will work - xxxx is just something I used to use with SATS so it stuck

Even if the second time still isn't good then?

Yes, seems easy to apply. I said it a bit too strongly, I suppose. Will be softer from now on. And she did put in a bit more effort indeed

What is SATS?

For crunches: when I used the pointer from the beginning, she was confused, and when I added it once she began to crunch, it didn't have much effect.

syn alia training systems - just a different way to look at fear issues (some parts good some parts too off with the fairies for me) - the second time ask for less so we set her up for success - just for a little while for you and her to get into the habit of not feeling the need to click or expecting a click

But it makes a lot of sense to see how you do it in your video, i.e. for example rest the pointer on her withers or just behind. Will do this a lot more often now, and see how we go. Goody. Will do!

yes they need to know what it is for - so even just stand use your pointer and when she moves her head towards it click and treat - do this a couple of times and then say can you crunch and do this?

Now you made we want to run out and try again, hahaha.

NO NO NO - relax...chill .....wait hahahahaha

Breathing out.... I am.... relaaaxed!

hahaha! plenty of time for everything! just play around with it in different positions - we dont want her to touch it just 'follow' it

April 5, 2019

All good this morning. Carlotta didn't skip anymore, but did nice PWs, while I said exexex. She really puts in the effort and wants to please me.

We worked a bit on the dreaded staying straight when walking around with hind legs around the pylon. She managed a few brief ones, so got big praise, and we stopped.

Very windy today, and the gardener was doing noisy stuff nearby. I didn't have time to try things on the ground. She had offered me a few crunches, but I clicked very quickly when her neck wasn't engaged yet.

Will watch your video again and try crunches tomorrow on the ground. Or the beginning of them and following the pointer.

Had to abandon the idea of riding on Saturday, as neighbour's horses and ponies were in the paddock just across the road. All lined up at the fence and dancing and prancing while I was in Carlotta's saddle. She was so "elevated" and tense that I dismounted after 5 minutes and did some groundwork instead.

Tried to do the crunches the way you show in your video. She got the idea after 2 or 3 repetitions, that I wanted crunch then turning head towards pointer. And offered it by herself in the following. Has done each time since!

Also did some nice playing with PW and skips. And today with putting the levades on cue. When I lift the pointer and my other hand with index finger raised and say "levade", she goes straight up right in front of me and tries to walk on her hind legs.

And Valeta, my 2 y.o. filly was so funny yesterday: when I took Carlotta back to the paddock, Valeta made it clear that she had watched us closely when doing crunches... and suddenly started to lift her neck! I am sure that she will be a lot of fun to work with, once she will be old enough

Riding is going well. She still hates the exercise with nose pointed to pylon and moving hind end around, while staying straight, but is starting to be able to do it briefly now.

Today, when during PW, I said "Hop", she went into a series of skips - it actually felt like an elevated canter in slow motion. Big praise and end of session.

yea for Greg! The painting looks great - sounds like you have had some great times with Carlotta and Valeta is already learning! use those times when she feels tense to think about how you can guide her to calm her nervous system - sounds more like social engagement so take advantage of this and see if you can get her to bond with you when she is 'excited'

Yes, we did that after I dismounted. I had left the saddle on, just taken the headstall off, and we played at liberty. Each time she started to stare at the other horses, I walked away, but she almost immediately followed me, so we could continue. And she often uses crunch and PW now for calming herself down. Just this particular situation didn't feel safe to stay in the saddle. I really don't need another fall, so did the safe thing instead.

oh yes I would also want you to get off her - so now we dont want to walk away - let her digest what she is seeing and when she looks like she is 'done' cue a PW - hahahaha about Greg!

so we are giving her time to focus on her own nervous system and you are there for support

OK, so I just stand at her side and wait?


It did feel like she wanted to connect with me and was looking towards my support. Very subtle and mostly a feeling, but that's what it seemed to be.

it is also a great opportunity to see how she regulates her nervous system

yes thats what it would feel like - so we just need to give her time to see if she needs help or can do it - then cue the PW - if you feel she is stuck or she has seemingly settled herself a little It's on my to-do list

this is the kind of stuff that Sarah teaches

I am getting the hang of handling all this, I have the impression.

April 9, 2019

10 mm of rain last night. Much needed...

Having lots of great moments during our daily riding session. Carlotta comes up with something creative almost every time. I had gone back to doing some groundwork, upon Julie's suggestion, when her movements under saddle started to become pretty elevated and I wasn't sure where this would end ;-)

So, now we have a lot of movement - she copies me when I start "trotting" or "cantering" and add skips when I say "hop". Yesterday this developped into a whole series of skips which looked like a very elevated slow motion canter. Lovely!

And today she offered it to me under saddle. I said "hop", and off she went into a succession of beautiful, almost collected and partly very lifted canter strides. She got jackpot and end of session for it.

I also started to put the levade on cue (just couldn't resist). She loves this exercise - goes straight up, holds her position, then tries to walk forward a few steps. There must be a tiny stallion hidden in her mind to make her so fond of this type of work....

And Valeta, my little 2 y.o., has shown that she is a copycat: she had watched me closely when I occasionally asked Carlotta for a crunch in the paddock. And suddenly she started to arch her neck and slightly lift her withers!!! With SUCH a look in my direction!

At feeding time, Leo (borzoi) can do the most beautiful terre-a-terres! Maybe I should put this on cue?

Exchange with Julie:

Fun this morning again. Carlotta has transferred her new skill of repeated skips-slow motion-canter under saddle. She surprised me a bit with the first series, but then I went along happily. She didn't feel like backing yet again and tried other stuff, but this time, I insisted and finally she agreed

Haha, if she offers a new creation each day, we will end up with capriole under the rider... with this rider on the ground. ROFL

Just joking, she behaves really well and only very rarely still offers something I didn't ask for (other than PW, which she just loves too much)


Exactly! Isn't she a Star?!

for sure. it sounds like you are very happy with how you both are doing

Over the moon indeed. I would never have thought this possible!

and I am sure there is more to come

April 11, 2019

Got some lovely slow-motion, high spanish canters this morning from The Princess. She is so keen to show off what she can do! When we did a bit of groundwork after the ride, she did some skips and canters and 2 levades on cue, then had enough and wanted to go and have brekkie. Which she got, with los of praise.

have fun glad it is going well

April 12, 2019

Made a painting for Cliff, called "The Horseman", showing him on his PRE Paco. Giving it to him, to thank him for all the wonderful help he provided to Carlotta and me in our journey towards great riding.

April 15, 2019

Our clinic with Anke Hawke was wonderful. Another big step in the right direction (softness and lightness). We have decided to bring Anke over every 3 or 4 months. All the participants were hooked and enthusiastic to continue on this path, even the "bush riders" and such who would have never dreamt to do dressage

It has been a fantastic experience in body awareness and lightness, and how I suddenly was able to actually recognise when she was shifting her weight to the "wrong" side and thus brought me out of balance slightly.

And Anke told me how to remedy to a lot of thing and influence them. Such an eye opener. She said that it was such a pleasure to be now able to work on finesse!

Ok so thats good so what I was seeing with the hind issue was a shifting of weight the wrong way?

I think it was. When you have time, look at the groundwork videos I took. Anke was able to straighten her out very quickly. And the most amazing thing: when I rode Carlotta this morning, just after getting on, I was about to shift my weight to straighten her out, but: she was already straight!!!!

Another interesting thing: we were very busy with the things Anke taught us, but in between, I gave Carlotta a break and let her stand still. Anke stood just in front when suddenyly Carlotta lifted into a few crunches. Anke jumped a bit back and started to say: No!, but I laughed and explained to her what it was.

And during the walk phases, Carlotta didn't really offer PW, but I could feel how she organised her body into a much more elevated frame, which felt like a mini PW. Pity I forgot to turn the video on the first morning, as she did some really lovely canters. Stupid me! We did a second session in the evening, but it wasn't as good. Never mind...

Anke has a lot of respect for Carlotta's mind of her own. Seems that her own mare, Georgie Girl, is very similar and also can put up some quite impressive stunts, when she feels like it, hahaha. They must be soul sisters.

April 16, 2019

Another Anke Hawke clinic.

The clinic hosting was particularly challengeing this time, as we had several dropouts close to the date, the most spectacular one just the day before the clinic, due to an accident. Thank you to my friends who helped out with asking around to fill the vacant spots. They went to a couple of "newbies" who hadn't thought of riding in this type of clinic, but became completely hooked.

Everybody was very keen and enthusiastic and soaked up Anke's many information. She is incredible: spent the whole two days, tirelessly talking her students literally through each step. And always with a smile and so attentive to and aware of the tiniest detail and able to always offer a solution and a way of adressing the problem and getting good results.

I had the first spot in the morning, and we had decided to do my lessons at home at my place (convenient as Anke stayed with us). Meant to get up early, so Anke could have a little brekkie, then meet me outside, where I had saddled Carlotta in the meantime. By 7:45 we got started, so we would be over at Narrawin in time for the 9 a.m. lesson.

Anke did a little bit of groundwork with Lolle, to straighten her out (she can be pretty crooked at times), then I hopped on, and we worked most of the time at the walk, especially on straightness in her and more body awareness and softness in me.

Anke noted that we both had made big progess since she saw us last November (a big thank you goes to Cliff for his great teaching, which made this happen!), and that it was great that now we could work on finesse as a result!

And we did. We went along, step by step, and Anke commented. Sit a bit to the inside, soften your inside rein, sit to oustside, open your outside hip, lift your inside rein, lower your outside rein, sit to inside, lift your ear, look at her outside ear, open inside leg, open it more, soften... use less rein in shoulder-in... And after a while, I became very aware of what was going on and started to correct things myself. Which Anke spotted immediately of course. Wowsers, felt amazing!

I wanted to do a bit of canter work as well, so Anke guided us through some moves which allowed Carlotta to balance herself better for going into canter. And her canter was quite nice and elevated (jumped) in front. We practised canter-stop-canter-stop after only a few steps of it. I could feel how happy and balanced Carlotta was with this. Anke also gave me some pointer for preparing relaxed flying changes. Will have to work on this now.

After we were finished, I noticed that I had placed my camera on one of the fence posts, but had forgotten to turn it on. Grrrr.

Anke hopped on and commented "one of those days, you will notice that I have taken your saddle with me". Hahaha. I offered her my second saddle of the same type which I want to sell, but she liked it less than my oldie. ;-) Anyway, she worked a bit more on everything we had started during the lesson. Then we jumped into the car, as we had got carried away, and we just made it to Chris' place, where Jane and her mare were already saddled up and ready. I went back home to get my chores done, then joined them again a bit later.

All the riders were very attentive to her instructions and had nice results with their horses. Would lead too far to talk about them all here. Will add some photos below. There are some 80 or 90 videos on my youtube channel as well, for those who want to check.

And after the clinic in the evening, Anke still wasn't worn out, so we fit in another little ride, this time with the camera turned on, and Carlotta gracefully agreed to cooperate and go through the morning tasks again. Anke then hopped on Carlotta and had a little ride. She noted how much softer she has become, and much more of a pleasure to ride. Still an opinionated Princess, but such fun to be in her saddle. From Anke's stories about her lovely mare Georgie Girl, these two dames seem to have a lot in common, haha.

April 17, 2019

I had a ,look at some of them - she really is just using classical in hand work and if Carlotta goes well with this then that is great and informs you that her issues are capacity (as I thought) and she has /had some emotional parking brakes. It just depends on your view of the training scale - in Intrinzen capacity is last whereas in classical work capacity is first. Sharney goes well with in hand classical work but Star does not - why? I feel because Sharney is similar to Carlotta and Star is a HUGE functional movement nightmare - this is why he goes better with intrinzen

Very interesting, Julie. Yes, Carlotta has taken a lot out of it, so I am happy to use it here nd there.

April 18, 2019

Did get our daily ride in at 5 pm. Carlotta was great. We started with a little bit of Intrinzen groundwork. I had set the mat in the arena (folded), and we walked towards it. Carlotta sniffed it right away, and I gave her a few treats which she ate from it. Then she decided to touch it with one foot, and I called it a day on this. Left the mat lying there for the riding session.

She still hates Cliff's exercise to walk around the pole with her hind legs making the bigger circle. OKish to the left, but to the right... she tried to persuade me that she could do PWs instead. After a while I let her, and she did some real beauties. Then I said "hop", and she did a whole series of lovely skips - slow-motion canter. We stopped on that.

Oh, and during the groundwork, I asked for a few crunches as well, and for the first time ever, she did some nice little ones with her neck arched and her chin tucked in! Small, but definitely crunches. Hurray!

I have a question for you: must have mentioned that she offered me some pretty high levades with remaining on her hind legs for 2 or 3 seconds, then taking small steps forward while still in the air. I am a bit concerned that she might do this under saddle, like she has done before, and this scares me. Definitely don't want it. Not sure whether I can get it sufficiently under stimulus control. So maybe I shouldn't encourage it for now? At least until she is much more advanced and balanced?

It looks fabulous, but safety first, says my gut.

BTW, you did a great job with the video editing for Sarah!

good call with the mat - OK so look at the PW as her trying to get some courage and feel good - I would go with it and dump that exercise - so pleased for you with the crunches. The levades you put on cue on the ground and make it a verbal cue and if she offers it under saddle breathe cue and stop get off and click and treat...AGHHH I hate the theory one but more like me for the video with Star - thanks

April 19, 2019

Good morning Julie, just a shortie before grabbing Carlotta. Yes, PW seems to work for her this way now. I just exexex it a bit and reward if/when it becomes more spectacular. Sometimes, I just let her do it and do nothing myself, apart from saying "yes" or "good".

Can't really dump that exercise, as Cliff will wanna see it next lesson, so I work on it very briefly, like once to each side. Once he will have come up with something new, I certainly will dump it

For the levades, I started putting it on cue with verbal cue already ("Levaaaade" + raising my hand vertically), it isn't solid yet and she seems less keen about it now. Yesterday, when I cued her for it, she kinda came towards me more before shifting her weight back. Didn't feel right, so I left it there. If she went up so high under saddle again, not sure whether I would be able to breathe, haha. You mean cue her for it whilhe she does it? Wouldn't she think then that this is what I want?! Especially if I dismount afterwards. This is my jackpot for doing something great. Sorry, a bit confused here.

lets renegoiate the exercise for cliff - ask - do a little and immediately do a PW - see how that goes. Yes if a horse does something we dont like we cue it as they do it and always cue it as they do it and then they learn the only time they do it is when we cue for it

It's just so scary to for me when she rears up so high. Wasn't that way when I was younger, but it is now.

at least now she is listening to me with video 1 - just work on the cue on the ground so that is really tight first - yes I know it can be scary but if it happens remember on the ground to put the forward movement in - RUN forward like hell just as she lifts

Yup, that is basically what I did for the Cliff exercise: 3 or 4 steps into one direction, then allow her to PW right out of it. She always tries to flee into PW when she feels that I am looking at the pylon and am about to line her up to it.

Ahaa! As I am facing her, will have to turn around and run then. Didn't think of that approach. It seemed like a lovely dance when she went up close to me and then tried to walk a few small steps forward.

Gosh, what a broad pallet of things are coming out of all this.

Again for the levades: in my feeling, if I start running away immediately, I suppose she won't feel encouraged to hold it, like it should be done for a real levade?

first we want the correct elevation and then when we have that we can finesse

April 23, 2019

Have started to play a bit with 2 1/2 y.o. Valeta. She has a very inquisitive mind and is as brave as a lion, a completely different personality from Carlotta :-D

She willingly followed me away from the other horses and into the arena, where I had placed the gymnastic mat.

Didn't take Valeta long to explore it and soon step on it, stand on it, walk over it. Eager little beaver!

Today, my great osteo Caroline was here to give Carlotta a treatment.

She felt very stiff and uncomfortable when I rode her last time, so it was definitely time to have her checked.

Caroline found soreness and tension in her shoulders, back and left hamstring on hind leg. She gave Carlotta an intensive, though soft massage (Carlotta hates stronger ones, as the past had shown), then one of the sacro-cranial treatments Carlotta loves so much.

We will keep up with more frequents treatments now, to keep her happy and in optimal shape.

Decided to give her a couple of weeks off riding, so she can heal in peace.

April 25, 2019

How do you "unglue" a very sticky pony from your side? ;-)

I had planned to give Valeta a number of interesting toys to explore, but all she wanted was to stay and play with me...

Ah well, never mind, let's play a bit together then (second video).

She will always amaze me with her unflappability and brave heart. Note that big box being whirled around by the wind, and she only spooked very briefly and mildly, then immediately came back to me. And her being ready to see whether she can pick up the mat with her teeth... :-D

Or push the ball around... or just walk over the ground poles, and then figure out how to step into the tyre.

Or, at the end, when she suddenly decided she could go up with both front feet on the pedestal! And you can see the wheels spinning in her head, deciding whether she should step up as well with her hind feet. Which I decided was too early, so directed her back down.

All this from a not even 3 y.o. without any previous training of any sort, apart from the very basics. But she was incredibly cool bananas as a three months old filly already.

May 3, 2019

Was very hard not to ride, but I held out! Had her for a short lesson at Cliff's (about 10 to 15 minutes), very calm and low-key, just a couple of short canters. Decided I will ride her very briefly every other day for a while and do groundwork (very brief too) on the days off.

A looong exchange with Julie:

Ok sounds good and good that the head wrap by itself did not cause any worry for her - I think that doing too much (remedial wise) is far too much proprioception etc for a horse to handle. If her wither and shoulders were sore then that may be the reason she does not want to PW at the moment yes, my feeling too. She was happy to walk with me and just throw in those little skips here and there. With that look from the corner of her eye

I am doing a bit of CT with Valeta each time I go out there (feeding). She stands VERY politely with her head turned a bit away

great on both counts - sounds like it will occupy you enough for a couple of days LOL

Also teaching Aliyana to have her feet handled at liberty. Chris visited the other day and was quite please to see how much more confident and friendly Aliyana has become. Funny how a few seconds per day make such a difference.

yes good - and yes I agree with you a few seconds a day make a huge difference, but we can go the other way too - too long and things become punishing.

Will bring Valeta in again soon. I have kept a biiig carton (from our new vacuum cleaner), should be perfect for her to investigate and play with.

Kool so remember SEEKING - let her work it out That's true. Working on myself very hard to keep things short

Yep, it's a good opportunity for her, after I messed it up with the mat, hahaha.

oh I got the first lot of videos from one of the people who I said I would help with worming (clicker training way) - it was nearly 40 mins long FOR THE FIRST time AND she has decided she wont be using the clicker training way - that was the basis that I was going to help her for the videos...gee some have a hide

it will be good for you to see the difference when they are in SEEKING mode

I know a couple of people like this. Have wasted waaaay too much time on them! Fortunately there are others who are worth helping.

If it doesn't rain (threatening to right now), I will put up the camera. yes but I now have to help her as it was really bad and very controlling - I know her very well so I will do it for her but it wont be used in my DVD's LOL

looking forward to video

I might sit on the pedestal and just do nothing. I bet Valeta will come to me, but I hope she will eventually turn away and investigate her new toys

for sure

Now... that didn't go as planned - Valeta refused to go into seeking mode (apart from verfy briefly once or twice), but preferred staying glued to me

hahahaha she wanted you to engage with her with click and treat - you were more inviting - take it as a compliment

see how she did with the ball and you back was to her...engage with this

OK, makes me feel good that you say that. It was sooo hard to ignore her invitations!

no dont ignore her invitations have fun with it - she wants to engage so engage - or else not engaging is punishing for her

And she lets me know that she doesn't like to be ignored!

careful to reward the movement towards - so when she is approaching with her leg click and treat - what happened to your manners games???? do you want some videos? I think you need to use a clicker she is not registering that there is a click (before the treat). hahaha the tyre is the better option for the moment - so she is seeking your treats and this is because she does not understand the relationship - so you need to click

see how she is pawing at the tyre reward this

A bit more work with the mat this morning. Gradually getting better. Yeah, I know... I occasionally did tug on that rope, but note how she always quickly brought her focus back to the mat and was willing to give it anoyther try. So, maybe we are getting somewhere eventually

Also wanted to do a bit of Anke's in-hand work, but Carlotta decided very soon that she wanted to do PW and skips instead. So be it. What do you think: do her legs look better by now? Haven't ridden her since, just doing some crunches and PW and such.

She uses her neck for the skips. Too much of it? I find it looks better in the PW now, her frame seems more "collected" to me. What d'ya think?

She has been very happy over the last 2 days to do those movements, so I am hoping that she is on the mend now.

it is really when she is under load that her legs show she is not ready - she seems fine, I will have to show you how to do the in hand stuff without using pressure and release LOL. What she does with the skips is she lifts her neck and you click and then she tries to move her legs forward - so you need to look at the last couple of seconds of the second video to see what I mean - I would focus on crunch to PW and get the hind legs catching up and then dont click this that she does with the skip but run forward yourself and see if you can capture her hind legs coming up

Before putting her rug on or the night, I briefly did a few crunches with Carlotta and tried to get her to move forward out of the. Nope. As soon as she started to move, the crunch was lost

So..... how long do you think I should not ride her, so she can strengthen her core and improve her capacity sufficiently? I really would like to get this sorted out, so we are not in the same sh*t in a few months again.

the moving forward from the crunch is like a miliscecond - it is before she even takes a full footfall - we click this and then we ask again and wait a little longer - it takes a while. For me personally I would begin with a saddle and no rider and ask for the same PW etc you are doing and then add weights to the saddle (those ankle weights you can get on ebay) and ask again and make sure she can crunch carrying a couple of kilos of weights and PW and then if that is OK get on her

Yes, will do. When she does PW and sometimes gets longer and flatter, I try to lift myself up, and what she then mostly does, is go into skips... But sometimes, it does work and she makes herself prouder and engages from behind. Whew...

I think the cue for skips is just that we need to really hone in on cues for lift and also skip - let me see if I can do this for you tomorrow - for skip and canter depart I say dum dum

For tomorrow too: in the mat video, I found it interesting how Carlotta was offering stretched-out front legs, sortof tendings towards PW, at times before touching the mat with the foot. I wonder whether this has to do with a mind shift? I regualrly take the lead off, so see whether she is willing to approach the mat at liberty, but not ready yet.

mmmm I felt that this was as much as she wanted to do and as you were clicking for it , she knew that she would get a click for it. Her body language with her legs splayed out the back tell me that she is very uncertain of it. I dont think having a lead rope on is helping her though

Ok so this is not as clear as I would have liked it to be. The in hand stuff is only beginning again after a couple of years of not doing it, so I am going to be working on straighter lines now - but what Sharney is showing here was all taught with clicker training and shaping and no cavesson, - so I need to begin now to help her keep straighter lines and I will try and make sure I video these steps - I dont have video of how this all began (I may have but cannot even think where that may be) - but the crunch is built into this as 'lift' and my cues either beside her or in front of her are the signals for her - the crop is there as a hint if it is needed. Speed here is due to lack of balance, which is due to not engaging the core as well - so the idea for a few days for me will firstly to get the core engaged more and more (slowly) - the more engagement of the core, the slower the gait and the less bending - at the same time I want to work on stellning and this will also help the overbending. The bit showing the core then PW then dadump for a canter depart is not clear I know - it is hard to go backwards

I was carrying on with the mat, as I wanted to be able to help her body by walking over it. Have bought two EVA pads today, so can use those instead and give her a mat break.

Thank you for the helpful video. Wish Carlotta would lift and crunch so nicely sigh Love how willingly Sharney goes into travers and half-pass. Beautiful!

yes Sharney is great - Star can do this also and there is no problem with it - but all I am saying is that there is not reason why you need to use pressure to have Carlotta do it. I am not a fan of the EVA pads as the human takes the control but I dont know enough about their benefits as compared to the mat. The crunches are simply work on your part not hers to make sure you don click for the little things. can you do a video where you do not click for the little things and let her go through what she needs to and then ask again?

you have spurred me on to work out just how one would vertically straighten our horse during in hand exercises - got some nice tries today and I could not believe how straight Star was after years of not doing this, especially seen as he has huge parking brakes - so I am really examining again the concept of function verses capacity - he is now also giving me a new asset with the saddle pad - now his PW are always strong he is bunny hopping as well hahahahaha

I cannot figure out now how to actually put Sarahs stuff (the SE stuff) into this equation now that I can rest the pad on his back - he cues me (that was something he was taught way back and I want to keep this as it gives him a sense of control and also tells me if he feels he has titrated down) - he crunches (it is telling me he is masterful) and then saddle pad on, he crunches more and then off to a PW and then to a bunny hop - click and treat and take the pad off - so this is really not SE (and I dont mind) but he seems to be developing the assets he needs to be masterful and kind of saying 'I got this'. he is not as good on his right side and I can see a little worry so I can allow him to titrate down and then he cues and off we go again - maybe all I need at the moment is what I actually began with here - that the movement stuff gives him the confidence to change his mind about the pad.

Carlotta was very engaged yesterday when we played at liberty. She went close to the EVA pads and sniffed them, then walked away. OK, no worries, let's do something else. Worked on crunches from various positions and I also tried to apply your "aaand ba-doum", only I said aaand hop, of course. Clicked very early when she was about to go into the movement and a bit up. She experimented with crunch-turn head-sideways-walk-forward-PW-skips. Got really p*ssed off (at it looked) when I didn't click quickly enough for her liking when she offered crunches she thought were good enough. So instead, she went up into a whole series of levades instead, to earn the treat, visibly!

I am always jealous when I see the lovely crunches your horses do, and Carlotta and I are struggling so much with it....

it will happen but lets just see 1 minute of crunches and you waiting - no more - see the trick often is to only do 5 mins or so and leave it till tomorrow - well if you want to see todays I will load them tomorrow and you can have a giggle at his bunny hop

oh and you need to remember I have been at this for a while and used the clicker from day one - really do you see allot of others do my horses crunches LOL

OK so here is an extract from yesterday (poor star and his itch) so I checked and he has not done any of this in hand work since 2013 so we are beginning slowly - funny how I could only get a PW shoulder in LOL. the side that the pad is on him is his bad side and he needs to go allow slower but it was this side he has begun his little hop

This is lovely, Julie. Love your conversations with Star! His renvers are very impressive. They never seem to forget, once they have learned something.

His little hop looks like Carlotta's in the beginning, so who knows, maybe he will end up doing impressive levades as well?

Will try some liberty laterals today, if Carlotta agress with this plan She started doing some PWs and small hops while walking back to the paddock.

Oh, and I tried to do the suggested one minute without clicking - longest minute of my life. Carlotta became very grumpy very quickly when the were no clicks for such a long time. She became more and more reluctant to even go into the crunch, and when she did, she immediately started to walk off. Only tried this twice, then we played a bit together, and again, she did some very slow, calm levades right beside me. Didn't feel threatening in the least, and I had the clear impression that she paid very close attention to where I was.

no it was not one minute without clicking - I said dont to more than around a minute all up LOL - so wait for a bigger crunch and try and click more effect IN THAT minute hahahahahaha Stars hops are always there normally but it was the first time he was offering them with the pad

Bwahahahaaaa. Poor, poor Carlotta! Now, I am relieved

hahahahaha I am trying to get you to ask for more get more in one or two then stop for the day LOL

Stop all interaction for the day? Or just the crunches? Just double-checking.

I find it extremely difficult to do so little with her. And I have the clear feeling that she wants to do more too. Always gives me soft nickers and expectant looks!

I really miss my riding sessions incredibly. Feel like amputated. And becoming grumpy about it.

I really mean go away - finish for the day and finish on a high note with nothing else being done - stretch it to 5 minutes at the most - but we want to ask - if it is her ordinary crunch do not click but ask again straight away (more more more) and click the next ask again see if you can get something better - if ordinary dont click but ask again straight away - go for a PW click this if it is good. Stop ask again etc (but the PW can extend to 5 minutes or so- because I know you hahahahaha) make sense?

She wasn't keen to even try in the beginning, but then agreed. After 2 minutes, I got a, what I think was, good crunch, so ended session on this. She stared at me in disbelief and didn't want me to halter her for leaving!

So we walked one other little PW round, then went back to paddock. On the way, she did her skips in a whole series. Then, once unhaltered in the paddock, while I was still standing there, she went up into two beautiful levades. It was so cute that I rewarded her for it. Shouldn't have, maybe?

She is still using her neck and unfortunately it was too far away to see well, but she did lift her back a bit:

you are on a mission arent you LOL - see at .58 she wanted to explore the rope on the ground but you did not let her. she actually moved off at 1.09 with a lift. But after that you are clicking for small effort - there was once there that you asked for more but she gave you the same and then she wanted to leave - she started to explore the rope but then thought better of it and went away. So this is where I would wait and see what she wants. Now that canter at 3.40ish try and move ahead of her as this was good - if you can move ahead a little or have the long stick as long as it can be in front of her nose she may just drop that neck. Yes that next crunch was better and as you say the neck..... so you need to of course go back to using the telescopic pole as I think that the neck is worse than it was and this is because this is where her effort is going (and maybe why she was sore in this area) I would really try and get better and asking for the crunch, when she crunches as her to look at the pole (in front of her head ) and click before she looses all the crunch.but as long as you click as she reduces the lift from her neck this will help in the short term. The best thing is that she followed you when she finished. I would have clicked and treated what she did in the paddock also. But honestly I would do the same time frame tomorrow - there is no problem with playing with her in the paddock afterwards but let it all be what she wants and dont ask for anything but if she wants to offer you something then go for it

I dont personally like to click for exploring as their SEEKING system is motivating them - I feel that what may be happening is that she is giving you more effort but it is coming in the neck - so the other thing we could try is to ask her to line up her feet better - let me see how you go with the pole again (just click as soon as you see her neck drop a bit) and I can show you how to re-position her feet in case if she moves her front feet back a little more (you see my horses do it all the time before I will click) that may help her

For the crunches and the long pointer ahead: this is difficult, as she didn't seem to try to crunch when the pointer was pointing forward, or loose it right away when I start pointing. Must investigate this some more.

Maybe get her more used to it by walking at her side with the long pointer pointing ahead? So, you want all four feet standing square? And her front feet a bit further back?

Would be good to see how I can achieve this.

And when she does crunches and the slow canter, I click the second the head goes a bit down, right? Whew.....

Oh yes, and take my focus more off her, I suppose!

to begin with as soon as she looks like she is lowering her neck click - dont worry about the crunch at this stage - lets do this with the clicker not intrinzen (there are a number of ways) - no we dont want her hinds back -that means her fores are too far foward - lets work on the click for a little lowering of the beck first - yes we want to click as much as possible in all gaits where the neck is not being used (or used less to begin with) - oh it is no problem and none of this is on you - it is very hard I know - and there is very little help out there - so lets do it with the clicker and see if this progresses things more

Okeydokey, will see how we go. Good idea to click for those under saddle as well?

You can tell I'm really itching! Happy to ride her in a noseband for a while, if you think that this is a good idea.

she looked fine in the canter so maybe a little BUT you have to understand that she sees the arena for work - the idea for her to have fun only and stop short in the arena was to change her mind about feeling she 'has' to do it verses I WANT to do it - do you want me to do a video on what I mean? i think I have one about the legs though somewhere as I did it this way for my horses (why? because I am a clicker trainer LOL). Sometimes we have to develop cues and I dont believe when you see my horses crunches I own them - they do and they love to do them

Oh yes, please! Would love to see them! And it is very obvious that your horses love to do them!

yep the clicker did not take away their autonomy - OK so I cannot find the video that I was thinking of at the moment I will keep looking, as it was good to show the progression - otherwise I will do one for you - yes if it were me I would change things around a little for a while if that were possible - I recall you cant really focus on her only if she is in the paddock doing the crunches so yes change it around

OMG I used SATS LOL fuck that was a long time ago - here it is gee that was only 2 years ago I thought it was allot longer

Just a quickie, must tell you what happened right now: brought Carlotta in for evening rugging. Took her to the arena for a few minutes. Had the long bamboo pointer with a piece of poolnoodle at the end. Just walked at her side and held it out in front, at approx. her chest height. She walked with me, did skips and PWs occasionally (I let her do whatever she wanted), and clicked each time she lowered her head a bit or didn't use her neck. She seemed to understand very soon and started to lower her head a bit by herself. While I stood at her side, at one stage, I asked for a crunch, and she did a beautiful one without using her neck.

When walking back to paddock, she offered some PW, then remembered and lowered her head again a bit. Earned her several clicks and treats on the way back

YEP!!!! clicker trumps!

oh the video will need some explaining but will explain after you watched it - I cant add you to the group that was before the project as I was not admin - but it was a very authentic group - you can log in as me if you want

Oh I must remind you also that Carlotta appears to be more motivated now - this happens very quickly when we do very short positive sessions

How was Carlotta?

Had her in the noseband. She was fine, and her canter was very beautiful and slow-motion and elevated.

thats great

Chris brought her back just before nightfall (she had been jousting all day with Rev at Cliff's place), and Carlotta walked along my side in proud PW

sounds really good

This morning, after taking rug off, a 5 minute session in the arena, again with the stick with poolnoodle. She happily performed, sometimes trying to snuggle closer to me. I kept clicking for each head a neck relaxation. After the second time, she seemed to say: Ah yes, I remember!

Asked for 2 crunches, with the target stick held just under her chin, and she arched her neck and lifted her back!

Jackpot and end of session.

thats good - you know you could just do this when you take the rug off where ever you are - BUT back then neck not neck then back

I know, but somehow she never seems to "get" it when I ask differently. And I saw in your Star video that you touched his front legs with your pointer, and he crunched. What I did was pretty similar, I think? I still hope that, once she has understood how it feels, she will do it on her own. no the touching of the front legs was to get him to re position his front legs then crunch Seems like such a frustrating journey.

Ah, OK.

no it isnt - it is early days and we are establishing cues - see thats the point of the SATS as I used this to teach to get the front legs back - of course the intrinzen 'folks' dont agree with this BUT it is not taking away his autonomy AND now I have seen videos of Steinar at the clinics and how rough he can be with horses - I dont care LOL - my way works

Will try a couple of times with the target stick touching her back briefly, she crunches on this and sometimes lifts her back a bit, but the neck still is an issue.

the more I dont 'pick' on you the harder it is to change later

Yes, I understand, if only I wasn't such a stubborn person I really appreciate your patience!

then you cant click for the neck - BUT it has only been a couple of days - so crunch using neck then you ask for the cue you are developing for her neck and then click this and then it will eventually be put together - see were are doing it my clicker way now (not the intrinzen do as I say not as I do way)

it really is no problem for me AND you are giving me HUGE ideas as to what to do with new things I am developing

oh it is nothing you will get it straight away - see the SATS system takes the view that horses are very cognitive beings (I wont go there as there is no way of testing) and uses language with the clicker for the name and explain body parts - it is very easy to see that allot can 'stick' as you will often hear me say 'front leg' and the horses move it back

I like it how Carlotta has started to PW at my side (on the way to paddock) without me cueing her. This morning, she did a dog stretch to the ground again. I wonder whether this feels good to her back.

yep they do love that stretch - Sharney has never really done it but Star does it in preparation for work LOL

I think it is great that she is starting to PW at will - and you can see that sometimes less is really more for them

Would you put it on cue?

Yes, it really sounds like this is the case.

yep it is on cue - I use my hand in a circle from back to front and go stretch anything you like can be cued by adding the cue as the horse does it - you have to be consistent and do it every time you are with them and they do it but it works if they love to do it

I only wish I had another riding horse, so I don't get all these withdrawal symptoms

oh and I click for it

turn your withdrawal symptoms into constructive planning and remember just how happy she is

Yeah, sure, but I am not sure how much time I have left to enjoy what I love most....

Haven ridden Carlotta yesterday evening for 6 minutes (after being pretty sore all day from unloading hay). Had her in the noseband and didn't ask for anything demanding, mainly just walking around quietly and asking for a few steps of canter here and there. She amused herself with some PWs and bunny hops (love that expression). The canter was nice and elevated. She was very surprised when I said "OK" after that short time and hardly believed me when I directed her to the exit (usually she walks there by herself when she hears OK). When going back to paddock, as soon as I fall a bit behind (saddle level), she immediately starts to PW and throws in skips. She did it this morning when walking towards arena.

hahahaha Carlotta has got it!

I have some ideas also to change the neck bear with me I will video shortly

I keep clicking only when, during her movements and crunches, she softens her topline. Then she says "oops, I forgot" and corrects herself

yes thats great thats what we want!

I had placed the mat in the arena and asked her twice to approach it. She put her foot on a couple of times, then I turned her loose, folded the mat and just stood there. She farted and looked into the distance. After a while, she turned around and I clicked for it. She took a few steps towards my outstretched hand (a metre away from the mat) and took the treat. A few repetitions, and we stopped. On the way to paddock, she went straight back into PW and once even tucked her chin in a bit (I got a bit far behind because she was swinging her legs so eagerly, hahaha). Once set free, I stood there for a moment. She tried crunch, then decided to get my attention NOW and went up into levade. I rewarded, then left, as I don't want Valeta to pick that up - she would be all over the top of me, if she learned this!

I held the mat upright by the handles.

its a good start - try not to look at her LOL

Yep, I remember that from time to time!

May 7, 2019

Exchange with Julie:

Love your Sharney, and Star too is a very elegant horse in his type.

oh Sharney is just so great - I am getting her stronger and stronger. I wish that I had her from a baby. Star is Star LOL but he is really starting to enjoy moving so thats all I can ask

so with the first video Carlotta was telling you no so you need to let her process and come back to you in her time (not for a treat) - I would not be clicking when her emotions are not as good as they could be - no clicking for looking at the mat (if this were me) and she needs to come to the mat - not you bring the mat to her. She then starts to walk away again (she does not want the conflict of the click and does not want a treat) but as you walked towards her again she looked away and took her mind off somewhere - so breath and wait for her to come to you. See she is really yelling at you a big NO with the mat - so you need to either leave the mat down and see if she ever wants to come near it or if you cant trust yourself dont bring it out. I believe it is poisoned now for her and we need to go back to listening to her before you ask anything .....hint hint - see I understand the frustration - it is just a silly mat - but for her it is something else. What you have to try and remember is that if our horse wants distance that means they want distance so clicking and treating is the opposite to distance - we want to provide the reinforcer that our horse desires. So think about it this way - do we want to mark those emotions we would rather not have our horses feel? I can see you are confused and want to try and change her mind with the mat - you cant - and this is making it harder for her.

now see at 1.59 when you clicked her near the mat - lets stop thinking that you can control her emotions here with the clicker

you are still clicking the neck - did you see the SATS video? see where her front feet are? Yes this is good with the stick at 5.10

in the second video - see how much more willing she is going to be with you? I would not be clicking for walking towards you - try not to rely on the clicker so much - just feel gratitude for her walking with you and smile and tell her she is a good girl

I watched it, but will have to watch it again.

Thank you for the explanations about the mat. Duh! It will stay in the shed now, until it will come out for Valeta. After all, it's not that important. We can do other things instead. When leaving the arena yesterday, I stopped on the short slops just outside and she did a crunch for me there. yes i am glad you are seeing you are not giving her time to process but see how she walked away from you after that first click and treat? I suspect this is because she cant understand why she got the click and she was not feeling proud. In the PW try not to be so far behind her and start to use your stick here as well for her to follow and then shape her head a little more

I tried to have her rearrange her feet, but I think I asked for it the wrong way. She wanted to offer positioning for levade instead or just lifted the leg.

you are funny - see at 1.10 CLICK hahahahaha - no the legs with the SATS are not to lift they are to re-position herself so she has a better chance to crunc

Bummer how I get carried away all the time and then forget crucial things in the "heat of the moment", like giving her time and listening to her.

Will try to do it better next time and pay attention to what she says.

no OK so use the full legth of the stick tap lightly with you standing to her side and say front leg and click and treat - the tapping is name and explain so that she will learn when you say front leg she will move it back a little

have a look at 2.10 YES YES YES

and see after that can you see how her front legs are too far in front of her so she has no option but to use her neck

Definitely should have clicked at 1:10, instead of just being pleased!

yes that would have been the place to click - OK you need to go back to the SATS video just the little at the beginning where I explain what front leg is - as from 2.10 she cant crunch with her legs out the front like that

Yes for the front legs. I suppose we will have to work on good leg position first.

Ok so what you are doing is touching her and there is a pause (as you saying anything as I cant hear over the wind?) - then you are clicking - it is almost touch and click and the same time touch click front leg treat - and it is very quick and there are no pauses - I will try and find one of Kayces with a zoo animal to show you how quick it is Ouch at 3:30 - I did it again!

Goody, thank you. The feeling in your SATS video is of very elevated energy, not the usual calm like in your other videos.

How do you like her last crunch in that video?

yes it is very high energy- we then get slower by xxxxxxX good job treat but at the beginning it is very fast. The one I want to show you was with a rhino but it does not seem to be on line, I have it somewhere I will have to find it. Yes that last crunch was pretty good but I think the one at 2.10 was the best

The SATS video is so far back I can't find it anymore. Can you give me the link again please? Right, the one at 2:10 is more fluent and almost looks like it should!

OK I will find it hang on

yes the 2.10 one would have got quadruple treats from me Thanks. Hahah, you are doing a great PW backwards!

So, in the beginning, do you say "front leg" or "back leg"? Can't understand it very well. And do you slightly touch the leg with the pointer? Or just hold it near?

Looks to me like you almost want the horse in mountain goat position, i.e. the front legs a bit backwards?

yes I say leg or front leg or back leg and yes touch very slightly - we wnat the fronts to be under the shoulders

Love it how you always ask him whether he is ready. Really must start doing this instead of imposing myself on Carlotta.

OK, thanks, will try and keep you informed how it goes.

can you see at 1.13 he was not in a good position to crunch and how I used it to get a better positon?

Yes, I saw that. oh the are you ready - thats all the SATS training that I have - so it is a HUGE habit - I may have to go back into the old hard drives to find the video I wanted to show you but there is a good ebook I will send you on dropbox as I think it will be too large to load here Lovely, thank you.

I found the reduced size one but there is the link - just download it - you will pick up allot of what I say (especially are you ready) from the perception modification stuff - as I said I do not do allot of her stuff - just the stuff that works for me but I did spend years studying it with her I think one of the things that makes me so chatty with the horses is the old SATS training but allot of it is also when we speak out loud we visualise what we want and that also helps with our focus and reminds us when we need to do something else (rather than what we are thinking) Makes a lot of sense.

Wow, that is a lot in that link. Will look into it more when I have more time.

Not much to report recently. Carlotta really fancies that Power Canter! She offers it all the time, which means every few seconds! This morning I had planned to do just 5 minutes of calm walking and some turns, as I had a Pilates session afterwards which can be a bit draining at times. But no, Carlotta wanted to do her elevated canters. And when I said "pspsps", which means "lovely, but not thanks, not now", she went into PW right away... My back was well "massaged" through by the end of those 5 minutes, hahaha.

And when I took her back into her paddoc, as soon as the halter was off and she was on her way towards the fillies and the hay piles, she did 2 or 3 steps of that canter! Funny girl! It is very wet here - finally! Some 80 mm of rain over the last 2 days. That should save the next hay harvest, whew!

May 12, 2019

oh she sounds very happy hahahahaha - rain whats that? I wish it would make a return here May 12, 2019, 9:17 AM

It's that wet stuff that sticks to your saddle before you can get into it, and then flogs your face and makes your horse grumpy

it sounds like you are getting the mix now so that is really good. Star had to show off to the trimmer after he was done and it was little nickers in this panther/shoulder in he has decided now to do all the time - and with nice bending and stellning - gott video that and see if it is good for him LOL

Panther shoulder-in.... WOW!

Carlotta is telling you what is working - yes I cannot get a non PW in front now hahahaha

They are going through phases..

When Carlotta didn't want to continue with laterals around the cone today, she started to do a shoulder-in PW.

interesting, so I need to work out whether that is good for them

May 13, 2019

She did it again today!

Yes, looks like Carlotta is happy. You would really have laughed yesterday. I hopped on briefly to show Carola and Lisa who to ride her, mentioned that there might be some spectacular things going on. But no, Carlotta wasn't in the mood for any of the Intrinzen fun. After riding, I took her into the arena and wanted to show off her PW and bunny hops from the ground. Nope! She didn't wanna! Carola and Lisa almost rolled on the floor laughing, when I said to Carlotta: Can't you do a teensy-weensy PW at least, puuuleeeease?

May 14, 2019

oh the horses never do what we want when we want to show off LOL. Good the money went through well Greg wanted to do it that way hahahahahaha. Hope Carola enjoys the videos

Yep, and he got well served!

Oh yes, they horses can make you look sooo stupid...


Both girls said that had never ridden a horse so light on cues and so fine-tuned.

thats so nice

Oh, and Csrlotta did two beautiful crunches for me while they watched. You should have heard the Ooohs and Aaahs, and they wanted to know how I taught her that. I laughed and said: it took a loooong time!

hahahaha well the online course I am developing may get people there quicker LOL. I have one thing to test out on you but need to video to show you first

you realise you are instrumental in getting my finger out of my bum with this!

I feel honoured, Julie

no it is the way Steinar taught it (which was not the way I did it) but the problem is that many people have tried and we cannot correct the posture the same as we would if we began from scratch. But there is a way I have been working through with the horses to get the neck out that may be easier once it is there - hard as we dont have a neck but I had to go back to what it was that I did differently to work this out - stay tuned will do the video soon. I have worked out the platform and also the lessons just gotta video what I say

Have been a good girl and rode 9 minutes this morning. She is so light and willing, such a pleasure.

Something interesting and new: while I was unsaddling, Carlotta started doing crunches by her own. Several even!

yeah that sounds really good, it is just getting better and better - glad the clinic is sorted We might end up at the same stage as you and Star that I holler "Lift" across the paddocks. Not tomorrow yet, but maybe the week after, hahaha

you will for sure it wont take long - it will come and go and she will have different preferences for different days and she will keep putting things together. Star is still on renvers for some reason at the moment - the more effort the more he grunts and the more he bends and then nickers LOL

OH I meant to find you an example of a really good cheap cavesson that doubles as a halter and does not really act as a noseband - I will try and find it now - as I had forgotten I used it before I used a 'real' one, and went back to that today when I took them for a walk.

this is it - I had always got mine from the UK - I do believe there is somewhere in aus but not sure where now - they run a little small but they double as a standard halter and works perfectly with light aids (in hand)

here is the first of the course I am creating - I have a beta tester so this may not be clear (please tell me if it is not clear to you of course) - it was freezing here this morning LOL - in this you can see what I am trying to also develop before we begin to crunch - the connection to the chest - 'lift' see if that helps if you still need it

Hahahaha, maybe remind Gusti to sit back and breathe at times. And tell him what you told me: keep sessions SHORT! Worked wonders for Carlotta.

Just watched the video.

Maybe could be useful to give a few explanations to inexperienced people, like for example that in the beginning you click as soon as you have touched the body part and named it, i.e. you don't really need a reaction at this stage. And in the end, also explain why you ask her to bend her head around, i.e. "can you do Y while you are doing X?"

I noticed that when you ask "lift", you hold your pointer in a very similar position I do (and began to get the lift with this, without her using her neck as a balance crow bar).

Interesting that you drop treats in Sharney's bucket and proceed to ask for more body parts while she is still busy munching. Also you voice modulations that occur at times, mostly when doing the back leg.

I suppose that doesn't make much difference to our horses.

So, you want me to do a video with all the elements, so people can see how it goes with a less experienced horse? Could also use Valeta for the "leg" etc. cues (apart from the crunches), as she is completely new to this.

yes the explanations are going to be in the actual text that accompanies the lessons - no the crunch part was just a preview (the crunches come way later) - it was just the way it happened today with the voice LOL - no you dont have to unless you want to but sure - I have a person who is beta testing so it does not matter if you dont - it was only that she has been asking me for help so I eventually said this is how I could help

aghhh! yes the chest is interesting - I was working on this with shoulder in

She is just barely starting to do correct ones when I cue her on the back or croup. Had the trimmer in and Carlotta got impatient when left behind in the arena. I was very surprised, she usually doesn't do that kind of stuff. Very respectful to fences. yep I think the little cue on the chest (if their feet are good) gives the gentle weight shift back and then up - I prefer up then back but i feel this takes the neck out so quickly that I wonder if it is worth going to all the trouble with correcting

May 15, 2019

Did a video this arvo:

Noticed that I "missed" (didn't click) one very nice back lift, somewhere in the middle

Then was worried that you wouldn't be able to hear what I said (it's OK when you turn up the volume), so did a second one from closer. But Carlotta had enough by then, so it's not so good. Here it is, just for the records:

with the body targets I suspect you dont need to actually touch just point, we dont want her walking off and then you click that so it is a good reminder for me - so point to the area rather than touch her hinds - I have ordered some feathers to see what that will do also - you are still clicking for using the neck LOL at 1.45 - so for her I would only use the chest. So at 2.24 that was good, I would use the pointer to ask her to look and then click. My gut feeling is that she is in the corner as a compromise - 'ok mum alright' rather than 'ok lets go' so I would wait for her when she goes in the corner and engage when she comes to you (rather than the other way around) - think of the corner as her autonomy. Could she be thinking you want to cue something with her back legs? Look at where her front legs are when you click at 5.16 LOL - so she is at the stage in her fronts where you can ask her to take them a little further back - but not in the corner - think of the corner as her space. OK so when you are asking for her leg to go back (5.38 - ask and then take the pointer away and if it still stays there ask again - rather than leave the pointer on) - good things for me to address in the text! but a good click when she moved it (but she lifted it rather than placed it back - I would therefore ask again) - remember we get what we click for so if you are going to click when her back leg is in the air that is what she thinks you want (now I will be playing with this but with a feather)

All good points, of course. I am proud of myself to always be able to deliver all these things that need improvement...

Yes, I suppose she thinks I want back leg lift then turn around towards me, as I had accidentally clicked this once!

Hahaha, feathers I have a lot. I have collected them and keep them in my tack room, so I have something to scrape the lucerne chaff out from under the roller of the shank bit! Mostly cockie feathers, so fairly short ones. I had seen that Steinar had used (Pheasant?) feathers in some of his videos. When I take videos, I tend to not allow Carlotta to go away and think, because I don't want to waste the video time...

Will try to incorporate all this into the next sessions.

in the second vid she walks away - I would wait and see when she comes back to me. try and see what the target at her chest does for lift rather than her wither - I think that it may take the neck out - yes see at 1.33 there was allot less neck. 2.18 was a good click! oh 1 second too late at 2.28. 2.36 perfect. Now at 2.54 you did not look at her front legs before the lift - so legs first and then ask for the lift - if her legs are too far forward she cant lift well. I would have clicked at 3.00 as she was trying to reposition herself. at abount 3.04 you are seeing her legs. so wait for her to move it back before clicking now. Definitely I would not be clicking for hinds lifted. Nice at 3.21. That was good at 4.07

OK so the feathers - twine them around the little stayers in the pole if they are still there - I think that they may work better for her - yeah I know about the video time - but at the end of the day the more we dont listen the more this keeps on keeping on - best to sacrifice a video day or two - (I have plenty)

the back legs are always hard and maybe that accounts for my difference in tone with Sharney also as she has so much muscle damage in the back - so just be aware of this we dont want the lift and put down we want her to just recognise that we are saying back leg - perhaps the feathers will help with her

May 18, 2019

So the way this online course will be structured I think is 1. SATS 2. power walk (this is engagement with the target as a lift under the chest and then a down stretch - with rhythm - I may have to do a bit of targeting BUT I want follow the target not touch) 3. Then core work - teaching the crunch 4. then mat and pedestal work (which includes somatic stuff of lifting feet and also carrot stretches 5. then pantherwalk and of course the aim of this course is to develop mastery and confidence with the principles of the PVT

Sounds great, Julie!

Off to morning chores, then Pilates, then cooking dinner for guests tonight, hopefully talk tomorrow. Have a lovely, quiet weekend! have fun

2 questions: why do you not want her to move the hind legs when I say "hind leg"? I thought we want this, as she needs to reposition herself?

And: when she does PW under saddle, am I sitting light or "deep"?

because she is not 'moving' the legs she is reacting - we dont want that - and it is easier to ask for the front legs to be repositioned and then the back ones will only need a tweak - but reactions come with emotions that we do not want to have her react this is why I suggested feathers for her - make sense?

if the PW is happening under saddle you will feel your body rise and fall with her strides so you need to be light as best you can - it is hard to do though as it is such a off balancing thing

one of the things that you can also do is to try and click sooner for the back legs - so the click is the moment the hoof leaves the ground and this may work to help her understand we want a purposeful move not a reaction - and remember the more we click for high lifts the harder it will be to fix that later - this is also why I use the vet wrap around my pointer because cues are everywhere - if we are using the pointer in a different way (with the 'target' like point) they can learn to discriminate really well

BUT again see you have added to my information that I will be providing in a lesson! thankyou

Useful guinea pig?

Thanks for the great hints. I had a feather on the pointer this morning already and had tried to click earlier. Will need some work to get the reaction out of her system, I'm afraid. But I could see a small step into the right direction.

Makes me happy that I now am able to work some things out by myself, like clicking earlier for leg lifts. I thought this morning: let's try that. Also tried to softly stroke along her croup and halfway down hind leg with the feather. She kept her leg on the ground, but seemed a bit irritated.

If you want to use parts of my videos as "bad" examples, you are very welcome!

it takes the time it takes - but thats good if you are seeing improvements AND yes yeah your mind is working it out!!! - there are no bad examples LOL - BUT it will be good to add a few pics here and there to show examples of what we need to be careful of. The next step which is the power walk is coming together but fog to bad this morning to video. What I really feel is that the core posture work comes too soon - we have to develop masterful, energetic and motivated horses first and this way I feel we dont have to 'undo' allot of the stuff. For example in the power walk I am working out exactly how to ask the horse to follow our focus with the pointer and to create a little stellning and bending at the poll - the shoulder cue can then lead the circle and a little capacity if we get the correct footfall as we ask for the shoulder - gotta work out a way of explaining this better. THEN we extend the power walk to further away with the use of our pointer and whoalla we have created distance so we dont need to extinguish and risk the behaviours we get when this happens - a few days for me to really work out the best way of showing it.

May 20, 2019

I found an old video of me teaching SATS to Star

Sounds like a great approach, Julie! Love it!

It often felt to me like Carlotta was struggling with PW, due to not enough capacity, but still insisted because she so much wants to please me.

Yes, my feeling to for how to sit when she does PW under saddle. I was sitting light almost all of the time, was just double-checking with you

Have experimented a bit this morning with the feather at the end of the pointer. Touched her ever so lightly with it (her ears were very vivid!) and she tried to figure things out: slightly shifter her weight back when the feather touched her front leg, then moved them very softly a little bit (which she hadn't done very well before). I also tried here and there to just hold the feather close without touching her.

For the hind legs, I started with touching her hip with the feather (so she wouldn't move her legs reactively), and it was fascinating to see how she tried out several things, like standing still, twitching some muscles, shifting her weight back, then - BINGO - slightly shifting a hind leg in a non-reactive way.

She did throw in a couple of the reactive ones, but waaay better already! sounds great maybe for her the feather gives a different sensation Yes, definitely! I love this.

It's so much more delicate. And she is such a delicate creature and loves cues to be very soft to almost inexsitent.

yes and also it helps for horses who may be used to escalating pressure and release - from ebay

I will keep an eye out for them on the ground (cockies, magpies and such), but I think the moult is over for now.

it will be interesting to see if the little flag connectors on the pointer work I did that stupid escalating pressure in my Parelli times, but have come off it ages ago, of course. I took those off I think. Just wrapped a bit of elastic wrap around the feather. yep the wrap will do it for sure - I think the ones I have ordered are quite long Wow, love the SATS video of Star!

that was when i was teaching him - so that is the way I also taught the PW

At one stage, he does the same reactive hind leg thinggy like Carlotta. yep he did - but I was touching the other leg LOL


Who would have thought that it is so much fun to work all this out! Lovely, mild weather for the last few days. So much fun to ride in a T-shirt! Carlotta is happy to dance for me, so it's pure bliss

I have the impression that, since Anke did that in-hand work with her, it's now very easy for her to sort out and straighten her body upon a mere weight shift from me. Such a glorious feeling when your horse follows your slightest movements.

Carola and Lisa (our last visitors) just couldn't believe it how prompty Carlotta reacted to their slightest changes in weight and focus - even when they hadn't even noticed that he had actually done one, hahaha

thats great. yes it is really good if they can follow our movements and really it is all about having fun also as if she is relaxed and thinking it will be all good for her. I was digging around the videos to see if I had allot of the begining stuff with crunches and I have which is good.

May 21, 2019

More experimenting with the feather:

Oops, didn't notice that I made the session that long!

In the last third, she had either completely enough or felt irritated or tickled by the feather when I touched her chest and asked for lift.

I tested that theory on the way to paddock. Picked up a twig, touched her chest very lightly and said lift and she did, without walking away like she did from around 9:50. Thoughts?

that was nice when you gave her some time and she went into her school halt - I wish we could get her neck out so she could use her core. Its the same in the PW she is not using her core - a dainty PW but LOL. She understands the feet though I would not be doing this anymore except when you ask her for a crunch. At 3.35 you are asking her to 'lean' with the chest - see how you kept it on her for a few seconds - but see her front feet - so we have to be careful we dont set her up for failure - I would do the 'chest' when you are walking (good that you did this). Yep I am sure you are just repeating things too much now - she has this so I would not do more unless she was crunching. I did not think her back legs were as reactive as they have been though. see at 6.31 - we cant get her neck out when you click for it LOL - so if you are in SATS just for SATS then name click name click - dont let her have the opportunity to do more - but you dont need to do this anymore - I would be working on the crunch when her feet are good and then lets see what she does with her neck and - but you have to remember not to wait for allot in the crunch just a little as we need to reshape it so she does not use her neck and dont ask for too much - a couple and thats it do something else. You are getting so good at giving her time! but she is annoyed as it is repetitive and too long - remember repetition just for the sake of repeating is punishing. we need to add this to a purpose and the purpose is crunch, can you move your feet and crunch again

May 23, 2019

Been busy again, sorry. Get her neck out? You mean she should stretch her chin forward, so to speak? Can't see how she can use her core when doing this. I tried to crunch myself doing it and it was impossbile.

Seems to me that I haven seen several times that she did lift her back and use her core. Like at 2:14 in this one:

May 26, 2019

Sorry for my whining. Going through a time of frustration and discouragement right now, as I never seem to get anywhere with the crunches and the core lifting.


when I say get her neck out think of it like she is using her underneck to balance her posture and try and crunch - so if you try and crunch and you are on all fours but you try and lead the crunch by using your neck (your chin goes up the more effort but it is your underneck / throat that is trying to lift) and then try instead of that your chin in a little and push your belly button through to the back of your spine as you do this your shoulders will raise- there is a difference you should be able to feel - it is not impossible - if you think it is then you are not using your abs well. The difficulty is that you reward her for it when she uses her underneck to lead the crunch- until the rewards for this consistently stop it is always going to be there

I am looking at the video and struggling to see what you are clicking for - are you getting a little reliant on the clicker for 'normal' things? she is definitely not motivated at the beginning and was not interested in your suggestions - BUT think about what you are clicking for - there is no issue with using the clicker to micro manage but it is not something I would encourage. If you think about what you are rewarding - so here is an example - Carlotta is not really interesting in coming to me - so yes initially she will get the click and treat - but that was some time ago now - and can you see here (not always in some videos it is really great) but here she is just coming to you at an even - 'whatever' 'take or leave it' kind of way - as she knows this will get her a click and a treat - so ask yourself what are you clicking for - coming to you (unmotivated) - now this is fine if you are...or are you clicking because the camera is rolling and it will always be number one rule that when the camera is on, our horse just will stand there - so are you clicking here to get something on video? no judgement and just be honest with yourself here to be sure you know the answer. I did click Star for anything when he would come to me initially as he would not come to me - then when this was 'known' I would only click if he came to me with motivated attitude - if I went in the paddock and he did not come to me I never went to him (unless of course a vet etc was waiting) - I would wait - BUT I have the added advantage that Sharney is there also and taking her always will have the effect of Star wanting 'in' so I can never truly say that it is waiting that did it but he comes to me with motivation all the time now

so you are repeating SATS again - you dont need to repeat it - remember repetition is punishing but have a look here at the first one at .48 - see how she was stretching back with her front legs fixed to the ground - we dont want this - now if this was at the chest in a walk this would be the early stages of the half halt for collection - but pause at .49 - can you see the underneck is starting to come into her full movement - this is what I mean about the underneck in the crunches. So now at the crunches - help her be successful first before you ask for a lift - see at 1.12 she is not holding an even posture? so Steinar would say not to click this but wait for the horse to set it up - I say help the horse set it up - this is the purpose of the SATS - to ask for a better standing posture and then lift - here can you see at 1.17 she lifted her neck (this is what I am talking about - see her underneck is doing the work). There was no underneck in the next one but her front right leg seems forward here so I cannot see if there could be a crunch. Now the next time when you ask for her front leg - you are still naming it rather than waiting for her to take it back - so no more clicking for name LOL. I think the next thing was chest - thats fine but remember to lift yourself (this is the half halt part of the crunch). That front leg at 1.47 was better but dont leave the pointer on her leg - if you do that you are asking her to respond to pressure and release rather than bringing her attention to it (take it off her leg) give her a chance to move it - if not remind her again by pointing and taking it off - dont leave it on - see the difference? at around 2.00 that was good, I would personally aim for this to the be absolute least you would click for consistently as there was no neck used and she was standing pretty OK. now at 2.05 you only just managed to get the click in before the underneck was used - so remember your pointer here to direct her head down and then click and treat - pause at 2.14 - move your pointer so she sees it and takes her head towards it a little - ask for the lift again and then click - for some reason you have forgotten about this and you are pushing the pointer to her chest? the chest is simply a name and you have done this - so in walk now and again we can also use this to half halt. but yes at 2.18 PERFECT. See at 2.33 she is standing well but you said front leg? this immediately sent her leaning back - I think this is because the pointer sometimes is left on her leg so she is trying to work out what you want and this is developing because she is being clicked for it.

Pause at 2.53 - a perfect crunch but look at her front legs. You see the problem and you dont click and she starts to shape her legs better - this is all good stuff but then you leave the pointer on her front leg and click - you dont need to name now - ask 'front leg' back at 2.53 and only direct the pointer to her leg if you need to (and take it straight off) - so the sequence at 2.53 would be better this way - lift....front leg (NO pointer) - best scenario she lifts her front leg....and it is placed back a little (if not use the pointer to -touch her leg as you say front leg and then take the pointer off) - yes good, other front leg (same thing if needed) - yes good lift YES click treat - make sense? I would not be clicking for those reactive back legs - but I dont think you need any naming now you only need to use it if you want her to posture herself better for the crunch - now it is purpose only. What was the reason for clicking at 3.22? now the way she was standing after this she was in the perfect position to crunch but you went to her back leg again - are you maybe trying to desensitise her? if so you do what feels right for you but dont do this at the same time as crunching as this is where you need to work through emotions separately. The SATS we are using are simply for naming so we can ask when we need to - but remember repetition is punishing and that may have a hand in this as well. YES at 4.06 this is what you want to see (at first I was not sure you saw it but you did - as you were focusing on her legs LOL) - YES YES YES. I would have clicked when you said Yes the next one - but what that tells me is that she does not know what yes means in this context as it ought to make her feel proud. so remember to use the keep going signal allot and she will get it. So I think you are getting somewhere with the crunches but you need to be consistent with not clicking when she uses her underneck - use the keep going signal allot more and dont name any more - only ask when you need to and tap (and take off) when you need to - also here is a challenge for you - put up something that can show you were the cameras view is - and each second ask - go off with her and play for a tick and then come back into the cameras view and ask for a crunch - only a crunch and go and play again - help set her up for success for every crunch though as we have talked about here - and we dont want more than 4 crunches - so each crunch gets a click because it was effort and good and we are clicking and treating this and then also going and doing what she loves to do - so the video will contain allot of 'scenery' and 4 crunches only...lets see what happens

Exchange with Julie:

Oh Julie, you are so patient with me, and my poor horse has to put up with me sigh I am really frustrated and considering giving up on it, as I don't seem to be able to do it correctly and enable Carlotta to progress.

But I will read and re-read all your above suggestions, compare with the exact moments in the video, and then try again to put it to work.

What discouraged me the most was when you said that she is not using her back when doing PW. It feels like she lifts a lot when doing it under saddle though.

Yes, you are right: when the camera was on and in the beginning, I clicked her for turning towards me half-heartedly. Deep inside, I knew it was bribery, haha.

Such a pity you never travel to our area - it would have been so wonderful to see you work with her and have you to coach me through my struggles. Ah well, life's a bitch...

Almost 5 months of doing this, and so little progress. I have never spent so much time on a learning process with so small success.

I suppose it's a phase I go through, and I just have to take a deep breath and try again. But it's kinda difficult to pedal in one spot, so to speak, when the riding is so much more fun, because so much more achieved.

But I still would love to get this to work, as I would love her to be able to use her core. One excellent thing that happened: she is so much happier now. And only this might be worth it all, if all else fails

Sorry for being a pain in the ... Shouldn't pour all this into your poor ear, haha.

you are going well, you just need to stop reinforcing what we want to change LOL - the PW I see on the ground she is not using her core - that may be different under saddle as you have other aids you may be accidentally using (we cannot help this) - I am not ruling out travelling, I am not yet sure if I can handle it yet so we shall see. I have a very good friend down there and it may happen - it will happen but you have to take the pressure off yourself - and it is no bother AND you are making me work and this is important for me - so look at the video and see when you have time that is if you can see the difference when the underneck is used (and of course that is another difference under saddle - she has the bridle on. first thing is first this is the most important thing and once this is changed we will see a mammoth cruncher

Have asked her for a few crunches before putting the rug on tonight. The first one was with underneck, so ignored it and asked her to walk forward a few steps. The 3 following ones were good, and I made darn sure to click at a very early stage.

yeah for you

May 25, 2019

I got on all 4s and did crunches as described by you. Yep, works well. Now... to get Carlotta to do the right things. And resist my own urge to click her for things that were not wanted, just because I felt sorry for her not to earn clicks

Correct, I didn't give her a chance to walk towards me with eagerness. And sometimes even walked to her yet again.

Good approach you used with Star. I can't wait it out in the paddock for her to come to me all the way. Will see whether it can be built up more over time. But at least she stops now and waits for me, while before she always walked away and didn't want to be caught. Maybe I could go and do a few tries to wait for her when I don't "want" anything during the day. Will report what happens.

Valeta comes to me all the time, but not Carlotta, especially when the little ones are snuggled around me. But I will pay close attention to do it better in the arena. And maybe I can take her into another paddock on her own and try it there.

And yes, I fell into the trap of clicking her again for normal things.

why cant you wait it out for her in the paddock? see that head turn when you approach? stop when this happens and wait for her to cue you to walk on - so when her head turns to you again then approach - this will be a good compromise

Usually I am coming in late, so in a hurry to get her rug on and feed everybody. And with this lousy wqather, I am happy to get things over and done with before getting soaked again. You mean CAT, right?

Ahaaaaa, now I have figured out why I couldn't see what you commented in about the video. I had created confusion by reposting the older one (called Carlotta body targets and only 4-something minues long), and I thought you had commented on the most recent one which is 14 minutes long!

So watched the short one again and, yey, saw everything you talked about. Agree on everything. Just have to remember to first check her legs before asking for crunch (resp. the beginning of it). I seem to forget this way too often. Just checking: when she stands square for her front feet parallel, this is all we need as crunch prerequisite, right? No need to bring the feet closer together in "mountain goat" position?

May 27, 2019

I think we are on our way now. Sometimes, when she stands in the paddock and wants my attention, she does a "bad" crunch (using her neck). What do I do then? Just smile and say good girl, or go to her and ask her for something she does well and then click? I feel so sorry for her when she tries so hard to do something she thinks I like.

CAT? with the head turning? no thats not CAT - with the head turning she is saying no I am not ready (for whatever reason) so when we ignore this and keep moving towards her we are saying we dont care that she is not ready - so she has no control emotionally. If we stop when this happens and wait for HER to signal us to come towards her (CAT is signalling for us to go back) then we are giving her the control as to the speed at which we approach her. Sorry I am confused now about the comments - I dont think I have missed any videos? I thought it looked familar though - the last two videos were the body targets - I recall a 14 minute one that I commented on but cant find that video when I scroll up now

no you just want her feet aligned with her shoulder - if then the crunch is not getting there the feet are the first we would check - I do like the back feet to also be square but if not the quality of the crunch is not as affected as the neck with the front feet. Yes smile and ask again and say can we do this again without the neck to yourself or what you like to say - that will happen less and less though. Its fine to click early but we are going to have to wait soon or else you will never get more, and this is where you can use the keep going signal now and click but then soon delay the click a little

Great explanation, thanks, Julie. Yes, I was worried a bit that Miss Smartiepants would soon think that a minimal effort is enough. I have started to use the keep going signal for crunches, and I like the conversation to myself about trying again without neck!

Would it be a good idea to touch her back and do a little scritchie with my fingertips to make her aware that I would like a back lift in the crunch? She has done a few, but somehow I have the feeling that she needs more "pointers" to be really aware of what we want.

yes for sure scratch her withers but if her feet are aligned and you use a keep going signal (I use yes or more) and take it slowly so as not to destroy her confidence there will be a little bit more and thats what we click for

There was a gap between two showers, so off to the paddock. Deposited the wheelbarrow with hay outside and walked in with the horses. Of course, Valeta came immediately and offered to do shoulder-in at my side. Did a little bit of that, than asked her to leave. Carlotta watched and stood. So I called her, but didn't move from my spot. After a minute or so, she suddenly walked towards me and stopped at my side. Praise, then I asked for a crunch, which she did with neck. Said "Can you do it again without neck?" and she did. Click. Then she had to chase the fillies away, but came back to me. Asked for another crunch, and it was so-so, so didn't reward it. Again after the fillies, but came back again. Changed sides and asked again, holding out the pointer. Nice crunch this time. Click and end of session. Got the hay and rushed inside, accompanied by the joyfully hopping dogs. A girl rode past my gate at that moment, on a very big Clydie, not even wearing a jacket. I said you better rush, because the clouds became more and more threatening and night was about to fall. Hope she made it home safely.

sounds really good Yvonne

oops hahahaha Y and T the cat was typing

May 28, 2019

This morning, she came again to me right away, even when she knew that it was for a riding session.

Gee thats great!

We managed to get finished before the rain kicked in again. Asked for a couple of crunches after unsaddling. Still struggling with her wanting to use her neck a bit. But I got 2 decent ones, using yes-yes-yes. She did beautiful, even more elevated skips during the ride. And nice PWs in between the other stuff. Offered collected frame by herself several times. Had her on loose contact. She seems to like the new bit (portuguese mild shank with curbed side and a bit of tongue freedom). Looks soo flash: all in "silver", with brass (golden) buttons on the side of the bit. And Chris gave me brass clips for the reins - looks just beautiful. Must take photos.

Haha, fortunately we have only one cat left. That's plenty enough for me, as I am always the one they sit on!

It sounds great how she is feeling - the neck will come less and less the more consistent you are and it sounds like this is happening!

It's just hard not to go too fast and look for tiny improvements

And I find it very hard not to click, because she puts in so much effort to please me, even if the wrong thing comes out. But I am doing my very best.

My friend Ruth from Germany reads my training diary (and thus your comments which I always add, because I want to keep them and be able to get back to them). She still is very sceptic about Intrinzen and what we are working on with Carlotta. But she admitted that Carlotta's outlook on life and her attitude have changed so much towards positive, so "it suddenly has its merits"

She met her last November at her visit here, before all this happened.

I hope she will come back, so she can experience my changed Carlotta herself and "live".

I think that we are a little 'past' intrinzen in the strict sense as I dont feel that Carlotta has any physical parking brakes, but I do believe that she may have some emotional ones and giving her freedom to choose is making the difference for her. We are of course changing the way we are teaching the crunch and the PW . I also do believe that she needs more capacity but that is getting there too - what we do need to begin to work on is making the crunch really autonomous but we need to get that neck out of them all first and it is happening. What I mean by the crunch being autonomous is that she automatically uses her core to stop and 'go' and I am sure she actually does most of the time, I am trying to put this together with the power walk - it is not easy but I think it is happening

yes she may not like the 'light' touch - strange as there are allot of horses who dont - I wonder if it feels like a fly to them and they cannot discriminate

Yes, definitely past Intrinzen now. You are adding very valuable things to our toolbox. I am fascinated and honoured to be an active part of the process

As long as you think that we will get there, I am happy to keep trying. Just such a pain that I am never sure I am doing it right. Will take more video for you, once the weather clears up.

aghh you are helping me being the guinea pig. yes you are getting there - remember it was a huge shift for you to make first

Oh yes! Break with a lifetime's habits is not a small thing

My biggest concern at the moment is that I will not be able to guide Lotta through improving her posture step by step. Would be horrible if she stagnated because I can't do what is necessary.

Do a little and lets see with lotta....just a little as she is the young one isnt she

For the feather: I really had the feeling that it tickled her, like a fly indeed, and that she hated it. Usually she loves light touch (like for rein contact and such) and responds to it willingly and promptly.

Hahaha, only 13 I just shortened Carlotta to Lotta

Yep i think they like our contact

Oh god lol haha lotta is getting it

The young one is Valeta. Do you know the cartoons of Prince Valiant? Chris chose her name from them, as Prince Valiant's wife is Aleta, and their daughter's name is a mixture from both their names - Valeta - voila!

Oh kool...valenta thats right

April 29, 2019

Gosh, my softie side has taken over yet again. I just heard that Wotan, whom I had given to a local woman "for life", is neglected. So I spontaneously decided to take him back. Greg is OK with it. Chris will pick him up with her float at the first opportunity and bring him to my place. Maybe next week, when she is back from the Jousting Championship in Lardner Park.

I need another horse like a hole in my head, but that poor boy needs to be rescued. I am sure she hasn't had his feet done for over a year now, and there is no feed, and she feeds the two horses only ONE bale of hay per week!!!!

Wotan is the horse I had told you about, who has that deep fear of being ridden after a freak accident years ago.

He might be a good project to play with (Intrinzen and your approach).

His mother is my favourite American Saddlebred mare Scarlet, and his dad is Nattfari, an Icelandic stallion.

Why do I do this to myself all the time, hahaha....

oh but it sounds like he needs to come back to you - sounds like a great project lets hope you get him back soon though - it is really hard when that happens but he will be back with you soon

He is the little guy sitting at my side in the hayshed in the photo I posted on Human Horse Bond.

Has grown into a tall, big horse. I love his colour - a deep chocolate.

He was a sweetie when I owned him. Hope he has got wrecked too much in the meantime.

So good that I have Silke, my excellent barefoot trimmer, now. She should be able to get his feet back to soundsness.

I am sure he will remember you all and he will be very happy to come back to you. It is good you have a great trimmer. Mine is good, but I do most of the trimming and she just comes and tidys up My back wouldn't hold out, and I prefer to have it done by Silke. She is so good with it. Well I was trimming when I could not bend for years - one has to do what one has to when we could not get anyone as we got sacked all the time because no one could do Sharney LOL

When I had him here for a few weeks before I gave him away, we bonded beautifully, and he remembered me, for sure!

Yes, that's a pain when something like this happens. I have done it from time to time, but it always took me quite some time and agony

So happy that Silke agrees to do mine.


May 30, 2019

Impossbile to ride yesterday with all that snowy rain etc. But this morning, I got one fitted in, yay. Carlotta danced along happily and offered PWs and once or twice a crunch. It was with neck, so I stretched out my dressage whip to the front and said "lift", and she did a little bit. Also did this during the PW, and she visibly lifted!

I don't like exexexex as keep going signal, so have started using "besser" which means "better" in german. This somehow goes smoothly from my tongue

After unsaddling, I took her to the arena for a couple of minutes. She stayed with me right away and was happy to perform a crunch, which was acceptable. Changed sides and asked again. Then back to the other side and said besser-besser-besser while she crunched, and she arched up a bit and kept it. Click and end of session.

yeah for you - hahahaha xxxxx is hard to wrap around the tongue but that was my SATS training and it eventually changed from sex sex sex to xxxx - it whatever works and yes whatever you use it works, giving them the feedback they need without extinction bursts

Well, your original version wouldn't appeal to a gelding...

No extinction bursts today, for sure.

Certainly looked promising today when she did that last one.

funny, it was very hard to say x without saying sex! it will come with the crunches - it already is so it wont be long, just remember to stay consistent

oh BTW can I use that little snip with the head turn with carlotta on your body target video - I am sick of through the videos to try and find allot and I wanted just a couple of a few second videos showing what can happen when we begin to work with autonomy - I am building the full on line course now, and I think I need to first mention a couple of things about autonomy

OK thanks for the video bit - I finally found some early PW with the noodle - I have all the crunches (but will probably grab a bit on showing what the neck is verses getting it out, as I did not really have the neck problem (that was because it was drilled into me early on), but just beginning from scratch - I think though the SATS leaving the pointer on might be useful too - I shall see when i get to it - what would be good would be to try and video your progression to get the neck out and lets see what we end up with.

June 1, 2019

This morning, I noticed her legs were not in alignement, so I said front leg, and she immediately moved it a bit!

actually I think there may be some good pool noodle ones with you also. thats great about the front leg - it is so much easier when we can do that It felt like gold when she did this!

You want it at liberty or under saddle?

no on the ground, this one is the one I am building for the early mastery

I have another lassie doing it the same way as you are and she is up to the PW now and it is great that between the two of you my content and suggestions as to what can happen so it is really good

I am going to enrol in the natural animal center behaviourist course - it provides you with accreditation and this will help 'sell' the courses as well - it is a +R methodology though but it looks good and will probably do the honours component with them as well - I had wanted to do this a while back when I was thinking of trying to get my doctorate in psychology but the only uni who would take me with a learning theory slant with equines was Qld and I was not prepared to travel (and pay the $$$) so at the moment the natural animal center has 50% off for the stage 1

Wow, sounds facinating! Fingers crossed that everything goes to plan!

Here is a very early of (January 18, i.e. 2 weeks into Intrinzen) of PW with the pool noodle:

June 3, 2019

WIP crunches today:

Couldn't get a really good one, but she did try. She is gradually keeping her front feet together.

yes she is but I would personally not ask for a crunch until she does stand square (or certainly not click it - just say good girl and lets try again and then take less so there are no extinction bursts) - see at 4.46 - this is a good one to actually see the reason she is using her neck - you can almost see the energy at the front feet. it is not just keeping them together it is their position in relation to the shoulder thats why 4.46 shows it so well

Yes, you are so right. Somehow I always try so hard to do things right and then it doesn't work out. Or she is positioned correctly, and then doesn't lift.

But at least it gave you some examples of how not to do it....

think about how are her feet - if she crunches and the feet are not good thats fine, just smile and tell her great but ask for the feet to move a little, click and treat this and then ask again for the crunch. Oh you are funny - it is really not about how not to do it as so many have this problem, it is about how can we get this better

June 4, 2019

I hope we will eventually work it out... Will try again when it stops raining. The bummer is that she sometimes does really good ones and the camera isn't on

its always the way about the camera but the more this happens the more likely they will be good for the camera as well - even leave it for a couple of days - do something else and sometimes when you come back to it there is a huge change for whatever reason

Good idea! Yes, we often notice this - it's like the horses think about it overnight. A bit like I do when I wake up in the morning and play my riding sessions in my head. Maybe I should start doing this with the crunches too?

When I was flat on my back after the accident, I did this a lot and in great detail, and it had a positive impact on my riding

yes thats a great idea

The crunches are not what we want at the moment, as she leans back a bit when she goes into one. Not sure how to explain to her that I would like her to stay "in place". Only asked for 2 yesterday and 2 today. Maybe really not do it for several days...

it is good she is going so well - leave the crunches until you can film a couple and really see where her front feet are - it is helpful of you make sure she is side onto the camera and the see the angle. I am glad for you that Wotan is coming back soon - hopefully no more delays for the poor chappie - it will be good to begin him from 'scratch'

June 10, 2019

hahahaha it is so funny - I was going through some books this morning to make sure I had all I needed in the core posture section of the on line course and here we go again - Jec Ballou's corrective exercises book opens with speaking about parking brakes (she does not call them this but it is what she is saying) - is there nothing original in intrinzen? it seems NOT - so I dont feel near so bad now about calling the panther walk the panther walk

Hehehe... not the power walk anymore then?

the power walk is different - I finally got some video this morning to show how to begin it - not perfect but we can see what is happening. I am doing that now and then I need to scan a bit of a book for Marianne (my real guinea pig) and I will send it to you as well - it is a great explanation of what I am doing with the stuff that you saw with Sarah - of course it is my adaption but it is something I re-read the other day and I think I now have nearly the right adaption of somatic experiencing and the polyvagal theory - Star has been showing me the last couple of days and we have worked it out - start cue (as he has known that) crunch then the pad on crunch more - happy camper This morning was funny: when I brought the hay to their paddock, the horses were quite far away, but when they spotted me, they all came running: Wotan in a splendid extended trot, Valeta still slightly hobbling, but much better, and Princess Carlotta in her elevated show-off canter!

what happened to Valeta do you think? glad that Wotan seems happy. Carlotta is feeling good! In case you haven't seen the post on my timeline: Wotan jumped the fence the first day, to be with the girls, and some interaction must have taken place. I suppose Valeta got kicked in the shoulder, as she held her right leg stretched out straight and could barely walk. Second day was better and today it's even better. When I arrived, they were all happy together already, so no reason to separate them again. Even Carlotta has accepted him.

It clearly felt as if Wotan was saying: I am home now - all good! oh OK so good it is getting better - no I have not had allot of time to look through the feeds on fb recently

Have put a long update in Human Horse Bond, as everybdoy seemed keen to hear the development. Which is funny, as they don't know the horse.

One thing just occurred to me: Elmira (Haflinger), my first horse, had exactly the same colour as Wotan.

I dont access the horse human bond unless I am tagged - I am over the self righteousness of some of them to be honest and they get my back up so it is best I dont really see anything - but I was reading something yesterday there but it was about knocking clicker again so I did not really look any further hahahahaha - oh maybe all these things add up to Wotan staying!

t depends on how we will be going for grass and hay etc. Will wait and see. But if I need to find him a new home, I will be extra-careful this time!

well here is hoping that it is not too much of a burden - it sounds like he is meant to be with you

Don't twist my arm - will do whatever I can.

here is a bit of video of showing how I am trying to work a power walk

and here are the two chapters - scanning not great as only have a flatbed scanner but it is all readable

June 13, 2019

Thanks a lot, will have a look tomorrow. Just came inside, after spending most of the day helping CJ (our 80 y.o. handyman) to build the extension of my horse shelter. So good to have it finished, with the horror weather announced for tomorrow evening and following day.

Quick video from this morning: I tried to take some of the riding, but had difficulties again with the camera position, so not even worth watching

Watched the power walk video. Something to get started on with Wotan? Or what else would you like me to try first with him?

you are still clicking for the neck - the first one was good but the second she lifted her neck and you kept going, so here take the pointer down and ask again rather than click through it. why did you then walk away? there was nothing to suggest that she was leaving you - but she was then confused as to why you walked away. So OK when you got back to crunches - think about it this way - ask and if she does not align her feet up then ask for her to align her feet and then ask again - lets try and make this her decision, as if we start with micro managing she will never 'think' for herself - make sense? I think that next one as far as I could see at 3.17 was good - you clicked before she got her neck into it - the next maybe a second too late with the click - maybe the strategy for you can be that you click earlier for a while before she gets her neck into it as the click for this one was using her neck (I think - hard to see with her being so dark) - it looks like you clicked at 3.37 - 3.36 maybe?

OK so the power walk comes after crunches and before PW - it is kind of like alex kurlands pose on a walk - Star does it allot and he gave me the idea as it makes him feel proud - as we need to get the 'lift' and we need the crunches first

so your homework is to ask for the crunch - do not click for any neck or legs in the wrong position (as she needs her legs right not to use the neck) - ask for front feet (leave the back feet for the moment) and then ask for a crunch again - if it is the neck she uses - ask again but then the next time click earlier - before she uses her neck for more effort

Packed-full day yesterday, and heavy rain all day long. Soo much fun when you are out shopping and each time you get back into the car, all the windows are damp and no visibility, so you have to wait until the ventilation kicks in again. Had to go to a dozen different places, so this was really annoying... And didn't find the darn fitted sheets I need

Anyway, back to horses. I admit I was guilty to click when she used her neck that first time, when I hadn't asked for crunch and she did it to greet/please me, so I didn't have the heart to ignore it. Yep, stupid of me to walk away when all was well - it didn't feel right when I did!

So when you say: ask her to align her feet, and if she doesn't, ask again etc. You mean that I just say "front leg" without any further intervention from me?

This might take a while. She does it from time to time, but not very often.

I thought that all four crunches (as small as they were) were good, will have to check again. Sorry it was so shady, was early in the morning. Might try again now, as it's later in the day and the sun is over the arena now.

I DO try to click earlier. sigh Working on myself.

Seems that the clicks I do come out somewhat delayed at times in the video. Will get back to you later.

yes just ask front leg - ask for the crunch then ask if she needs to align her legs and then crunch - this is SATS - if we are consistent with asking for this IF our horse does not do it when we crunch we will get it - but you have to let her see if she does it first and for a while click any choice she makes to move the leg - I can really only see her neck when it is used - it is just too dark - I can usually see when someone clicks though as I look at the reactions from the horse - some were really well timed

June 15, 2019

Now, that didn't work out well.... Got one short video where she is shwoing a beginning of SATS (moving her feet upon "fron leg"), and a couple of tiny attempts for crunches, but not good really. I tried again (after some problems with positioning the camera in a suitable spot and Carlotta staring towards the paddock where Wotan kept calling out for her), and she reacted better aleady and moved her feet quite nicely a few times and also did 2 or 3 promising crunches, but when I looked at the video it was all blurry, as I had forgotten to adjust the focus. Grrr....

Ride was a bit animated, because of Wotan's vocal input and the rather strong wind, but she did her best

hahaha - I am just about to go and feed up - will try and look at it when I get back in otherwise before you are up in the am. wish the rain would come up here!

Happy to give you a bit, there were puddles on my arena ground today. Doesn't happen often. No hurry for the video. I am not happy with it (i.e. myself) anyway

June 16, 2019

OK so in the video you have walked over to her and asked her for the front leg. This is not the way I would recommend it as we have done with SATS now- we ask for a crunch and if our horse crunches with the legs out we ask then for the front leg - and crunch again WE DO NOT CLICK if the front leg is out in the crunch - this way our horse understands to crunch and get a click we have to have the front legs square. It looks like you are having no pleasure in what is happening here and she can feel this ....why not leave it for a while but I would love for you to get this order in your head and be confident and then maybe leave it and see what she is like in a couple of weeks? The click for her leg moving back was great but the need now is the 'connection' between front leg and crunch. what seems to be happening here is you are teaching her to lift her front leg (because there is no need for her to bring it back I guess)- this is going to cause you trouble later (and one of the reasons I dont like to overdo SATS) - NO CLICK if the legs are out in front (as this will make her use her neck) - ask crunch then if needed... front leg and then ask for crunch again in the new leg position . see at around 1.53 if we were real lucky and got a click in as she re positioned her front left leg it would be good (before she moved off LOL and she had a connection between the crunch and her standing position here) but I cannot see the reasons for the clicks after this though

I can see her legs are not positioned square in front yet you clicked her :-(I am sure accidentally. The next one was good as you waited - but you are not giving her any feedback - it looks to me as if she is not pleasing you - maybe it was not a good day for you - it sure was windy!. But if we are not excited and grateful it is not something she can be proud of - so the way it works for me is ask - crunch - legs are not good or using neck - smile - good....this is really great but front leg good crunch yes! click - but it is all enthusiastic and my tone acknowledges the try. the camera lighting here was allot better - dam about your second video though!

Thank you, Julie. Yes, correct, I was pretty upset by then about all the sh*t that had happened before, like trying half a dozen positions to find a place not too dark for filming, then Wotan keeping calling out and distracting Carlotta and other stuff. And then I couldn't get it right - yet again. Yeah, very frustrating. I should have stopped and waited for a better day. Poor Lotta. Oh, I hadn't understodd that I was supposed to ask for a crunch right away, even with legs out of position. OK, will bear that in mind in future.

Here are 2 vids I took this morning (in between showers, haha).

OMG, yes, you are right, I am teaching her to lift her leg now. Aaargh! And asking for leg way too often. I should have waited for you post before trying again... But at least I am starting to do a few things better, right?

In this second one, while I was standing with her, I thought she was doing the crunch really well, but looking at it now, I notice that there is no real lifting and a bit of neck involved? Hm, yes, why not - I can give her a break from crunches. Would though like to give it one last try tomorrow, with your instructions in mind

Gosh, I feel like such a slow learner here. An experience very new to me gnnnnn

Oh just noticed that I missed a beautiful back lift atr 2.23 in the first video!

it is great you are challenging me to come up with different explanations - it is good! now the first video showed some really great crunches with no neck - even though you did not adjust her legs you were able to get the neck out - but you are surprising me with more information I will need to make clear in the course - see the crunch at 2.22 - you were right not to click it BUT ask again by adjusting what needs to happen - you see even though you did not click and treat you rewarded it by the PW hahahahahaha - whats the leg lifting for again?? now with the bunny hops I was only telling marrianne this morning we need to make this without the neck also - move forward with your pointer when this happens to try and turn this into a canter depart with no neck - I am going to try and tape this with Star to show what I mean

in the second video - OK so front leg - see how she is lifting rather than placing - yes she is still stretching back rather than lifting and then stretching back - dont click this - wait and ask again but remember to remind her about the wither - take little muscle movements there with her new leg position - yes the 2.23 in the first video was great with the core but of course there was neck in it as well - so we know she can do it

June 16, 2019

I wanted to get it right at least once, so before rugging her tonight, I asked her for a crunch (legs not in perfect position) and of course, she used her neck a bit, so I said front leg, and after a second, she calmly adjusted her leg. Asked for crunch again, and when she started doing it, I clicked very quickly, before she could rock back.

Went to other side, asked for crunch, and she started to rock back slightly, but then came forward quickly again and arched her neck beuatifull. CT and big, enthusiastic praise.

sounds PERFECT and fantastic

And when I try to get it on video now, it will not work out, hahaha.

it will eventually - dont worry about that as the more consistent it gets the more likely you will capture it

True. wasn't bad this morning, not as good as yesterday, but I am quite happy with it. She seemed to make the connection between "front leg" and crunch and I havew the feeling that she is becoming happier with it, as it is beginning to become old hat, sortof

yep thats what we want

Video is loading, will send it when done. Bugga, I clicked her again for leaning back once...

it will happen sometimes - see what seems to happen is that when we give our horse the control to move the feet back more autonomy and mastery seems to develop - the only way I can see how to do this is we begin with SATS then we make sure we dont over do it - and then ask for front feet and not click the crunch with the feet out - the more we can get consistent with this the HUGE shifts seem to happen - I am just trying now to put both the polyvagal and the somatic experiencing into words that are not confusing - trying to dumb it down is so hard - but it is nearly there and I think I can then move on and finesse the rest which is nearly all finished anyway - BUT your experiences are making it really easy for me to figure out what to say. Also too this developed when Star nickered the first time he managed to do this himself - he gives me so many hints hahahaha

I am happy I can contribute a bit to this, Julie. Yes, the first happy nickering about accomplishment is such a Eureka moment, also for the human. Will get started with Wotan soon. He has been here for a week now and feels completely at home already.

Poor Valeta is so jealous when he starts throwing bow after bow on me when I arrive. I wouldn't be surprised if she copied him soon on this

Glad you will put all this scientific stuff into simple words, so people like me can understand it

how great that everything though that the horses are enjoying it all

explain to me the lift with the first click - is this something you want her to do? I would have clicked that foot at 1.14 oh you did but too late LOL. When she tries and her feet are ok bring attention to her wither to help her understand. The next two were PERFECT - not so much at 2.11 but so much better. I would have left it after the first two really good ones and gone for a run to be honest - drilling does not help she did a great job so leave it for another day (greedy greedy).OK now at 2.31 I see now what is happening - your hand for the 'lift' with the finger movement is actually the cue her neck is responding to. Yes a good one at 2.43 - see you did not use your fingers? (that I could see) - so lets make sure of this touch at the withers for the lift and keep your hand still but use your body (belly button to the spine and lift your chest)

Hahahah, yes, I know, I know.... Really should have stopped after those 2 good ones. That little nagging voice inside told me!

no I may have missed your cue if you did stop! but tell me about this 'jump'?

Agreed about 1:14. Yes, 2:11 was too rocked back. But I thought it was small enough, so I should click anyway. Is it a bad thing to curl my fingers? I did it sortof inadvertantly. I think that the arm and finger movement is cueing her using her neck 2:43 is the best one, I think? I didn't use my fingers. see she actually raises her neck with the timing of your fingers

yes thats what I said 2.43 was good and you were not using your fingers

OK, will do. But crunching myself is soo hard to me...

Jump? At 0:37? I just thought it was cute, so clicked for it

oh get the bodyfx starter videos LOL - you will learn to crunch with them. OK so what I do is sweep under my boobs in an upward motion as if I am lifting my boobs to raise my chest. So the jump was all neck that was what I was questioning - move forward as she does this - I am actually going to video this for marianne and I think a lassie on the community needs it also - the frost here was bad this morning so tomorrow if there is no frost - I worry about slips I can do crunches, but I find it pretty hard to do it repeatedly. And I usually do them during the sessions. Maybe not very visible with that thick jacket.

thats why this is really good - they do so many and it really tunes my crunches OK, sorry. fogot about the asking forward again when she does skips. One day I will actually remember to do it

there is a free one there on 10 min abs - try it

Yeah, be careful with slippery ground. it is getting her neck out of the jump Next time, promised! (I hope!)

Thanks, will check the vids.

hahahaha! honestly though try the 10 min ab one - I do these now every day (with alternating with the paid ones) and I have never walked better - it has freed my hip allot

Okeydokey. Just can't bring myself to it right now - am quite pooped from Pilates - Helen gave me all those strenuous tasks today...

HAd a look at the 10 min abs. You mean the one with the leading girl in the pink bra and all the others girls in white bras, right?

Geeez.... How does this help with crunches?

May try it tomorrow.

yep - crunches gallore! ab work is crunches

June 18, 2019

Another lovely trail ride with Chris today, a bit over an hour. Through the forest and down Savage Hill Road.

Carlotta hiding behind Sparky's bum on the way out and then very keen to motor along in front on the way home :-D

Sparky, in his long winter woolies, had sweaty curls and was, at times, huffing and puffing, poor little fella. While Carlotta, in her short coat, was just slightly moist here and there.

We made it home just in time, and 5 minutes later, Silke arrived, ready to give my guys their trim. Was the first one for Wotan. I had tied him to the rail and he got a fright from something and freaked out, but came back to normal shortly afterwards. So I held him by the leadrope, for more confidence.

He behaved pretty well, a bit insecure here and there, but Silke is so positive and patient that it all went smoothly and Wotan simmered down very quickly with a deep, relieved sigh.

Silke took off a lot from his hooves, that were in much need for a trim. Looked very nice, once finished, and Wotan trotted off proudly and freely.

June 19, 2019

Gosh, was so difficult to squeeze a little ride in today. Waited until 4 pm, then got grimly determined. Just when I was about to get on, the rain started again. So Carlotta patiently stood at the mounting block at my side, and as soon as the rain became lighter, up I went.

Carlotta braved her way through all the puddles in the arena - this doesn't happy often, it usually doesn't get wet.

At the end, we practised walking sideways along a pole. On the third try, she suddenly did it beautifully. Jackpot and end of session.

Julie's explanation about SE:

It is based on trauma informed principles,we build assets for our horse that make him or her her feel proud, confident and masterful to help the ventral vagal circuit of the nervous system run the show - but to be able to do this we have to have the social engagement system enlivened so that is where the human comes in as a secure base. For Star - core posture crunches and his panther walk make him feel very proud and I also believe the click does this for him also. We use these things to help him move forward - give him the power feel he can do it. We also want him to learn to become resilient when he feels any apprehension and his ventral vagal takes a dive. We want him to not feel panicked when he feels unsettled and can release the nervous energy - as it is in not releasing this nervous energy that we see horses (and us) spook at every sound - they always feel on edge. So from the somatic experiencing perspective we spend time taking very very small steps forward and then stop to give the horse time to release the energy that may have built up - as what goes up must come down so our horse (in the face of anxiety) feels comfortable in releasing the built up energy. We see this in the form of calming signs etc. At the time we are taking small steps forward we encourage our horse to use the assets that he or she has to help them feel proud - it is like "I GOT THIS". It has become very empowering for Star and I feel for me as well (as there is always that thing at the back of your mind with horses who are afraid of things). This focus is contained in the equine assisted therapy training and there are a number of organisations that now offer this for human but from my perspective we are just learning how this can all be applied to horses who have fear (rather than humans who have fear). this was the video series that Sarah did with me (and Star) that begun this in earnest for me .

June 22, 2019

isis this dumbed down enough?

intro course.docx

First try SATS with Wotan:

There are two previous ones with him where we just get acquainted, can post if you wish. yes please send me them all!

June 23, 2019

the second one first - as this is first in time? mmm I personally would not introduce the flag this way and I never use the clicker for issues around anxiety - there are too many risks that the click can become poisoned - it seems from the first click that he has not heard it before or it now takes on a new meaning. I am a little confused with what I am seeing - you know that we want to provide autonomy- he is leaving you and wants to be away from you (I think the flag it the problem not you) but you are moving after him? the second click was the same - he does not know what it means in this context and you begin to approach and he wants none of it. yea when you click for his head down it is really submission and helplessness you are clicking for - I think first you need to work out how you want him to be going - do you want him to be autonomous or perhaps you dont really want to put the training into him because he cannot stay with you? the clicks you are using are not what I would personally do as he has no desire to be part of this with the flag and he is telling you in a very gentlemanly manner that he is worried and anxious and I personally would not be using the clicker here - can you see he keeps moving away? he wants distance from you (and or maybe just the flag - but it will turn into you as well here - see he moves quickly away when he gets a treat from you?). I will look at the others in case this was just a one off and then we know it is the flag

the noodle is starting the same way - now you have not really wanted him to engage his SEEKING here and this will turn into the same thing as has happened with Carlotta and the mat - he has to have the time to work out what this is all about and know it wont eat him - we cannot use the clicker here for the same reasons as the flag - he is unsure of himself and we are marking anxiety emotions with the clicker - this is confusing for our horse - we cannot click our way through this IMO. These head downs are not purposeful - they are instinctual as he is anxious here - there has been quite allot of-R and punishment in his previous training by the looks of it - much natural horsemanship or other dominance reduction methods. He is not responding to the noodle in any good way here unfortunately and he is reacting as if he does not move his feet pressure will be escalated. It was nice to see you put the noodle down and can you see how his demeanour changed and that click through the labyrinth was acknowledged by him as relevant and did not attach anxiety (well there is still some there but not allot) - can you see the difference in him here as compared to all that leads up to this (so from 2 mins back?). Try not to get into habits that we want to change later - so the head turning (for a crunch??) LOL Here I would use the labyrinth to your advantage and stand him where the poles are behind his back legs and then ask for a crunch and as soon as there is a shift up with any muscle as he feels the wood click and treat and get those cues working. As soon as you pick up the noddle he leaves you - and can you see that his reaction to the clicker changes? so you need to think about what you want to do here with him - I can help you but we have to treat his anxiety first - and there is allot of autonomy work to do as we need to undo the expectations of consequences he seems to have - can you see the difference in him comparing the times you have the noodle to the times you are just engaging with him?

Is there a chance the rope halter can go? Personally I dont like them in any event but there is now so much evidence as to the damage that the pressure points to do the sensitive nerve areas on the head and his is done up very tight - not everyone accepts this of course and I dont judge you as I know you would not believe this to be true as you would not use them if you did. But the rope halters are things that I wont condone for me personally so I cannot use examples with one on if there was some video I would love to ask to use.

now the SATS - I am holding my breath here LOL as I feel that he has previous negative associations with the whip - and yep his first thought is to go in circles in submission - but can you see you did not follow him here and stood (maybe your mind was on the car going past but it made you stand LOL) - and see what he did - he looked to you and approached? that was great! That jumpiness at .31 is because he is anxious - he has not been able to release the stress so it accumulates . Although he is not really that reactionary I feel he is not holding it together as he is moving allot around you and moves after you touch him with the whip but unfortunately we are pairing this with a click and treat and I would not recommend it - so maybe we can work out something other than the whip we can use for him here as there are very clear negative experiences with it in the past - BUT this does get better though and this is good - and you are very supportive of him during this process - great to hear you speak to him - I am not sure why you are not using the pointer though but I feel we would need a few things to be going on before this also - now I also have some smaller pool noodle squirters - they open up to about a 1/2 metre but are long enough to do this with. Do you want me to send you one? I would love to do the whole thing with him (less the rope halter) but do you want to? if you do then we need to work on autonomy first as he needs to be confident that he can tell you when he is anxious - see in the videos he is telling you but we are not letting him know we are listening - so the things I would change for the moment are not to use anything that may have a negative (submission) connotation to it - so whips are out. We need to activate his seeking system and I would begin this with a full pool noodle (not one attached to a stick) and I would place it on the ground and allow him to explore it (not click him through it) and then we need to try and use this to begin to help him understand that we will listen to his body language....THEN we can begin SATS - what do you think? I would LOVE to see him turn into a confident boy - I feel so sad for him

June 23, 2019

Thank you for all the feedback. Will try to explain about him: I had bought him from Chris (Narrawin Stud), when he was 6 months old, as my future riding horse. I loved his dam and would have bought her, had she not had that unsurmountable fear of being floated. I worked on it for ages, but never any really lasting success. She was a delightful mare (American Saddlebred). His sire is a very quiet, laid-back Icelandic, who is now gelded and lives with our friend Margaret near Wangaratta. I loved to ride him while he belonged to Chris, a true sofa!

Wotan did very well when we started him under saddle at around 4 1/2

He was always a bit anxious, so we did a lot of gentle, careful preparation. But came good and went beautifully under saddle, until the... moment.

I then gave him to a rescue organisation who placed him with people. But he came back several times, couldn't find out why. In the end I took him back and gave him to Julie here in Dereel, because at the time I had Keldan who didn't tolerate him at all. He lived with a pony there, but didn't get any other care than just feeding him grass and sometimes a bit of hay. So, he is back here now. Don't know what happened with his various "owners", but already 3 years ago, he seemed to be so happy to be back with me. And I have the same feeling now. He always comes to me immediately when I enter the paddock, sometimes nickers softly and puts his head against me. Which means I have Valeta and him always close by

When I took him to the arena yesterday, I thought I'd give him a little refresher, just showing him the tools and see what he thought. I noticed that he felt somewhat anxious, but thought it wasn't a big deal really, as after walking off a bit, he almost all the time came back to me very quickly. So apparently I completely misjudged the situation.

I am not sure whether I am doing him a favour when I teach him to be autonomous, bearing in mind that it is not very likely that I can keep him in the long run, due to my situation. I think his poor little heart broke a few times when he had to change places so often.

So, what do we do? In between all this depressing frustration, I had a lovely moment with Carlotta this morning. At one stage, she suddenly rounded her poll beautifully and cantered off in the most beautiful, collected way. I praised her enthusiastically and dismounted. She visibly scratched her head: What have I done that was so good?

Watching my videos now. I can see what you mean in vid 1: I am actually driving him with that flag instead of giving him space and time. Bummer that I always feel that I have to DO something!

You are right: he is a true gentleman and so very polite.

OK, will grab a poolnoodle at Chris' place. I had given them all to her, as I don't like the things, but if we need to use one for the seeking process, then be it.

What are pool noodle squirters? I have built a smaller device which is about 1 metre long. It is a plastic tube with a piece of poolnoodle at one end. Would that be suitable, or better leave out any of those until he has become more confident?

Yes, he seems to like the labyrinth and always wanted to wander through it and didn't seem worried to stop anywhere inside or near. And yes, I quasi automatically asked for a crunch, LOL.

You are right - the difference between with and without flag/whip/noodle is spectacular. So I will put all this aside and just interact with him for now. And not click so much, but rather slow down my own energy and expactations and allow him to build up his confidence.

Maybe not even take the bumbag with me?

Sure, I can take the rope halter off during our sessions, no problem at all.

You are so right about his anxiety and not being able to get rid of his inner tension. He had a very jumpy moment when he met my hoof trimmer the other day, but came out of it very quickly. Silke is a very calm, sweet person and took her time with him.

It is easy to forget about his issues, because he is so very willing to please and tries so hard to stay with me and see what I want.

So, if you are not too unnerved by me not getting it again and again (hahaha), Yes, I am happy to go through the process under your direction and let's see whether we can make him a happy chappy. After all, it did work with Carlotta, despite everything I messed up during the process

I would so love to see him happy and relaxed.

Maybe I will go out this afternoon and film another little session for you. What do you think of bringing him into the arena together with Valeta a bit later? She is so very confident that maybe it would help him? Not right away, of course.

If Wotan had bad experiences with the whip etc, it must have been with the other owners, certainly not with us. You never know what people do to horses when nobody is looking

I didn't bring out the pointer, as I thought there were enough tools already as it was. But maybe it had been a lot more productive to use the pointer instead...

June 23, 2019

he can be helped and autonomy is very important to have because it allows him to express himself and then the nervous energy can expel. that sounds great with Carlotta! what we want is something that does not resemble a stick and we cant drive (so it cannot feel like a driving stick to you) the noodle squirter is a water toy it does not extend allot but I have a couple here still . I would go back to basics - begin with clicker training again and use something like a noodle but put it on the ground and let him explore it and then begin by targeting and then moving with it - no I would have the bum bag for sure as he can get confidence even with walking over the labyrinth. I would try with him only and use the Labyrinth as inspiration and if he is nervous the nervous energy has to come down -if it takes a while then give him a rub where ever he loves it and then wait - slowly does it and our aim for a while is for him to feel confident to express himself - slow and gentle for sure and short sessions

I relocated the labyrinth further away from the pedestal, so more room around. I hope you will like todays's session. Still uploading at the moment. He had a much calmer feel around him today and we even got little beginnings of crunches!

looking forward to seeing it!

Here you go.

June 24, 2019

this is looking really good - now with beginning the crunches ask for him to lift at the chest a little - we cant free shape them as it would take years - but personally you could get that noodle up and use it too he went straight over to it and does not associate it with a whip, but he is fine with the pointer so SATS first for me - see at 4.17 - perfect wait - see how he released a little energy in the licking and chewing there - thats my view - he is playing with the noodle stick here for a click and treat - see how he does something and then waits for your response - no need to SEEK here as this is not an issue for him I would go with him and be guided with what he wants to do and to click and treat. The waits are really hard to do but they only happen a couple of times - and you are going really well - just make sure when you are doing your own thing you are actually internally consumed by your thing and not what he is doing - so much easier to say than do I know AND DAMM you are out of the picture at 9.05 - that was a perfect one - it is really good and so much better for him than the first one dont you think. I would personally do SATS now (remember not to nag and remember it is quick) - just a minute or so on front feet shoulders and chest (leave the back ones for now) and if possible I would remain neaw the lanyrinth as it is a secure base for him - see he is confident over this and probably the last time this was used was when he was with you last so there are no negative consequences to it and I can also see you are a secure base here for him as well

I really want to see whether the tweaks I have made to beginning crunches work better - so you need to do this for me LOL (no pressure I will find someone else if you dont) - so SATS legs and chest and then chest and add a verbal cue - maybe 'lift' and cue lift with your body and then bring attention to the wither area (and if need be have the back legs in front of the wood) and go for it - clicking and treating the smallest muscle movement in the core area. Then we need to work on the legs before the neck gets to be a habit

Aaah, love your feedback, yay! Happy to do it for you. Will try to get it sorted. Will try to get the lift cue for the chest right, so he can do it right from the start. Will grab camera now and give it a go for you.

it wont happen in one day though so just focus on SATS but dont over do it and go do something that is fun for him - it would be good to see what tweaks we need to still do to it Uploading video right now.

Yes, trying to keep sessions short! Still fumbling with an appropriate spot for camera.

Did some canter work with Lotta, but she wasn't in the mood to give me her super canter today. Not really surprising as usually it happens once, and then they take a while to process, before they offer it again.


Looks like I touched his chest for too long when asking for crunch. And sorry about the bad positioning of camera - this is difficult! I think there are one or two good snippets though. Or would you like me to repeat and try to do it better tomorrow?

Carlotta didn't want to do her beautiful canter today - she must have felt my deterination to get it for the camera

I am just about to feed up will try and look at it when I get back in...horses are so camera shy!

How do you like her posture in the PW from 8:10?

I think here is about the best position I can find for the camera. Only will need to remember to ride her about a meter away from the left fence to have her in the picture. She is a clown: she knows that labyrinth back and forth, but the fact that it had moved a few metres made it suspicious

hahaha - internet is slow as now so tomorrow before you get up - the stream is doing nothing! Tough luck, haha.

Oh forgot: after the ride, I asked Carlotta for 2 "front leg", followed by "lift". The second crunch was just beautiful!

June 25, 2019

with Wotan this was good, so dont drill that now, just do a couple each time - when you began to ask for the chest and a lift I thought there were a couple of tiny rises - so remember at first in crunches we are really clicking for muscle movements I think you may find that these are there next time. Yeah Carlottas posture looks good - the camera is in a better place there, shame there is not a wider angle great that there was a good crunch too!

Yes, Wotan offered some very small muscle movements. I missed the first one at one stage, but he repeated, so I could click the second one.

OK, will stick to just a couple per session

Yes, there were some tiny rises, that's when I burst into all these praises

With Carlotta, I am now working on walk-canter-walk transitions. She finds this difficult, but I help her with voice cues, so this started to show effect today. I only click canters where she doesn't use her neck now.

Cute how she was starting to be very attentive to my upcoming cues today. I asked for like 3 or 4 steps of canter, than back to walk, then canter again, and she got the idea very quickly. She did lots of PWs today, felt like releasing tension to me. It was quite a job after all to figure this out.

sounds wonderful and you are going so well!

About time, eh?

it takes the time it takes and when it happens we know the journey is worth it!

Uploading today's vids now, with a wide-angle lense I borrowed from Greg. At the end, I have set it in the corner which seemed best and walked the whole arena. Looks like I can use about 4/5ths of it, with the pedestal as limit point.

Have done a couple of SATs and crunches with Wotan, then proceeded to targeting the short noodle stick.

He wanted to carry on after this, so I got the mat out and let him have a look. Let me know whether my approach was correct.

Will be later this afternoon. Will send them as soon as finished.

great - it sounds like the wider angle is better for you - sure about the mat - will try and watch later when it comes through - I have been battling the flu the last couple of days and I think finally it is going to break I hope - I wish it would get worse rather than just 'sitting' there not really a flu but not really myself

Yep - better you get it and then it will be finished, instead of it lingering around for ages. It was a spontaneous gut decision about the mat, so will see what you think about it. I had thought bringing Valeta in as well, but better give Wotan the time to work it out by himself... or drop the idea for now.

So, here are the videos: Sorry it's blurry, just sending it for documentation purposes.

And this one for the best angle:

so careful how you are feeding - take the treats to him not let him take from your body. So also be careful you are not just getting him to follow the target - you are doing your PW - so if you want this now then let him target the noodle with his knee - although I think it is time for crunches - see we dont want him to do allot of targeting - he is fine following your lead now - so time to do some 'work' - that was great how you let him work out to come to you DAMM that the film is blury LOL - but at least we have the angle right. So with him wanting to always take that right leg forward near the wood - lets take advantage of this and go to targeting the noodle with the leg. But it was really nice - now it is time to move on. slowly but lets now really get serious with starting crunches - just a couple of minutes - will look at the rest tomorrow morning

Yes, I know about feeding positions. It's not an issue with Carlotta and Wotan, they are both super polite.

Yeah I was grinding my teeth too about it being blurry. That lens is a bit of a pain, as with my camera it takes several seconds to adjust the focus. But once I knew about it, it was OK. Thanks for the refresher about letting him target the noodle with his knee, will do.

OK, crunches it is now, promised

Tonight, after rugging, I asked Carlotta for 2 crunches again. She stood nicely aligned, and I said "front leg" and she gave me a dirty look, then stomped her foot, as to say: my feet are all in place, dangit. Then did a lovely crunch. Asked again, and again she stomped, then did another good one. So, a question that might be of general interest for your students: bearing in mind that we want a connection between feet and crunches, do we say front leg, even if the feet are in good position? Or do we, in this case, just ask for crunch?

June 26, 2019

hahahaha - no we only say front leg when we need it to be moved - that shows she knows LOL

the feeding position is very important - it really is not about being polite only it is about being safe - a no 1 rule is to ensure that the treat comes to the horse - not the horse to the treat

hahahaha the mat was not amusing for him verses what was ever outside the arena

I thought you would be amused by my question. Lotta really made sure to let me know that she knew exactly what she had to do.

Wotan seemed a bit worried by the mat, though interested enough to have a think about it. Should I carry on or wait a bit?

Yep, it was his girls who called him from the paddock, and that was much more fascinating of course. I also had the dogs running around in the front garden, i.e. close to the arena, so that was another entertainment for him.

I would have the mat there now and again and use it for yourself and see what he does.

Yes see what happens with Valeta as well LOL - the flu felt like it was breaking mid morning but it seems to have come back - hopefully near the end - it is so hard as I feel like shit in the morning and as I get up so early by the time today it felt fine I was tired hahahahaha

June 27, 2019

yep so far so good - with Wotan - can we change the order - I want to try something - so SATS (just a minute or so now) and then the power walk (stretch and then lift - initially click for stretch and click for lift and when the cues are established then put them together before the click but use a keep going signal) - crunch AFTER we do the power walk - make sense?

Will try, Julie. Better dig out that video of you and Star (or was it Sharney) demonstrating this. Not sure whether we can get this sorted all in one session, haven't tried Power Walk before.

I will send you the link again - I think the power walk may help with crunches without the neck

Oh thank you, saves me a lot of scrolling back

OK so initially we want forward stretch with the pointer and click and treat this - a couple of times - when we are getting the hang of this we want then to use the pointer up towards the SATS mark and as soon as we feel that the shoulders rise we click and treat this - add your cues to each as well and then we begin to put them both together - it will take a couple of days but there should be no extinction bursts when we put them together I hope

OK, as soon as I have digested my brekkie, will go out and give it a go

With or without leadrope in the beginning?

without if you can - I tend to use the leadrope if the grass is more attractive

And the wide angle on the side of arena wasn't such a good idea, as we kept dropping out of the picture. Sorry. This takes a lot of fumbling to get it right...

hahahaha - well we shall see but how did it go?

Not quite as planned, but see yourself.

This is a short one which I took after the first one, and we are trying our hands/hooves on preparing Panther Walk:

Here is my riding vid, maybe interesting for you in the beginning, where I ask Carlotta for a couple of crunches before getting on:

Will post the one with SATS and PW in about an hour, when it's finished.

June 28, 2019

she is still using her neck not as much but she is and allot has to do now with her hinds hanging behind - she does not seem to have good standing posture as an automatic thing, so just remember that her default is not a square posture (like most horses) - have a look at this with the 'order' of what she moves when she crunches - if you like I will slow it down for you (neck leads high - try and crunch for yourself and start the crunch with your neck

I crunch myself, Julie, (um, most of the time), but due to my osteoporosis hunch, it's barely visible.

OK, we need to work on the hind legs now.

Yes, slow motion would be nice.

Sometimes, she does really good ones, lifting her back, but of course, then the camera usually isn't present

Oh, and do you have another possibility (than Microsoft) to send me your draft? I tried to download it yesterday, and of course had difficulties, so called Greg for help. And he grumbled and said he would try from his computer, but haven't heard anything yet.

If you have something I can see directly, that would be great. Would save me to have to deal with an... unwilling husband

Let me know what you want changed for the next session with Wotan. Will try to squeeze one in this arvo, as there is heavy rain on the way, as it seems.

the SATS click is as or as soon as you can after touching the leg - you are leaving the click a little too long and this is shaping whatever is happening to the head. The lift is at the chest not at the neck - but it was only supposed to be very short - a couple stretch click and treat stretch click and treat and when that seems good then we go to the chest, But good click at 5.13 thats what we want - just walk and when she comes ask for stretch down and then click and treat- I can see there were other things happening but you have to try and keep these sessions allot shorter - only a couple of minutes - this as you recall was what got Carlotta motivated (when you kept them short). But you are doing an awful lot of clicking for I am not really sure what - the click tells our horse whatever they did we want them to repeat - so think about what the click is meaning to you when you click for normal things that he really does not need any reinforcement for (e.g. 7.17 ish and then into the 7.30....for touching the wood?) yes good click at 9.05 - the one before that was dicey LOL - we want that head down - 3-4 thats it finish. we need this on cue first - watch you dont become inconsistent here - that click at 9.28 was not warranted (nor 10.05)- the head down and walk is - if you start clicking for something less you will get yourself into a jam. after that you began to really push it - first it was too long, second you changed your cue from walking and stretching the stick out, to you trying to ask him to panther walk and you bent down - a good one at 10.58 - see you changed your cue again but it was a target down - I suspect that if you were speaking about what you were feeling at that moment you would have said you were thinking Wotan follow the target down! thats great - that is your inside voice cue - nothing more, nothing less

no I use microsoft and wont use anything else. I can copy and paste here if that works for you so just a couple SATS and try and click earlier - touch front leg click (FAST) or click when you say front leg - a couple of nice head down ones, on a cue stretch or whatever you prefer and then thats all.

OK but it is just a draft - the idea is whether I have dumbed down the Sarah stuff enough


Using specific movement activities your horse can travel a path of confidence, mastery and proudness. We are not classical trainers and we are not looking for physical perfection in movement, but we do want safe and masterful movement. This movement needs to extrude confidence and pride that causes no harm to our horses, and such that can be used to find courage in the moment if it arises, or pleasure when we are interacting. This is the purpose of this online workshop – to help you teach those movements to your horse.

In order to feel confident and proud our horse must rely on us to listen and act when he or she shows us their emotions. Well one step back from this – our horse must feel he or she can show us their emotions first and they can only do this if they have autonomy. A horse who is not autonomous will often guard themselves and not show their human how they are sensing experiences. Furthermore, with this work we need to be our horse’s secure base which means that he or she must regard us as ‘secure’ and ‘safe’.

Autonomy may mean something different to you than it will to us…and that’s OK. So, let us better explain how we see it;

To feel safe enough in our presence to show us their emotions: It is very important in this work that our horse feels confident to use their body language to communicate with us. If we consistently ‘listen’ to our horse, reading their body language and correcting our path if this is needed, our horse will develop the confidence to communicate with us.

Freedom of choice. Now some folks get a little worried when they hear this; what does this mean? It does NOT mean allowing our horse to run away from their dentals, their veterinarian or their trimmer, or even eat a batch of fresh spring or autumn grass if that could lead to problems. To us it means that in a non-urgent husbandry situation our horse has a choice to participate with us. It is when we give them choices, emotional or physical blocks that our horse had, slowly begin to release.

The right to be independent to experiment as much as possible: In training we do not want to control our horses’ movements through micro shaping if we can help it. Yes, we are clicker trainers, and we use the clicker to help our horse feel confident in his or her choices when experimenting and to let us know what feels good for them. An autonomous horse will show us what they love to do and then we will work on whatever they are showing us and try and shape cleaner movement when needed. This may mean us changing plans and working on something that we did not expect – just go with the flow.

We try and free shape as much as possible. But saying this we will step in at times and guide our horse towards a better carrying posture or teach something that leads to better posture when this is needed. In those times as much as possible we will work at liberty with an open gate that provides our horse the opportunity to leave if he or she desires.

There is an inner voice that warns me to look closely at a horse when someone says ‘we’ work at liberty and our gate is open and if our horse does not want to engage then our horse can just leave. Because this may not always be the case as liberty work may just be work without tack and that is not achieving authentic liberty.

Horses respond to consequences. They learn quickly ‘what happens next’ and they will usually try to be obliging rather than pick a fight with us. So, if our horse leaves us in the liberty area and we ‘force’ our horse to come back, then soon our horse learns if he or she leaves we will apply pressure to make them to stay with us…so they stay. This is not liberty as our intention is not true and our horse has no real choice to leave if he or she desires to. This can also ring true with some movements we see horses perform ‘at liberty’. Was that horse taught with only +R or was the horse taught with -R (pressure and release) and when the movements are complete, we then take off the lead rope of cavesson and add a clicker? This discussion is best left for another day though. What we aim for is +R with autonomy during training and this is what we will be working with during this workshop.

If we respect our horse’s autonomy and freedom of expression our horse will begin to show us how they feel. When this happens, it is our job to notice the tiniest of tries and show our horse we are listening. When we are provided the opportunity to see just how our horse is feeling, it is then our responsibility to help our horse change things if the emotion is negative or work out how to sustain positive emotions.

Why have we created this workshop?

Over recent years we have noticed positive changes in horses (and their humans) who we have had the pleasure to help. We are often asked to help work through fears or anxiety and because of the way in which we currently structure movement tasks with our horses and we have found that horses are using those movements for themselves in times when they feel anxious. In turn they are becoming more masterful and confident. Other horses who do not have any specific anxiety issues become more confident and masterful as well.

So, we set out on a journey to try and understand just how we can reconcile what we were seeing and hearing with the literature. We do believe in Constructional Approach Training for Horses (CAT), but as soon as our horse feels confident enough to approach, we believe that the added extras we now use serve as the ‘missing link’ in our training and interactions with our horses.

What is the missing link?

We did not have allot of success finding the answers to our questions in the equine literature, so we went to the human literature and found a wealth of material that made sense to us. Specifically, we found answers from Stephen Porges (polyvagal theory) and Peter Levine (Somatic Experiencing model of trauma recovery). We then put our learning to the test and Sarah Schlote (who is a Somatic Experiencing practitioner) saw a short video of our interpretation of the literature and created a video series. You can access the series here:

Do pic and have link in pic and videos here

If you managed to get through the videos from Equusoma well done! They are long and the theory is a little dense. We are not seeking here to go over that information in any detail. But rather we want to focus here on why we feel our work contributes to confidence and pride. So, I will highlight some of the important reasons from the literature as to why we do what we do before we get into it:

Horses express themselves through their bodies and we can then interpret our horse’s emotions. There is of course more than one meaning to each piece of language. The best advice we can offer is take what you can away from the literature and blogs that we read but context is important as is your knowledge of your own horse.

This emotional language is controlled primarily by the autonomic nervous system. Importantly, the autonomic nervous system supports our horse in times of both proudness but also in times of anxiety. We want to respect the autonomic nervous system when encouraging our horse to feel masterful in mind, body and soul AND we want our horse to come out ‘at the other end’ of an anxiety experience with no negative residual effects.

The Polyvagal theory

Our journey begins with the polyvagal theory which will help us understand the autonomic nervous system in the context of mastery. Unfortunately, many training systems still advocate for the very outdated two system nervous system model (the sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous systems). But evidence is clear that there are three different energy subsystems that impact the autonomic nervous system:

1. The most primitive system has the job to immobilise; it allows our horse to conserve metabolic functioning and in some cases our horse may even shutdown (freeze) – the target here are the internal organs. It is a branch of the parasympathetic nervous system. This system is also influential when our horse is relaxed, sleeping, and during most body work – what makes these experiences pleasant for our horse is the interaction of the social engagement system.

2. The next in evolutionary development is the sympathetic system and its job is mobilisation and enhanced action (fight or flight) – the target here are the limbs. This system is also mobilises our horse for play and movement – what makes this work pleasant for our horse is the interaction of the social engagement system.

3. The third system (which exists only in mammals) is a branch of the parasympathetic system that activates the Vagus nerve that is related to social engagement and attachment behaviours – this system is linked to cranial nerves that mediate facial expression and vocalisation. It animates unconscious muscles in the throat, face, middle ear, heart and lungs, which together communicate emotions.

The nervous system has defaults that activate from the bottom up. The first system that is likely to activate in times of stress is (1) is a ‘non thinking’ system. It has allot of power and if it takes over the overall functions of our horse it inhibits the social engagement system (3) – we may simply feel ….‘but our horse is not listening to us’; or ‘our horse does not want to engage with us’.

Remember the picture in the video series mapping the changes of nervous system state that Star went through approaching the bareback pad? Let’s revisit this here.

Pic of mapping here

How do we use our knowledge of the nervous system in training?

Noticing a theme? If we can help engage the ventral vagal system (the social engagement system..3) we have the best chance for our horse to feel masterful, proud and confident. For us this means we need to:

a. Respect autonomy

b. Notice, support and respond appropriately to our horse’s body language

c. Create movement activities which our horse enjoys that, along with the clicker, can become assets for our horse to use in times when he or she needs confidence to be motivated to say ‘I CAN do this’. When we are successful, these movement patterns, and our support, influence the social engagement system.

The human literature tells us that when the social engagement system is supressed, a person will have trouble reading positive emotions from others and have little capacity to feel their own levels of positive emotions. Further, being either in (1) or (2) diminishes a person’s capacity to interpret and receive empathy and support. There is safety nowhere to be found. Now there is only antedoctal evidence when it comes to horses, but the original work was on the ‘non-human’ mammal, so there is no reason not to think this applies to horses as well.

What does this mean for our horse? It quite possibly means that when the social engagement (3) is not influencing our horses emotional state, our horse may not ‘hear’ our encouraging words and actions as something positive for them, they may not feel we are a safe place for them. It may not even be possible to experience positive emotions when they hear a click and get a treat in some cases. We believe that there are some specific movement patterns and our support that help us help our horse to ‘lead’ with the social engagement (3) system – and not just in times when they need a little confidence.

If you did not get a chance to view Seth Porges’ review when we mentioned it in the free clicker basics overview. Take some time to watch it now:

What goes up must come down

It is important to say a few words about recovery after being nervous or excited before we move on.

We are not saying that there won’t be times when our horse may become anxious or even overly excited. It happens to all mammals! Our horse’s nervous system needs to recover fully when this happens though, so that equilibrium in their nervous system can be restored.

Often, we do not give our horse the opportunity to completely ‘come down’ from this state. That’s not because we don’t want to, but we probably have previously given these signs a different meaning. Our horse though, will not be comfortable to go through this process unless:

1. Our horse has autonomy 2. Our horse is comfortable to express their emotions 3. We are part of the social engagement system for our horse

The recovery process will begin when our horse releases energy and we see this through calming signs, yawning, jaw stretching and even licking and chewing or even head shaking or body shaking, as examples. And if we support our horse in this state the literature suggests that any stress will reverse. When we don’t facilitate this or ‘flood’ our horse, stress will accumulate, and we will notice that more and more our horse seemingly spooks at every small thing. Our horse becomes a bundle of nerves.

Peter Levine says ‘what goes up must come down’. Giving our horse the time he or she needs here is a very important part of the process if we are using movement to create confidence and pride.

Building blocks

In times of anxiety or in times of pleasurable interactions with our horse, ideally, we would like our horse’s social engagement system (3) to be mediating both relaxation (a little 1) and mobilisation for enhanced action when we are training our horse (a little 2). We will take a moment to explain the building blocks we use to seek to transport our horse and ourselves to this position. These building blocks are based on Levine (2010);

Establish an environment of relative safety.

We are going to be our horses secure base so we must have a calm centred presence but consistently listen and act on what our horse is telling us. We want to help our horse move towards establishing their own mastery for self-empowerment but first confidence in us and then themselves (autonomy is part of this process).

Support the initial exploration and acceptance of sensation. We want our horse to become self-regulating and autonomous. We begin this by supporting our horse’s access to their inner sensations (the autonomic nervous system) and help them tolerate and use their inner sensations, and not be consumed by the consequences that create anxiety.

For example, if we and our horse approach something that may create anxiety, our horse will often stop at a threshold of tolerance (the place where they feel if they go closer it will be too much). At this threshold we need to give our horse time to feel and regulate their nervous system. We are our horses reassuring presence, we are reliable and safe, and we are an essential aid for our horse in this time. These will be in very small steps in many cases. We wait until our horse shows some signs of his or her nervous system is pendulating (coming down) and we will usually see this represented by calming signs.

When we are confident that our horse has completed what he or she needs to do, we can guide our horse into something that is comforting and masterful for our horse. This is where movement will help guide the process.

Restoring active responses through movement

The instinctual movements that were once used for self-protection (legs and movement and eustress) are used for mastery and this empowers our horse by expelling the physical sensation of flight (or defeat) and accessing an active and powerful experience.

Not all movement work is appropriate here – we need movements that have a gentle rhythm and to this end we use posture work; power walks and the Intrinzen inspired panther walk. These movements are purposeful and bring our horses a sense of pride – they use this to better develop their own posture when training with us or interacting with other horses, but in times of anxiety use this also, with our support to give them the courage to say ‘I got this’.


• Activates and coordinates the proprioceptive systems. Awareness is kept ‘online’ by activating the arousal branch of the autonomic nervous system which is the opposite to shut down.

• Creates sensations and feelings which are stored as memories in both the limbic system and the brain stem (where emotions arise in the nervous system).

• Is akin to somatic and proprioceptive awareness that help our horses learn where his or her body is (which, amongst other things helps them on their path to confidence).

• Brings agency, curiosity and power. Some movements helpsour horse go between a small about of anxiety to a feeling of empowerment and mastery – it is like back and forth shifting of attention and this enhances aliveness and deepens relaxation.

If our horse is anxious, these movements will help our horse release what was stuck inside, and feelings of anxiety will and do change to something more positive and empowering. Now we know that horses do not have the language skills or the top down skills to ‘know’ this. But what we can do is help our horse not be afraid of the consequences by changing them for our horse.

What we do is help our horse find the opposite sensation of anxiety through masterful movement in very slow titrated increments. When this happens (slowly and carefully) this powerful and masterful sensation allows a reconnection and according to Levine (2010) the ‘shifting evokes one of the most important reconnections to the body’s innate wisdom: the experience of pendulation, the body’s natural restorative rhythm of contraction and expansion that tells us that whatever is felt is time limited. Pendulation carries all living creatures through difficult sensations and emotions” (pp 79-80) and restores feelings of relief and life flow. The pendulations allow our horse to recover his or her balance and return to life’s engagement. So, it is a natural resilience process that in times of anxiety will get shut down. We will see this as we progress because the dynamics of the actual movements become stronger and more confident. If we are using them to help our horse be confident in a once worrying situation you will see as the confidence grows the actual movement become larger and prouder like. This is a great way to gauge whether the work we are doing is helping our horse become more confident.

In this workshop we will be helping you and your horse master the movements that can help your horse become more masterful confident and proud.

Not convinced that we are a good fit for you?

Now that we have shared our philosophy it is time for you to consider whether we can work together. It is fine if you feel that we are not the best fit for you. There is no shame in following your own principles and we applaud you for this. We have done so in the past; we have left clinics midsession; we have said ‘no’ to instructors and even taken ourselves away from lists and groups if we do not feel we are a good fit. You must do what is right for you and your horse. So no questions asked simply drop us an email and ask for a refund before you click the next button –

June 28, 2019


June 29, 2019

yes fantastic - dont forget to walk on the other side as well LOL but yes no more than this on both sides and then I would give him maybe 2 days of this and then add a little lift after the down - so it would go down (and now get your keep going signal started) and then click and treat - down and then up (now the pointer is at the chest SATS spot) - now if there is not a change nearly immediately and you dont feel a slight shoulder lift - dont leave it there go back to down and begin again (down click treat down , lift)

Where exactly is the SATS spot at the chest? Couldn't really see in in your video.

nothing was happened, so really had to twist my arm to stop, hahaha.

on the chest in between the pectoral muscles - if you thought nothing was happening then what did you click for?

You told me to click when or immediately after I said "front leg", so I did. Correcting myself: when walking, he did lower his head a little bit, so something did happen. ? yes and that was better, but the second video yesterday also saw you click when there was a stretch down - that was where we begin

Yes, he did respond the day before yesterday in the long video, but yesterday, in the very short session, it was less distinct, as it felt to me.

He also had, at times, moved his legs a bit or intended to, but yesterday there was no leg movement at all, when I gave the verbal cue.

verbal cue? for what?

for moving front leg.

Just had another look, and noticed that I was too late with my clicks for him stretching down between 2:00 and 2:30ish.

not sure what you mean to move the front leg? are you speaking about SATS? (if so we are not aiming to move the front leg in SATS it is name only) - if in walk then we are clicking for the head down which you were - initially it wont be allot but it will become more as we shape - 2.30 you were in SATS though. 2.00 you could have clicked but your click was good at 2.18

Yes, SATS. Oooh, I got that wrong then. I thought the horse was supposed to align his feet when we say front leg etc.

Will work more on my timing

not at the beginning - only when we are asking for the crunch LOL - at the present moment (but we can move forward now) it is name only - we then put a purpose to the 'leg' by asking with the crunch - BUT I just want to see if we can get some power walking before the crunch in case this makes the difference with the neck

but it is great you are asking questions but baby steps with him - so next time I reckon a couple of forward stretches and start to see what happens if now and again you ask lift

Ahaaa! Will let you know how it goes.

One of the tasks of guinea pigs is to ask questions, isn't it?

see when we begin with the crunch it will be ask - if nothing ask again and then click and treat the slightest movement with the leg - we only want to associate this with the crunch (or else the panther walk will the same and we want the panther walk to be lift stretch not lift better posture - this is why we use the noodle for the panther walk to discriminate and therefore we dont get extinction bursts (we hope)

YES it is

June 30, 2019

here is an extract (and I did a slow mo at the end) to show what we are looking at in the power walk - this extract is from a classical perspective and what we are doing is using +R and shaping rather than -R pressure and release - also the other difference is that classical seem to say that core work begins with the weight of the inside leg - when we have proven time and time again this can first be achieved through crunches -

Golly Sarah wants me to be a guest speaker at this thing! aghhh I will never get my online course finished. Well this is all experience and the behaviour quals are taking up most of my 'me' time between 1am and 6pm hahahahaha - I guess though that is a days work - I am pushing through the first stage so thats good

Wow! Another big project on your poor back! You are so brave to work yourself through all this! Gold star to you!

Speaking of star: I loved your photos in Human HB. Star is looking wonderful in his Power Walk, and your are so enthusiastic and positive and supportive to him!

Oh why can't you live closer to me!

Still reading my way through your draft. Will take a bit longer. But from what I have read so far, it looks great. And very understandable for dummies

it is fine though as that is what I do for humans and for horses so the stuff I think she wants me to do (she will tell me next week) is really the online stuff I am working on - hahahahaha why cant you live closer to me - but you are getting closer

Oh great - it still needs some work but I am not that worried as it will all fall into place

Climate your end is way too hot for me. I remember my one time I gave a clinic near Byron Bay in November. It was so hot and humid that I spent my whole time either in my friend's swimming pool or with a wet towel draped around my neck during the classes

did that short video make sense to you with the stretch and the lift? it is what we are aiming for - nice walks with +R

yep it gets hot but we are not as humid as Byron

The torrential rain and strong wind finally stopped, so I can do something with the horses again today. After brekkie

hahahaha - It is nearly my lunch time! I was late today a 2am start

Yes, makes sense. Unfortunately I lost the sound halfway through, so have to sort that out and watch again.

OMG, 2 am!

no the slow mo has no sound (the end)

Aaah, that's why!

hahaha - yes it is just a little bit of one of Bents videos but thats not Bent - that was a squire test

Bent? Bent Branderup? yep I know what he looks like from his books and videos

hahaha yep we all cannot mistake Bent His moustache is very recognisable, haha. yep (same as you cannot mistake his voice)

Will bring Carlotta in and try a few crunches today, maybe one day she will work it out with the neck, despite all my efforts to be in her way, hehehe.

just remember not to click the neck ask again in a different way - maybe say to yourself - I will try and make it clearer for you.....then ask for something proud -whatever she wants to do and then ask again

Yes, will do that, thank you.

think about using the pointer maybe at her chest between the pecs

it is good to see different ways of coping with the neck as every human and horse is different and also too we have different reinforcement histories we have to take into account to make sure there is no extinction

That used to work very well in the past, but you somehow told me not to do it at that time, so I dropped it, obedient as I am (at times)

no there was a reason why but I cannot remember - it is not what I would want to use initially as we really are owning that movement but we do have to revisit and then I need to think about what it was now hahahaha

I am getting over 'owning' movement to be honest the more I am doing this stuff with Sarah - owning the nervous system is becoming more of a priority to me

well if we can help him with resilience then he is going to be better for it

June 30, 2019

Carlotta this morning. I should have stopped after the first two clicks...

hahaha she did some good lifts - but she goes back too much before up - maybe that is what you are left with for the moment as what she wants to do is to bend her hocks and not lift the shoulders - I will slow those couple down - I think that this is why I wanted not to use under the chest with her because of the thought this puts in her head - not to raise the shoulders but rather to go back and bend rather that up and then back (a little but leave the bending to movement). Maybe accept this for the time being - let me see what she is doing in slow mo


Interesting, Julie, that shines a new light on it. Her shifting back is not limited to when I use the pointer to her chest, she does it more or less pretty often. But at least she now arches her neck and makes the muscles of her back work very clearly in a (moderate at this stage) lift.

I could really slap myself that, at least once in each session, I accidentally click when she uses her neck a bit. grrrrrr

After-thought: maybe she thinks she is supposed to do this, as I had taught her to rock her weight back quite some years ago.

you will get it if it is reinforced and it is so entrenched it would be hard to stop it, just need to try and adjust

With Wotan the stretch is good, but you are drilling - a couple and then move on - you can see actually that when you stop there is a lift - so take advantage of this and move on (and to the other side) so stretch (on cue with your voice as well - the wind is too loud to hear) and then lift but keep walking and when there is a lift and a walk and no hesitation to walk after a 'lift' - at the shoulders click and treat - dont be afraid to move forward we dont want something perfect before we do - we want only to plant the seeds and the work you do grows those seeds

I will get the slow mo for you when I can later today - the question I am doing at the moment for submission is more complicated than I expected

Thank you for taking the time to help me with Carlotta and Wotan in between all the work you have. Yes, the slowmo makes it very clear that she shifts her weight a lot and bends her hocks. Eeeks!

I aked her this morning after riding (once unsaddles). Trying to make a little routine now of asking for 1 or 2 crunches at such occasions, and it is starting to become old hat a bit already after 3 days of it. I unclip the leadrope, walk a few steps away then stop and ask for crunch. Today she organised her legs very nicely, then crunched. Looked goo to me, but I might have to get it on video too. I try to click before she shifts back. Tricky

For Wotan: yes, I should have stopped a lot earlier - mea culpa! He is so eager to play

OK, will keep that in mind with carry on walking. Will try today.

yes the lean back is still not what I would want from an academic perspective if this was what you wanted to encourage - It is the lifting of the shoulders that she is not starting with maybe leave it for a while and see what we can do with a lift in the walk?

Good idea. Will get her started on this too.

Horrible weather again. Did something a bit creative though: Took vids of all three horses with the same task - three completely different characters

Wotan's 3rd session with PW, and getting the hang of it quite nicely.

Carlotta's first try, at first at liberty, then with lead rope (didn't want to spend ages in that freezing cold wind ). She respended nicely, but always threw her experienced stuff in. Cute

Valeta: completely brand-new to this, so she had to figure out first what that pointer meant. And did her darn nippy stuff all the time, then got p*ssed off when I told her I didn't like it. But apart from that, very fast learner and very interested in the task.

Uploaing them now, so you can have a look tomorrow, if you have time Nighty-night!

sounds great!

It was fascinating, Julie.

The one with Valeta is already done. She is one cheeky little so-and-so!

Wotan: Sorry, camera was too close.

Carlotta: and

with Valeta she needs to understand the click and treat relationship better - if you dont spend the time with this first you are going to get some aggression - at the moment there is only a little nipping as she is not sure when the treat is coming. You also need to really watch your treat delivery - you cannot have the horse come to the treat - you must take the treat to the horse - it is easy when we have an old hand at it and their manners are great but Valeta has to learn them and I would be spending more time in getting that click and treat relationship first and then emotional control - it is too hard to ask a young horse to do it all at once (without helping her develop emotional control). So she shows you autonomy and then you chase her away - OK so the best thing is to work out what you want to do and how you will respond in these circumstances - yes it was a shock but it is more an indication that she has little emotional control and that is normal at her age. Now you are doing allot of pushing her away - I do not personally recommend clicker training this way as we are blending positive and negative states - we then get frustration and aggression eventually - if this were me I would be taking the time it takes to build up a clicker relationship and emotional control - it wont take long but it should be done.

Wotan looks good - one thing you need to remember is that a click stops the behaviour (in normal use) so when you click you need to stop and then treat - the down up is really getting good - try and be a little further to the side away now (and position yourself more to the shoulder) and allow a little more autonomy - also I would now always string the two together ...are you using your voice cues? when you can consistently tidy up your treat delivery (by stopping to treat) and the up down is consistent at different intervals I reckon we should now see if we can relate it to a crunch

Carlotta the first short one - you are chasing her again? Can you have a look at this one again and really compare you (not the horses) to the earlier two? Can you see that the other horses seem to have some autonomy and you take cues off them - but with Carlotta you want her to take the cues off you - in the sense that you went there with the intention of a power walk and you were going to do this regardless of the fact that she walked away with her ears pretty flat - I also felt that your energy was different for her - and this is more interesting to me - you 'feel' less determined with the others and more prepared to see what they can do - whereas here you feel more determined to do this regardless of what she does this resonate with you? I believe that the wind is not a distraction in the sense we usually mean it - I thought it was but there is another explanation and that is that she is taking her mind off the pressure she feels - it is her chance for a break - so to test this I would walk away and err on the side of the coin that tells me she is screaming at me - wait for her to come to me and then see what she wants to do. I think though you have the lift nice at the end - and as you are more at her shoulder you are able to get that lift square (rather than the pointer being across the chest)

the next one - can you see that you actually pull her to begin to walk with you? and when she uses the wind as reason to stop and take stock you are nagging her LOL - I thought she actually did better at the end of the first one - I dont think it was because the lead was on but rather than it is an added tool for you - you are not watching her feet when you ask for the 'tiny' lift at first hahahahaha - OK so at the end we can see why she is doing what she is because of the cues that had been learnt before and now the touching of the withers has now attached itself to what she thinks you want - you cant keep asking for this unless this is what you want ( I dont as I can imagine how her neck and spine is straining). My gut feeling is to turn this into a cue for are you ready - lets go....let me think on it - the other thing could be when she does this to ask her to look down towards the pointer and when she releases her neck click and treat .. what do you think?

All so true, Julie. I got the feeling with Carlotta that I did it wrong at the moment it happened. I really shouldn't do things with her unless I am prepared to wait for her.

Valeta: Yes, definitely I need to revisit table manners with clicker training. She used to be pretty good, but I became slack and didn't give her enough attention. I think she sensed this and is making her point about it!

Yes, I do need to spend that time with her, helping her to gain emotional control. Never good to overlook that kind of stuff happening. All my fault.

it is all experience and sometimes we dont see it until the video. see Stars training wheels came off today

July 1, 2019

Well, yes, I felt the need to send her away. I definitely do NOT want any of my horses rearing up right behind my back and striking out at me. I always had the feeling that I would have to pay much more attention to her attitude than for the others, and this told me I was right. If this is her autonomy, then no, I can't give her that. But I think she will eventually understand that she need to keep some distance when she was to have that sort of fun games. In which case I would be happy with it. Maybe some protected contact work. Difficult, as there is not much room behind the arena fence. it was not autonomy in the strict sense, she was trying to come up and she just wanted to play - it is our job to have the eyes at the back of the head LOL - it happens but you are equating human emotions and a sense of value to what she was thinking - she and horses do not think like that I do not see that she needs protected contact - it was the only real animated thing she did on her own - she needs to be guided yes but thats our job not hers to know this. I really feel that protected contact for her and you as a team would not work at the moment - but if you wanted to you just make one inside the arena - you dont need much room

Maybe not, but it didn't feel safe.

Star: FA-BU-LOUS!!

And he seems comfy with the pad on his back. He was the one with the big issues about it, right?

His PW looks a lot like Carlotta's when I ride her. Soo keen and concentrated on the task. She gave me a lot of it this morning. Also some crunches (unrequested) at stand-still. I only said good girl, as she was using her neck a bit. I think she uses it to simmer down after difficult tasks, like our work with walk-canter-walk transitions every 3 steps.

For the attempts to lift her chest/shoulders, today I tried something new: apart from touching chest and saying lift, I also touched her back with the pointer. After one or two tries, I saw her back muscles twitch upwards slightly.

OK, will get back to this later. Must walk the dogs now, before we leave. yes he is scared of anything on his back - this is not his true PW - but we are getting there - the idea is that the more confident he gets the better it becomes - her back with the pointer? where on her back?

In the middle of the spine. You will see it in today's vids.

Wotan was great - nice a calm also - I dont think you need to do SATS anymore except when you need to with the crunches - so with the power walk when we are 'up' extend this for a longer time and I would start crunching - I would use the wood from the labyrinth behind his back feet - now dont get greedy and at first we will be clicking every muscle movement and it wont look like a crunch

what do you mean by 'middle of the spine'?

with Valeta, so you want her to look away when you click? thats your choice - it is not something I do anymore but allot of people do it and it is popular. I personally just want them to be quiet and wait for the treat to come to them when I click. But it is whatever you are comfortable with - to me it is more about the psychology of looking away and 'working away' from me

hahahaha you cant help yourself - at 1.24 you are walking towards her - all the area and space you have and you gave up waiting hahahahahaha but she comes to you nice but you ignore here and then she ignores you - if you feel her coming turn to her, praise, click and treat if you like (if it is with energy) but dont ignore her effort. Can you sit on the trampoline and read a book or do something on it to get your mind off her? it felt that you were still present with her when you were waiting? maybe you were not? when she comes to you at the 3.30 mark do something with her - she was waiting for a click and treat and it is fine you dont give her one then but do something simple so she can earn a click and treat. I would have made a big deal about the next approach - dont forget we have a social engagement system and use it - yes Carlotta well done ...lets do...and then do something. The nice thing here was that she clearly thought she was going to be ridden and she came to you. So my question to you is - did she come because she knew she had a choice? Her walk was great and now with that panther walk lets elevate this even more and stop it being so dainty - so yes yes yes when she steps and even use the noodle to get a bigger lift from her (more like she is under saddle) - really pick up some energy just for a minute or so - we want her time here to be fun for her (not work). I wish I could have seen that crunch at 4.50 it looked good? Be careful how you use the noodle at the chest - it is not a 'barrier' and the sheer awkwardness of these makes them so hahahaha but she looks good - how did she feel to you? I was a shorter time for her to come back the second time - was that your big fuss at 7.00 hahahahaha - allot less neck at 7.14, good click for her leg then I would have also clicked that. I am not sure about the one you clicked after that with the noodle on the spine (OK now I see what you mean) - she did use her neck allot and with her the focus needs to be on the neck - so carrying on from that crunch after she poofs up then ask her to look in the direction of the noddle which is down in line with her chest and then click - now we are clicking after we loose the poof of the crunch but if you can get consistent at this soon she will put her head back in anticipation of the click and before you click you ask for the crunch again make sense? I have been thinking about it and I keep coming back to doing it this way (which I have done for someone before) sorry Carlotta was the last comment

Woohoo, a lot to process. OK, will see how we go with Wotan. I am not doing anything with them today, as it is so late already and yesterday it was quite dark too, so the two Darkies were difficult to see in all that.

I was quite happy with all three actually. Wotan is such a nice little guy, and seems to gain some confidence in me now. There were a few worrying things during the session, but he settled down nicely and fairly quickly.

I tried not to push Valeta back anymore, but instead just turn my upper body away when she tried to nip me, which worked pretty well, I feel. The background story is that her sire (despite being a great little horse and very willing in general) has heavily crowded his owner and also Chris several times, knocking Margaret over in the process and trying to bite Chris in such an "attack". And I can see a certain tendency in Valeta which I don't want to develop of course. So thinking a lot about what approach to take. Currently re-reading Mark Rashid's "Horses never lie" and wondering how he would handle the situation....

I briefly went behind the fence, as you saw, but thought that she was pretty good, so climbed back in with her. I found her less nippy yesterday than usual. I am bering in mind that she is at a difficult age right now. Anyway, we will see.

Yeah, Carlotta.... She was so "absent" for so long that I was about to give up, when she suddenly started walking over to me. You say I missed her first approach. Dang!

Oh yes, can see it. Didn't watch the video before, just sent it to you. Yes, definitely, I should have rewardeded her there.

For the lining up at the pedestal: she lines up for me each time I get on and off her. I was just curious to see what she would do when I just went up there and did nothing and she was relatively far away. Found if very nice how she decided to come and line up herself.

It all felt very good all-in-all, and she did a couple of really nice crunches. Pity it was so dark already, so can't be really seen in the video. When I touched her spine with the noodle, she thought about it, then lifted her back a bit to meet it, which I had hoped for. OK, she used her neck the second time, but she still lifted her back. But if you think it's counter-productive, I can drop that exercise.

Not sure whether I understand correctly what you say at the end, but will try to work it out

This morning's ride was great. I worked on getting lighter for my leg cue for half-pass (she had difficulties with this lately), as I noticed that I put on a lot of leg (for my standards). So today I tried to do it differently and with a feather-light leg on and off. Worked nicely! Also worked on soft stops. She has gone into a routine of (a bit nervously, as it feels) starting into PW when I ask her to stop. Before Intrinzen, all I had to do was tilt my pelvis a bit and she would stop on this, without reins, but this is gone. So we worked on stops today. Got some nice results. Asked her to stand still for a while (like a minute or so), with reins loose. Which she did, but several times, she started to offer crunches while standing still (I didn't ask for them, of course). The first two or three felt great - no neck and lifting herself up beautifully. The following ones she was using her neck again a bit, so I only said good girl and didn't click and treat. She is so sweet and willing to work for me, even if it is hard at times.

OK so with Valeta - you are going to get yourself into a jam again if you use -R and +R which effectively you are doing now but mild - I dont condone it as it creates frustration. that book and how mark felt at the time is full of -R as that is who he is - is he better at it and less forceful than some? yes he is but it is still all -R (he does though choose to wait for the horses and activates their SEEKING system). I have no seen any evidence of aggression but if you expect that it will happen then it is going to and nothing is going to change your mind about the cause of it - crowding and nipping is what you expect and this is what you will get - these are not heredity behaviours - they are not traits they are behaviours and they cannot be inherited. My question was did you want her to look away before you treat? and if this is a yes and you are saying you are doing that for this reason - OK as allot of people do - I dont like it and I dont now use it at all for anyone. Proper treat delivery and even asking for a gentle step back as you are treating would be preferable

I am not sure about the noodle on the back - I do use the pointer on the back in Panther walk to get a bigger lift so thats the same thing but the noddle is so large and you have no way of being free enough to bring attention to her neck

thats great about the feather light leg with Carlotta, she would really appreciate it. Yes I suspect cues were mixed up with the panther walk under saddle as you were clicking this and she then realised the cue for stop is now something different. If the neck comes after a couple just do one and dont try for a second one for a while

July 2, 2019

About Valeta: I have been giving it a lot of thoughts these last days, due to what you have been saying to me and due to Mark Rashid's book. I had attended two clinics he held in South Australia some 20 years ago and was impressed with his gentleness and positive attitude. Yes, he uses exclusively -R, but in a masterful way. And he didn't mind I use CT during the clinics. I don't share your opinion that you can't mix -R and CT really. That's what I do during riding, and it always seemed to work well. But that's just a side note. What I wanted to talk about is that I have come to the same conclusion, i.e. that my attitude towards Valeta is wrong and sets her up for that behaviour. So I decided not to get annoyed anymore when she nipped in my direction, but instead stood there calmly with only slightly raising my palm if really necessary. Also made soft eyes, slowed myself down inside and gently talked to her. Softly stroked her neck a bit and praised her when she stood still and polite. Has made some change already!

It was only in the paddock, so we will see how we go when in the arena next time. But I am determined to be positive. She might have sensed that all my love and pride are on Carlotta, and that she and Wotan are sortof additions. Will try to change this.

About looking away before treat delivery: that is the way I had learned it long ago from Alex, so have used it since without giving it any further thought. Now that Valeta has it in her system, I don't think she will abandon it, what do you think? I don't mind if she just holds her head straight or steps back a step or two (which she has done a couple of times in the vid, and I rewarded it), as long as she is polite. Will see what we can do to change it to just waiting politely.

All good advice for Carlotta, about doing only one etc. Will try. Something interesting happened again. Yesterday, while I was finishing my saddling (taking stirrups down, putting chaps on etc), she suddenly started doing crunches. Big praise, of course, as the first ones looked good. She also is starting to rearrange her feet by herself now and stand square. She did the same this morning after the ride, crunched a couple of times while I was busy with something else nearby. Got lots of hurrays and cuddles

Yes, you are right, she must be confused about the cues for stopping and PW. I worked a bit on it this morning, but I think she had some little problems, as she was a bit unwillig to do canter transitions (she was very good with canter-walk though), and seemed to have difficulties holding the canter. Then went into a PW and it felt very weird - she kinda stomped her feet while doing it. So I thought: OK, you want to stop, let's stop then, and she happily walked to the exit.

I dont think your attitude is wrong - I feel that you have your own boundaries and you draw a line as to when they are crossed - there is nothing wrong with that - we just all have different yard sticks. You have to ask yourself though when you actually do chastise her - (in your mind, by your actions or even walking away) what are you doing - in some cases it is actually punishment and mixing this with +R confuses and frustrates the horse no end (not to mention that what our horse does is just a reflection on what their nervous system, hormones and emotions are doing at that time). I personally have only one rule about treat delivery and that is I come to the horse (hard with the damm liquid though LOL) - I have long got out of the turn the head away as it has a connotation in the nervous system that I dont want around - I do not have any problem with asking for a step back to treat - so click - start to take the treat to the horses chest - as you are doing this take one step forward and then stretch your arm our and treat - There is also no reason why the two cannot be combined (feed straight and step back) - depending on what is happening as sometimes it is inconvenient to walk around and step forward.

July 3, 2019

This morning, under unsaddling, I every so softly put my finger tip on her spine, and she immediately lifted her back!

Yes I think personally at the moment just take the crunches when Carlotta offers them - if you need to adjust then do so with making sure the neck is out but dont go to any effort for a while to cue them maybe?

OK, will do.

hahahaha stomping the feet louder than usual could also be dragging the hind legs a little or not engaging the core - or LOL frustration! - I was experimenting with them both this morning and in the Panther walk I brought my pointer to the wither and said lift and they seemed to really get this cue

It clearly felt like frustration.

yep they do it

So, for Valeta: what do I do when she starts nipping? I am very aware that walking away is -P, so you think this is inappropriate as it sounds?

And yes, I could use asking a step back with my body languate then feed her with extended arm in that position. Maybe it will wipe out the turning away of the head? Good idea to give it a go. I never asked for this really, but just rewarded her own occasional offers.

Carlotta: the reason why I started experimenting with a slight touch on the spine was this might get her to think about lifting her back which didn't seem to happen before (much). Maybe not a good idea, or maybe it is one? As you can see, I love to experiment myself and try out things

punishment is never the answer - and the thing is the nipping is not something she is doing because she can - it is the combination of hormones and neurotransmitters that are going on - so we need to understand why her body is doing this - it is mostly because of frustration or a little lack of emotional control - first we have to make sure it is not confusion because of the turning of the head (BTW Alex does not do that anymore) - so try the arm ourstretched - but remember that this is treat delivery - it is not an 'excuse' to teach something. try for more clearer signals and click more often and also perhaps a little more in the treat when you give it to her - keep it very short so we dont set her up for failure

no the touching of the spine if it works then great - but add a voice cue as when you are on her back it cant be done - I think there are so many things that can resonate with each horse - the more the experiments happen the more repertoire we have

OK, will try. I think it's quite some lack of emotional control, as she is such a super-intelligent, exuberant little thing, also an anticipator, like Carlotta.

the way to circumvent issues as to emotional control is to make the task harder. like ADD

July 4, 2019

but she is also young and she is still finding her way around the clicker

Thing is I need to get emotional control from her, be it only to have less stressful feet trimming session, which have been quite a pain up to now. Thankgod, Silke is so calm and patient, so things are slowly improving. I tried various approaches, like holding her on the halter (which went into wrestling), or rapid-firing clicking, which turned into gimme-gimme-gimme, then talking to her calmly and only take hold of the halter when she started nipping and only clicking when the foot was set down.

Maybe I should do what I did in the early learning phase, i.e. just pick up her feet at liberty in the paddock when I go near her.

Hm, not really sure what you mean by the above to circumvent issues by ADDing? Woops, aren't we jumping back and forth between horses?

emotional control is learned we are not born with it and things happen in their lives where this can actually be damaged. So yes if you have feet issues and it is just about her fiddling I would do SATS but onto the next bit - I will find a video I did ages ago with Sharney when I was teaching her to be less anxious when her feet were lifted

not adding - making a task harder so they have to think about it - but the feet and counting will be a good task for this in any event

I am speaking about Valeta

Touching spine: Should I use the same lifting cue for chest (shoulders) and spine, or rather diffeent ones?

if the aim is a lift then the same one When she does PW under saddle and use the verbal cue "lift" (combined with pointing whip forward), I have the distinct feeling she is lifting herself up, so sortof knows it already

Ah good, great.

I don't think Valeta is anxious about having her feet picked up and worked on, it's just that she always is mouthy when people are nearby and fumbles and fumbles. sigh

And it has a tendency to turn into nipping. She reminds me of young stallion colts in this. And I remember her mum's temper tantrums when she didn't like something.

yes if you feel her shoulders lift then encourage the core lift and great - If Valeta is mouthy when people are nearby then she is showing she has some anxiety - she cannot come down from it - so all social engagement and 'routines' will also help her and allow her the time to come down in her nervous system - she needs confidence that nothing is going to happen and she can control her own nervous system - so I would try the SATS with the feet - start small - I am going to count 1,2,3 and then we will put your foot down...are you ready - OK lets go

July 4, 2019

Love the video. The xxx, and your voice gets quite energetic at times, hahaha. We introduced Carlotta and Valeta to the hoof stand too (as Silke uses the same one), and it went very quickly for Carlotta. Valeta is still struggling a bit with it, but after all, Silke has only been here for 4 times up to now, so it will happen.

So, for the SATS with the feet: do you mean I say "front leg" then pick it up and count 1,2,3, then set it down?

yes it is always about energy I dont want them falling asleep - it is not a massage - it is hard work when a horse is in fear to have this happen so the social engagement system has to be full on

it is the next bit of SATS - it goes like this - I am going to pick your foot up for 3 seconds, now I am going to count 3 seconds and then put it down - are you ready? OK lets go 1,2,3, great! click and then treat

Will go out now and give it a go and take vid.

Ahaa, I just talk (or think about) what I am going to do and thus communicate it to her. Now, I must scroll back and find your instructions for next step with Wotan .

now the SATS training had us saying all this out loud - your call but actually saying it out loud does help US as we have a beginning, middle and end - there is no room for uncertainty or 'adding' more because we can

I think it was do a little bit mor PW then try a beginning of crunch. Makes sense!

Wotan was great - nice a calm also - I dont think you need to do SATS anymore except when you need to with the crunches - so with the power walk when we are 'up' extend this for a longer time and I would start crunching - I would use the wood from the labyrinth behind his back feet - now dont get greedy and at first we will be clicking every muscle movement and it wont look like a crunch

Goody, thanks.

you dont have to use the hoof jack yet - just play around with it for a day or so - slowly extending the time say 3, 5, 8, , 3, 5....always go back to a smaller interval after we take a big leap

July 5, 2019

So, here is Valeta:

Didn't all go to plan, as we had a bit of difficulty with the shifting back for food delivery. And she had locked stifles, which didn't help. She has that at times, like her mum when she was young. Quite common in young PFs.

Don't you think she looks calmer and more polite already?

She was still eager to play after this, so I got the mat and we had a bit of fun with it:

Wotan a bit of PW, then first attempt of crunches:

I also have one of Carlotta, but it is blurry, so maybe not even worth sending it to you for a quick look before I delete it?

No if you can see anything with Carlotta send it - will look at them in the am - you have me excited to see Valeta calm

Just checked the Carlotta video. I thought she was doing lovely efforts, but in the end, she might be using her neck too much. Anyway, here it is:

The "usabele" parts start around 5.00 I am a bit worried what you will say about Wotan's crunch attempt! Hope I didn't mess things up!

when you pick up the feet it is 1,2,3, click treat (and I would not pick them up that high as she was thrown off balance and we are trying to set her up for success (maybe you did click I could not hear it) - with the treat delivery - you are waiting for her to follow you - you are saying here is the treat and you just take a step forward and then turn your hand over and open it up for the treat (she will learn to go and get it). But yes she was good with the delivery - I suspect that you wont need to do the back but be consistent with facing forward and taking the treat to her - a few days and the nippiness may go. You dont fight with her if she wont lift - you say to yourself well this leg is for 1 count and we will build up to ..... but you are lifting them that high she is so off balance and that may be part of the reason she worries about her feet - especially the back ones .....does your trimmer lift them that high to trim?

I also think though if she is not really capable of feeling comfortable backing up then what you did today was good and I am sure that will be enough soon The power walk is getting good with Wotan - I would be really powering this up now and just do a little and then get into the crunches. Can you also see how much more observant he is with the click than Valeta - she will get there soon too. Yeah with the crunches this is pretty good, you are clicking for small muscle movements and thats what we want. I would not worry too much about the standing posture until he knows what we are asking for - but this is a really good start - this may be a keeper video for me! now dont rush this but we dont want to stay at this level for long - a couple of days and also add your voice cue and body cues now as well and we need to ask for more shortly

it is so funny that Carlotta always makes it hard LOL - Star was like this too - but he now is such a different horse and this has been way after intrinzen (although that did help) but it was after he finally was able to release his nervous system energy. Now when she did come to you and you clicked and treated I think you made a fuss - but think about just staying there and giving her a big rub and just being with her enjoying her company - and honestly I would stop and leave it at that for a couple of sessions - truly it would make a huge difference to her if you could stay with her and let her release her energy - see she would have some because she did not immediately go with you (she may have released on her way over to you but we dont know till we check - and you were too quick off the mark to do something after your click and treat - I am not sure but that is what my gut is telling me as I watch the blurs. And then when you both do something it is nice and with allot of power - I would focus on short powerful fun sessions (and again me??? I would have made that panther walk into a more energy filled walk and finished off)..... what was the click at 3.58 for? 4.23 CLICK YES - the next one was neck - and the next one was actually when you touched her back Yeah I think the pointer to have her focus in front is better 5.20 nope she is using her neck - if when you asked for this one you then put the pointer down a little so she could follow it down a little and then click it would work better. I am not sure about letting her do all this stuff at the end as each thing she tried she used her neck - I would take advantage of these times and maybe ask for her to follow the pointer down as she did one of the tricks and click that

July 6, 2019

Much food for thought, yet again. Yes, will try that with Carlotta today. And then later work on the neck problem, yet again....

So, you didn't mind Wotan shifting his weight back when he offered his first attempt of crunch?

Double-checking for Valeta: Yes, I definitely got her off balance by lifting the foot too high. She showed willingness to shift her weight off the required foot at times, so I should be more acknowledging for this.

Are you saying that I should preferably face her when handing out the treat? And stay more in place, not so much bringing my hand back to let her follow it? Will give this a try today.

there was one where he shifted and you clicked but the second one was allot better - I want muscle movements so if you keep clicking for back and not up thats what you will get. The way you treated Valeta was fine I thought - you were treating more when her head was flush - if you are going to use the 'back' yes you need to face her

Thanks, Julie Got my sessions done for today, uploading now. Whew, that one with Carlotta was Haaard! Doing nothing, that is!


When Wotan offered these two first crunch attempts, I got so enthusiastic that I wanted to reward him for it, even though there was a little shift backwards. Felt so great that he had figured it out already. Would you not have clicked there?

When riding Lotta this morning, I decided to focus on something very simple, which is in fact pretty difficult for her at this stage: walk-halt transitions and standing still. Sometimes she was able to do it (on a brief, light cue from me), at other times she felt she needed to break into a PW. So I had to ask again and click any half-happening beginning of stop, which did the trick for now. We worked on it for about 5 or 6 minutes and when she gave me a fairly good prompt stop, I quit for the day.

I really dont thing the panther walk can be changed to be called the tiger walk LOL - I will work that out with Sarah when the time comes as I think there is a way to turn it into a 'tiger walk' - but the panther walk (even though it is a spanish walk down the old fashion way - I wish I could get some old documentation - I thought I found it from a site in France but the documentation was not clear - I am SURE that those who used the spanish walk all those centuries ago actually did it the way we do a panther walk....wish I could find something), but the panther walk is not mine to change....and remember Kathy's IG is pantherflows. Now with Wotan he has not learnt the basics of this so I think first it is too early to be using a cue that is meaningless to him so that when you eventually use it it will already be dulled down and you would need to develop a new cue when the time came - also remember that the way you are using your legs is not a panther walk as they are not being thrown out to increase the space under your knee. So be careful when you use this cue - you may not know you are doing it but as you went on it became more like how you cue Carlotta for Panther walk. I am a little puzzled as to what you were clicking for in the walk - I could see the head down and that was good - but the lifting got a little lost for me - it looked more like you were using a panther walk cue and he was walking - nicely though. The idea of the lifting in a power walk is to lift from the stretch down and really raise the shoulders and hopefully take the weight back - so shoulders lead the weight shift - (at least that was my vision). With the stretch down now try and really elongate the back to get that nice stretch through the spine and then slowly coil up to get the lift - so if you were riding it would be stretch and lengthen and then pick up the rein. your hand is too far down his back when you bring attention to it - that will encourage the back (especially when our hand rubs back) focus on the wither area and also the shoulders. Yes that was great the second click - so lets try and take the neck out straight away - so when he does this take the pointer down or out a little to draw his attention to it then click. Yes the 6.35 click was good - you clicked before the head was used too much and you can see that he was looking at the pointer as you were asking - and the reason was that the pointer was near the chest - so keep that in mind - it is a good one to compare to the one before and the differences in head carriage. So yes I would have clicked where you did but I would not want to ignore the neck now - I know what intrinzen say but as you know it is a hard thing to fix - I had to fix it and I was lucky that it worked.

Now when Valeta does come face on and her nose is out for the treat be careful of your click timing - we dont want to click the nose out for a treat (it happened at 2.03 as well). See we need to encourage all the time not only good posture but a good 'mindset' around the treats for manners. I am not saying that this is bad behaviour it is not but it is stalking posture - for me this means that her mind is on the treat - so we dont want to click for these emotions. try not to click for her coming towards you - there is nothing special in this for her as she always will - so we dont usually want to rely on the click for 'normal' things that our horse does. In manners games more than anything we are trying to set our horse up for emotional success. So we dont want at any stage (if we can help it) to mark stuff that may suggest she is not in control. She is very busy with her mouth I am thinking maybe a little targeting might be good for her emotional control - the idea would be that she touches the target (on cue touch) but not bites the target - she would only get a click for touching not biting? Also keeping her nose on a stationary target? I saw you squeeze her hock to lift the back leg and she moved because of this (reflex or -R) and then you clicked - I would not advise this but I understand you had a different view - however do not do SATS this way or name and explain (the next SATS move) - because it cannot succeed unless the will and power is in the horse - if we want to bring attention to the leg we are asking to lift then we can touch it and say 'lift' (as the cues do get established really easily). Now 2.16 was a good lift but it was too long - see how she struggled with it (but she was clicked) - so for her now that we have seen she is still off balance with the leg at this height (this is a good height), I reckon we need to start at the count of two - and try very hard to wait for her to give you her leg rather than you take it (there was not squeeze on this leg though). Also think about her balance before you ask - are we setting our horse up for success? she is so off balanced in her posture here that any horse would struggle to be on three feet - ask for a better posture first and then click that and then bend down and ask - see this is all setting her up for what is to come - so if we were trimming her we would want her to 'stand' better first yes?

with Carlotta - OK so that was 8 minutes of your life - but it is worth it - so here's the thing - we want her to enjoy coming to you and feel proud and majestic - but for the first approach you click and treat and really do not acknowledge her other than this- you can do this with the others - so make a big deal about it - help her feel proud - I dont see the rubbing you are doing is really doing it for her - if you have to rub is there a spot she loves? the way I would handle this (at least with Star this is how I did it) - waited (believe me it was allot longer than 8 minutes) - made a HUGE fuss (like you hear on the videos with the pad) and then engaged in something that he loves and then stopped - we have finish cues (which are treats in their feedbins so that happens) - the time got shorter between each day and we (I think) were about 2 minutes by the third day and then after that as he started to come to me straight away I would still make a fuss but encouraged the coming to me at a pace and then clicked for that. See the touching you were doing was not really what she enjoyed and do we know if there was any energy to release? I am not sure - but we need to see - so a little rub at her favourite spot for a couple of seconds - then see if she needs to release anything and then do something fun for her and finish it up. See the second approach at 11.22 she was actually releasing energy and that was a better approach and you were more joyous on that one also - feel the gratitude that she is coming to you - it has to begin from within. Trust me this wont go on forever but the reciprocal feelings from you need to be joyous and grateful. The patting is probably not the best option unless she enjoys it - I just cant see she wants this - I would wait after the first treat to make sure there is nothing more to release and then see if she wants to do something with energy (yes play god forbid) and then stop - but you are getting allot better about being patient - but I still 'feel' your frustration - this is why I suggested you bring something with you so that you can amuse yourself (rather than think about waiting) -

With the walk halt transitions remember that the halt has the crunch to finish it off - think about whether the panther walk in this case is actually her trying to get some pride going and she is saying I need the get the courage - yes I can try - so rather than stop her doing this (which if I am correct we are doing the opposite to what we are doing with Sarah) - let her panther walk and 'yes you can do this yes' now whoa and crunch at the whoa - this is a walk halt - then we tweak it to leave the panther walk out?

although I have some of the more relevant research noted in the new clicker series DVDs - this one was not published at the time of finishing it - the difference in this piece of research is that they added the voice to the actual 'face' of the human (in research up to this time it was showing human faces with expressions of emotions)

this is important to me as it opens the social engagement door of the ventral vagal circuit - I am certain that we must match the voice to our heart or they know we are full of shit and we are just after something from 'them' rather than being 'as one' - it goes against everything we know I know all this but I can feel the difference in my horses and I know you can too. Test it for yourself

Will read and comment tomorrow.

Here today's proceeds:

With Wotan really I would pretty well say the same thing as yesterday but I can see that you had yet to read them before you videoed - it is too early for the panther walk I feel - and it should be done with the noodle as you need to get the legs stretched out (Carlotta does not often stretch to the point where she really lengthens the spot behind the elbow) - now it is good that the crunches are forming, here though more today than yesterday you have to be careful of the neck - and use the pointer - I can see you started to do this but it often is easier to ask for the crunch and then ask them to look towards the pointer and then click - rather than have your pointer already there - make sense? he is also nearly ready to ask for more before the click to really get these shoulders lifted and with this ask for the posture with the SATS if needed. he is going really well and nice to see only a couple of crunches and then move on (he may not even need the wood anyway now)

with Valeta - interesting choice for a target LOL - OK so what we want is her to touch it - she is very mouthy around it - this can change once we have the touch on cue - but do you have a traffic cone you can put on the ground? it is allot easier for her and also for you not having to hold something out? see one of the reasons why I like the free standing one is that we are here trying to stop her mouthiness (which is normal BTW) so we are all the time trying to set her up for success and not tempt her (as the treats come from your hand). I see the clicking for her head to be turned away and thats fine if that is what you want to do - and maybe it is a response to her mouthiness - just remember that sometimes emotions we dont want to get are attached to the turning the head away (and also there is something about that for us - that we think our horse cannot be trusted with their mouth). Now be careful here - you are starting to develop a chain you will not want - she mugs you, you put the target behind your back , she turns her head you click - and she mugs you, the target goes behind your back, you bring it back out and she touches and you click - but the emotions I am seeing in both instances are the same for her approach towards the target (or you as you are attached to the target) - I would aim for cleaner loops here - if you have a look at the first couple of minutes of the video see what you think and see how many little 'things' get in the way of a 'touch' click treat. With the lifting of the feet I can see her nice and balanced and are you beginning from just a balance shift here? If so the balance shift needs to be a weight shift - that is that the weight is taken off the foot whilst the rest of the feet remain still (not the weight being taken off because of the other feet moving back). There is no problem with getting down to the hoof and taking the foot off the ground with your hand and then clicking and treating this (as count 1) but it was the reflex pinch you were using the other day. Are you able to physically bend down more to get the foot in your hands? The one at 4.15 was really good - be careful you do not mix up the two things we are doing - I can hear you say 'front leg' and expecting her to lift - this is not what we are doing here we are using 'name and explain' and then taking it further to action - the name and explain is "we are going to pick up your foot - and we are going to hold it for... seconds- I will be counting 1,2,... are you ready? OK lets go....1,2, - it is in the book I sent you a while ago. I reckon she is coming along really well and I would still be giving her more to do - of course she is still young - so what about targets - do you have other options for them to be free standing? it would be great to incorporate some a to b's with what she is learning and this would help her with emotional control as well but we need to have free standing targets - I can grab some video of what I mean from one of the DVD's if you like

yea you have a book with you! oh you missed an opportunity straight away - she wanted to and she was following you - but your mind was on a mission that she was not going to interact and you went straight for the book and did not pay her the attention she was seeking - can you see this????? See also at .20 seconds- think about how you were feeling then- why not here try and acknowledge her (as she was you) and engage with her - see we are creating this secure base for her and part of that is being chatty (if you dont want to use your outside voice then use your inside voice) - this is how I would have tried to do it the first 20 seconds - I would use my outside voice to greet Carlotta and tell her how gorgeous she is - and thank her for paying attention to me. I would sit down and then use my inside voice to be grateful that she is in my life and be grateful for the experience - and then see what she did - I would be watching for interaction - see she has not left you here - it is when she leaves us that we need to take the focus off the horse - as when they leave it is telling us we are too much for them (for whatever reason) or perhaps they are testing our promise of autonomy - for whatever reason when they leave US we need to stop our attention - but here at the beginning she was focused on you and waiting to see what you were going to do - this is a really good example of when to listen to what she is saying and when not to - this is really important as this is actually the first time I have seen her do this so clearly (and I am trying to break your habits of being a little inflexible as to what you will be 'working' on)- and BTW this is great as she was seeking feedback from you. How nice was that a 1.11 - OK I would have spent a little time here telling her about the book - yea I know BUT this is to get you thinking about the here and now not what you and she are going to do now that she is with you - (use your inside voice if you like LOL) - I know this is way over the top but you are so so so close. As she was already engaged with you, when you got up I would have asked her if she wants to do something - see as you walked away (when she was engaged) it is kind of ignoring her and not giving her autonomy believe it or not - as doing this changed the rules (I know a pain) - now it is 'follow me or I will ignore you' - she did not move from you really when you got up - so play with her there - it is only when she walks away from you do you take the focus off her so that we can lessen the pressure and give her the choice when she comes back - make sense? How you handled the approach at the end was perfect - if you had done this at .20 seconds I reckon it would have been a different game - but it was a good session to help her see that you are not going to pressure her. I am still not convinced that she enjoys those scratches under the neck - maybe on the wither? or maybe here do a crunch or a bit of anything she enjoys and then finish up?

July 7, 2019

Gosh, you are frying my poor brain, Julie, hahaha.

Now... Valeta: watched the vid and got the same feel as during doing it: she is improving a lot, not really crowding me, but working hard on herself for control. OK, here and there, she is still swiping at me a bit or forgets herself before treat delivery, but sooo much better already. In a year or two, when over the terrible teens, she should be just fine.

I had misunderstood you in your last comments from the day before, and thought you wanted me to do SATS on her legs in preparation of picking them up. My "normal" approach would have been (and I tried this on the video from day before yesterday) to suggest a shift of weight off the leg in question, then click (micro-shape) for each movement in leg, until she puts it into my hand. Then I understood you didn't want this, but SATS instead. Now, I see what you suggest and will try this today (hope it won't rain before I have a chance).

Yes Valeta will come on nicely - with the feet - like I do in the hoof jack trim - it is the next step in SATS

For the target: LOL. Couldn't find my old target (a plastic cup with a handle and a lid), so grabbed the first thing available in the tack room. Hads tried to figure out a good target I could make stationary eventually, and thought about a frisbee which I would then nail on a post. But there you came up with a wonderful simple idea: a cone on the ground. Brilliant! I have the big cone that stands permanently in the arena, but also a number of small ones. Should I use one of the small ones? start with the big cone and I will find a video of what you can do to

encourage exploration and movement with a number of cones on the ground

I must really go back to your notes for the workshop and finish reading them. Somehow lost track of it with all the distractions. Will re-look at the hoof jack trim vid. I don't have a hoof jack myself, but can do a little session when Silke is here for the next trims.

Sounds great, thanks. Do you think I am doing too much with Valeta for her age?

no just without the hoof jack - it is what I am asking for that is important here - but you would begin with 1 second and then extend it

Yes, will try today. Still getting used to talk so much to my horses

no I dont think you are doing too much for Valeta - this is why I think targets are good for her as we are not taxing her body

yep but I am convinced that talking really draws in the social engagement - but if you dont want to you dont have to - just think the words hahahaha

Wotan: I had read your notes before going out, so I tried to activite his walk, with not much success! Also couldn't really get him to extend his neck forward. And catch myself clicking and praising him, despite the shifts backwards. Somehow it's stronger than my good intentions

Wotans walk is quite activated though, but yes start using the pointer as he crunches - 'here look at this' then click. I will find the cone one for you later today - just have to get a couple of things done- it is a little higher energy than you would use for her but you will get the idea

Well, you can hear in my vids that I am really working on myself to talk and praise a lot more. Doing the inner talking too. I just can't be so verbally enthusiastic as you so wonderfully are with your horses. But I think Wotan and Carlotta understand me nevertheless

they understand inner voices just fine - oh I do go over the top LOL

ow, Carlotta: She got me by surprise when she immediately started to interact. Watching the video, I can see her frustration when I just sat there and read the book, while she looked at me! Bugga!


But she eventually came back after a long while, and we had some tender moments together. Will see how it goes today.

yes it was great she came back

At the beginning she had looked a bit away while standing near me, so I thought maybe wait a bit more und see whether she would approach more. I should have talked to her instead, I think. She is so full of good will and ready to forgive my errors!

Here is Carlotta today:

Too funny how she tiptoed her way to me and I didn't even notice for several minutes


Still off balance at times. Bit difficult, as she lifts her leg up herself so vigourously

I managed to get all three done (and the dogs walked), just before the rain started pouring down. BTW, I didn not ride Lotta today, as I felt she might appreciate to think about our relationship without the "disturbance" of being ridden.

And finally Wotan:

At least I managed to not click, when he suddenly started to use his neck! ;-)

hahahaha OK be back tomorrow I have to go through my hard drives I have to get rid of a little from the video I want to show you and I will see what I can do for a pic with Stones so back tomorrow. I did see Wotan - he is stretching well so when you ask for the lift have a look at how you are walking - the lift is a crunch so dont try and catch up to him now when you ask - lift yourself and slow down and see if we can get him to match you. with the neck the first one you did after he used his neck as he was using his neck was to pat him - instead this is the time to say can you look at this - pat may (or may not) mean a reinforcer LOL. We need to shape it so we begin small - can you look at this the slightest look at it then click and treat and then slowly ask for more. The one at 3.43 was good - the pointer only needs to be used if he uses his neck though - as look at this before a lift will confuse him - and try and remember to do something yourself as a crunch - at least your shoulders lift maybe? - yes that last one was good!

Valeta - your first click was a little slow LOL - I would have clicked as she took her head to the cone, unless the audio is really out it sounded like you clicked as she went to mug you? the one at 2.32 this is what I mean about unclean loops - see how you are asking her to touch but this is what she is seeing and doing - she is following your hand down to the cone and her mouth is busy and then there is a connection and you click - so what we want is a little motion from you with the hand but she has to do the work not you - if we can get your hand out of it we will have cleaner loops for her...BUT you read my mind and that was a real good one next and you saw that too - this is what we click for - and it is a good one to review as can you see there was no busy mouth? that was good with the feet and she used the cone when this was happening as well. The hind got better and less reflexive the second time so thats good - remember to let go when you click though...did you leave a hind out??? hahahaha - but this is good and she will get more confident at this as you go along - think about when you say 'are you ready' her standing posture is ready - you could ask and then if you see she will be off balance then straighten her up then and then OK lets go

Yep I agree with you with Carlotta - OK so this is what I saw - first Carlotta got a fright! what a good opportunity to wait for her nervous system to come down but it was really good - shame you did not see it (at least it is on video)- but 2.20 it began - now think about this -you want to be her secure base - the thing that scared her was the book - she is off releasing energy and you have picked up the thing that scared her - hahahaha oh poor Carlotta she is looking at you for support - and you are paying attention to the thing that scared her LOL - now she actually got worried there as there may be some displacement behaviours happening (the early eating at the ground seems different to the foraging later but I could be wrong there) if the initial ones were then this tells me that she did not let go of everything she needed to then - she will get over it - but it would have been a good opportunity for you to be there with her as her secure base. At 14.12 what I am seeing is her waiting for you to call her - I could be wrong but it looks like she is not comfortable to come to you unless she is given permission...whats your view here? 15.07 would have been enough for me to engage with her - it was good that you acknowledged her (at last hahahahaha) - I am getting the feeling that you are cautiously getting up from the trampoline (did you notice this?) so you scratch her - still not convinced that this is the spot for her and that looked to be a good crunch from what I could see - so I would leave this for a while now and do what the two of you enjoy but remember that the autonomy really is only beginning to be taken by her - mix things up but remember to let her choose if she moves away - come back to this in a week or so if it is needed - she needs to have some fun (and so do you)

I am loading one of the target ones for you now - I was going to also show you something else with changing directions with targeting - it is the kind of thing I would do at her age - and it is fun but I would only be copying the last DVD I did - so I may as well give you a free code to the full one - this is the code and you should be able to access it all - but the targeting and the changing directions is in part 2 - part one is a bit of theory and much will be familiar (allot has been over FB etc since the release of my DVDs - by people who had bought it or were given it for free - funny about that) - I need to finish part day!

I have some old video of Stones (most of his stuff was on mini disks and they are not on the puter) but is the profile pic enough or I can send you a couple of old videos

the old videos are not really front on for long but they are part of the first clicker DVD we did so in digital video format

OK so here is one of the ones I remembered I had - this is a little old and it was quite new to Sharney and she and I were quite new to eachother but you get the idea - I did have a more recent one but I have given up - I do need to do this again and 'send' her to targets -0 you will see a little of that in the second part of the DVD I sent you the link to

July 9, 2019

Now, re-reading all your directions (so many details to pay attention to). will try to get Wotan to stretch out down and forward and then slowly lift him. Struggling with this, as not entirely sure how to do it right.

About Carlotta and her problems with walk-halt transitions. Yes, I do let her PW when she feels the need and anxiety. It is still difficult for her to stop, even after a PW or two. I don't know whether she is anxious or whether she thinks she is supposed to do this, as I got the cues mixed up somehow. But my feeling is that there is nervous anxiety behind it.

I have tried to ask for stop (with voice preparation) and when she paused just slightly, click her. This of course stops her, but it's hopefully just intermediate stage. Maybe I should put the walk-stop attempts towards the end of the session, so she had the opportunity to walk off some tension before we try? Sometimes she starts to PW after canters. She seems prettty happy with cantering (loose rein, just lifting my inside hip and slightly putting outside leg back) and downward transition to walk upon me just dropping my cue/energy and saying "walk".

Your suggestion to end the stop with a crunch gets me a bit puzzled. She is starting to make the crunch a default behaviour, but too often still uses her neck. So, is it really desirable to ask for crunch to end the stop, as I might not be able to reward her for it, if the neck is involved? Anyway, will see what happens today.

For the target video, I can't find your code, when I click on the link it just says: buy them for ...$$. Oops, sorry, scrolled down a bit further and found your tageting video with Sharney, so this is the one you meant, right?

July 10, 2019

Just watched it - great things to do and try out with the cones and the pointer etc.

you will be waiting for me on friday LOL as I will be a little later than this and I also need to leave midday monday so it all works out quite close to eachother. As soon as I can video again I will do the power walk again and then if I can get a decent one I will slow mo it

OK so you will have to explain what you mean by the issues with the walk halt transitions - I went over what I said last time and it was not something that we had spoken about that I can see? the PW could also just be her way of getting you to acknowledge her?

our aim in all of this is to end everything with a 'crunch' it is not a real crunch as we are stopping from motion so it will end up just being a transition to halt carry weight from behind

no the code for the DVD's should just be you have it for free it is not the targeting one that is different

well I just clicked on the link for the DVD and now I have used it as it said thanks for your purchase - I will send you another link and you need to click on the 'watch clicker training...." text

OK so here is a new promo link to the DVD - you will need to wait till tomorrow or later tonight as I cannot back date the date (as it is 9/7/19 in USA time - tomorrow)

now you click on the words 'watch clicker training....." not the public intro where the play sign is and the picture is - make sense?

July 11, 2019

Here are today's vids. Can't take anythong tomorrow and Thursday, as there are some lengthy Drs appointments. But we will see.

Valeta targeting: Wotan more WIP Carlotta, eager to play

About Carlotta's issues with stopping from walk: she always had wonderful stops from just me tucking under my pelvis a bit, without reins. But since a couple of weeks or maybe months, she doesn't seem to be able to stop most of the time. I feel her getting a bit anxious (I think) and she can't stop, but goes off in a PW instead. I let her do this quite often. I am not sure whether she simply doesn't understand my stop cue anymor resp. interpretes it as PW cue, as you suggested earlier. Or whether it is some anxiety. It's strange, for sure.

She does know my verbal cue "psst", as she responds to it when she has been standing still and then decides she wants to start walkin (without me asking for it). When I say psst, she stops again. But doesn't when I give a soft rein cue and say psst or woo (my whoa). Whenever I see a hint of stopping (which is more like a short hesitation), I click now, and then of course she stops. But that will not be a real solution, of course. It isn't a big deal really, but in the long run, I will need a stop on cue again

Oh OK so the 'stopping' is when you are under saddle? yes I suspect now the cue you are asking for PW is in fact the same cue with your pelvis? I am not sure what you mean about the psst verbal cue (as you say she responds to it when she is standing still - which means she has already stopped LOL) but are you saying she does stop to this but not when you add a rein and say woo.... why not go back to basics and teach a cue you want to use on the ground? - will look at the videos as soon as I can this morning

July 12, 2019

hahahaha Valeta was ahead of you - you know you need to work up to all these cones hahahahahaha - I bet she is great - seeing these off and on as streaming is hard today as internet is very slow. I personally would prefer we work on targeting a large cone on the ground, not one in our hands but that is just a personal preference for me as it takes our hand 'out' of the equation - sorry be back later

yes see there is frustration happening here because she does not know yet what you want - so we are clicking any approximation to the cone - we do not expect that she will bend her head down and touch at first -there were a couple of times where I would have clicked - where she turned her head away from the pointer and a little nob of the head towards the cone...BUT 1.44 was wonderful (you do see what she did before you were looking though at the beginning) - now even if that was good, she still has to get the touch on stimulus control so I would still be clicking for approximations for a while and after that also was great - what do you think I think she is better when she is thinking and being a little busy? her manners are much better and this also keeps you and her at a distance? but have to wait for the streaming again - be back

yes the only thing I would change is not ask for too much too soon so click and treat attempts first with the stationary cone and then with the movement - the reason she went away is first your criteria was too high for a beginner and secondly it was far too long and as there were too many times when she got it wrong her motivation reduced - make sense and how did you feel?

with Wotan, we have to get him out of this pawing habit with the logs - so lets turn this into something I was thinking to ask for a lift as soon as he begins to lift the leg but see how he is standing when this happens? I feel we need to nip this in the bud - any ideas? so the power walk is looking good, I think we need to increase the momentum now and make it stronger and more powerful and when you now ask for the lift lets see if we can keep walking and lift for a couple of steps - also lets make sure you are using a voice cue here as well - AND he is ready for the panther walk BUT lets move a little quicker and longer first (as you know what will happen when the panther walk begins) AND when that momentum begins to happen you will be walking more in the riding position rather than in front. Oh look how he began at around 3.33 that was beautiful! did you notice it at the time? that was nice at 5.10 - try not to scoop the pointer rather lift not scoop - I also think he can move away from the logs now -he is so nice

Carlotta is really going well here - now this 'pause' at 2.47 I think is her ready to release there are subtle differences in her body language - I would stay here with her there and see what happens....yes she released at 3.04 - so lets use this as a yardstick - if she stands like she was here and does not move away from you then she is asking for a moment and she just wants your support (as social engagement) - if she actually moves away from you then you go and sit or do something else - make sense? those little lifts at 5.15 were perfect - shame you did not click them hahaha - you know she does not like you touching on the neck area there - try and see if you can touch the wither instead - nice at the end - but when she is trying to crunch and she is doing the neck then you need to help her understand a different option not ignore the try - so here ' front foot' tiny crunch would have done it - but she is really looking engaged

July 13, 2019

Very quickly: Despite strong wind and occasional spooks, Carlotta did something great today: during canter work, I asked for a downward transition and right away, she went into a stop from canter, and into a wonderful school halt! Wow! Also tried a few stops from walk, and it was lots better. Upon a very light request, she stopped, very slowly did one or maximum two little steps of PW and then really stopped. Very nice! We are on the way.


This morning's session was ridden of course. What was great: when she went so quickly from canter to stop and school halt, she took me with her and didn't throw me forward, so she must have used her hind end beautifully. Such a pity I didn't get it on video

If you can put the Stones photos separately without much trouble, great. If not, don't bother, I will manage with what you gave me.

Valeta: I had only used the cone in my hand for the first couple of times, to make things easier for her. The smart cookie figured it out really quickly, huh?

Watching the video, I felt very strongly that I should have stopped after 2 minutes! Then things went a bit downhill, because she was not sure. Yes, good idea to click earlier, when I get movements in the right direction. Wasn't sure whether you would like that, so didn't

Wotan: Yes, he loves those logs! And he was so proud of himself when he managed to put both front feet on it, did you notice?

I can put them away for a while, if you think that this helps nipping the thing in the bud. Will try to get more lift in the power walk, but I have difficulties with this. Somehow he doesn't lift very high. Something I must be doing wrong. By "faster" do you mean that I should start running a bit? Or just accelerate my walk?

Thanks for the reminders about my position and the way to use the pointer. I am getting carried away and forget some stuff, hahaha.

Carlotta: makes a lot of sense. And yes, I will pay attention to when she stops and stays with me, and give her time to release tension.

Oh, these crunches.... OK, so when she uses the neck, I will try to acknowledge her try, then say front foot then tiny crunch. huff,puff Interesting journey, but quite exhausting mentally, hehehe. Wasn't it amazing how she immediately stayed with me from the beginning of the session? Sooo pleased with her.

One strange thing to report: this morning when I was moving around her during saddling, she suddenly bent down and slightly nipped my upper thigh. I wonder what she wanted to tell me there? She has never done such a thing before.

I said: No, that is not on!, then asked her what she wanted me to know.

She didn't say more about it...

Question: when she tries to crunch and uses neck and her front feet are well in line, what do I do? Just say something like: Hm, good try, but let's try again? Or what else?

Sorry for all those questions. Don't want to make more mistakes, if I can avoid it.

Horrible wind right now, so I won't do anything today, apart from maybe a crunch or two with Carlotta before putting her rug on.

And tomorrow, not sure whether I can fit something in. Otherwise Friday it will be. Thanks in the meantime!

I noticed the feet on the logs - but that will create habits that you wont want LOL - the lift problem is because you stop after you ask - you need to keep walking and ask every couple of strides and when there is a good one then click and treat - yes Carlotta is going great....mmm saddling and then a nip???? well she may be sore or she did not want to ride LOL - maybe she is just working herself out and wants a little more time? no if she uses her neck put the pointer down so she follows it and then click and treat

I tried a bit tonight. Horrible, that wind, I could hardly get her rug on her! We played with walking a bit together and she did a series of skips, then straight into Panther Walk. Then stood at my side and went up into a levade. I think she loves that one.

Did I tell you that we didn't have lessons with Cliff for months? There is private trouble which affects his contact with sutdents and friends. I think we might never have lessons with him again. I am not happy about it, nor is Chris, but at least he has taught us some very useful basics we can build on. We are having Anke Hawke over every 3 or 4 months, as it sounds, so we do get a bit of quality tuition on the regular basis.

I can see the broad grin on your face now, as you were never happy with Cliff

The nip from Carlotta wasn't while I did something to her saddle, just while I stood at her side for a moment.

I think it was something like a friendly little play nip from her, like she would do with a horse, but not sure about it.

Yes well you saw my smile - frankly it has not hurt you or Carlotta not to have any lessons with Cliff LOL. It may be that Carlotta is feeling more confident to express herself - so for me I welcome this in my horses as it tells me that there is something going on - it is usually me that has to do the adapting. I will try and scan them all now

July 14, 2019

Managed to get sessions with all three in between showers. Wotan:

I still have big difficulties with finding clickable ups in the PW. Valeta:

Her manners seem to have improved a lot over night, much more polite and less mouthy.

OK will look in the am. glad that the manners are improving - if you are speaking about the power walk with Wotan it is more likely that the cue for lift in the crunch is not yet on default - we have to get the crunch happening

Carlotta: Dangit, I must learn not to scoop with that pointer

Yes, true, no crunch default yet for Wotan. Getting a lot better with Lotta, I think.

With Wotan, you need to make this flowing more now so dont stop as soon as he lifts keep walking and ask for a couple - this is one of the reasons you cant find clickable moments as you are not giving him time to work it out - so longer walk in both - head down stretch the spine.....goooooood keep going, lift......keep going, ask for lift again keep going, click when there is a lift in the shoulders - and of course when the crunches are better so will this be. You dont leave your cue on in the lift - you ask and if he does not walk and then ask again - you are dulling him to the cue as it is left on - make sense? and what is happening is that at the time he does something you both stop so the cue for lift is going to turn into 'stop'. you are getting into the same habit with crunches as you did with Carlotta - he is using his neck - so be careful and you are walking with your cue for Panther walk again - I reminded you of this the other day - you will make it harder for yourself if you dont check here LOL. That second crunch at 3.16 was better you got him before he used his neck allot. The crunch at 3.57 was really good but you were not watching- you were watching his neck but he lifted in the back hahahahaha but the next one at 4.18 he was using his neck. you have to really pull yourself up here because it is so hard to get the neck out if it is always reinforced - have a look again at 3.57 - before you start using the pointer - but gee he is a great boy

with valeta yes her manners are really good - now when you are asking for the touch on the cone give her room so move further towards the camera - not parallel to the cone does that make sense? - we dont want 3.26 to happen - remember we take the treat to them. She did not seem as reactive with the feet here - did you feel that?

SO with Carlotta - when you have time just find the spots she loves you to rub - you seem to move your hand very quickly from area to area - it takes a horse/ human rub more than 60 seconds before it is actually enjoyed by the horse - she may not like being rubbed at all - but you are not giving her the chance to show you - think of a rub as mutual grooming - then we can tell one way or another if in fact she likes being touched (her skin may be very sensitive - Star hated being touched but now he really loves a wither scratch - and I mean wither, on the vertebrae and until my fingers cant anymore. With her bunny hops try and be with her and ask her to stretch her spine rather than use her neck - you have to stop treating this - she is always being reinforced here - so always be on the look out for her use of her neck and offer her a suggestion as to how to change this - often all that is needed is for her attention to be focused for a second on the pointer in front of her (and down a little) to enable the back to be stretched - make sense? that was good at 1.32 but it looks like you did not click? at 1.34 those first couple of strides were lovely and I suspect part of that reason was that you went with her and you also were striding. it was nice how she came back to you - but cant you see she does not like being touched this way? I would rather her be clicked and treated here if you need to do anything other than praise her verbally and fill your heart with gratitude - this is the key - really being grateful that our horse approaches us. That was much nicer at 3.35 - OK so when she uses her neck dont ignore it - as she is using the neck offer her a better suggestion - so it will be neck look here -pointer -OK? and then there is no harm in clicking and treating now and again for looking at the pointer - not all the time - so it would go - neck - good try - look here - pointer - yes well done- now lets try again - (remind her about the pointer - look at the pointer) good work click and then now and again bring the pointer in only after the crunch has begun. See here at 4.04 also - dont ignore the neck - show her a better way - so that would go - ok lets try that again and this time lets look at the pointer when you bunny hop. the crunches are getting better - can you see this?

I had sent this to someone I am helping and I realised that it may be useful for you if you have not already seen this series - I am basing the power walk on what he says -

Thank you, will have a look tomorrow.

For Wotan: yes and yes and yes - guilty in all points. I go out with the best of intentions then somehow forget what you said, or part of it, or apply it wrongly. big sigh

Will try again next time, when the weather clears up. IF the weather clears up ... really rotten at the moment.

hahahah well it will stick with you eventually

... if you don't give up before, hahaha.

na never!

Brave girl!

nope I just know how hard it can be for sure - I was just lucky with mine If I still haven't managed by the end of August, we can maybe play some simulating games, you being the horse, and each time I do it wrong, you whinny in disgust or kick at me, hehehe.

mmmmm maybe we will have some time with one of the horses at the place


Carlotta: Somehow I tend to immediately start giving her scritchies and forget that she doesn't like this at the spots I do it. Will try really hard next time not to touch her but just send loving thoughts to her etc.

watch what she does - honestly I feel if a horse does not 'fall' into our rubs then we need to try a different spot

the videos I have in dropbox are from Gerd Heuschmann - I really like his approach as far as what is important to focus on so if you can download them

Valeta: yes, she was better with her feet, but at times I didn't do it quite right. It will happen soon I am sure. She is so much better around me now. Will try to get her on the stationary target for longer, hopefully by the time Silke will come for the next trim.

slowly does it just increase the time slowly - I am not a fan of stationary targets as I want my horse to feel he or she can move if we have gone over threshold

OK, makes sense.

July 15, 2019

Had Carlotta in arena very briefly this morning (no camera sorry), in between 2 showers. She was so sweet, came to me right away and was all keen to do things.

We walked a bit together, and she hopped and frolicked around happily. I didn't touch her, just told her lovingly what a wonderful girl she is and how lucky I am to have her. She came closer, so I reached for her withers and scratched it what she seemed to enjoy, as she stretched out her neck a bit and wiggled her lip.

Asked for a little crunch and she used her neck a bit, so I said, OK thank you, let's try again now, and she did a beautiful one. I made sure to click early. More walking around happily (was her suggestion), then I asked again and she did a quite nice one, so I pointed a bit with the pointer and she dropped her neck a bit and took it out. Click and end of session. She followed me all the way to the exit. I think we do have a very nice breakthrough now.

the spot? you mean the place on the wall? it will probably go here where there is a blank wall Yep. Sometimes, it is a bit disturbing when you have a yellow wall and hang a painting with a pink background there, hahahaha

so that is a great improvement with Carlotta and her closeness to you. I bet that made you happy - and yes see you can do this with the crunches. yes I agree you do seem to have a great breakthrough

I am still smiling Julie. Gives me motivation to continue and get those $%§$%% crunches right....

yep I know those days when my smile wont shut down

July 15, 2019

oh the plan was to get this one finished and then get the next most pressing one done and as Jerious will be home soon tax is easier as I dont need to concentrate with all the noise he makes

So happy that it was briefly dry enough for a little ride. Carlotta was a bit cold and stiff, as it felt, so we did only 8 or 10 minutes, all at the walk. Lots of walk-halt transitions. Seems that she has overcome whatever gurgled inside her of anxiety or whatever, as she responded really nicely on a minimal cue. And could stand still without having to be reminded. She offered a whole series of school halts, impeccable with lifted leg and very much lift in the withers. She got lots of praise and rewards. Also offered a crunch when standing. There was a little bit of neck, but not bad really.

Once unsaddled, I asked for 2 crunches, and they came very nicely and without using her neck. BIIIG praise and fuss and goody Thanked her and took her back to paddock.

sounds great with Carlotta - hahahahaha you are in the zone

I am working very hard on myself to become more precise and less clumsy

July 30, 2019

Back to the land of the living... Played with my lot a bit today 😀 Wotan:

Carlotta: Valeta: Jul 31, 2019, 2:25 AM 🙂 will look later this morning - I need to finish off some assignments first Jul 31, 2019, 9:58 AM No problem at all, Julie. I am off to my weekly shopping. Power is now off so will have to wait now thought i could look on thr phone but too long for battery. ..hopefully be back with power this pm Jul 31, 2019, 3:56 PM hahahah Wotan is great - now lets get more speed up here - and when you trot I would start stretching his back more so the target out in front and then lift - I have some videos that I need to load with Star doing this so stay tuned. In the crunches you are not looking at his standing posture at first - it is so important to be strong about this - there is a message on one of the videos of the project that Kathy has refused to answer - I am not prepared to but I can copy and paste it for you if you are interested - it proves exactly why I am a pain about this - The internet is slow now so I will try and get to look at the others I will stream them first It is so great how you are waiting for Carlotta now and she is paying you back for sure. When she shook then I would take this as a pendulation and asked for some mastery - but it was fine as she came to you anyway but you could not help yourself around the 2.28 mark hahahahaha. Now when she came to you (or started to) and you clicked - which was good - go to her with the treat (rather than 'force' her to come the rest of the distance) - make sense? that crunch was good but you clicked on the paw LOL - however her crunches are so much better_ they are so much better and your timing was really good for the last two - and you seem to have really changed your approach to her! 😍1 Valeta is great! NOW watch how she was standing for that first leg lift 🙂 I would back off here and just ask her to shift weight - so get into the position of leg lift "are you ready?" touch the cone (confidence) then ask for a little weight shift and click treat - make sense? but you have to look at her standing posture - look at how she is standing at 1.50 - SATS will be good here as well 2.33 was because she was not standing well - so lets do SATS with her here as well I reckon! and at the moment her cone touch is masterful for her. See at 3.46 she tried to adjust herself but you are not really 'looking' hahahahaha 😆1 Oh I want all my other horses I have had here painted so I will bring pics when i see you AND I will be paying for them!!!!!!!! Harry I have a good one and I will find two good ones with Star and Sharney 😍1 I think I have indeed, Julie. We have a tender relationsship now 😀 While I played with Wotan, I thought to myself: bugga, I forgot about the leg position! 😉 Will try to stretch him out and speed him up. He is such a darling boy. Yes, same for Valeta, I knew I hadn't waited for correct leg position. Tried to correct myself in the following, but not enough to notice, as it seems 😉 Isn't she so much improved with her manners? I am very happy about this. Will be put to test Friday in a week, when hoof trimmer will come. Yeah, OK, SATS it is for her then. Will be my pleasure to paint whatever you want me to, Julie. Will give you mates rates 🙂 Puter off now but yes so much to jump and smile for Going out now to feed and rug horsies. Thanks for your always valuable feedback! Aug 1, 2019, 1:14 PM Julie, when does your plane arrive in Gold Coastg on the Friday afternoon? Greg has lost the info I gave him and

August 8, 2019

Sorry for the long silence. There was the clinic with Anke over the weekend, and on Monday the coronary angiogram. Good result: nothing wrong with the heart. Now... we will have to investigate further about that chest pain... Felt pretty knocked out, just coming up to surface right now, but still a bit wobbly. Dunno what they have put in that anaesthetic! 😉 Will try to get a couple of vids later in the day, weather permitting. Lots of rain announced for at least a week. Wish I could send you some. Greg has shown me a helpful feature on my camera, to lighten up the picture. So I was able to take more visible videos and photos during the clinic. Will apply it from now on, so you won't see a black horse on black background anymore 😉 Aug 8, 2019, 11:11 AM glad medical was fine 🙂 fantastic if you can lighten your video!!!!

Here are the youtubes, much better with light. Maybe a bit too light! Will have to experiment a bit with it.

August 9, 2019

With Wotan - he is going well - I would be asking for more forward down (so he stretches his back) and then a little more of crunch in the lift now. But good. He spooked at the noodle in the wind and the second time it is very clear - and you see it- but dont click when this happens, it really can poison the clicker very easily - let him come down on his own just use a supportive voice - he begins to expel his energy at 4.17 - let him expel it all and wait for his approach - this is classic the Sarah stuff - until he expels it all he will be jumpy on the windy day that it is . your click timing with the crunch was maybe a 1/2 second too late as he used his neck so remember to use the pointer - the second one you did but you did not use it - you lifted it but he has to look at it LOL and then click - the lighter video is good for him - maybe a little too light but not allot

nice to be able to see Carlotta clearly - she is still stretching back not up and then back in the crunches - her front legs are too far in front maybe by 3 cm or so. I would probably ask for one crunch only - remember everything needs variation and then offer something to do that is different from a normal routine - this may spark her interest more perhaps - as she she finally came to you , back to the same crunches - just a thought. She started to look more alive at 8.11 - it did not seem to last though - is she OK?

there is not allot to see with Valeta but it looks like a good SATS session - it was good you went slow with the lifting of the front foot. I dont know how you do it with the wind - I would not be out there LOL - a little darker and it would be better- but it is hard as it seems pixelated at my end but it may not be as I am viewing through 4K monitors

Aug 9, 2019, 11:51 AM

Haha, the devil's in the detail yet again.... Wotan is very easily worried, as you will have noticed by now. Yes, I have to work on myself to give him more time to work through his states of worry to the end. OK, will only use my voice cue for him to lower and lengthen when walking with me. At this stage, I have difficulties to get him to move with more energy and faster, as he always hesistates to "follow" my body suggestions. I so wish to have you here to work with them and me!

Carlotta... yes.... sigh I don't seem to be able to get her to drop that leaning back when crunching.

For quite a while, Carlotta didn't seem very interested in moving and doing PW, apart from a little bit here and there and the canter skips. I can't see anything wrong with her, as she is soft and responsive under saddle. I have the feeling that she is a bit grumpy with me, because I play with the two others too, and she always makes a point that SHE is my horse, and nobody else!

I only had them out twice during these weeks of health fumbling. Maybe this cames into the game as well. She was a lot more connected when we did something together every day. Will try to do what you suggest with her next time. Seems there is another week of horrible weather ahead. So much mud in the paddock that my boots get stuck in it at each step.

Had the hoof trimmer here this morning, and it was a real pain in the...

Wotan spooked at the noodle it was blowing around - that would spook my horses also so I would not worry but see it as an opportunity to help him control his nervous system states - these kinds of opportunities are priceless. So take advantage of them. You need to walk faster for him and let him catch up - it has to be fun for him - dont wait for him to catch up just go for it and see it as an opportunity to get some exercise and then as soon as he comes with energy - click and treat and finish it up. Carlotta - you need to use the pointer - crunch - not good - pointer look at pointer click treat - what is happening is you are putting it there but not 'using it' LOL. I dont see what you are seeing with Carlotta - I think you need to make the session really short - when she comes to you make a huge fuss - and the same again go for a run - the thing is you are wanting connection - I dont aim for this - I aim for play - there is just so much we can do once that happens. So dont overthink this and try and have fun with her - she is very introverted and play will bring her out of this a little but you need to stop overthinking with her. Oh I wish for some mud!

the trimmer was a problem?

Yes, I know that he spooked at the noodle, but there was other stuff that worried him, like my washing on the line that was flapping almost vertically in the air (bed linen, so a lot to flat!). I dont know if the videos that I have done for Sarah will help you but you would need to download them - can greg do that as it is part of a powerpoint presentation and I dont know if you have a program to look at a powerpoint?

No, not the trimmer, but the strong wind, the horizontal rain, the cold, 4 dogs jumping and barking (Silke's two and my two).

Yes, can ask him to do this.

the washing would be the same thing - it is not a biggie - most horses would spook the point here is that you can see it as an opportunity to work through the stuff - Ok I will send you the link

you cant view on line as it is huge and dropbox wont open it, so if you can download great The horses were cold and shivering. Had to put a warmer rug on Carlotta before we started, and even the two others with their Icelandic coat were visibly cold. I can't tie Wotan at the moment, as the first time I did he pulled back in full panic, so have to work on this when we have better weather. I held him for Silke, but he was so wound up that she couldn't even pick up one foot. Usually he stands well when you do this.

I only work in the wind if I want to actually work on nervous system hahahahaha


honestly we all have been there with the weather and trimmers or vets etc - dont worry about it as you cannot control this - no one could

Unfortunately we have a lot of wind around here, so I have to work in the wind most of the time, otherwise I would never get anything done. Even Carlotta is cool enough to be ridden in fairly strong wind.

Ok so see it as the opportunity and just think of one small titration only - let him work it through and stop

Of course, Julie. We put Wotan into the arena and did Valeta's feet instead. He was so excited that he did lap after lap in gallop, doing flying changes, bucking and squealing and whinnying. Made Valeta all wound up too, but we managed to get her done at least.

hahahaha been there also

We decided not to do his feet this time, as we both didn't want to get knocked over and hurt. Even Carlotta was a bit difficult for trimming today.

it looks like the wind is huge it is here also and personally if it was like this for the trimmer I would cancel and just do them myself - but I do them the week before she is here in any event. OK so this is another one I have prepared - this one has no video explanations yet but this was more for me just to make sure that if there were questions I could direct people to the values of this stuff - here is the link

OK, will try to not analyze, but just play with Carlotta instead

OK so play with yourself not her - when she joins in (if you are not dying with exhaustion) click treat and stop

Thank you, will go through your links asap.

on one of the videos in the presentation (the first one) you will see I have fastforwarded the autonomy one - that was on purpose - LOL Sarah said to me that the video was damaged as it went too fast hahahahahaha

Would it be a good thing to bring Valeta into the arena as well, as she is very motived to come to me and play with me all the time.

yes but separately - I reckon when you stop movement you can try and crunch yourself to stop and see if she begins to model you

Must get my paintings together, as we have an expo at the local town hall and I am bringing a number of mine.

OK oh great for you!

Not very keen on it, as around here there is not the kind of public that buys my kind of paintings (too expensive for them, I only sold 2 or 3 at those occasions). But they asked me whether I would help out and fill one of the walls with my painting, so I said OK.

A bad thing when you don't HAVE to sell anything. Makes you lazy and unmotivated to promote yourself, hahaha.

it is all good exposure though

Yes, sure.

Aug 11, 2019, 10:22 AM

More miserable weather here, I get soaked, each time I go out. No chance to fit in a ride or play with the horses. Ground is so wet and muddy that it almost pulls the gumboots off my feet! Even my arena is covered with puddles. groan

Got Wotan's feet done yesterday. I had brought him to the arena and cleaned his hooves at liberty, to put him in the mood, haha. All was back to normal when Silke came, and she could do him without problems.

Too funny, he tried to bow in the middle of it, with one of his hooves in her hands

Hope I can fit a little ride in this arvo, when sky clears up.

there are plenty of open source office programs that one can use - there is not really anything I can do as most of the world reads them and as it is a presentation it has to be affixed to the power point - so I am not sure why you cannot work it as the videos are simply mp4's. thats great with Wotan - all your horses bow so maybe you can use that as an asset - but be careful as bowing is not really a good thing for the horses body when it is regularly done as it compresses the spine down (not up) so the vertebrae compact rather that expand.

Ah, I see. Good point. I don't ask for it anymore, just acknowledge it when he does it. Funnily, Carlotta has recently been starting to do it in the paddock when she sees me coming. Copycat... Never mind for the vids, I don't want to insist too much with Greg, not easy when he is stressed

Aug 13, 2019, 5:40 PM

At 5 pm I finally had enough and grabbed Lotta for a little ride. By the time she was saddled, the rain had almost stopped, so we had a quick "stroll" through the things Anke and I had worked on recently. Very nice, apart from the fact that yesterday I had placed the feed bucket in the mud of the arena for Wotan, and each time we came near, Carlotta found this very snortable. Of course, no problem at all when I lead her over it after the ride.

Before going back to paddock, I asked her for a crunch, which she did reasonably well, then moved a bit, so I asked her to readjust her feet, which she did. And suddenly went into an almost perfect crunch. Biiiig praise. She did 2 or 3 more from her own initiative, and I told her how wonderful she is and gave her handsful of lucerne chaff.

Aug 14, 2019, 2:19 AM

sounds fantastic it is so great when this happens - the leg position is the clue

Aug 14, 2019, 5:15 PM

Now... to be able to capture in on video, haha.

Finally a sunny day, but I was too pooped after 1 Dr's appointment, 1 with the physio and then the shopping and putting it away and portioning dog food. So, no riding today, but seems that tomorrow will be dry, so I can go back to my daily routine

And hopefully play a bit with Valeta and Wotan as well. Wotan is packed with energy and enthusiasm, now that he is back to health. Aaah, those schools above the ground he does, and when he gallops past me into the paddock, I better duck to the side, as his whirling hooves throw big lumps of mud and soil high in the air!

I just love it how Carlotta is now thinking about making crunches her default behaviour. Hoping that she will use this, instead of bowing, in the future

Aug 15, 2019, 2:44 AM

if the crunch is done the way it needs to be then for all those reasons that I proposed in the draft movement reasons presentation - it will be as it feels good to them

Aug 15, 2019, 10:24 AMAug 15, 2019, 11:45 AM

Going through your presentation now. Typo on page 11, second paragraph: conformation, not confirmation, I think.

Oops, sorry, page 12 hahahaha ta - damm spell check!

Page 19: What? You call it Tiger Walk after all?

Good reading, thank you, Julie.

Makes me wish even more to see you here in a not-too-distant future and coach me and Carlotta closely. I have the feeling we would get over my mistakes sooo much faster!

no Sarah will call it a tiger walk so as this is for her I have done so LOL - oh you will and are fine!

Hahaha, she won

Hm, I feel we could do so much better when "tapped on the fingers" directly, as it's called in German.

Aug 15, 2019, 3:48 PM

we all can! but she did not win - what she does with her stuff is her business but I believe that she can if she wants

Of course. Are we using Power Walk when not close to Sarah? Managed to get not only a ride, but also a little play session with everybody.

Carlotta crunches:


Sorry, forgot to take the halter off for both. I wonder whether Valeta is starting to think that she is supposed to back up, when I ask for SATS, especially for the hind legs.

we are using both the power walk and the panther walk - if we are using the panther walk for confidence we are using the tiger walk LOL - be back tomorrow just about to feed up


Felt like a breakthrough today. Such a cute badass moment at 1.17. His very first one!

Aug 16, 2019, 2:22 AM

the first two crunches were good the one on the right side with Carlotta was a little necky - but huge difference - remember to cue when you are going to click and treat - we want all these things on cue- if she does it and you have not cued cue when she does it. golly that wind is awful was that valeta whinnying? when you are at the target I would change hands and feed with your outside hand - you will find you are less cramped that way.There are times when I was not sure exactly what you were clicking for early on though - at 3.12 nice standing position there. Careful your timing with the click is not that slow that you are clicking at the time she is backing up so I would now begin to ask for 1 second in the air with her feet before clicking ( we dont want backing up to be lumped into the behaviour) but great - I think she needs more challenge! Wotan is walking a little too close to you at the beginning - my thoughts are that already (and yes I know you have not done anything yet) is that he needs more challenges also - have I shown you some of Shawana Karasch's A to B videos? Yes that was great when he jumped and played - he got a little spooky after this so remember he needs to release this energy (good and or bad it still has to come out). So are you asking him to panther walk around 2.30? if so and we have that much without an attempt go back to the noodle for a bit - see what will happen otherwise is that the cue for walk becomes your Panther Walk cue. I think you need to challenge him more and dont 'drill' things - so if you want to practice the power walk do one lot and once you click leave it alone - the energy is a little lower than I think he prefers and you dont want to look for perfection - now one of the things I really do agree with intrinzen about is variability and we can have variability on an arena as well as long as we dont fall into drilling - it is supposed to be fun and he wants to have fun - watch you dont begin to click his neck in the crunch - see at 4.50 - bring attention to his wither and then ask for a crunch - the next one was better - he is not interested in these today - to me he just wanted to play and if this were me it would be play day with a crunch or to thrown in here and there - let me know if I had done the AB's for you and I will - it can be done easily with one person and he really would enjoy it I reckon - it is also a good thing to go back to when we have question marks going on in our heads and are not sure what we need to do

Aug 16, 2019, 1:10 PM

No, haven't seen Shawna's A-B videos.

Running out right now and trying to fit a little ride in, maybe between 2 showers.

Aug 16, 2019, 4:18 PM

OK the internet is tied up with updating my laptop with a new operating update - cant load them now but will tomorrow for you

Thank you, Julie. No hurry.

Carlotta: funny how she seems to have trouble doing "neckless" crunches when I am on her right side. Often noticed this. Ah, OK, so I will cue her when she offers crunches without me asking (which she tends to do more and more often now), and only then click and treat.

Valeta: yes, it was her whinnying (she had finished her food, hahaha). Yes, I was too slow with clicking a couple of times. Will try to do better. So, what challenges are you thinking of?

Wotan: OK, will wait for the Shawna vids to find out what challenges to use with him. Wasn't sure about what to do next.

The cue for the PW was only an attempt. Sorry, didn't do this very well. I seem to throw this in automatically at times...

Yes, saw that I clicked for the neck at one stage. Woops.

Play day... makes sense. Any ideas what to play with him? I run out of puff very quickly when I try to run around with him

Maybe bring out the long poolnoodle (on the long stick)? Or the whip with the flag attached to it? And see whether he is interested in it by now. And drag it in from of him, and see whether he wants to step on it? Like Steinar does.

Or bring out my horse ball (it is about 50 cm in diameter and has a handle)? I suppose trying the mat again isn't a good idea...

Or maybe touching? Or see whether he wants to step on the pedestal or into the tyre?

the ball is good but I will load the ABC's for you - I will check to see if there is anything different on Carlottas right side


Aug 17, 2019, 5:26 AM

you will have to download them and yes it is large - when you have let me know so I can delete them

Aug 17, 2019, 10:26 AM

Thank you Julie, I will.

I noticed one thing this morning when putting out the hay: Carlotta's back looks more "up" to me now, even when doing nothing, i.e. standing there or eating her hay!

She was so lovely today when I rode her: offering crunches very often when I asked for standing still and long reins. And some of them looked-felt very good! I had some rolled barley with me, and she got those as treats when it happened. And she did lovely lifts at walk and canter.

yep that for sure is a sign that the crunches are working as their standing posture gets better able to support their spine. Sounds like you have every reason to be jumping for joy!

It is not big yet, but I couldn't help noticing

The credit goes to you, Julie, and I am very thankful.

I gave Lotta one of her favourite wither scratches and told her that she is just AWESOME!

Aug 17, 2019, 5:02 PM

oh you are doing it all!!!!

I couldn't do it without you!

Aug 18, 2019, 12:29 PM

Greg says he has downloaded the Shawna link, so you can delete it now. Thanks a lot, will watch it asap.

Took out the camera with the fisheye this morning, while it was still dry. Somehow it still didn't come out right, grrrr. I had adjusted the focus, but it was a bit blurry nevertheless, and I must have slightly moved it when turning it out, as the left side wasn't visible. This is such a pain. Next time, I will climb out and stand behind the camera for turning it on, so maybe it will finaly be acceptable. Not even worth sending you the link from today.

The only thing that come out right were the tops of the trees, bending madly in the wind, hahaha. Carlotta must have been a bit worried, as she used her neck a lot for the crunches under saddle, so it was difficult to find a clickable one. She did give me a good one before going to the paddock

She hardly offered any PW either, and the canter was less fluent than yesterday. She must know it, when the camera is on....

hahaha I have had those days with the cameras - yep I reckon they all know when the camera is on

Aug 18, 2019, 1:57 PM

You would think that they'd rather show off?

ha na!

Aug 19, 2019, 4:34 PM

Just watched the first two of Shawna's A to B vids (22 and 23). Hmmm.... OK... so would you like me to do this with Carlotta? Or rather Wotan and/or Valeta? Would need to recruit a helper. Maybe I can ask Amber.

Shawna's voice is a bit painful for me. Have the feeling that Sarah might be the same, haha. Will watch some more tomorrow.

Watched the 3rd one (24) as well.

Went back to your last explanation about Wotan. Ah, I see, it's mainly for playing with him (and maybe Valeta). Will see what we can do on the next a bit dryer day....

play does not have to be with another person - remember the cones with Sharney we just go to one after the other and then change directions criss cross etc - they could all enjoy it for sure but I was thinking of Wotan and Valenta but Carlotta may enjoy it also - yes the voice!!!!!!!!!! and YES Sarah!!!!!!!!!!! OMG she sends me audio messages all the time - and they say nothing! she clearly likes the sound of her own voice - today - 5 MINUTES on what aussies call a bathroom!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

OMG, I better get some headache pills with me for the workshop. My ears are very sensitive

OK, thanks. Yes, will create some fun situations and take vids for you

If I can get my gumboots unstuck from the mud, that is....

Aug 20, 2019, 1:10 AM


Terribly cold this morning (9°C), and the wind almost blew me out of the saddle. Carlotta didn't overly like to have to work in these conditions, but did her best for me. We stopped after 10 minutes and I asked for 2 crunches after unsaddling, which were very nice. plus a couple of unrequested ones, and I quickly said "lift", so could click and treat her

I must figure out how to make it clear to her that I want the same good crunches from the saddle as from the ground. Maybe take the pointer with me and hold it out?

Not sure whether I will be able to do something with Valeta and Wotan today. Will wait another hour until they have finished their hay and then give it a try if it's not raining by then.

why on earth do you ride in so much wind LOL - if the crunches are not really formed under saddle it is usually a capacity hint - try to build them up with being on the ground and using some small weight sand bags or weights you use over our ankles

? What are they for? To lengthen my leg? Wouldn't it be enough to just step a bit more into the stirrups?

Hahah, I ride in that wind, because otherwise I wouldn't be able to ride at all during the whole winter and a lot throughout the year!

no they are instead of your body weight to build her capacity slowly

the acquabag is what intrinzen recommend but I dont like it - I can find pics if you have forgotten what they do

I remember the aquabag. Didn't like the idea of it either. I think I know what you mean. Will see what I can find and use.

I have 2 kg weights from my Pilates and gym training. All I need is to find bags to put them in. Or maybe string them together and hang them over the saddle? Viva baling twine....

Um, maybe they are only 1.5 kg. Also have 0.5 kg ones.

yes just hang them over the saddles the smaller weight is better - just a couple of minutes for a while

Aug 20, 2019, 4:41 PM

Today's games.


Wotan worried about the new toys in the arena:

Wotan playing:

Aug 21, 2019, 2:52 AM

thats looks like a good start with Valeta - how did you feel she enjoyed it? a bit of blending with the foot at the end though LOL

With Wotan I would say too much too soon in that wind - the sensory experience was too much. In the playing video he was nervous you could see him jump with the click - I would back off too much for him and start slower and he did not really want to be near the objects (see the movement sideways at around 3.16 - this is the reason I suspect he leaves you - it is too much for him all at once. the situation is making him very nervous - you can see this when you use the scraper - now you are clearly telling him here that you dont care about what he wants - you want to to use it - if it is essential for sure but I would separate this from my time with him playing. If you need to do it then, change the cues, put a lead rope on or something - anything to let him know that play is over and he cannot choose now to walk away - make sense? he handled it well at the end but for me I would worry about sensitising him to things accidentally as he was very anxious for the most part and I think it was just a sensory overload - what do you think?

Aug 21, 2019, 9:47 AM

I think you are right, Julie. He felt very anxious. I thought he was becoming better in the second session, after I had removed the mat. He did have some fun moments and produced himself proudly. Thought I would use the scraper a bit, as he knew it well from my times with me, but maybe he has forgotten. Yes, fine, will separate it from the play sessions. Almost impossible to do something nice and relaxed in these conditions. I tried to move away and wait, each time he flinched. But apparently the whole situation was just too overloaded.

He did greet me with a nicker when I came back in the evening with the hay. Gosh, almost impossible to walk in that mud, and I get stuck with that heavy wheelbarrow. Just soo fed up with it all. And I can't let them into the dam paddock, as neighbour (who owns it) doesn't want me to while it's so wet.

Yes, I think Valeta enjoyed it. I got a bit worried when she tried to pick up the mat by the handle, so quickly tucked it under again. She seems very eager to explore and try new things. Blending?

She is incredible: so bold. Hardly anything seems to worry her.

yep it is always better to stop and ask ourselves why is this happening... too much going on - yes the mat did make a difference for a bit but horses do not flinch unless energy had been built up and is yet to be released

I noticed that he lowered his head a lot after the nervous flinches. Thought it was processing and calming down?

So it wasn't really releasing energy?

blending is using positive and negative reinforcement together - pressure / release and then clicking and treating - IMO that is always a no no. Valeta is at the exploring age and she is doing well and no doubt because you socialised her young Must learn to read him better.

no head lowering is a taught behaviour - calming signs is what you will see when energy is released - the nervous system getting back to homeostasis

We have different opinions about that one, but trying not to do it too much

OK so when you blend - the horse is avoiding pressure - which means he or she is working against that pressure - why are we providing a click for something the horse has already received reinforcement for? what is the horse responding to as a reinforcer? and there is a wealth of legitimate evidence to demonstrate that this is how poisoned cues occur - in fact this is the only way they occur

Will give it a think.

Aug 22, 2019, 8:43 AM

I have put some light-coloured wrap at the end of the pointer, maybe better visible for the horses.

the crunches are heading in the right direction - she still is going back before up but that will change as you start to watch her chest now that you will be able to take your eyes off her neck a little and think about what you are clicking for. I feel you should not be clicking her back legs like this though as it is a reaction she is giving you rather than acknowledgement of left leg right leg - I think if you start at her hoof and not go further up until there are no reactions y(further down) - nice slow increments it may be easier for her

Yes, OK. I thought if I ignore the first vivid pickup of foot and only click for the calm second one, it would be fine, but I can try to work on it more.

She does look a bit annoyed bit it, true.

Yes, still doing the going back, but as her head and neck carriage seems so much nicer, I am just so happy about it!

The riding video now is too dark again, I suppose because it was so early in the morning that the arena was full with shade. Will have to remember that. Will also try to place the camera at the other end and see whether this works. fumbling around

Aug 22, 2019, 3:39 PM

yep it can be hard with cameras - the wind here in the last couple of weeks prevents me from using the Pixio but I am not feeling great unfortunately in any event. I had a bowen session last week and two days later I have not had as bad a pain in my hip than I have now in over a year. It is taking all my energy to do everything and I have a very sick cow that is sending me to panic attacks. Every time the problem happens (she cant put her neck down) it is early in the morning or later in the evening and I manage to clear it. But the last time a couple of days ago it was within vet hours but he could not come. She had two really bad days and I was going to put her down yesterday but I could not get her. Today though she is allot better but I know it will come on again. The only other thing we can think it could be is toxins so trying to get a toxin binder in her feed but she wont take it. However I have worked out if I put it in some hemp oil and then in her feed she takes it. But she is dull and I am trying to feed her a little at a time. Stars feet need doing before next week but I still cannot bend down without allot of pain. So here is hoping things dont get worse for next week. I am taking a horse anti inflammatory ( it is a rub gel) and it works quite well so here is hoping as it is not getting worse just so mad that a whole year nearly without this pain and it has now come back overnight. However I can sit without allot of discomfort so as long as I can stretch my leg in the plane it should not be too bad

if Carlotta looks annoyed that is a hint we need to change things


Oh you poor thing! How horrible. Is there any chance acupuncture could help with your pains? I do hope it will settle down, so you can enjoy the clinic. I am watching myself each time I sneeze, as I really don't want to catch another cold or bronchitis before the clinic.... Oh and your poor cow! This must be absolutely draining! Can't you get a trimmer to do Star's feet?

no acupuncture does not help - I cannot afford the trimmer here every three weeks - so I do the three weeks and she comes at 6 weeks. His problems are with long toes and as much as I like my trimmer she really is not as good as me (Yeah I know but when I was maintaining his feet they were the best they ever were - but at the moment I cant - he has old bruising - I suspect I know what it was from but if I am not able to trim it is going to happen again. Managed to get the toxin binder into my little one so that is something!

I need to go back to the hip boy he is missing something - I will be making an appointment I think but as he is 6 months in advance it wont be a fix at the moment and when this all started he said nothing was wrong BUT they are not able to take xrays of the tendons and that was what was damaged I feel when I got the hip replacement the first time

I am a little pissed at the moment but Jerious is livid - on Sarahs page are some clips of her presentation and gee - she has taken my idea from my DVD and not even paid me the respect of saying anything to me

well that is why I dont breed and only have what I know I can handle with numbers

Bugga, she has done it again!

this is my idea (as she has no experience of applying this to horses) and just tweaked a little more

it is not a copyrighted thing it is just about respect for my work Yes, same reason why I stopped breeding long ago. Just too many idiots around! I was maybe stupid to take him from his former place, but I just couldn't bear it anymore to see him so neglected.

I think it's just plain disgusting she did it. Copyright or not.

no you were not stupid for taking him back - but he is thriving with you - maybe someone will come along that is the right match

Yes, I am hoping that the right person will turn up. It makes me happy to see how at home he is, and sad at the same time.

August 26, 2019

Got my daily ride, despite the black threatening clouds. I put the washing outside, so I suppose it will rain soon, LOL.

Carlotta is incredibly motivated. Very obedient and trying to do the right thing. I am working more on myself to pick up the reins so gently that she "doesn't notice". Getting a lot better with it by now. Pracitising Anke's "lifts" (engageing her core via mine), and she is getting the hang of it and does it better and better and longer and longer.

She also offers me lots of very elevated, collected canter and the occasional series of PW steps. Had I lonly had the camera on... sigh

The canter skips are really pronounced, so much that I had to ask her to take it more easily. She is not naughty at all, just so very creative and intelligent and definitely an over-achiever. I hope we can come to an agreement on how high the canter skips are supposed to be...

Now, walking the dogs, then a little siesta, and then putting a few blotches of colour on Harry. Question: is Stones the right colour in the painting? I suppose Harry's is the same? If you want it a bit darker red, I can add a couple of layers of ruby at the end.

Aug 26, 2019, 3:29 PM

No Harry is not really as chestnuty as Stones picture. yes Stones was very red head Harry has a little brown in the chestnut (not allot). Carlotta sounds like she is feeling great

Yes, she is fabulous. Blossoming so much! ❤

OK, will give Harry one or two layers of brown then, once I get to it

Aug 27, 2019, 3:56 PM

Experimenting with another corner for the camera.

Fumbling with crunches again:

Aug 27, 2019, 5:14 PM

I will look at the videos when I can tomorrow

I just wanted to show how Carlotta's back is straighter now.

Aug 28, 2019, 2:18 AM

Carlotta is just too far away for me to add anything constructive unfortunately in the 15 min one. So with the crunches yep she is getting better - so when you move the target down for her to look at try and move it down when she is at her highest part of the crunch not when she is coming out of it - make sense? she got better on her left side and you did not need the stick for her focus

Yes, that's what I was trying to achieve with Carlotta. The leaning back is gradually fading away. Towards the end of the ride, she did a few nice lifts and PWs and high skips.

Oh, and a question: should we bring boots for the workshop? (in case we do something with horses)

Aug 29, 2019, 2:36 AM

yes you are supposed to wear boots at any time we are with horses and there will be opportunity- I wont as there is no way I could walk with them the way my pain is at the moment. I will let the link run for a while as it wont load

See you tomorrow afternoon. Looking forward to it

September 3, 2019

Hope you got home without too much hassle. Talk later.

yep eventually, plane was late and that meant no traffic coming home - which meant hub could have picked me up and saved 150.00 LOL but good to get back - bet you went straight to Carlotta!

No, as it was pitch black, but I did exchange love with hubby and doggies

Went to the horses this morning and Carlotta seemed pleased to see me


September 3, 2019

My report about the 2 day workshop with Sarah Schlote:

Now, here is my report about Sarah Schlote's workshop about Somatic Experiencing for Horses. Might be pretty long, be warned.

I apologize in advance for my maybe at times not very accurate descriptions, as I am still struggling a bit with the scientific terminology ;-)

On Saturday morning, Julie and I arrived first at the location, beautifully set in the middle of lots of steep hills. Very picturesque. The property belongs to Jane who owns half a dozen horses which she was willing to make available for working with during the workshop.

Jane had provided a little house with a spacious room for the workshop. All equipped with much love and knowledge to make everybody feel comfortable: from the lovely sofas and armchairs, with cushions and a rug in the centre of the setup, to well thought-out snacks which presented a great variety and tasted very nice.

Julie, upon Sarah's request, had brought her video equipment and filmed all the sessions. Jane's friendly little dogs (a red Heeler and a small Poodle) came in from time to time and made the audience smile and want to interact with them.

We had participants from all corners of Australia, as well as overseas. From Perth/WA, from Adelaide/SA (one of which I had met quite some years ago during a Deb Bennett clinic), from Ballarat/Vic, from NSW, and then from South Africa and Canada! What an international bunch!

There had been a 5 day workshop (which was more about human fear issues, I think) just previously to our 2 day one, and 5 of the participants also were in the current one. They were mostly people with a lot of Uni education and the according degrees, like psychologists and such. After everybody introduced themselves, Jane had a wide-eyed stare around and said: OMG, all these brains in this room!

Which made me chuckle inside. I have spent the last 4 decades closely around two people which are highly intelligent (my husband Greg and Chris, my best friend), so I am not easy to impress in this sector ;-)

It was something like a flock of swans swimming around together, and one wood duck (un-degree'd me) floating nearby, haha.

Sarah started her presentation with a detailed talk about her project to help horses (and their owners) with strategies to overcome anxiety issues. It was very interestingly presented and very worth, after I had previously seen Sarah's corresponding introductory videos.

After lunch was planned the first session with a horse. But before, Sarah did some more talking, and then we went down to the grassy arena, where waited Bubba (I think this is the mare's name), with 2 pony friends to comfort her. Bubba had a history (after having been ridden before by, as it seems, very experienced owners and developping serious problems over time, which could only be assumed from vague hints) of being left alone for 3 years in a 250 acre paddock, without any animal or human company. When Jane resucued her, she was unapproachable and needed a lot of patience before she even allowed Jane to approach her, which she did eventually, especially around feeding time.

She had participated in daily sessions during the 5 day workshop. This first day, Sarah wanted to see how it would go for one of us to approach her, and I volunteered, so Sarah said we would watch her a bit from outside, then go in with her together and see what happened. The others participants had gathered at the fence and gate and we stood there for a while. The mare seemed somewhat shut-down and not at all wanting to engange. She had turned away from us and looked unhappy and tense at times. Jane noted that she was also in pain from her front legs.

After a few minutes Sarah said we should go in with her, so climbed through the fence and moved a bit closer to her. The mare remained in her state and Sarah started to question me how *I* felt about what we were doing, which I found somehow weird and puzzling, as I had expected that it was about the horse.

The mare still wasn't interested or able to make contact or at least try, and then a neighbour nearby started to cut a tree with a chainsaw which switched her off completely and she wandered away. At which stage Sarah decided to end the session and we went back to the workshop room.

There was talk about the Polyvagal Theory.

Sarah had made a little drawing to illustruate a cute pun: a horse's head with the (horse's) comment: "Ya mean Ponyvagal?" I amused myself rectifying the drawing a bit and gave the horse a cheeky expression, which Sarah liked, when she discovered it.

More talking.... Some of the particitants of the previous (5 day) workshop kept bringing up questions and topics that fit much more into that one than in our current one, and Sarah answered, so there was a lot of time spent on this. I hoped for the next day....

Day 2:

Julie (as the first person who actually did this) over the last year had started to work with Sarah's concept and put it into practice with Star, one of her own horses. Upon Sarah's request, Julie had filmed the sessions and put them together in a video which Sarah was intending to use during her presentation, to demonstrate the process.

It was planned to show the audience these videos and explain the why's and how's, but instead, Sarah only showed one of the videos and only very brief snipptets of the other ones, out of context, so it was hard to understand the purpose of what was shown.

Then we should have gone out, but instead, Sarah went through the whole explanation of the previous day again which took a lot more time. So, in the end, that was all that happened and no chance at all to practise and put to work her theory. *sigh*

I got one good insight out of it, which was that, when a horse is anxious and starts to act up, we wait for him to "come down". What usually happens though is that we think that the horse has come down, but in reality has only come down partly and is in fact still in the faux security zone, instead of in the real comfort zone. Which means in general that we, at this moment, ask again, and the horse goes up again in his reactions. We wait for him to come down... ask again, he goes higher up. Etc etc etc. Until comes the explosion.

While, when we wait until he truly reaches his comfort zone, and then ask again, things will not go pear-shaped. This is called widening his window of tolerance. I am not completely happy with this term, as tolerance for me means that he is not really OK with the situation. I would have called it window of acceptance. Just for the record....

Jane was somewhat worried about Bubba, her rescue mare, and Julie had offered (away from the workshop frame) to give her a short CAT session, to see what this would do for her. So, during one of the breaks, Julie went out (I filmed the session for her), and Sarah came along. Julie started entering the paddock from the far oppositie side, leaving the gate open, so the mare could "escape" if she felt the need. She did her CAT exercises, and within 10 minutes maximum, she could walk all the way up to the mare and stroke her forehead and ears!

This had been meant to be a private session, but Sarah chose to show the video to the audience right away, probably because she felt that CAT blended nicely in with her method...

We then had the final discussion, with input about their impressions from the participants. I gave my point of view, which was that really the intended things had only happened partially. Indeed, I felt that choosing a traumatised horse for the "demo" wasn't the most lucky of choices, as (as far as I had understood and expected it) the purpose of the workshop was to introduce us to Sarah's theory and work and then put it into practice. Which did not happen, and I pointed this out, and said that I was quite disappointed about it. Which was not to Sarah's liking, as I had the impression.

At the end of day 2, Julie offered to Jane to work a bit with Bubba via clicker training, which would possibily help her to open up some more, which Jane accepted happily. It was decided the we would come back the next morning (in private, so to speak) and Julie would introduce Bubba to CT and do some basic stuff with her. Which Sarah was also very interested to learn, as it seemed.

Jane would also bring in one of her other horses (with no particular issues), so Julie could show him about the beginnings of Intrinze, i.e. crunches and panther walk. Quite a challenge indeed to try this in a single session, but very intreesting to see what it would bring. I was going to film the the sessions, so Jane could see them later (she wasn't available that day).

I was actually looking very much forward to this, as there would finally be some interaction with horses. But it didn't happen. In the evening, Sarah sent Julie a SMS, cancelling and telling her that they would visit the Wildlife Sanctuary instead!

Julie and I decided to make a trip to the nearby Surfers Paradise instead. We visited the local Wax Museum (boy, that chamber of horrors was spoooky!), then walked the beach promenade and had a little something in one of the beach cafes. Then off to the airport, where Julie dropped me off, then brought the rental care back and checked in herself.

I sat happily in the Qantas Club for an hour and a half until ready for boarding my plane, which took off in time, so I had no difficulties to find my way to the shuttle bus in Melboure and got home to Ballarat, where Greg picked me up at the train station.

Had a good night's sleep and a lovely brekkie, and now waiting for Chris to go out for a ride together

September 5, 2019

Just checked on my former exchange of PMs with Sarah and found this:

Absolutely, there will definitely be horse time, interaction activities, and experiential learning with the herd

So, we have it in writing!

Anyway, water under the bridge now.

Interesting this morning: after the ride, Carlotta again was worried and didn't want to go to the MB. She stopped and wanted to turn around and walk away. I asked her to stop (as I wanted to do a bit more with the SE stuff) and calmly look. Which she did. Asked her again to take a step and she did, but still very hesitant. So we waited a bit longer, then I allowed her to walk away and to the pedestal in arena, and dismounted there.

There was no apparent reason for worry today, as I had turned off the electric fence and there was just a breeze, so no idea what her problem was.

During the ride, she offered some nice crunches (and I quickly said "lift" haha), and also lifted beautifully in the walk.

I am currently putting the PW on cue - the intended one is just a verbal one, i.e. "up" (to distinguish it from the crunch and the lifted walk). She gave me one good try when I asked in the beginning, but wasn't quite sure what I meant. So we went and picked up the dressage whip and I waived it forward and up while saying "up". She got that very quickly and did it for me. After two good tries, we ended the session, even though it had only lasted 6 or 7 minutes. But I wanted to highlight this for her and let her know how well she had done.

the apparent reason is not apparent - it is real to her - for whatever reason she has a memory of something that makes her uncomfortable - we can only guess as to why - I would think about CAT for her. The way I did it the other day incorporated the polyvagal stuff in as well, asking for a come down - the problem is of course that as Bubba needed to 'come down' this meant that I was actually tipping her more than what we would do (in the past) in CAT - from a CAT perspective this is why we wait the 10-15 seconds...still not convinced with the actual time frame though LOL. I can see its usefulness with very small titrations by adding CAT to the process - so I really went more into deactivation and activation. The activation was not intentional BUT they were small enough titrations to help her understand calm means she was reinforced and if she was feeling a little anxious but wanted to try and stay she could learn that she could deactivate and all is still well. I suspect that as a result her confidence was growing and this is what allowed me to touch her - I dont know if you heard Jane later but she had said she had never seen Bubba look more alive and engaged. So it is hard for me now not to think about it in these terms. yes good to put the PW on cue - is there something other than a whip? she could see your hand just as easily? oh and the horse time - yes well her planner said it all also LOL

oh another thought - Sarah went to praises on her website about a learned helplessness article - I personally thought it was crap and her response to Kim was targeted at me (I am convinced) however Bubba was showing signs of learned helplessness and yet Sarah chose to work with that mare all week (as they all did) and then with us - the way I manged the session the best I could felt the correct move - it seemed to also add for me the extra 'bit' that can help horses who have learned helplessness open up and not be afraid of showing their emotions and come down the other end feeling confident in their decisions - just some thoughts

Good ones, Julie.

About Carlotta: I will work a bit each time when she shows these anxiety moments. And add CAT, as you think it's a good idea. She is familiar with CAT, as I used it successfully for reducing her grumpy moods and her refusal to be caught and haltered in the paddock.

Gave the exercise with straddling (was that the term?) along a pole, having it between the lateral pairs of legs. Did this with Wotan, about scraping off the mud and excess winter woolies. He took to the idea fairly quickly, but had problems placing his hind legs along as well for longer than a step or two. But some really good tries.

I fully agree about Bubba and learned helplessness.

Will try again with the pole tomorrow and maybe give it a go with Carlotta too.

I am using SATS with the pole straddle - only front legs at the moment - yes with Carlotta if there is the hint see what reinforcer works for her

Carlotta trying the straddling with pole:

Putting PW on cue with Carlotta:

Wotan and pole:

Sorry I didn't pay attention and it's a bit blurry, but he is doing very well, isn't he

with the pole all good but I would have stopped at the front legs - Jec is clear that we need to get that working well as confidence is not high initially. I like the SATS way personally as there is no pressure and release. I will see about a video this morning but I have to get to town. what cue are you using for the PW? I could only see you using the target in front and your walk? but yes Carlotta is going well - try not to use the target for the crunch if you can help it until (or if) you need it - so ask without it first as it is actually helping her go back rather than 'up' - Wotans link is not there

10:27 AM Sorry, here is Wotan:

I got into trouble because of a badly timed click in the beginning, so he thought he was supposed to put his hoof on the pole... But we ironed it out, and the third one was pretty impressive, IMO.

haha - OK it is not about walking along the pole it is about straddling it - I could see he was getting a benefit early on and he zone out when his two feet were straddling - I think when they start to move their quarters away then we need to stop and think about giving them the benefit of the two fronts straddling and then move back or off and start again - otherwise we will collect the quarters moving away with the clicks- but you did eventually and the second and third attempts were better - at the end when he did his stretch I would not click this (I know he was lovely) but he needs to stand there so if we start to engage him with other things we will never get him standing and coming down hahahahaha - I fell into this today also as the crunches began. I wonder at the end there if you stayed would he have stayed longer? could not tape today but will try and get my act together tomorrow. I had more assignments to mark and they were all fails

did you want anything scanned from the book or are you going to get it? I will buy it, once I get my act together. Thank you for offering though xx Ouch, the students will be happy...

Haha, yep, we all keep falling into the trap of being so amused, pleased and excited about what our horses offer us that we tend to reward it occasionally!

I did this, because I felt he had mastered himself, was brav and trying to stay calm and wait for my cues during this new task, then he just had to do his default behaviour to settle the internal steam down. Maybe I'm wrong, but this is what it seemed to me.

He was so eager to do the right thing, and once he understood what I really wanted, he did it very well. A bit fast at times (I always get over-achievers. LOL). I should have grounded myself (instead of becoming so enthusiastic about the matter) and waited more and just allow him to stand. And yes, should have done the same thing at the end of the pole, instead of stepping back. I am thinking about trying it off lead. What do you think?

New project: Petra, my cleaning lady, is worried about her daughter,whose hubby bought her a horse. Steph doesn't have any experience with horses and has a somewhat teenager mind (not always patient and rational!), so Petra is scared that there will be trouble ahead. So I will go and give her and her horse some introductory coaching and advice which, I and Petra hope, will change her attitude sufficiently to keep her safe.

Pity I am retired, so don't have any insurance cover for teaching anymore. But it should be right when I do it for free.

Another thing: I hope you didn't find a too devastating situation when you came home (about your cows). I don't want to stir it up, but I am worried for you and hope you can cope.

When Carlotta did the pole, I found it particularly cute in the beginning when I showed her the pole and asked whether she was ready, she seemed to nod a bit. And around 5:00 when she tried to throw in a school halt.

sounds like fun with Steph. I think that we all want to reward the tries and their motivation but remember that this straddle is for proprioception LOL. I am going to do it off lead with SATS and the pointer - it does force us to work with less pressure. Just explain that there is no insurance available and if at any time you think that there is danger then direct her to an online course and she can seek guidance. oh yes it was very hard with the cows - a few shocks but it has happened and yes I cope after the tears finish. Allot went. I was more numb about the weekend and teary with the cows. I am nearly back on track now so trying to finish up the course and provide the first on line and want to get that CAT video on the CAT page

yep the 'ready' does work LOL

I am using it more and more. You maybe cannot hear it in the vids, but I do

Chris and I will be facing some sad moments too soon, I'm afraid. Flamenca, the mare I had imported from California 20 years ago and sold to Chris 10 years ago (still being able to ride and see her whenever I wanted) had developped DSLD and it looks like it is time to let her go. And maybe 2 others of her oldies as well. Carlotta's dam is now 25ish and has lost a lot of weight and condition after her last foal. It wasn't supposed to happen, as vet said it was very unlikely she could ever become in foal again, so Chris gave her to her stallion Rev as companion, together with Flamenca, who also wouldn't be able to have foals anymore. They had a lovely time together, and we were totally suprised when Nikita's belly started to round. She gave birth to the most beautiful little brother of Carlotta. But now she doesn't seem able to pick up weight again. Not sure what Chris will do about her. Pity I have such restricted grazing area, but it's already overstock with Wotan here.

Oh, here is the link to my youtube channel, just in case:

oh it is sad but it is a risk with the breed unfortunately

Yes, I know. When we found out about it, we stopped breeding Flamenca. A shame, because she is such a lovely mare. And over the years, I had 3 foals from Nikita, the first two were grey geldings. Then I gave in to my preference for dark mares

September 7, 2019

Forgot to ask: can you recommend any online course for Steph? I was thinking about giving her introduction to some bascis and then point her to a local riding instructor. Problem is I don't know how they are teaching...

it depends what she wants to do 🙂 so thats first - what is she into -R or +R?

Nothing at the moment, as she is a complete newbie. Petra told me how she went riding with her neighbour (who, according to Petra, weighs some 150 kgs!!!), and then out on her own!! When her mare "refused to go forward", the fat neighbour hopped on her and got very physical with the horse!

At that moment, I said to Petra I would come over and assess the situation and give explanations about how to handle a horse and everything I could do to help.

I will explain about -R, +R etc, do role playing and demos and see what I can do for the mare. Not the smallest job in the world, I suppose...

What Steph wants, is ride!

Petra hopes that I can do something to make Steph understand that she needs to learn some basics, then take riding lessons.

Oh, imagine: Petra, being the very kind soul she is, offered to take Wotan with her. She has a smallish pony already.

But I don't think this is a solution, as she too doesn't know much about horses, so she wouldn't know how to handle Wotan, and on top, I am sure that her grandkids would go into the paddock with him. Which is absolutely not a good idea. But it was sweet of her to offer.

if a person only wants to ride and not learn about a horses emotions and what is best for a horse then I guess it will be parelli - sorry but unless she is clearer with what she wants there is not really allot I can suggest - I agree she is not the right person for Wotan at the moment but that can change - so question her on what is important on when she rides - how does she want the horse to carry her (as an example) then we can find the right fit for her

Sat 7:37 PM

Thank you, Julie, will get back to you tomorrow.

Sun 3:07 AM

fingers crossed you get some insight into her dreams

Sun 11:57 AM

Sounds like she is willing to learn, she just fell into the wrong hands. Will let you know how the session with her goes.

Carlotta gave me such a wonderful ride this morning. After the little warmup walking around, as soon as I picked up the reins, she immediately collected herself. I hadn't even asked yet! Walked so proudly and beautifully with her core engaged. No camera in sight, of course

We did a bit with PW, and she happily went into repeatedly, making a real effort. Nice canter with skips as well. It felt just glorious

Having an exchange with Steph (and Petra, her mum) right now. Have told her some basics ideas, and she seems very enthusiastic about learning how to do it right and wants to understand her horse and treat him with respect and knowledge and love.

He is a Standie, 14 yo, ex sulky racer, with apparently a lot of learned issues, like being pushy, stopping dead, running backwards etc. Steph is also keen to learn about clicker training. Sounds promising! And Petra is also very keen to learn all this, so she can apply it with her pony.

And yes, maybe she will progress enough so she can take over Wotan, who knows

Sun 3:52 PM

great about Carlotta! oh another Star LOL

I love Standies. Had two myself in the past.

they come with their challenges as with anyone, but my two are rescues and they are harder than any rescue TB I have known LOL.

well Star was not a real rescue until he showed me hahahaha

That was Ramona. Don't have a photo of Orlando handy.

Oh geez, and I thought Standies were comparatively easy-going. Mine were. Taught them to gait, which both learned very quickly, and then we had the most wonderful rides in Kuitpo Forest.

Forgot to ask: can you recommend any online course for Steph?

I was thinking about giving her introduction to some bascis and then point her to a local riding instructor. Problem is I don't know how they are teaching...

it depends what she wants to do . so thats first - what is she into -R or +R?

Nothing at the moment, as she is a complete newbie. Petra told me how she went riding with her neighbour (who, according to Petra, weighs some 150 kgs!!!), and then out on her own!! When her mare "refused to go forward", the fat neighbour hopped on her and got very physical with the horse!

At that moment, I said to Petra I would come over and assess the situation and give explanations about how to handle a horse and everything I could do to help.

I will explain about -R, +R etc, do role playing and demos and see what I can do for the mare. Not the smallest job in the world, I suppose...

What Steph wants, is ride!

Petra hopes that I can do something to make Steph understand that she needs to learn some basics, then take riding lessons.

Oh, imagine: Petra, being the very kind soul she is, offered to take Wotan with her. She has a smallish pony already.

But I don't think this is a solution, as she too doesn't know much about horses, so she wouldn't know how to handle Wotan, and on top, I am sure that her grandkids would go into the paddock with him. Which is absolutely not a good idea. But it was sweet of her to offer.

if a person only wants to ride and not learn about a horses emotions and what is best for a horse then I guess it will be parelli - sorry but unless she is clearer with what she wants there is not really allot I can suggest - I agree she is not the right person for Wotan at the moment but that can change - so question her on what is important on when she rides - how does she want the horse to carry her (as an example) then we can find the right fit for her

Sat 7:37 PM

Thank you, Julie, will get back to you tomorrow.

Sun 3:07 AM

fingers crossed you get some insight into her dreams

Sun 11:57 AM

Sounds like she is willing to learn, she just fell into the wrong hands. Will let you know how the session with her goes.

Carlotta gave me such a wonderful ride this morning. After the little warmup walking around, as soon as I picked up the reins, she immediately collected herself. I hadn't even asked yet! Walked so proudly and beautifully with her core engaged. No camera in sight, of course

We did a bit with PW, and she happily went into repeatedly, making a real effort. Nice canter with skips as well. It felt just glorious

Having an exchange with Steph (and Petra, her mum) right now. Have told her some basics ideas, and she seems very enthusiastic about learning how to do it right and wants to understand her horse and treat him with respect and knowledge and love.

He is a Standie, 14 yo, ex sulky racer, with apparently a lot of learned issues, like being pushy, stopping dead, running backwards etc. Steph is also keen to learn about clicker training.

Sounds promising! And Petra is also very keen to learn all this, so she can apply it with her pony.

And yes, maybe she will progress enough so she can take over Wotan, who knows

Sun 3:52 PM

great about Carlotta! oh another Star LOL

I love Standies. Had two myself in the past.

they come with their challenges as with anyone, but my two are rescues and they are harder than any rescue TB I have known LOL

well Star was not a real rescue until he showed me hahahaha

That was Ramona. Don't have a photo of Orlando handy.

Oh geez, and I thought Standies were comparatively easy-going. Mine were. Taught them to gait, which both learned very quickly, and then we had the most wonderful rides in Kuitpo Forest.

I only have rescues. a little different when they have been abused rather than just off the track

Yes, I bet that is the case.

I will never understand how somebody can abuse horses. Or any other animal or human, of course. Will see Steph and Petra tomorrow and give them an introductory theory session with demos and roly playing. Seems there will be rain and wind, so won't be able to go outside and see the horse. But hopefully on Tuesday.

well there is plenty to go around - not to mention the 'do gooders' who abuse through equine assisted therapy LOL and they dont see it - oh message from Sarah that she wants to call me next week and wanted a time etc - I said when she is free I am pretty easy - I either pick up or I am asleep!


I was going to load the CAT one today and wanted to take a look at the earlier one when we were down there - shame Sarah did not show that first before the CAT

Yes, correct, all those well-intented ignorant people do so much harm and aren't even aware of it.

I got pissed off and thought tomorrow!

Looking forward to see them up and running. Even though the one with Bubba wouldn't be very interesting, I bet.

no they are intentioned! they are ego driven and do not practice horse is first - otherwise Bubba would not have been used for 5 days

I fully agree with you.

oh I cant publish anything of Sarahs but I will send it to you - I can only publish mine as it was supposed to be private. I was thinking of making sure jane was fine with it but thought why she is not identified

have fun

I feel a bit disappointed with Jane. Have the feeling that Sarah convinced her not to ask for any further help from you. Won't question her motifs.... Anyway, talk later.

yeah maybe - I think it is best I contact her and make sure she is fine with me publishing the video first - well if she wants help she has my DVD's as I gave them to her as a thankyou - she probably will never look at them

Her choice if she wants to be that stupid. My feeling is that she can do with help, as she doesn't seem to have much horse experience.

Septembrer 8, 2019

Looks like we have a bit of dry outside, so might grab Carlotta before heading off to Petra and Steph.

have fun

We did some fun plays together. First took her to the straddling pole on lead rope, but with it hanging very loosely all the time, so she could figure it out by herself. She drifted again with her hind end when hind hooves reached the pole, so we walked away and did some PWs, crunches and skip canters at liberty. She loves it and engages more and more willingly and often offers PW on her own now. Also did some really beautiful pesades (her decision). She can now stay more in one spot and doesn't have to walk forward anymore. So more balance, I'd say. She stays glued close to me now when doing the PWs etc.

Back to the pole, this time off leash. She worked on it in a very concentrated manner. I tried to slow myself down internally and stop after each step. Not easy, as she was so keen to figure it out and perform

Hind legs off to the side again, and the lead rope slipped off my neck (where I had hung it) and fell in front of her feet. Woops, spook. But she came back immediately and wanted to try again. This time made sure to line up her hind end herself to approach the pole straight. She managed to place the left hind beside the pole. So we ended on that and she got heaps of praise and admiration and wither scritchies.

She seems to start to enjoy neck scritchies more now as well. She feels very engaged and wanting to be close to me now.

the pole is funny both horses here are really getting into it. I wish this wind would stop...hahahahaha - I know - it is great she is getting engaged. So did she deactivate at all before she came back from the spook?

Yes, she did deactivate: stopped and looked, then breathed out and relaxed her poll.

after some discussions with Dr Getty (nutritionalist from the USA) I took them off the hemp oil I was feeding them on her advice as it is not like the same they get over there - both horses were becoming very dull, only took 2 days and they were back to their usual selves this morning - Star was straddling the pole while I was with Sharney in the other yard LOL

Yay for Star! Hugs to both of them!

Ok so this is good, our aim is for our horse to deactivate and then they know what goes up comes down and then it does not seem as spooky

I have a very good feeling about how Lotta handles it right now.

Will set up camera next time. Didn't dare today because of the threatening rain. Really should have, would have been so much worth it.

They do like the feeling the pole is giving them I dont have the back feet consistent yet but it will happen. Yes if Carlotta is showing you she is handling things then it is all becoming worth it. I wish I could finish this on line course I am building - took forever this morning to find a video I wanted to take a bit from so at least I know where it is now. It is almost done. oh the days we dont have the camera are the best ones!

Glad to hear you're almost finished with that on line course. TTYL have fun! yes it is nearly there I just wanted to change all the intro and stop the references to SE

September 10, 2019

I’m glad that you were able to have some progress with Carlotta, Yvonne, in applying some of the concepts. That’s great news!

I gave an theory presentation to Petra and Steph yesterday, about clicker training and gentle techniques to interact with a horse. We did some role playing, having turns to everybody being the "horse" or the trainer. When Steph was my horse and I, the trainer, had some difficulties getting her to reach the goal I had set in my mind (and whispered into Petra's ear), i.e. walk to a chair and sit down on it, Steph had a big ahaa moment about how confusing things can be for a horse. As it was only drizzling occasionally, we went out and did something with her horse, Chase, a 14 y.o. Standie, which she got about a month ago.

He was pretty thin, as Steph had already suspected and I confirmed, but it will take some time to feed him to better health. She has done all the rest, like worming, having his feet looked after, teeth done etc., so she is trying very hard to do everything she can for him.

I then introduced him to CT via touching a target. He is very mouthy and pushy, but not in an aggressive way, but showed some improvement already after some work, so we moved on to see how he longed. Which, after a moment of confusion, he did nicely. I think he is pretty weak, so can't do any other work than walking at this stage.

So I set up a cone circle and did Alex' exericse of walking around and stopping at each cone and let the initiative to the horse to stop too, which he figured out very quickly. Another thing I noticed is that he is very intelligent and extremely light in his responses. Right from the beginning, he started to back up when I only directed him with body language, without even touching him. Same for coming forward and hindquarter yields. He clearly didn't know these things, but understood very quickly and was happy to perform.

Seems he has been driven in sulky races, and I assume that his education to be a riding horse was very rudimentary. Was nice to see how he came to Steph when she called him in the paddock, and how interested he was in everything we did with him. A real treasure. I will go back and do some more, also with Petra's cheeky little pony

Will try to set up the camera next time and take a bit of video. Here are Steph's and Petra's comments:

Petra: Thank you for today Yvonne, l enjoyed today’s lesson. I now have a better understanding from the horses point of view, just hope l can remember it all

Steph: yes thank you. it was a lot to take in, also hope i remember it all. can we please go over some of it on Thursday? so it sinks in.

I loved learning it from the horses point of view, it was so interesting sounds all very positive - I will get you the stuff in the mail and you will see a training game on there as well and the human confusion LOL - just go slowly at her pace and it was nice that they were both wanting refreshers

Yes, great. Thanks a lot.

BTW, these passive-aggressive lassies were the Canadian girls (have forgotten their names) and Rebecca from SA, right? Rebecca sent me a friend request (before I posted my comments on my Timeline), so I better be very careful in my interactions with her....

Kirrily did too, and she went very quiet after reading my post

For the human confusion about the training game: Alex had invited me to the first clicker trainer instructor clinic in NY, and part of it were said training games. She had thought out for me, the horse, the task to walk (together with a second "horse"), between to parallel posts and pcik them up together and carry them a few steps! You bet that I had big difficulties with this, especially as my "trainer" was very imprecise with her clicks. I went through all sorts of things, including square dancing over the poles, haha, but couldn't figure it out. Everybody had a good laugh about it

Here is some groundwork fun with Lotta today (um, she used her neck again for crunches...):

Carlotta did some nice skips and PWs this morning under saddle, will send you that video too, once it's uploaded.

Carlotta being really enthusiastic:

whats going on with her flanks? in the ground video she was doing alot of kicking towards her flanks - she is going well and looks happy

Nothing going on with Lotta's flanks

I had inadvertantly taught her to move her hind legs vividly when I say "hind leg". All my fault really, as I clicked it when she did. Will really have to work on it - too lazy or busy up to now.

Soo, Srah will send me a looong email, as it sounds

Ok LOL I dont know what Sarah will do I assume she will want the 'last' say such is the ego

September 12, 2019

Oh, forgot to tell you: We have a routine to let the horses into the middle paddock around mid day. So when yesterday I approached (Carlotta hanging over the gate nickering), the horses started to walk towars the other end. But when I called Carlotta, she turned around and came to me! ☺ yeah for Carlotta - it is great when this happens. My two escaped yesterday and went accross the creek having a grand old time and it was really scary as there are many wombat holes over there, hence the reason I cant let them there. I think a cow somehow pushed the gate as there was a huge dent in it - went down with my clicker and bag and then came across the creek and panther walked with me all the way to their paddock LOL - heaps of clicks and trying to keep my nerves in tack. If I had brought halters down with me it would have not been as good I reckon

Oh Julie, this is such a wonderful story! I see that creek of yours in my mind, must be a worry to have it on your place. Isn't it just delightful when they PW at your side. Yay for Star and Sharney - and for you!

yep it was a real worry - so thanks - they were having the time of their lives and I feel for them that they cant be over there but the holes will break their legs - they were covered in sweat with their winter coats but they were just so wonderful. I called hub and he was not able to come straight back and he settled me down and said you got this - the horses will respond just PW your way home

I am just about to feed up and go to bed - oh have you seen any of anja Berans work?

Yes, quite nice most of it. But some things I didn't really like. I prefer Arne Koets.

Ok I subscribed to a website and I like what she is saying so far (well except for riding at 3 rather than ground work at 3)

Finished watching it. Well presented. Of course, I know all this already, but it certainly is very useful for people who are not aware of these things.

I agree with most of what Anja says (and she is a beautiful rider, as I saw in youtubes of her). Just a few things: She warns about starting a horse at age 3 (and even 2, as they often have to do in Germany, because of the "circumstances"), but still seems to have given in to the idea of applying it, because she has to, if she wants to survive as a trainer. But she is making a good effort to try to raise awareness and maybe one day change conditions via opening the eyes of the public.

She suggests nice things, but I still think that 4 y.o. is too young to ride a horse (see Deb Bennett's growth chart). We start ours at the earliest at 4 1/2, with good groundwork preparation and then very little riding time, then send them back to paddock life for another 6 months or even a year, before starting to ride them.

The remarks about the amble made me laugh. Definitely she has no idea about the existence of gaited horse....

I liked her explanations about why trot extensions should only be done after the horse can do piaffe and passage.

I don't agree with her about the rider's hands. She says "low", and many of her examples show indeed hands that are too low and sortof blocked. One does it well, with naturally angled elbows and hands about belly button height. If she preaches for low hands, we will inevitably continue to see riders with hands in their crotches, stiff, tense shoulders, elbows and wrists. Just my opinion.

I loved her suggestion to develop piaffe from backing (with relaxed diagonal footfall). And canter pirouettes out of travers. I am far from being there yet, but who knows, it might happen one day....

classical dressage is not really aimed at the gaited horse with these folks LOL and yes I agree too young but there is no way that in these circles that they will start later - at least she is careful - I hate that she starts under saddle but I feel that she does offer some good insights. She is only speaking about low hands when the horse begins - not when they are ready to compete though from what I can see

Hm, not sure, I think I saw a lot of low hands in the educated horses. Will go out and ride now.

I dont pay allot attention to the 'riders' position so maybe dont know LOL - I like her explanation but I wanted to see what the fuss was about as Alex Kurland is over with her at the moment, so subscribed for a month or so to watch the videos

Haha, OK.

6:03 PM Haha, she PW's at my side on the way out of the paddock

Another lovely ride. Boy, is she keen on that PW! Offers it all the time. I am trying to develop strategies (other from clicking) to get her to stop now and then, haha. Tried asking for corto and laterals which worked.

Have also worked a bit on downward transitions and nice walk (Hi, Anja!) as well as improving the turn on forehand and haunches. She could do these perfectly a while ago, which it has become slack and not correct recently. So, better go back to rebuild that one.

Same for backing through labyrinth. Looks like it worries her. Never mind, we do tiny increments of it from time to time, so she can rebuild her confidence.

Tomorrow and until Sunday visit from our friend Margaret. She seems to have finally regained her health and wants to get back into the saddle now, under Chris' wings and using one of her steeds (Sparky or Keldan) which live here at Narrawin. She is planning to ride in the Anke clinic end of November, so she better practises a bit before.

Hope all is better with you now and you have overcome all the dreadful things that happened recently.

September 12, 2019

Yea with the PW we can only cue it but remember that it can also be a sign she is trying to get more confidence so dont forget to think about it in these terms as well and use it with the labyrinth. Sounds like you have some busy days coming up. Vet this morning and then I can relax a little but I am still pretty raw.

September 14, 2019

Yes, keeping that in mind and letting her do her thing, when she needs to. Might be a bit difficult in the labyrinth, as it's the backwards that worries her at the moment, i.e. I lead her through forward, like she is used to, but when I ask her to stop at the end, she get worried and cotinues forward. Nevermind, she can have a break with it. Might work a bit from the ground here and there.

Had a busy day yesterday: ride out late morning with Chris and Margaret (both on the Iceys). Carlotta AGAIN pee'd and poo'd in the float when Chris picked her up. And she had done 5 poos already. sigh

I suppose she was worried that we might take her to Cliff for a lesson. But that won't happen anymore, so she can relax about it.

Then home to walk the dogs, then just a 15 minute break, and then off to Petra and Steph. This time, I took almost everything on video, except my first CAT session with Petra's pony, which I forgot to film unfortunately. It was great - within a few minutes of it, I could walk all the way up to her, touch her halter, take it off, then put it back on. I could see Petra swallow drily when I took the halter off and walked away, haha.

Then Petra learned how to do it, and soon she could manage too, put the halter on little Diva and started to lead her around without resistance. I helped her over the first "stuck" moments, and then it went smoothly.

Gave a long talk in the beginning about what horses are and feel, then we worked a bit with Chase, Steph's Standie. I introduced him to the mat, and also some more walking around cone circles. He "suddenly" became pretty nippy for food delivery, so worked on this, until it dawned to me that it only happened when we are standing on his right side. Duh!

I asked Steph whether she cad worked with him over the last few days, as I had suggested, and she admitted that she hadn't. (which showed!). I strongly suggested she does, and practises with a barreer between her and Chase. When I as about to leave, it came out that she had gone to that Donna again, who had elbowed her into letting her ride Chase (against her will, as she said). Steph said that she had told Donna about our work with Chase and that she was gently when riding him. On which I said that she wouldn't be able to recognise whether Donna was gentle and soft or not, as she didn't have the experience to see it. I said that I was happy to work with her and her horse, but she had to give her own input and not turn around and let Donna ride him at this stage or ride him herself. As this would be very confusing for her horse, and I wasn't prepare to waste my time in this case. I would be happy to let her continue with Donna, if that is her choice, but would stop working with Chase if Steph chose that path. I explained that her horse, being so thin at the moment, is too weak to be ridden, so she can make use of the next weeks/months to build up her own skills and maybe take lessons with an instructor on another horse to learn an independent seat and hands.

I gave both homework to practise the things I had shown them and then I might come back and do some more.

I am aware that Donna sortof bullied Steph into letting her ride Chase, but I suggested she puts her foot down, if she has her horse's interest in mind, and not allow any further riding for now. Also checked her gear - the saddle is a Wintec with changeable gullet, which is too narrow in the shoulder area, IMO. And Steph is too comparatively heavy for such a flimsy saddle. I will discuss the matter with Chris and see whether she can come and assess it, as she is much better with saddle fitting than I am.

Another visit from a horse girl after brekkie. Amiee has booked into our next Anke clinic end of November. She has 2 Irish Woldhounds, so is very interested in seeing our borzoi. And also in the horses. So we will have some interaction with all of them, and also go and see Chris.

Sun 12:26 PM

sounds like you have a full couple of days! yes vet was great. wow Donna sounds like a piece of work - you are right to say you cant work with anyone if there is conflicting information. The CAT stuff is really good to do and if Steph and Petra can try and see what you are achieving then it will really pay off for her - the nippiness could have been stress - so if there are videos they would be good to see. walking backwards - heaps of good suggestions in Jecs book for that!

Sun 4:24 PM Vids are here (the top 6): Most are very long.

The nippiness was stress, I am pretty sure about this. Petra was delighted with how Diva, her pony, reacted. She is very keen on it.

Dunno about Steph, she hasn't given my a final decision yet.

When you do something for free, people often think it's not worth anything. I am doing this to help Petra, as she is a very kind soul and is very worried about her light-headed daughter.

Had a lot of fun with Amiee (pronounced Amy) today. We walked the dogs together, visited Chris, where Amiee could see Chris and Rev in full action, then we played a bit with Carlotta. Lotta was apparently still tired from yesterday, so I did mainly a few minutes of riding at walk. She said she couldn't do any PW today, so I respected that. Let Amiee have a short ride, so she could experience how it feels to ride a gaited horse. She loved it. Is also very interested in alternative ways with horses, so told her about Intrinzen and your work. She has problems with her horses who got frustrated with the so-called dressage. She competed in it for years, then stopped because she and her horses didn't like it anymore. I think our different approach fascinates her

yep I know the feeling about doing things for free - Steinar and now Sarah - it is a problem but it shows more about them than you (in your case). It is good that Amiee is open to it - well the online course is nearly finished - I just want to do a couple of more videos and if it is not foggy I can do them tomorrow - I am going to incorporate the straddling the pole into it with the mat as I got lift off today with SATS - straddling both front and rear with no pressure and release I was speaking to my trimmer today about the workshop as she was going to come also but ended up with a busted car so she could spare the cash - she is a psychologist, drug and alcohol counsellor as well as a therapist - I knew her in my old life - she gave it all up for trimming - she said she agreed with my take and that it was Sarahs job as the leader to help and contain the questions etc - she felt she was a narcissist LOL and wanted to play good cop bad cop and set me to the wolves

Sounds lovely! I will let Amiee know when it's finished. I briefly showed her some liberty stuff with Carlotta, including the straddling pole.

I am going to incorporate the movement solutions presentation into it as well as it is all about the best for the horses


So I will look at the vids tomorrow - and if you want I will offer my views - when the DVD's come you will see both presentations (no oral talk on them at the moment) and I am happy if you wanted to share them

Oh thank you, that's wonderful!

You might get tired of watching those lengthy vids though...

its all good, I can pace myself!

but lengthy means not really what we are aiming for LOL

Hahahaha. The longest thing was the introductory speech, all the rest wasn't too bad

according to PV they explode when they wake up because they wanted to explode before they shut down but could not - so dorsal vagal high and then the tone becomes lower and they 'wake up' so back to high sympathetic

Oh, I see.....

September 15, 2019

Ok so heres the thing - I am unclear as to why you did CAT? (but what I saw was not a demonstration of CAT unfortunately and I think the main reason was that this pony was not scared. So for me I could not see any reason that this pony needed it? the pony wanted to engage - so think about this - where was the threshold of anxiety? the pony showed no signs that there was one. By providing -R (which is CAT in distance) to a horse who wants proximity is punishing - for me this was not CAT. There was also a time when there was a treat given and then it was back to CAT - So talk me through your reasons to do CAT (especially as this video followed a clicker session)

My...... it is great you have an attentive audience as there was allot of information for them to digest in one session hahahahaha. So a few things but first you are best to watch my clicker USB before you think of lending it to these folks (if you chose to do so) because my USB will create confusion for them and it would be akin to another trainer and you want to avoid that for sure. The reason is I do not teach clicker this way and use very little from Alex, because of the blending. IMO one has to understand allot more than these two do before one risks not creating anxiety with the use of -R and then pairing with a usually ends in disaster later - I dont believe that these two can judge a state of anxiety, so continuing in this manner with -R and +R has the potential to poison the clicker - something many had happen in the early days 30 or so years ago. There is quite a bit of science that shows blending is confusing for the horse in any event, even when the horse is resilient -R but be it as it may I am just giving you the heads up as my DVD is very different to the focus of your videos here. With Stephanie and Chase there was allot of confusion for the horse I felt - and I can easily see this horse becoming anxious with the use of -R and at times I saw escalated pressure and release and that is a NO NO even by Alex's standards, as this will definitely cause poison cues. Of course sometimes video is easier to see than when we are there in the moment. This is the main reason why beginners need not to use -R in my view as they don't understand the differences between a cue (in laymans terms - but it really is a signal) and pressure and release. I know you will focus on this but I did see allot of mistakes with the treat and click delivery and I think that it was because it had not been cemented first and also she did not understand what it was she was doing and when the horse was actually providing something that she liked to see repeated. Treats were given at times I would not have considered giving them also, but that is a difference of training and everyone has different views of course - it was more important not to treat when there were the early signs of mugging and there were quite a few times when there were either pats or treats (could not hear allot of clicking but I am sure they were there).

Mon 10:52 AM

Your parcel arrived today. Thanks a lot. Will ask Greg to make it all visible for me.

Hm, about Steph and Chase. Yes, I know I made some mistakes and didn't correct Steph enough. I had suggested she does it behind a barrier, but she was too lazy to even do a single session. And I have the feeling that she didn't like me saying that she had to decide what she wanted and I would't continue if she chooses Donna and her path

Pity I hadn't filmend my first CAT session with Diva, the pony. Petra had told me that she was uncatchable, so each time she needed to halter her, she lured her into a small enclose with a food bucket, then they grabbed her with several people and forced the halter on!!!

And Diva definitely had the "my-finger-up-to-you" syndrome. So I started with CAT, and within minutes, she had understood that nobody would force her and started to want to interact very happily (but still a bit carefully).

When I coached Petra through a session with her pony, I showed her the CAT approach, so she could use it if ever there would be problems in the future. And of course she needed some better approach for haltering, so we worked on this mainly.

hahahaha inner integrity was missing in Qld. yeah it is not really possible to coach through a CAT session when the horse is not in fear and if the horse had a finger up to you syndrome there probably was no fear in the first place, just the horse was sensible enough to know that these humans trying to catch me are not worth my effort LOL - so human prove it to me that you are worth my while! So what you had done most likely proved that to her. Yeah the clicker DVD will not really be of any use to you as it does not follow the clicker technique that you use . Sounds like Steph is not really going to commit to something that will help as it is not a quick fix - but you need to be careful as Steph was not really understanding what she was doing and that is a disaster for her and the horse as the manners will get worse and then all they will see is this 'process' made the horse bad - the horse will then be the one to suffer

So, may be a good idea not to use CT with her and Chase? I can try to only use -R when working with them. Will explain to her why, if it comes to it.

Thank you for all the input, very helpful. I am not a true clicker trainer, just a user ;-)

whatever the method it has to be what she will be committed to and she does not seem to understand the bare bones of horses so there is always the potential for either -R or +R to be used to the detriment of the horse. So either method would be blamed if it was poorly executed. I would always recommend clicker training but not a combination of both +r and -r- this is where you and I differ. The clicker to me is more than something that is given at the end of a pressure and release, it is a method of communication and providing the horse with what is proven to yield the best results. If the communication sends out mixed signals, which blending does (especially if the pressure is escalated which it was in her video and she was only leading), then there is the potential to do harm - but -R will have the same result and the harm is worse for the horse - the harm that can be caused by clicker done mistakenly will be shown up in the horse well and truly before harm comes to the horse - this is not the case usually with harm caused by escalated pressure and release as it becomes punishment and often the horse will appear quiet and of course this is misread by the human - with clicker done badly the horse is more likely to be loud and show the human he or she is 'turning' into a monster - plenty of time to fix IF there is a person who is reading that language correctly - a person who cannot read the language correctly will positively punish the horse and then the horse suffers more. I honestly did not get the feeling that these people have allot of common sense and knowhow with horses so I can only caution you that if you sense that their heart is not in it, I would explain to them the differences as you see them and leave them to decide - walk away and wait for them to contact you - just a feeling but when there is already someone else in the mix , who seems to have more pull power it cant turn out well

Very good thoughts, Julie. You are tight, and I mentioned it before: they don't have a clue about horses. I was trying to give them some basics, but I'm afraid, it's too much info for them to process, and part of it went above their head.

Yes, the danger is there that I will get the blame if something goes wrong. This is mostly the case when it comes to teaching something about horses...

Petra (the mother) asked me whether I can help and I said I will try. But it seems like a big task. I have helped lots of people before with their horses, and often with good success. But Steph is a scatterbrain, according to her mum, and I don't have a good feeling about it.

But I feel so sorry for the horse...

I have already done what you suggest, i.e. explained my view to them and especially Steph, and asked them to think it over and then let me know. I would wait for her to contact me.

Petra has told me up front how worried she is about Steph getting into that journey (horse), due to being the person she is. She is a mother of 3 small children and has a scatterbrain of fiance, and often has serious health problems.

I had already suggested Steph takes riding lessons before even trying to ride Chase. And I think it might be a very good idea to have him trained by a sensible, good trainer to see what is in him. But that trainer would need to be found. And Chris' and my experience with this has been that you can train a horse as much as you want and can, as soon as it goes back to his incompetent owner, it has all been in vain, as things go back to what they were.

It's never the horse, it's always the rider. As the old cavalry saying goes....

Chris would be a good person to work with the horse. BUT.... she is more than busy with her life (PhD, work, 40 horses to care for on her property, jousting and other horse activities, etc.), and I really don't want to burden her with more. Especially as Steph doesn't have any money and is kept very "short" by her fiance. I am doing this for free, as you know.

I'm really not sure what to do. This poor rescue horse is so full of good will, but I am worried what will happen when he comes back to health and strength. I can see how my Wotan is transformed, now that he feels good again, and I worry about Steph when this happens with Chase. He is currently very thin and thus weak (I pointed this out to Steph and said that, among others, this is the reason I wouldn't anybody allow to ride him).

Of course, I pointed all this out to her and Petra already, but will they remember?....

I did my best to try to introduce her to a way of interacting with her horse without submitting him to the danger of having to put up with yet more pressure. But this is a potentially very dangerous situation, as you point out.

Mainly due to what Steph is and how she reacts.

The policy might be to discuss with Petra what to do. Not that we actually can do anything without Steph's consent, of course.

I can tell Petra that I discussed the matter with you and how you feel about it.

I had already said that she should never have bought a horse at this stage, but rather take riding lessons for a while, until she has gained some basic knowledge.

I can tell Petra that I fear that there is a considerable risk of disaster, especially when Chase gets stronger and healthier again.

The only way out I can see is:

- Steph doesn't do anything with Chase for the moment - She takes regular riding lessons (which might be a problem, due to the financial situation) - She has her horse trained by a good trainer who understands horses and uses gentle methods - Only then she gets introduced to riding and handling her horse by said trainer.

She might need regular supervision and help for a long time, but frankly I am neither able nor willing to do this. I have enough on my plate, and I don't have insurance cover anymore.

I don't want to scare and worry Petra more than she is already, but it might be necessary to discuss all this with her. What do you think?

Seeing the way Steph has reacted (not even done anything with her horses after I had asked her to) makes me think that it's a waste of time anyway.

As you say: what she most likely wants, is a quick fix, like this is the case for so many horse owners and riders.

Anyway, don't worry too much about it. I think I'll just repeat that she needs to get riding lessons and get the horse trained.

I think you need to follow your feelings -why not invite Steph to watch you with your horses and ask questions? I would not personally want Steph to ride - I would feel better if she was working in hand to be honest - I think it is working with the human though not the horse

Yes, mostly with the human. But I have the nagging feeling that all she wants is ride, and soooon!

I can invite her along, for sure, but not sure about the use of it. Will wait for her to say something before offering anything else.

Thank you for listening and suggesting

I would ask her to work with Wotan on the ground. trust me - the learning will happen!

Haha, do you think that is safe? He can be jumpy, and this could be a problem.

ask her what she is feeling, ask her what she thinks he is feeling, what is he showing when he does this and that - video the lot and you stay with the camera - yes I feel the worst Wotan will do is move away - this then gives you the opening to help her read a horse - he wont barge at her and he is the most resilient of your herd

EAP my way LOL

oh and repeat what she says to you for the video - but you say it is to make sure it is picked up and you understand it and then ask her to view the video later

Sounds good. What is EAP?

Haha, "what do you feel" is kinda poisoned for me at the moment

EAP equine assisted therapy - what the loopies were all about the other week LOL - OK so feel is the wrong word hahahahahaha - what are you thinking

LOL, really had a good laugh about Wotan, the most resilient of my herd. Small choice in rotten apples, eh?! ROFL

I think he is resilient - he is confident to deactivate in times when he has a little stress

Yes, I fully agree.

September 17, 2019

Carlotta's spanish blood shining through yet again:

This morning she offered me a few steps of spanish *trot* a couple of times. I had just done my pelvis lift and given a small forward cue with my legs, and Bingo!

Awesome Carlotta! Bravo, Princess!

Will make a rain dance for you tonight! ta!

September 19, 2019

Hope you got a lot more of the wet stuff!

So windy/stormy here today that Carlotta didn't want to be ridden... or even play at liberty with me. So I said OK let's go back to the paddock and you can have brekkie.

Petra here this morning, so I got an update. Yep, as I suspected, Steph really isn't ready for all this and prefers to lend her ear to others. That neighbour of hers, Donna, buys and sells horses and has sold Chase to Steph and now, according to Petra, tries to talk Steph into buying one of her others for her little daughter!! (the tiny girl in the vids). Petra is pretty sure that Donna has told Steph not to listen to me etc. I told Petra I am perfectly happy (and even very relieved) that Steph wants to follow her path without my assistance. Whew....

She hadn't done ANYTHING of what I had recommended. The result: the horse has turned very muggy, as she feeds him when he crowds her instead of making him "work" for treats!!! In fact, she didn't listen to anything I said, as it seems, apart from that she liked what I showed her of in-hand work and proudly said to her mum that she had applied it when riding him (!!!) and he responded well. Petra got very upset with her, especially when Steph asked her to take one of her horses to her place and feed him and look after him. Petra said she didn't really want the horse, so I suggested she clearly says NO!

We agreed that I would completely pull out of the whole matter and not interact with Steph any more. I also told Petra to make it very clear to Steph that I don't want her to do any feeding him treats anymore and pointed out that this would very quickly turn into disaster the way she is handling it. Petra said she would tell her.

Then came the good thing of the whole matter: Petra told me that Diva, her little pony, now allows her near her any time and even comes running to the gate, as soon as Petra turns up. She can halter her and lead her without any problem. Heard a bit of background: her neighbour (who had also told Petra all sorts of uneducated nonsense, because she had watched what I had done with Steph and Chase and Diva and Petra from behind her hedge) some time ago offered Petra to help her worm Diva and grabbed her by the mane and neck and cornered her and forced the wormer into her mouth. I pointed out that this is the reason why her pony doesn't want to let her approach since. Petra said "Oooh, now I understand what was going on!". In fact, before she always had a great relationship with Diva, could do anything with her, take her for walks etc and from that day of neighbour's intervention, all this was down the drain (who would have thought that...).

Anyway, I gave her a syringe, cut the nozzle off and said she should get some apple sauce, and then I would show her how to prepare Diva for relaxed worming. I am very pleased that things are going so well for Petra and her pony.

Was a real eye-opener for her how quickly a good relationship can be ruined. At least, she is interested and listens what I tell her.

I suspect there is allot more to the story you are being told, but if you are keeping out of it you should keep out of it though, even with Petra, but time will tell

Petra knows her daughter very well and acknowledges that I tried very hard and that is not my "fault" that it didn't work out, but of Steph's making.

I can't keep out with Petra, as she is my cleaning lady. But she was the one who told Steph that she wouldn't ask me anymore to try to help, as she noticed that Steph just hasn't the right mindset.

I think it should be safe to just help Petra with her own pony.

Thu 3:21 PM fingers crossed

Thu 6:11 PMFri 12:06 PM

Too funny: Valeta tries her hand on things she has seen with Carlotta now, like spanish salute and levades Such a cute little copycat.

And Carlotta more and more easily goes into PW, when she walks at my side. And does little mini crunches or bowing in the paddock to attract my attention. Silke (trimmer) was here this morning. Very windy, so it was a bit difficult, especially as Mick, the gardener, kept zooming past with his electric mower. When he first did it, Carlotta was tied to the rail, and Mick turned it on very close to her and immediately started mowing with high energy. She did a little backward jump, then looked at him intensely, but stayed calm. She has come such a long way.

thats great with Carlotta and Valeta LOL. It would have been better to hear that when she got a scare she released her built up energy or even better did something to make herself more confident but that will come I am sure

Yes, I am very confident it will, Julie. I had my hands full with Wotan, so couldn't watch very closely, but I think she did release her energy.

I am so proud of Lotta that she figured out how to do the spanish trot now (the beginnings of it), and it really is trot, not lateral. I played the last riding video in slow mo around 8.00 and saw this is clearly the case.

Woopeeeee :D

September 22, 2019

Not much to report really, just one thing: during the ride this morning, Carlotta suddenly decided that the sheep in neighbour's paddock are scary, so she stopped dead, head high, and stared at them. Great opportunity to try the thing with the window of tolerance. I left the reins loose(ish), and just sat there, very calmy and allowed her to look intensely at the sheep.

It went on for about 10 secs, then she relaxed her poll a bit, upon which I gave her a wither scritchie. Soon after this, she tensed up again, so I waited longer, all four cheeks soft and relaxed ;-) Her poll softened again and she did two successive crunches. Then was all with me and happy to continue our work.

Oh, and when I asked for a crunch on our way back to paddock, and said "are you ready?", she immediately positioned herself and did a lovely one. Ahaaaa?! So I did it again, and yes, as soon as she heard "ready?", she crunched beautifully again.

September 23, 2019

Ok so the crunches in this example are saying to you I am trying to build confidence - so that was then the time to wait for her nervous system to deactivate - so remember in this case when there is a scare that the crunches are her way of remaining there - so we wait. but it is great she did them and great she is understanding english - see it is not so hard to teach a horse english!

9:48 AM

Bahahahha, yes, it's easy indeed, and Lotta speaks it quite well by now :D She is even bilingual

For the crunches in the above case: how long do we wait after she has given signs of relaxation? Not sure how the nervous system shows that it has deactivated. I waited a few more seconds after she did the crunches, then thought: let's go, and she did.

Maybe better just sit there and let her walk on of her own choice?

10:54 AM

we just wait till we see deactivation so either licking and chewing or jaw movements etc - the first time is always the longest and we need to wait - and wait and wait - sometimes if it is just too long we can help by just bringing their attention to their body with a slight touch and they it usually happens - yes they will go if we ask but what we are wanting to do is take advantage of the situation to help her calm and deactivate herself - so if we dont then there is a chance that the work after has tension attached to it. It is not about walking on, it is about showing a sign that she is releasing back down

Makes a lot of sense. Thank you.

The sheep will stay a while longer, and anyway, she will always find something to startle her. Like yesterday, when a few grains of sand were rearranged and looked wrong to her :D

haha - part of this stuff is the lessening of anxiety when it happens so yep any opportunity is good

haha - part of this stuff is the lessening of anxiety when it happens so yep any opportunity is good

Home and dry and a lovely ride was had. Carlotta had a good stop and stare at the nearby sheep (I had dropped the reins on her withers and remained completely passive), then softened her neck, did a crunch, softened her neck again and walked off. A minute later she spotted a herd of roos hopping past the field, so stopped dead in her tracks, head up and stared. Same scenario with passive ride. 3 secs later, she did a crunch, then softened and sighed and walked off. All the rest very good and her very cooperative. Back at the rail, I unsaddled, then stood at her side, talking to her gently and had my hand resting on her back, behind the withers. And she arched her neck and very distinctively lifted her back - I could feel my hand go up several centimeters.

Sep 24, 2019, 1:21 AM

sounds really good, I would also say the sigh is her deactivating. It is such a shame about Sarah you know - my movement specialist/body worker was out here yesterday and she could actually see the changes in Stars vagus nerve reactions for the better (that he deactivates verses standing stoic which he used to) and she says it is because of this work

9:26 AM

Looks like we can both be very happy with our achievements

Well yes, it's a shame, but after all, you have learned how to do it now, so you can continue on this path.

mmm not sure if I learnt enough by working it out myself - but it is what it is - I recorded the straddle this morning so I will load it now

Looking forward to see it.

Maybe you can check in from time to time and learn more. Seems like Sarah isn't as hostile to you as she is to me

I dont know, I am sure that if that is the case it is simply because she wants access to my stuff which is not going to happen because it would all be out of context.

it is funny as at the end she wanted to try using the pole to do a quarter in

Tue 5:22 PM

Haha, nice travers at the end. And very cute how she decided that she wanted to come back and give it another go.

This video was an eye-opener for me that I need to be a lot more patient with this exercise! And really allow them to just stand there as long as they want.

Will try again tomorrow hopefully.

Thank you for the good demo. And your explanations will be very helpful for those who watch it, so they can understand the why's and how's.

Carlotta was lovely again this morning, she tried so hard to figure things out. Gave me some great lifted canter jumps when I said up, and then went into a lovely PW from it. And also some nice crunches.

hahaha - it is not perfect but it is the start - I had done a little the other day but was working out exactly how to do this without pressure and release - SATS really works I think she shows LOL. I will need her to learn to stand square but it was great she got this much in three sessions - this was the third. Yes the idea is for them to stand there as this is the benefit they get from it. Sharney as you see cues me when she has had enough. Great for Carlotta - the power of the social engagement system cannot be underestimated

we really are miles ahead of Sarah hahahahaha

Bwahahaha, of course we are! She is not much of a horsewoman at all, according to what I saw and heard from her during the workshop.

I giggled a bit when you threw in a little bit of pressure and release to help Sharney to position herself. I did that myself once too and could have slapped myself just afterwards

yes Sarah is just really beginning and that is great of course -but this was the only reason I was 'attractive' to her because she did not have any evidence of it being with horses and it was only after she saw my video that she contacted me

yes I dont have any trouble with pressure and release when it is needed but I try not to add the clicker to it. The major hurdle is standing square for me at the moment it is at least

September 26, 2019

When I looked at my last riding video with Carlotta the other day, I found the slow-mo button und watched the bit around 8.00. It looks great, and I would love to make a short separate clip of these moments in slow-motion an in comparison in normal speed. Must see whether I can grab Greg some time, so he can help me do it.

well holla if you cant and I can do it, but I need the raw footage - so you can send it to me via drop box - youtube destroys the film and it cant be done from that

September 28, 2019

oh you just need a pixeo and then there is no mucking about! yes all is fine, am experimenting on what we can do with the straddling and Sharney's suggestion that we use it for gymnastic work LOL - need to really examine a final video when it is good to see what movement benefits there are. In the middle of marking assignments at the moment - be glad when they are finished!

Go Sharney - love it when they are so creative.

Yeah, a pixeo.... It is very expensive, isn't it?

yes it is expensive but you would not regret it - put it on your Xmas list! the assignments are fine but I cant do more than a couple a day because if they are bad I get real pissed off because they have not followed the content of the subject - so if I dont stop then the next one I mark bears my rath LOL. It is interesting that she wanted to QI on the pole so lets see what I can do with it

Hahaha, we don't do Xmas or B'day pressies. Just buy something when we want it!

Haven't done much with the pole straddling lately. Carlotta always want to switch her bum to the side when her hind feet reach it, and I couldn't be bother working on it regularly. She is doing nicely with the ridden part over the poles. Also saw an interesting video from Janessa Peterson who is currently in Portugal with some great riding masters. 2 parallel poles are set up, and at the end of a big half-circle another 2 parallel ones. You ride the horse in canter around, then through them, then stop at the end of one parellel set. Quite demanding, at least for Carlotta, who still deviates when we do canter work

When I ask her to go over the series of poles, she TROTS! Maybe I can use this for developping passage and piaffe, somewhere in the long run. Will have a chat with Anke when she comes next time. Also noticed that Lotta, at the end of a canter, is very willing to go into a power trot. Still experimenting with this, and it's only the beginning, of course.

experiment and see what happens - she may be giving you hints!

September 30, 2019

have you ever heard anyone in the classical riding folks say that ground pole work is bad for horses? my friend has just told me that her trainer says it is bad - I have never heard that anyone thinks this - is it a european thing?

Never heard about this either. And I can't see any sense in it! It does so many good things to the horse.

Today's vid is just finishing uploading, will post it to you. Lots of ground poles in there (from Jec's suggestions), as well as some nice PWs, I feel. What do you think? I got it a bit too light, but better than the other way round

I like it how relaxed and willing Carlotta is most of the time. And starting to nicely engage her hind end. And often stops square now, yay.

I have put the bright red reins on, so they can be seen easily

I try to let her figure out herself how to use crunches under saddle, have the feeling that he is gradually getting the idea.

yes it is very strange that she has been told this - by belinda bolsenbroek (I am not a fan) - I am looking forward to this video

I can ask Anke about it, Julie. She sometimes goes to Belinda clinics.

Here you go:

aghh it is long and the internet is not obliging, be back tomorrow - yeah I am not a Belinda fan but I have asked my friend to ask her also when she sees her next - I have never heard this before

oh have a look at my clicker page or the CAT page - I posted a great video on what happens if the head is too high

What are the links, Julie?

Sorry for the long video, but I can't reach the back of the camera from the saddle, so have to turn it on and off when I am dismounted.

no all good, the internet will be fine when I get up

October 1, 2019

Ok so this is good with the crunches - I thought to myself stop going to the back of the view of the camera for them and finally you came towards the camera to do a crunch) without the use of your hands! I think she is moving well - more challenges though are needed - that was too simple. You need a pixeo hahahaha - maybe because they are in france and you would have a euro bank account (I am sure) it would be cheaper for you - now pixeo not pixem. a good Sony camera is the best but the camera you have may also be compatible - there is a list but you need one hahahahahaha

Sooo, more challenges... Suggestions?

Anke's input about what Belinda B. said:

"Belinda mentioned indeed that jumping is not a good thing for gaited horses, due to the fact that in gait, there is always one leg on the ground and the necessary back tension (to do the gait) makes the back too "bent" when jumping, which is painful. But ground poles could be very helpful to teach them to lengthen their stride and develop good "tact"-" So, it was all about gaited horses really, as it sounds.

And in my video, Carlotta demonstrates that walking and especially trotting over the ground poles has improved her rhythm and stride already, as she is actually trotting over them. yeah it really has nothing to do with jumping and my friend does not have gaited horses and it was she who was told

Note that, after the first couple of tries, I had no reins on her and let her move freely at her ease.

Haha, those teachers... often get carried away and apply things where they are not useful or necessary. Like scientists with their favourite theory.... cheeky-mode-off-now

yes the trotting will improve stride and therefore rhythm - the challenges I was thinking about for her were more cognitive and proprioceptive - it was allot of the 'same' that I saw rather than more complex tasks that give her a purpose

You are right, I tend to get stuck into habits and patterns. Would be grateful about new ideas. Yesterday, I brought in the mat and just stood with Lotta at some distance of it. She looked and did a bit of poll relaxing, chewing and sighing, but wasn't ready to approach. Maybe I will do this from time to time and see whether it evolves into something.

there are a number in the book I will look later - at the moment I am trying to find a close up video of you and carlotta at the beginning of crunches (just a couple of minutes or even two crunches) - I know there was one there and I thought I tagged it LOL - Also trying to find an old research article of Dewalls I had that showed the benefits of a power pose with chimps - I know I have it LOL

I would not do that with the mat - lead her on or leave it as the more you show her it like this then there is less purpose other than a reminder that it worries her - make sense? I would leave it again now for a while and then take her to it and lead her on with a panther walk - treat it like I did with the saddle pad

October 2, 2019

Have put one end of several poles on cavaletti stands today, and this was a biiiig challenge for Carlotta! I had lead her over them from the ground at first, so she could see them. But in the saddle, that was another kettle of fish... Got some zig-zags to start with, but eventually she straightened out (more or less). Same for the two aligned poles, but we ended up being able to go over them quite nicely, and over the 4 trotting poles even once at the trot. Tomorrow it may be old hat already

yep my guess is she is not confident with capacity...which I have said to you for a while and thats what I see. once your weight is on her she does not feel as confident, but you wont do what it takes in hand first because you cannot see yourself working from the ground - this is more about you than her. If it were me I would work with saddle sand bags so she has the confidence and build her capacity...look at it this way - her crunches are more formed without the rider...why do you think this may be?

Oct 2, 2019, 4:55 PM

This is very likely, Julie. When I started riding this morning, a strong wind came up and Carlotta was very worried about everything and couldn't concentrate on the task. So, after the first good response, I dismounted and did a bit from the ground. Like walking the Jec patterns over the poles. Yesterday, I had also tried to veeeery slowly ride down the mini slope at the entrance of my arena. Stopped when all four were on even ground, then asked her to back up the hill and through the little gate again, also very slowly. Which she did nicely, but I could see the wheels turn in her head why I had asked for this

Yes, OK, I will work on her capacity. Will fill a couple of sand bags and/or use my 1.5 kg weights.

I guess I better do it and spend some time on this, to allow her to gain that capacity.

my feeling is that the capacity is the major concern for her - I cant help feeling that she does not enjoy the riding - this can easily be changed but I think you did the right thing by dismounting BUT we have to let her deactivate - we have to build the confidence in her that when she feels overwhelmed she can manage her own nervous system states. I had a wonderful bit with Star this morning with something new we are working on and it showed just how long it takes But of course it was not filmed - by the time jerious got his act together and grabbed the camera it was too late - I wont make this mistake again LOL. Even he remarked on how long it took - yea well maybe 2 minutes but I know it seems like an eternity.

Know the feeling. Carlotta stared at the sheep this morning for an "eternity" which might have been 2 or 3 minutes.

October 4, 2019

I took your words about Carlotta needing to gain confidence under saddle to the heart today (note how much you have been influencing my attitude?!). I first thought "well, we will do just a few simple things, so she can feel relaxed), but it actually turned into a deactivating session!

I started by saddling her and put the two 1.5 kg weights on the saddle, upon which I felt her tensing up a bit. Then walked her into the arena and a bit around. She stopped and watched the far-awy sheep. And watched... and watched... felt like a long time, but I was very patient and just waited, making sure I was breathing calmly. Eventuelly she gave a little sigh and turned towards me. We walked off, very loose lead rope and approached one of the ground poles. She stopped and had a look, then relaxed and breathed out and walked forward. I let her choose where she wanted to go all the time and she wandered around, sometimes close to the poles, but never over. She stopped very often, looked into the distance, then walked again.

Then I got into the saddle and she almost immediately cleared her sinusses when walking, like she does during the warmup rounds. Then I said "Let's just do very simple, calm things" and picked up the reins softly. She immediately rounded up into a lovely lifted walk, while I had the reins even softer than usual. She stopped beautifully to my seat.

Then looked to the sheep again for quite a while, then gave a little sigh and walked off. This repeated itself a lot of times, which means that we spent most of the time just standing there.

But I gave her all the time she needed and in the end, she softened her neck to about horizonal level and let out a biiig sigh. And I invited her to go home and dismounted. Hope I did it right.

It sounds very long, but it was 10 minutes all in all!

It sounds like it was perfect - how wonderful to get that experience as it really does warm our hearts when it happens

Oh yes. Hopefully one or two buttons opened in her mind today, so we have some lasting positives. Funny how easy it is to listen, once you know how it works.

... and are willing to do it!

yes for sure they would have been and she will get more confidence as you see opportunities. Yep I think you are right, once you have been able to do it rather than seeing someone else do it, it becomes really intuitive but rewarding in and of itself. it also gives our horse greater control for themselves -and reduces the HPA Axis - which means the body is able to return to a normal homeostasis. ...all the things I wanted to talk about in my presentation with her ladyship - putting the focus and the needs back to the horse

Such an exciting and rewarding journey! I will be forever grateful to you to teach me. you are doing it - even though it is an individual journey I am so pleased that you and a couple of others I speak to about it are starting to see its value and I dont feel as 'alone' with it now. You will start to see opportunities all over the place now and you have to go with them and of course you can create opportunities with things you know that Carlotta is a little shy about - the mat is too soon but I am thinking after a few more opportunities to go with this you could use the mat as a tool for this also

That feeling through the reins at the beginning of the ride (when she so softly went into self-collection) was incredibly special - it felt like walking on clouds.

until people have the experience and see what their horse can become they dont get it - do you know that Star still has not begun to itch - yes see she let go of some of the tension patterns that build up

I am walking on Clouds myself, because it was so delightful.

OMG, this is wonderful about Star, Julie! Fingers crossed it will last through the whole summer!

yep that happens too - see if we look at this from the horses perspective and go with the horse (rather than go with our 'feelings) it actually benefits us

It does! Almost put tears into my eyes, so thankful I was to her that she offered it to me. yes it may very well last - who knows but I know he still has some way to go as we are working on releases at the moment when rope is caught around his leg (the other nightmare for him) - very slow process that is.

I bet most people wouldn't even notice, but since you opened my eyes, I certainly do! notice Carlotta or their horses in general?

I am sure you have all the patience he needs, and it will happen in the end.

No, their horses in general.

Like I wouldn't have noticed before.

yep thats true but when they are ready they do seem to ask because usually nothing else works - generally they feel they need some form of 'training' and want to try something else - but if they are really keen they start to see the differences and that motivates them to learn more. Our own proprioception and antenna for our horse needs to change, so we can open up to it.

well listen to you!

and this is where I have trouble with the equine assisted stuff being used for this training as the focus changes and we miss seeing the opportunities

October 5, 2019

This morning's Carlotta session turned out into something else yet again

I had got the gear ready and fetched Carlotta to be saddled. Had hung up the new purple feed bag I had have made for her (she is only used to hay nets). When we walked towards it, she froze and stared. So I thought: perfect opportunity for capacity/deactivation. Just stood there and let her work it out. Waited... waited... waited. Eventually she showed signs of loosening up, licking and chewing, softening poll then sighing and small snorts. Then looked away again. This went on for ages. Felt like she was just zoning out indeed. In the end, I stepped to her side and gave her a little wither scritchie and she came alive, arranged her feet and did a little crunch, then walked hesitantly towards the bag. More looking away, but then she sighed, came forward carefully and started eating a bit of hay from the bag. Stilled didn't feel really deactivated.

So I took her to the arena and tried a bit of walking "uphill" step by step at the entrance, then "downhill". Which she did well. We went inside (very loose lead rope) and walked towards the various poles. She felt a little bit anxious, so I put the ends of the poles on the ground. And suddenly she was happy to walk over them in a relaxed manner. I unclipped the rope and she wandered away and started to eat the grass on the edges. As she didn't want to come back to me even after several minutes, I walked away and did something else. She came to the gate and I put the lead rope on and took her back to the feed bag. She approached a bit carefully, then started eating a bit from it. But still not really relaxed. So we stopped the session, as I had to get my chores done and brekkie fixed etc. Do you think I did it right?

Yes it was fine what you did - it will happen like this for a while and I suspect it is them testing this out for themselves - it wont last for long

Whew, so glad to hear it. It was very hard for me to just stay with her and do nothing!

yeah I know but it gets better

I think that you are right: we need to nip this in the bud for Carlotta. There seems an awful lot of underlying baggage and tension, and when we can help her get rid of it, she should become a truly happy girl.

she will be fine - she needs the space to have confidence in her own deactivation - just support her and now and again think about what movements she likes to do and see if she will just even take a step or even a crunch in the times when she is a little worried - remember heaps of social engagement and praise and smile

And breathe

this was the lean back I wanted to use to train the eye in the crunches -

Yes, good example

I decided to ride Carlotta for a few minutes this morning, despite the strongish wind. We did our simple stuff, to keep things as relaxed as possible. She is now getting the hang of self-collecting very willingly

We walked over the poles a couple of times, and I gave her all the time she wanted to deactivate, each time she stopped and looked at things. Which she still did pretty frequently, but she came back a lot faster already. At one moment, she decided by herself to walk over one of the poles, then let out a sigh and nickered!! So cute. We ended on that.

cool - we know we are getting it right when the nickering starts! so thats good that the time frame is getting shorter - sometimes it wont happen and thats OK, and I suspect that she is teaching herself to deactivate if she is doing this regularly - it is quite amazing

October 7, 2019

Ok so here is the link for the videos - the presentation with Star is in video the same as it is for you on the stick I sent you as it is too large and I dont have the fast data to load it - just tell her that she will need to pause the videos as they will play automatically (on the video presentation not the smaller benefits presentation which is in powerpoint). There is the early straddle video and also a video on SATS - was that all?

Can't tell you how excited I am to be part of this journey and getting all this help from you. You really, really have turned me around.

oh so KOOL but you have done all this not me

I had a look at your core video: Excellent! It explains and demonstrates things very well. Love it!

October 10, 2019

Good ride this morning. Carlotta hardly stopped and looked anymore, but instead did quite some PWs for deactivation. And she has found a new quirk: right after the warmup round in the beginning, she stops and does a bow. Eeek! Not good for her back, but how do I explain this to her? Even after a demanding (mentally) session, she comes down immediately and does little snorty clearning of sinus.

hahahaha - great though - OK so what I do with the bow with Star is ask him to engage his core during it - it is easier to begin to do this on the way up

maybe she needs to do it though

I had hung the feed bag at the tying rail and this time she walked up to it almost immediately, but seemed a bit tense about taking hay from it, as it moves a bit.

Thanks, that a great hint. Will try.

I have the feeling that she finds it good, as it's the third time she has been doing it. Wotan loves it too and does it allllll the way to the ground, even when I click very early

I think she will habituate to the moving, just see how it goes she should be right and work it out and relax

Goody. I wasn't overly worried, just thought it might not be ideal for her back.

yes if they are doing the bow and it is not simply to get a click and treat I would not discourage it, but just modify it a little

She is very good with the collected walking by now. Doesn't hold it for long, but is always happy to go back into it upon me lifting my pelvis.

great with the collected walking - so to get more out of it - down to stretch the topline and then collect again and heaps of social engagement - I do yes yes yes yes YES click treat

Yep, that's what I do. Bystanders would be very surprised about me talking to her so much when riding

Yes, good idea for the yes-yes-yes. Will add this.

After the ride, I took her bridle off and asked for feet to align, which she did. Then are you ready? and said "lift". She cheated and just rounded her poll. I laughed and said: nice try, but you can do better. And she went into the most beautiful crunch, lifting her back. Yay!

yeah for Carlotta and YEAH for you

October 10, 2019

Carlotta had a big fright yesterday. When unsaddling, I left the pads on her back as usual when I brought the saddle into the tack room. And there was a sudden wind gust that blew them off her back. She spooked and broke the baling twine she was tied to and took off in panic, followed by that nastly snake (leadrope). She finally stopped and I picked her up. Let her into the arena for a little while so she could deactivate.

Might take a while though... Valeta was cute: I saw her doing 2 mini crunches yesterday in the paddock. She must have copied this from Carlotta.

oh that would have been me and Star LOL - the snake is the worst! poor thing. At least she stopped before she injured herself. Yea I am glad you are not getting the other horse - Doug still has not got back to me in any event. Oh they love to copy for sure

I remember thinking to myself: maybe I should take the pads off as well, with that wind.... So I knew very well what I should have done

yep and it is always when we think this to ourselves but do not do it shit happens!

Yeah, you are so right about it. We should know by now to trust our gut feeling!

yep but it is only when we dont that we think about it - all the other times we actually do what our gut says and we never miss a beat - so we know when we are not going to listen to our gut - I reckon the gut has ESP and it is really telling us I know you wont listen but I am going to tell you so now so you know later!"

Hahaha, love it. And I think you are very right!

Off to town soon with Chris to pick up my repaired car. Then see what Carlotta thinks of being ridden. My lot are in the dam paddock for 24/7 and, gosh, Lotta is soooo FAT! She migt not want to be caught and leave horse paradise


October 14, 2019

Took me a couple of minutes indeed before she allowed me to halter her. No wonder, I had just let them into the middle paddock - which is more interesting than being ridden of course. She was fine and no aftermath to yesterday's hickup. Whew.


Can I use this one as a dummy coaching video for the course....I like this one as you are beginning with the ground poles and Wotan gives you an attempt really quickly

Haha, yes sure, use whatever dummy stuff you like

its not dummy stuff!!!!

Hehehe, couldn't resist He actually did quite well there.

yep for sure

It's just such a relief to have them in the paddock 24/7 now. No more picking up manure and all..

And my hay was sufficient in the end. I even have 17 bales left. Will keep one or two for emergencies and give the rest to Chris for her critters.

Sunday, will be at the Timeline Festival at Kryal Castle as photographer again, as they are short of volunteers. Amber is riding herself and Rachael might not be able to make it. And Margaret forgot to register with MEA to be able to be on the ground and covered from their insurance. Chris is all hyped up about it, as she needs Margaret as her groom (to put her into her armour). I said I'd help out there as well, if Margaret can't work it out in time.

Wish I could send my leftover hay to you!!!!

aghhh sounds busy over there! na we are fine, we dont use hay at all and there is plenty of grass at the moment - but how to convince the cows of this is another thing

I thought they would JUMP on it!

So good to hear that you have so much grass. What a relief!

oh they still want to be hand fed!

Spoiled little so-and-so's

yep and they are all yelling at me!

October 15, 2019

Ruth (my friend from Germany who visited last November) came up with an interesting suggestion: why not call the crunches "pose", as Alex Kurland did. She was the first one to teach it, I think. And pose sounds so much better than crunch. Crunch always makes me think of crunchy chocolate or corn flakes

I have called them activating the core - pose is different (ala Alex) - as she is not concerned with the core just the base of the cervical spine. in human terms it is a crunch technically and of course that is where all intrinzen come from

have a look at this and see all the near perfect panther walks....hahaha - agree? (this is why I am calling the pantherwalk a proper spanish walk) - especially nicole uphoff's

it is interesting that the actual extended trot as a still pic is the same process - of course this is why the panther walk is of benefit and is not the only reason we can see this is an extended trot (rather than a panther walk/spanish walk) because of the footfall?

hahahaha listen to Hannah Biggs explain how to begin in imagining

October 16, 2019

Quickly what happened this morning: Carlotta was very nervous without any apparent reason (no wind or whatever). During the whole ride, she shied and was jumpy and stopped very often to stare into the distance for ages. I think we spent 90% of the 10 minute ride just standing there... She also didn't want to walk to the one side of the arena and kept peeping over to neighbour's place, where was nothing to see.

In the end, i had enough and said: OK, stop it now, and at least walk once along there! Which she did, so I dismounted.

While she still had the saddle on, I asked her for a pole straddling (the last one had not been very successful, she always drifted away after a couple of steps) at liberty. She very carefully placed foot after foot, taking her time and standing still in between. When her two hind feet had just stepped left and right of the pole, I let her stand a moment longer, then praised and we walked away together.

Once turned loose in the paddock, while I was standing in front of her, she started to shake her head vigourously and pulled her lips a bit off her teeth. So I stepped to her side and asked for a crunch.

I wonder whether she felt offended that I had talked to her energetically , which I hadn't done in ages, and she wanted to let me know that she was cross with me?

Seeing how often she stops and just stands there, is gradually making me wonder whether, being the smart horse she is, she hasn't figured out that she can just stand there and not do any work when she stops and stares! What do you think?

we cannot always see what the horses see and something was worrying her - when she straddled we need to wait for as long as it takes for her to soak in the proprioception- that can take a long time - horses are honest only humans are dishonest - if it were one of my horses no matter how pissed off I was with it, I would have to smile and say to myself that they need what they need - I am not their judge - so when my pissed off feeling does resonate with them they pay me back big time. So you have to ask yourself - is the work what you want or what you are saying she needs - if she needs it then she has no autonomy as it is important - but if she does not need it - then why do we insist?

so you need to think about how it meant to you the times she got it and you gave her the opportunity to work it through - is that more or less important to you than your plans for 'work'?

have a look at this and see all the near perfect panther walks....hahaha - agree? (this is why I am calling the pantherwalk a proper spanish walk) - especially nicole uphoff's

Yes, it looks a lot like what we are doing with our horses, eh?! And Carlotta can do even better than some of the examples, I think!

hahahaha listen to Hannah Biggs explain how to begin in imagining

OMG! This makes me so uncomfortable. The way she moves her upper body and pelvis in such an excessive way, and the way the horse moves looks very weird to me. Do you think he is sound?! She says she isn't pushing all the time, but hell, she is!

we cannot always see what the horses see and something was worrying her - when she straddled we need to wait for as long as it takes for her to soak in the proprioception- that can take a long time - horses are honest only humans are dishonest - if it were one of my horses no matter how pissed off I was with it, I would have to smile and say to myself that they need what they need - I am not their judge - so when my pissed off feeling does resonate with them they pay me back big time. So you have to ask yourself - is the work what you want or what you are saying she needs - if she needs it then she has no autonomy as it is important - but if she does not need it - then why do we insist? …

Yes, I know I have to wait for her when she straddles. And I did, when she struggled the previous time and was willing to wait a lot longer, of course. So I was surprised how well she worked her way through it last time and even decided to place her hind feet over the pole. Didn't expect it to happen so soon.

so you need to think about how it meant to you the times she got it and you gave her the opportunity to work it through - is that more or less important to you than your plans for 'work'? …

Yes, it did mean a lot for me when she worked things out and gave me such wonderful moments. And yes, I am happy to giver her the time she needs. I was only wondering whether there really was so much anxiety that she has to stop all the time and for such a long time. Giving it more thought, it could very wrell be that there is indeed so much old stuff coming to the surface that it will take a long while to deactivate. I better go and apologize to her!

Giving her a few days off now and do some liberty playing instead.

yes with Hannah but she says think like a panther - you missed it!

Carlotta is fine, she is testing whether you mean what you 'say' LOL - they all go through this - go with it

No, I heard it and it made me giggle.


So, she is testing me! OK, will try to go with the flow.

yes but for a different reason than you think

OK, you just explained it to me. Pardon my occasional remissions

October 18, 2019

Had planned to play a bit with Carlotta today. While we walked to the tying post to take the rug off, she had to stop and look a lot, which I let her. Then into the arena and turned loose. I asked whether she wanted to straddle a bit, but she said no, rather eat grass. So went and picked up the manure then came back and took her to the paddock. She gave me a sour look when I took her halter off, so I stayed with her and said: I am so sorry Carlotta, I hope you can forgive me? And she turned her head to me, gave me a gentle look and touched my hand with her muzzle. Will take that for a "yes"....

Oh forgot: in the arena, Lotta offered me a few steps of PW before deciding that she didn't wanna today. I hadn't asked.

the panther walk may have been her go to for her if she was tense though - remember that is what she seems to offer the most - could it have made her confident so she did not need it any more?

Yes, it's difficult to tell what our horses think and feel at times. She didn't seem very confident today, more like struggling through her anxieties. It felt to me like a wish to communicate with me. But I am not sure about it, as she uses PW a lot indeed, be it for going through worried states, be it for showing off how proud and happy she is when she can say "I can".

Yes her PW is what she uses to get to 'i can' and it may be if you felt she was a little anxious that this was what she was doing it for. So if this happened to me - I would praise and praise and when she stopped see if she wanted to deactivate and if not maybe just do a little bladder meridian first to see if you can encourage it and then ask for something?

How do I do bladder meridian?

hang on Jim has a great video that is now public

I did say: Oooh, how lovely, thank you, Carlotta. That was great. And gave her rubs and scritchies.

yep good - think though deactivate first - I was actually just making a comment on your video about that .....I had to redo it as something went wrong with the audio - but nearly all done, just want to do a couple of picture in pictures for it - so in this case think about if she was anxious, pats and scratches may be too 'in her face' until she deactivates

OK, makes sense. I might bring her in a bit this arvo and see what she has to say. Fabulous video! I found it quite disturbing how the man constantly fumbled with the leadrope though. But it sounds like a great technique. Will try it on Carlotta asap. Thanks a lot, Julie!

Jims videos and books are really good

Very interesting experience right now: Brought Lotta in to put the rug on and thought it would be a good opportunity to try the Bladder Meridian touching. Had watched the video a second time, just in case.

As soon as I started to gently and slowly run my fingertips from her poll along the neck, she started to do crunch after crunch! All the way down to the tail!!! I told her that this time, we were just doing some feel-good stuff, so no need to try to please me

At second try, I started near her eye. She was not sure about it and started to breath a bit heavily, then moved her hind legs a bit, but then her eyes started to close and she stood there very relaxed.

yes Sharney does that sometimes I have had all my practical training years ago for masterson and my feeling is that it is avoidance. So for me it is actually not about pleasing but rather it is the crunch that gives us the skill to continue to feel sensations that we are not quite sure what to make of them

Then along the neck, where I found a "blink spot" halfway. A bit of fidgeting again and then she deacitivated. Another spot in the loin area.

I was quite impressed how distinctively she reacted to this.

yes once they actually experience the sensation and 'see it through' they can tolerate it - if it happens like that again then go to air pressure - so just touching the hairs not the actual body - but yes it is really good how she reacted - perfect - masterson is really great

Then put the rug on and turned her free in the paddock. She took off with Valeta and Wotan in a happy bucking-kiccking-gallopping sequence and finished with a straight rear up and stood on her hind feet for about 3 secs. Then came down and let out a series of happy little snorts!

Jim always said that if there is anything all horse owners should learn is the bladder technique even if they dont do his courses or buy his stuff - thats why this one is for free as it is an updated video of what he had always available

yep they always do this after a bladder session! well done!

Thank you, Julie. Do you mind if I share our exchange on my Timeline? Could be so helpful for other horse owners.

I now do it straddling or on the mat but they usually get it once a week - yes for sure he made this public - his later videos on dressage and masterson are really good. I have not seen the video that his extract came from and will be ordering it when I get my pay next week

I had slightly removed my hand when I felt her a bit unsure about it, and she happily responded and came down.

Hey, great!

OK yes he recommends we use less pressure when this happens so the less pressure is actually off her skin to 'touching' the hairs only

I followed as an 'apprentice' a practitioner around and did horses under her supervision but could never afford to attend the actual classes

October 19, 2019

Sharney just did her first Ballotade today LOL - too foggy to film but I will see what I can do to get this on cue

So the videos will be on their way today for you - also there is the coaching one I was going to use from your video - it is in your folder but in case you cant find it here it is tell me what you think as I can redo it

Oh wow, so much positive feedback from you on the Wotan video. Thank you

Loved it how you comment on the little things that happen and how you address what could happen with another horse in the same situation. Very precious for many people for the development of their relationship with their horse, I would say!

it looks OK for you? that's the style I tend to use and what I taught Steinar to do LOL - so thats what I am going to be doing for the online coaching

oh great! thats my intention - that it may not apply to you now (or even then) but the same actions with another horse and human combo could be different

so the coaching with the course is for everyone so the idea I hope is that they learn through someone elses coaching and then hopefully they wont be too timid to submit video

Perfect! It's a great way of teaching. And yes, I am sure it will happen. I would just put in a note with the coaching programme about being brave and sending in their videos

yep it will be all over it LOL

Hahaha, good!

October 20, 2019 .

Quickie before I go: very windy today again. I went out and opened the gate to the paddock, but the horses just stood and watched, so I decided to take Carlotta's rug off. She stood there calmly for me, just in front of the open gate! Once it was off, she took off in a gallop, followed by her friends.

While they were grazing, I approached each of them, had a little chat and gave them scritchies. Not that I have to approach Valeta, she comes to me all the time . Carlotta wasn't interested at all and turned and walked away. So scritchies to Wotan, then I walked towards her again (CAT). After 2 or 3 retreats, she sudeenly was happy for me to come close and extend my hand to her muzzle. She licked it, seemed to have enough, so I started to walk away and stopped again. And she came to me and wanted to interact again. So, I hope she isn't too mad at me anymore.

thats great with Carlotta, I think she is fine, sometimes horses have to shout at us to help us see what they need LOL - this is a credit to you because she feels she has autonomy - I would much prefer my horses to show me how they feel rather than feel they cant (but inside they wish they could)

And your horses CAN!

they can now LOL - but I remember when.....

Yes, of course, but that was foreseeable, as you have that inclination to help deeply traumatized horses

This morning, I also gave Wotan a little Bladder meridian touch this morning from the poll down. Got about 5 cm along the neck, then he blinked, so I stopped. But he couldn't tolerate it (was at liberty) and decided to slowly walk away. But I could see how the wheels turned in his head! He looked a bit torn apart between the wish to stay and the need to leave.

OK so when he does not tolerate it, we go to what Jim calls Airgap - leave your finger/s there but lift them higher off so you are imagining you are touching a hair standing up on his coat - yes this can happen - this is what air gap is - all will be clear soon - oh dont look at the practitioner ones (1-5) until you have looked at the others as they will confuse you

Now, that didn't go well. From reasonable wind and sunshine it turned, within minutes, into gale gusts with horizontal strong rain. Got soaked in the blink of an eye.

Wanted to try the bladder meridian work with Wotan, but he was pretty nervous with that wind (and Greg coming out with his camera and tripod). And he thought that me touching his neck might be some variation of my head-lowering cue, so kept responding to it....

Anyway, I am uploading the 2 vids for you, FIWF. Just to show that things can go pear-shaped very easily.

On the way back to the paddock, Wotan jumped on my heels twice and snorted. Showed that Greg and his gear had moved to the other side of the shed, but Wotan had already noticed... .

Got Carlotta and wanted to give it a try with her, but it was then that the weather turned ugly. So decided to put the rug on her. That was not fun, as the gale kept lifting it off her back, so I would have needed another set of hands. Managed to get it on, as she tried her best to stand still for me. Back to paddock. She followed me with her eyes and wondered why I was already leaving. Breaaathe... I-am-relaaaxed.....

hahahahaha! yep gale like weather will do it every time

I think in the shorter one he was fine, it was the weather, you cant really blame horses for not wanting to relax and give it over in that wind

Of course not! Let's wait for better weather. yep for sure!

with Wotan how is he now with SATS? I would like to try the panther walk using SATS...are you up to it - It make sense to me to use the pointer instead of the pool noodle - my horses are far to 'gone' to see the earlier stages

Would have to practise a bit with him, Julie. Will get to it asap. Have this Dr's appt tomorrow, then need to process my 450 photos from today, but after that, will give it a go!

October 21, 2019

yes no it is not a problem I want to see if it can be done the same way as SATS I think it can - instead of using a pool noodle to teach the panther walk Can we use the tap on the leg with the pointer as we are walking and get the same result?

BTW, I think you can get PW easily via touching legs with pointer. That's what I do all the time from the saddle, and Carlotta has taken to it like a duck to water. Yep I just cant backpaddle and I dont want to go to other horses at the moment LO.

Had a busy afternoon taking videos. First Wotan, getting a refresher for SATS, then we started trying Panther Walk with the pointer. He didn't lift much, but I felt his intention in his body. Maybe you sharp eye will spot the minimal elevation. Then did the same at liberty. Then thought I might ask Carlotta to do it as well, as she definitely shows lift, also from the ground. And finally added one under saddle. I was just itching too much to have a little ride, even though it was very short. And Carlotta said she would make the effort for you. Will take a long while to upload it all, but I will send it through, as soon as it's done. Hopefully there will be something useful in there.

Last one first:

October 22, 2019

Carlotta looks happy - her first PW under saddle was really effortful for sure! on the ground, see she responds to your leg and body cues - this is why I cant do it with my guys - as they also already know it LOL

hahaha yea the straddling is coming on nicely - OK so the PW is a little hard to see what it is you are clicking for - but that may be because he already knows some of it - however you have given me an idea - just going to look at the last one here first Ok so the SATS is good - there is a delay with the front leg click for some reason - I thought it was the audio but the other clicks are as expected. So if we want the leg to lift now we ask and if there is no lift - wait a sec or two and then ask again - so if we are comfortable with the naming then we wait for a lift - the easiest way I found with the back legs was to ask by putting the pointer behind the foot resting on the back of the pastern and almost thinking that it was going to lift the hoof - it seems that the lift is more under the belly when this happens rather than out the back and is also less reactionary. Yep the PW is already too entrenched so what you are doing is clicking for better lifts. But your idea with the ground poles is also a great way to begin and intrinzen had always left this to advanced stages but really the actual lift can also be shaped this way by touching and clicking the moment the leg reaches over the pole - good one! Tue 10:04 AM All interesting and helpful hints, Julie. Do you want me to practise some more with Wotan and then make video again, so hopefully you can use it then? So, you are saying: in SATS with him, I touch the leg with the pointer, and if he doesn't lift it, I don't click, but wait 2 secs and then ask again? And if he doesn't react, do I click or not? How about I touch his front legs on the back of the pastern too? Might activate his awareness, as it didn't seem to be the case up to now? Bear in mind that this was only the third SATS session - sorry have not done much with him. Yep, I thought the poles might help lengthen and lift the stride and they did. Not much, but definitely it happened. The video is too far away with how you have to position it and I cannot scale your videos up that much - I am just adding a wrap up to your coaching one

and when I go to scale up some examples of the crunches I cant really scale up as it distorts. and in these the crunches were allot closer to the camera - but yes if you are videoing him then see what comes of it - I played around with it with Sharney today and although I can get the 'instructional' vibe I would love to have a video of progress

if you are confident that the SATS is clear then yes wait for a time when the leg is not square and touch and ask and if there is no movement dont click and wait and then ask again - start with even clicking a change in balance - make sense? that would be a good moment by moment video

you can try the back of the pastern with the front ones - there are sensory nerves around there and the coronet

yes the poles are really a good idea - I love it! and Greg may get too bored - or it may encourage the pixeo - thats how I got mine as hub was sick of videoing

Carlotta can do much more spectacular Panther Walks under saddle, she just wasn't in the mood to be brilliant yesterday

Wotan will be famous when he appears in your programme

hahahaha well lets hope someone wants to do it

here is the updated one - the change is at the end - just added more

Placed the camera with another lense (which has a zoom) in the corner or arena and tried to work with Wotan. But he was completely "gone" mentally, maybe because he felt how upset I was. So gave up after a while and grabbed more robust Valeta.

Of course she had done only one SATS session and no panther walk at all, so not ideal. But she did very well, so here are 2 vids from the session. Maybe I should use her from now on, what do you think?

I think she might learn PW quite quickly. She is three now, so might be OK age-wise?

I feel that crunches have to come before PW and Valeta is still growing so you would have to be very careful

OK, I can start teaching it a bit here and there maybe. Will try Wotan again tomorrow.

did you see the end of the coaching video...what did you think of it if you have?

hey that is pretty good with the SATS - and you swapped hands for the treat at one stage

think about setting her up for success - so here at 1.53 her weight was on that foot - so I would have asked for the other front - but that was great

Just had a quick look in the second one. She does some nice little lifts over the pole. Unfortunately it's a bit blurry. No idea how this could happen - I had checked, grrrr.

hahahahahahaha - wasnt Greg supposed to be in charge of that ? but the SATS was a great start - can I use it?

That's why I am making them for you, Julie. Use whatever seems useful to you.

No, Greg pulled out of it, so I had to do it myself

thanks!!!!! oh OK LOL

Checkend the 2 minutes you added at the end of the Wotan video. Excellent. Very helpful explanations!

Ok great! ta

yep this is really good - now the click timing could be a little quicker - so as soon as the accidental bump happens click - we almost have to anticipate it coming - so it is also an exercise in feeling - have your thumb on the clicker and rather than look down set the pointer so that she can always bump it and feel for the vibration - remember these early days are to teach the connection to her leg so that when we move it out a little further away she will aim to bump it - make sense?

A lot of sense. Will have to watch my timing indeed!

Thank you for the reminder of the clicking for the accidental leg bump! That had a bit disappeared in the dungeons of my mind, haha.

Oh, and the long stare into the distance in the first video was that a mare with hew newbord foal had entered the neighbouring paddock. Which was, of course, very interesting

yes I figured that there was something interesting - here it is usually roos. we all forget to begin with the accidental bumping hahahaha

I noticed you began your leg movement, far too early but I have done that also beginning a new horse - so it is good for me to be reminded how clear my instructions need to be for my FINAL section and when it is all done then you will see it in its finality

Would you prefer me to work on core activation before continuing with the Panther Walk? Might go out and see whether Carlotta wants to play a bit. Will give her a bit more time off riding. off from riding*

oh you cant help yourself LOL - I think you need to stop thinking and try what you feel when the moment hits you and if you get a hint that something other than what you thought you were going to do is better then go with the flow - see what happens

That's a bit what I actually did. I was originally planning to ride...

yep good one LOL - oh I meant to ask did you feel that showing the actual vertebrae's of the horse makes it easier to visualise where we get the core activation from?

Yes, absollutely!

Have done a bit of bladder meridian. Took vids. Uploading now. OK

October 23, 2019

If this were me doing a horse the flaring of the nostrils is a sign to me to reduce the pressure and just stay there a little longer - but it could also be in response to something she was noticing - do you remember what is more likely for her? She looks like she so wants to participate in the first video LOL - it does take them some getting used to

There was a lot of stuff happening around, Julie, like neighbour turning water pump on, rolling wheelie bin outside, his wife pruning some shrubs, motorbikes and bikes driving past etc. All this distracted her, so not ideal really.

Carlotta is somewhat a bitunwillig to be caught these days. So I said to her, OK let's do a little ride, but we will keep it very easy.

So we did, just 6 or 7 minutes of walking, allowing her to stand and look until deactivation, then a bit more, some laterals at walk, a couple of times over the poles, then 10 or 20 steps in collection. She is going into those so easily now, feels like she really masters her body

And this time I managed to dismount without touching her croup with my leg. Yay!

Then asked her for a CA (I understood we are calling the crunches Core Activation now, correct?), and she lined up her legs into a perfect square position and did a beautiful CA.

Back in the paddock, she decided to lie down and have a roll, so I jumped on the opportunity (we hadn't done this in ages) and clicked her into a sit-up. Which she did very calmly and staying into position until I released my inner intention. Was the best one I ever saw from her!

so it is good she is mastering them but I wonder why she is not motivated to come to you when she sees she is going to be 'caught'. yay for your dismount! yea I want to stay away from the intrinzen terms as much as I can so core activation is actually the bio mechanical term for it - sounds like a great one though - the sit up is interesting - I used to want to free shape these with Star until I realised that it is actually a capacity issue that prevented him from standing from the roll, so he would always sit first - because he could not stand straight up

That's interesting. Carlotta never seemed able to stay in a sit position for longer than a fraction of a second, she always rushed back into standing. So this was a big breakthrough for her today. Also capacity, as it looks.

oh Star used to sit for about 1 minute! before he could actually get up and sometimes he would turn on his bum to find the right slope to stand

For the not wanting to be caught, I have the suspicion that this is still a little bit of leftover grudge because of my treason to our pact.

oh well it could be hahahahaha - love autonomy

October 24, 2019

Posting on my Timeline:

An update on our current horsie activities at home.

After scraping off lots of loose hair from Wotan and Valeta (the nervy side of Iceys, hehe), we did a bit of playing in the arena. Wotan enjoys the pole straddling, so we did this at liberty. He has now decided that it needs to be initiated with a bow, right at the beginning of the pole. OK, if you think this is the way to do it - fine by me! :-D

After a long time, also had Valeta in for a little session. Took videos of it, as this might be part of an upcoming online coaching programme (a very special one, trust me!). This time it was about teaching SATS (naming body parts and let the horse figure out how to react to it). This is a prerequisite for the Panther Walk, taught in a different way. Valeta had had one single introductory session of it a long while ago. But, of course, she is so incredibly smart that she perfectly remembered, and we could build on it immediately. Within no time, she responded to me pointing to the various legs by lifting them. Well done, Valeta!

As you can hear in the video, I am working on my social engagement skills too, which are an important part of the above programme. And I can attest that it makes a huge difference!

We could also introduce walking (which she didn't know either) together and me pointing with my pointer. I had forgotten the details (thanks, Julie, for refreshing my memory), so will need to repeat this one, in order to make things clearer for Valeta.

I had given Carlotta a couple of days off, but yesterday back to riding, yay. I usually do short sessions (between 10 and 20 minutes, depending on how it goes), putting emphasis not on quantity and length, but on quality. Which means a minute or two of intense work on various tasks and then half a round of reins-on-withers and stretchies. She comes down immediately and sighs or snorts, after whatever strenuous stuff we did just before. I really like it. When she feels she has to stop and look, I always let her, just sit there passively and wait for her to deactivate and tell me she can carry on. Which happens more and more quickly. Very worth-while as it adds to her self-confidence and inner peace, which has always been a stumbling block for her at times, so I am trying to go to the root of it and hopefully one day allow her to leave all anxiety and worries behind her.

This is a pretty difficult thing for me (or was in the past, and I did fall into that trap again recently, and Carlotta was really pissed off with me for a while, as I had broken our contract), as we humans are always so impatient and full of ourselves and tend to not even think about giving the horse the possibility to have a say in the matter.

I can see some of my friends roll their eyes! But be assured, this is not some form of pussyfootsiness, where human lets horse do anything horse wants, like walking all over human etc. It is an attempt to become real friends and partners, allowing the horse autonomy, without this hindering a smooth work together. I had my doubts about this, but I must say, it works incredibly well, despite all the glitches that happen, due to my still imperfect work. Having a horse that "talks" with you as a partner, is an incredibly rewarding experience, which makes your heart sing!

Anyway, enough of this. Just wanted to explain the why's behind my recent posts. ;-)

It is such a delight to ride Carlotta. She responds so softly and willingly that I can never wipe the bright smile off my face and it makes my whole day happy and wonderful in aftermath. And I am amazed how much control of her body and core she has already gained. She offers me collection of her own, free will and looks and feels so proud and feather-light, yet very powerful.

Thank you, my Beautiful!

October 25, 2019

Nice ride this morning, with collection and all. And afterwards, still with saddle on, I asked for CA. She just tucked her chin in, so I said "besser" (which means better) and she did a really beautiful on. I could see the saddle go up considerably, and almost no backward movement.

great with Carlotta

October 26, 2019

are you able to do a short video with just using the pool noodle as the beginning step in panther walk? so no walking it yourself - just walking around with the noodle right near the leg (below the knee) and click for every accidental touch? change sides often...maybe using Valenta as she would not 'know' it yet? dont worry about core posture or anything - just trying to find video of the actual early starts and I am still looking LOL

Sure, can do. Can it wait until tomorrow? Weather is horrible today: strong wind and rain.

yep for sure ta

do you want a copy ?

OK, got a bit of the vid footage you need, before the rain arrived. Hope it will be useful. Will send you both vids, but I think the first one (her very first try) isn't that good, as I forgot to change sides. Duh!

The second one might be usable. Please let me know if you want me to try again, in case it's not good enough.

In the first one, she was still confused about what I wanted, but understood quickly. I suppose it won't be long before she will start lifting her legs - already showing tendencies to try it

She is a bit uncomfy with my on her right side, but we should get over this quickly, once we have done it a few times.

I briefly took her off the lead at the end of the second one, but the lush spring grass at the sides of the arena quickly was more tempting than the poolnoodle, hahaha.

Ok so it is good if she was unsure as this is how most begin to do it

Yep, you want to show the beginnings, not the perfect pictute

yep and even not changing sides is good as most forget this intially

First one:

Haha, and the handler fumbling with lead rope, clicker and poolnoodle

yep LOL - I think it is fine, will have a close look after it is downloaded as the internet is slow -just waiting for the vet to turn up - something is not right with Sharney - so be back later

Second one:

Oooh no! Hope it's nothing serious. Sending Sharney hugs!

ta not sure, of course now she is eating but she was giving flesman type responses all morning, was not interested in doing anything and has been trying to 'gulp' when her neck is oustretched when she curls the lip - except there is no blockage I can see and she is not doing the usual discharge from the nostrils - I would rather pay and be told nothing is wrong than leave it - as it could be a stick or something in her teeth or worse or colic (she has some gut sounds but not allot) or pain somewhere - she is not herself so I decided I did not want to wait it out any longer as she was under the tree down in the paddock for hours unsettled and doing the fleshman thing

Good idea to have her checked early! Would do the same! Keeping her in my loving thoughts

Just watched a short introductory vid about the pain video you were talking about. Sounds like it is really worth getting a copy. So: yes, please.

Oct 27, 2019, 1:36 PM

Ok, so he cant see that there is anything stuck in there and she did most of what she had been doing. He wants to wait for 2 days and see what she does but he also wants to scope her and send the camera down to make sure - he feels it is best to be proactive so he will make his mind up about that on tuesday when I call him as long as it does not get worse

yep I will subscribe to it - I have done a few of their other courses so it is quite good information

here they are

Sharney 4 and Star 3 are my favourites. What d'ya think? Sharney 1 is kinda cute too

yes for Sharney 4 or 1 - Star 3 is his typical pose but his eyes are a little closed in this - his eyes are usually like no 5

so are you ready to beta test the online course?

Had Carlotta under saddle at 8 a.m. today, as it was already pretty warmed up. She got all the time she needed to watch around etc., as she does a lot at the moment. She also tells me that she is uncomfy with coming to the tying-rail MB for me dismounting, so we do it at the pedestal in the arena. Once unsaddled, I took her back tot he arena briefly, and a soon as I draped the lead rop over her neck, she immediately arranged her 4 feet into square position and when I said "are you ready" she did a beautiful CA. So lovely!

yeah for Carlotta

About Carlotta: I noticed over the last few days that she seems a lot less interested in treats, once I have clicked (under saddle). Walking off calmly seems more reinforcing for her. And my comments of her being so good and wonderful and clerver etc

yes that can happen and thats fine, the clicker could also be becoming a secondary reinforcer

as well as your comments to her

Interesting what you say about clicker and social interaction. But I feel you are spot on! Gosh, have I changed....

oh hahahaha! oh yes the clicker and our tones can for sure be used without the treat Will need some getting used to this, as it had been drummed into me by Alex that the click is a promise, which MUST be fullfilled by a treat.

Just started to read.

The Aims of the Workshop is so beautifully written. Love it!

oh ta. OK yes you need to keep an open mind with clicker as Alex's is not the 'only' way when we look at it from a behavioural perspective - but also remember her stuff 'then' is very dated take your time with the course - it will take me a few days to get the rest of this crap organised and do the last video collage

Oh, anyother thing I noticed with Carlotta: the area just behind her "cheeks" (lymph knots) was always pretty puffy, like swollen. But recently this has started to diminish and maybe soon will be gone completely. Strange! But lovely, for sure!

OK so thats also a good sign with Carlotta - maybe it is an immune response? also too remember the ventral vagus nerve has huge blood supply that runs up into the head - social engagement!

October 28, 2019

Reading the chapter Core Exercises Introduction. And this just jumped at me: Puts a ‘spring’ in our horse’s step Isn't that soooo true! I notice it every day!

yep it sure does = partly it is the effect of mastery and partly core activation - we all know that when our horses feel good they have many moments of suspension and of course Kathy is correct when she says that the natures painkillers are at work but we have to be careful with the 'parking brake' methodology of intrinzen because it is based on human science and humans can get xrays and scans readily and we know if there are issues or not - we cannot see this in horses - and this pain ethology course is so good - as it highlights the asymmetrical areas that are 'pain' not a nervous system parking brake - I have both and I KNOW the difference - horses dont. As for the course it will be a while before I finish it but I am copying it - or

November 1, 2019

Now, here is another attempt with the mat:

Do you think it's a good start? I tried to be very patient and give her lots of time, as well as threw in a bit of bladder meridian, wither wiggles etc, and a (not so good) CA, to comfort her.

And here is a short one of Core Activation. The only two good ones are at the end. Sorry I was too close and the first one is too dark.

I can see what you were trying to achieve with the mat - but she was not able to leave and she wanted to - I love her PW but see her mind was away from the mat not towards it. I think you did the best with her given she really wanted to leave - and I saw the temptation to lure was too powerful LOL - why not treat the mat as a scary object - the same as we would do with the float in CAT - so as we cannot move the float away we can use a little of the BAT stuff here - lead her to a place where she notices the mat but does not 'react' and wait for a calming sign or deactivation and take her away - you may very well be at the other end of the arena at first - so CAT approach and remember the reinforcement is taking her away - we will use the clicker only when she shows any masterful movement attempt...make sense?

her core work is getting really good! hahahaha you will not know yourself once you get the pixio

November 3, 2019

Great ride this morning, just before the rain kicked in. (hope you have got some more rain too) The highlight was Carlotta spontaneously offering a spectacular spanish trot, was her own decision. And she also did several CA's while we stood and had a little rest.

November 4, 2019

great for Carlotta!

November 6, 2019

nteresting again this morning. Carlotta needs to stop a lot and look on the way to the tying rail. And she suggests a stop at a juicy grass spot, which I take, i.e. walk her another step or two, then point to the grass and let her eat.

We are also working a bit on going down the little slope at arena door, then stop and walk backwards up. She can now, after it has been an issue for a long time. One try at each riding session. She says that she wants to stand at the pedestal now for mounting and dismounting. OK, why not. Windy today and she had a spook in place right at the first "lookout", but then came back to me mentally.

OK thats good - what platform are they using? So thats good that she is able to back now - what do you put this down to? and she is choosing the pedestal so I guess there is a reason LOL

November 9, 2019

I am very pleased that she is now able, when cantering, to softly follow my focus and outside rein cue and turns on it very easily. Maybe one day we will be able to do canter pirouettes

yes I am sure you will be able to do them soon

Hahah, yes, there is some anxiety when it comes to stopping, so doing this on a downward slope, and knowing that she will have go go back up backwards, is into it too. When she signals during riding that she cannot stop on my light seat cue, I let her carry on and wait for a better time. Empowerment and decisions, yeah

November 10, 2019

The pixio is here, yay!

Conditions weren't ideal, as I had changed the setup of the arena, it was windy, and then we know how sensitive Carlotta is to any change, so the beacons were a slight worry, as well as the tripod in the middle. And of course the new position of the ground poles made them dangerous to walk over....

She stopped in her favourite corner several times, but deactivated fairly quickly. Towards the end, she gave me a bit of spanish trot, the good girl. Greg came out with his camera, so we could try to capture it on photos as well, but she didn't wanna... Never mind.

All in all, she was trying to be very brave and overcome her anxiety, so she could perform for me. My sweet Princess.

thats great about the pixio

this is the link for the compatible cameras - and you can see the ones that take the multi cable - but there is the manual and if you go to whats there you will see the pics of the cables - you cannot mistake one for the other

November 17, 2019

I noticed that the swelling of Carlotta's lymph glands has gone down even more - they are hardly noticeable anymore

She still needs to stop very often, mainly when walking from the paddock to the saddling area, and deactivate, but I am educated enough now not to become offended, and let her

She is very supple under saddle, even in one-handed riding with the exercises from Jec's book - I can feel the lovely bend going through her body. Feels great.

She is still worried about going down the tiny slope through the arena gate and isn't able to stop when I ask her to go too far. When it happens, I quietly turn her around and we walk "uphill" and through the gate, then stop, and then back out of the gate and downhill again, which she can do well. So many anxieties hidden in her...

Lotta still loves to stop in her favourite corner, which is a good deactivation place. When she is ready, I sometimes still do nothing, and she then gives me a CA. Becoming a lot nicer and I can often feel a wither lift now. She seems to enjoy the exercise.

We are now working on walk pirouettes, in preparation for canter pirouettes. As she lifts so nicely now upon my request, we practice doing these with light front end and haunches engaged. Will take some more time...

I have banned the dressage whip for the moment, as I want to developp the Panther Walk upon a mere voice cue. Sometimes she is in the mood... and sometimes she isn't

When I ask for something very difficult (or new), like half-pass along the fence, immediately afterwards she goes into PW to slow herself down mentally again.

She can't do them yet with a pole in front of her, so we use the arena fence as an intermediate stage. Will see what Anke thinks of her new posture when she comes on Friday.

yes the vagus nerve runs down past the lymph glands - the more you allow her the time and then giving her something exciting to do then the better this will be. Yes but she is feeling safe enough to show you what she is worried about and thats a plus and also that she chooses what works for her - be interesting to see what Anke thinks

I just love it how it happens now!

Will keep you updated. I am not experienced enough with classical dressage to be certain of my own judgement, that's why it will be good to get Anke's input.

yep it can be hard with classical and also so many different 'views' - I mean to say that lymph glands also activate when there is excessive cortisol and this is something I have noticed in myself the last couple of weeks - so you are helping her with the reduction of any excessive cortisol as well. I am just trying to reconcile some stuff in my head from Dr Steve Porgess - I re-read his book the last couple of days and I have always thought that what he says from a neuroscience perspective is an excuse to stress horses and this has not changed - just wish my head would cope with more than a couple of hours a day at the moment

oppps not porgess LOL but Steve Peters

Wow, sounds like a matter that makes your brain steam ;-)

yes as he says the lick and chew is a dopamine reaction (implying it is good and that thinking is occurring) - I am pretty up on neuroscience and did this as a minor for my honors degree in psychology - he says you want the horse to stress to learn - now I have re-read the book and looked back on some of his blogs I am angrier than ever BUT I have to think about do you want activate to grow the window of tolerance or do you want long term potentiatation through modeling and doing as you do - recognising the issue allowing a deactivation (but you did not cause the stress to do so) and then begin again - see it is about motivation through learning - so we can skim something and we dont take allot in, but if we learn by hearing the 'learning' in a way that is interesting and exciting for us - we keep it - this is what the modeling should do - so I just need to think on this and keep doing what I am as it is really interesting (and again separates me from Sarah as goes somatic experiencing) and focuses back on polyvagal which is where you are and where I 'was' ..the social engagement and dissipating the build up in the nervous system - as this disrupts learning!

the modeling is really interesting and is my assignment question I am battling with LOL hence the reason I am back looking at something that I was a little dismissive about initially (as the research is not as robust as I would like)

I just wish I could keep my mind on this and not the fires but we are fine tonight and tomorrow I think so fingers crossed and with this southerly buster we are getting now we may be fine to video tomorrow.

18 November 2019

it was interesting today as I went into one of the large paddocks with the pad and as soon as Star saw it he came running to it and nickers all the way - engaging with it - so praise but then I put it on Sharney and she started panther walking around him nickering almost saying see what fun you are missing out on, then on Star and he did the same and she went panther walking around with him (me in between them) - so the changes are long lasting - I just wish I could video LOL too much smoke . the changes are the modelling and interrupting the memory trace quicker and not getting to a mild stress response (which means allowing the deactivation) - see if there is a stress response there must be some time to get the deactivation process going BUT the memory literature I am currently focusing on suggests that there may be a time when the trigger is there BEFORE the stress response where there can be an opportunity for the NEW memories to be laid down - so in CAT terms changing the mind about the trigger. In polyvagal terms engaging the social engagement system.

so the new memories can interrupt the consolidation of the old fear memories - the time interval varies depending on what one reads but it seems to be very short - I just want to work with this for a few days because it seems to me that his mind has really changed

Um, I am struggling a bit with understanding this. But I am sure it will become much clearer over the next days.

hahahaha - well give me a couple of days and I hopefully will have it explained but the idea is NOT to instigate the fear response but simply to always work under the threshold of tolerance and make the appearance of the pad FUN and exciting - so 1. movement work that creates mastery 2. social engagement 3. have a stable horse model a good interaction with the pad 4. work under the window of tolerance - so that the memory of stress is not confirmed into the long term memory (so change from no I know this will scare me to yeah lets have fun with it) 5. if we get a stress response allow deactivation and go slower to consolidate a good response then STOP

Makes me want to try it out with Carlotta and the mat. But I will wait a bit longer, until I really KNOW what to do

yep for sure - it just makes sense to me where I need to tweak things - but for me also I need a few more days to consolidate, video and see whether the effects are long lasting - the research is huge in this area - there is a nice laymans video of the theory (as a general proposition) here

Will look at it later. About to take Wotan to Danielle now. Thanks for the material.

26 November 2019

Here are the clinic videos. Anke rides Carlotta:

I have persevered and looked at the first video - the internet is too slow to watch the others now - I am seeing allot of tension and anxiety - sorry Carlotta goes allot better with you - I will watch the rest when the internet will at least stream these very long videos LOL

Brave girl. To be fair to Anke, it is not easy to ride a horse like Carlotta when you are not used to her. And she makes it very clear that I am her rider and not somebody else

But she did settle down for Anke in the end and they did some nice things together. What I really liked in this video (only noticed this once I watched it) is her social engagement with Carlotta, constantly quietly talking to her and explaining what she is doing and wanting to achieve etc.

27 November 2019

I thought the last video was good but Carlotta started to loose it as she was 'encouraged' to take the corner - not sure if you have got back to the workshop but it is finished and am just waiting for the company to check something for me about the forms that I need to lodge with the USA (I have lodged them before but I think they have to be lodged for each venture) - the whole first and second chapter are changed based on my research and what I have now been experimenting with and am much more comfortable with reconstruction rather than Sarahs 'up' to deactivate and then down again - see whether it rings bells for you now that I have tried to simplify it

28 November 2019

Wow, you are giving such wonderful and patient advice to Jacqueline Boog on Intrinzen!

oh ta but I fear that many of the suggestions that some have made will lead her astray. Steinar wants me to try and get to the bottom of these 'problems' in case they turn into big ones. He of course is using it as market research to see exactly what he does for coaching on his website (and the videos he will be making). He is to talk to me tomorrow I think about what exactly is his wish list for my involvement in his model (as well as check some drafts I have done for him to send to kathy - to tell her what she can and cant do with the project and also an announcement on the FB page for him). When I see his wish list I will tell him what I want in return - one of the things I have said to him is that if he is going to recommend any clicker training programs it must be mine- I am happy to change things if he finds something he is stuck on, if I agree, or add more information (which was going to all be in part 2 when I get back to it), but that has to be a given as far as I am concerned. I said I would author his coaching videos and he and I agree on the format and how this will be done - but there has to be more in it for me - so we shall see.

Hahaha, he is aiming for more free work from you. But really, that's enough now, don't you think? He has written "exploiter" all over his forehead, IMO.

Have done some more work on Harry. Processing the pix right now. I think his right eye lid needs to be made smaller, and maybe his neck is a bit too thick? Wanted to get your opinion before I change it though.

As soon as that darn slow programme is done, I will send it.

1st December 2019

Carlotta was wonderful, and I was very proud of her how she handled all those leaves, flying and swirling vividly towards us. Your patient coaching is showing its effects.

So funny when it tickled me to see whether she could do the Tennesse Walker Walk. You must not use any seat for his, only allow your calves to gently bump her sides when the correponding hind leg (of the hrose) leaves the ground.

yes I actually remember how to do that

I am very pleased that Carlotta can now trot. And that Andy trot she offered me today was certainly pretty spectacular (felt like it).

3 December 2019

OK. I thought bringing Valeta in for some mat fun and maybe let Carlotta just be present in the arena and do what she likes. What d'ya think of this?

yes this would be good - see this way you can take advantage of modelling - funny I am just trying to get back to the assignments I have to do for stage 2 of the NAC quals and I am writing about latent learning as we speak which is exactly what we are speaking about with modelling. Latent learning is learning without a reinforcement - so modelling fits perfectly here - and this is one of the things that I feel makes this work with Star - I received an order I put in for two more bareback pads yesterday (lost the girth from my pad in the wind and it is GONE). They are only cheapies and I would never recommend they be used for riding but my plan is to put one on Sharney with the girth done up and let star see how much fun we can have for a few days and then after a couple of days put it back on play and then and put one on Star only for a tick and build up. Now the learning done this way is incorporated into long term memory in about 24 hours (that is watching and not otherwise participating) and the original trials for latent learning (rats in mazes) worked on a 3 day turn around.

try and video it also - you would need a wide angle though or run two cameras


Thanks, I'm quite pleased how it turned out in the end.

5 December 2019

Had a rather nice ride on Carlotta, despite the strong wind, the threatening wetness from above and two immediate neighbours mowing their paddocks close by.

aghh sounds like it was a good environment to see where she is at!

Absolutely! She had several good looks, but came down each time. Slightly flinchy once or twice, but worked well for me. Offered several CA's while at stop, and several PW's when she felt she needed a bit of it. Tried hard to do calm trots for me, as well as prompt stops from canter. Getting better and better with standing square or lining up upon light leg request, when one hind foot is off.

Wonderful soft stops from all gaits, especially from canter. I just have to sit up a big and start saying Aaand (whoa), and bang, she stands. She seems to have the least difficulties stopping square from canter.

wow sounds great - is canter an easy gait perhaps for her? (balance wise)

6 Dec 2019, 16:13

Yes, she has always cantered pretty easily. Calm and slowly.

9 December 2019

I had the idea that I could let Carlotta into it with the muzzle, so they can be together all the time.

Here are the 2 mat videos:

Haha, Valeta was so funny: wile I took the camera back inside, she had built a pyramide from the mat, then carefully folded it into a small parcel. Couldn't stop laughing

Ok so good, but there were times Carlotta was thinking about engaging - when that happened I would have gone to her and made a big fuss and clicked and treated and then gone back to the mat with Valeta - think about the modelling as here Carlotta, look what Valenta is doing can you do this. Here are..... this is one early on when I was experimenting with modelling - dont laugh! the haze is just too bad since that day to film

I didn't have time to watch the vids yesterday, just sent them to you. Yup, I was so busy with Valeta that I didn't pay much attention to Carlotta. So missed her hesitant wish to engage. Will try harder next time

Your modelling video is great. I couldn't stop smiling and giggling. I hope you will put it up in the workshop. Everybody will love it!

no I doubt it LOL - yeah so you can see though in it that we have to try and look at both horses - but Sharney makes a great model

Your horses are fabulous!

hahaha - well we are up to doing up the girth now but I really want this videoed so I might need to wait - my plan is to have one done up with Sharney and have Star watch and probably the first time not even use one on him - but get him used to the idea first. maybe later in the week the wind blows some of the smoke away

Hope it will happen. Must be frustrating to want to film something and not be able to, because of the outside conditions.

Haven't put the grazing muzzle back on Carlotta. Let her into the lush paddock for 45 minutes, then took her out and to the grazed down one. Once the grass dries off, she might be able to go in for longer.

She was very good this morning. Each time we stopped, she almost immediately arched herself up into a CA. She seems to really enjoy this now.

Also offered one or two PWs, with a lot of elevation.

She can trot quite nicely by now. Still pretty slow, but regular. She did fall into a pace once, but I noticed and stopped her, so she could rearrange her brain cells and feet

sounds great with Carlotta. Oh the weather is about the same here and tomorrow about 43 so fire the fires are not back at emergency level so fingers crossed

Yukk! And yes, fingers crossed.

Played a bit with both in arena now. Valeta very keen on everything (including eating the mat), and Carlotta looked quite often and came a bit closer. So I went over and talked with her and invited her, but nope, can't do it yet. Which I expected.

Ok so dont be too worried about how much room for the invite - Carlotta can you come and join? at first a look as you ask - click treat and go back to Valeta - make every move she makes when she thinks about it the best move she can make

13 December 2019

Looks like I got the first little success with modelling (sticking tongue out). Was the second session trying it with Valeta. Like you, I called out to her "Valeta, are you watching?" when she grazed a bit away. She looked up and came over and watched me pointing my fingers at Carlotta's muzzle, who stuck her tongue out.

After 2 or 3 reps with Carlotta, pointed at Valeta's muzzle. She started to wiggle her lips, which got clicked. Then suddenly her tongue came out a teensy, weensy bit. Jackpot! And lots of praise. I explained to her that this was exactly what I wanted and stuck out my tongue as well. She scratched her head, but when I had asked Carlotta again, Valeta did it again!

Riding session was a bit sluggish, as Carlotta came fresh from the paddock where she had stuffer her face for 2 hours

But she offered me a very beautiful spanish trot at one stage.

And she seems to prefer elevated canters to trots, as she regularly goes into them when I ask for trot

hahahaha - well I guess if you want that modeled LOL - yeah I think that the canter is easier for her - we have no fresh paddocks - but I am fine with that - going through allot of beet though

Yes, I like that behaviour, so do want it modeled!

Carlotta was mainly grazing nearby, but did decide to engage towards the end. After I had taken Valeta to the paddock, I came back and walked a it with Carlotta, asking for PW. Which she did. A few steps into the direction of the mat, and quite relaxed. Of course, I had already taken the camera away....

Yep for tied up - it was good that you went to her when she looked and clicked and treated - just click and treat her looking and dont ask for anything else - go back to the mat. You could keep Valeta there and throw some treats on the mat - so right at the end it looked like you were asking for something to give a click to - I would simply click and treat her when she ever looks in the direction of the mat - if you can make it more fun at the mat - if you have more cones put them a distance away from the mat but closer to it than she was today and see what happens sorry cat typing - I got tied up

The flies were horrible, so I started to put the fly masks on. Valeta didn't care at all when I fiddled around her head to adjust it.

When I lead her back to the paddock after Silke has trimmed their feet, she protested quite vigourously that Carlotta wasn't there (yet) and rose straight to the sky on her hind legs. I told her I wasn't amused, haha.

Her mum used to do the same when she was annoyed about something. And Valeta is a lot like her. I am so looking forward to start her under saddle, but it's another 2 years before she will be 5. OK, better go and ride before it will be too hot. A very "summery" week ahead as it sounds. I am so relieved that the hay is all safely in my shed. Wouldn't have been fun to cart it with temps near 40°....

16 December 2019

Carlotta was a bit ho-hum this morning, but then decided to cooperate nicely. I still struggle to keep her on the rail in second and third gear. Must be that I am not sufficiently control my outside rein and inside leg. Or that there is anxiety creeping up to the surface. Who knows.

She gave me lovely PWs and P.Trots, as well as a PERFECT CA under saddle. Yay!

no flies are out in the humidity - we have nearly zero humidity - a couple of flies but no aussie salutes needed - no there wont be any here - we are not on the coast. No rain predicted but plenty of smoke. I think anxiety should be considered first though - have you thought just to play with her in that area? good that it worked out though. Tell me is there anything I need to know about Suzanne, I am just preparing her coaching video - nothing wrong and she has some nice intuitive things going on just wanted to make sure I dont need to mind my comments too much - also how do you pronounce Vaka (her horse)?

Yes, anxiety can be it, though it doesn't feel like it at first sight. And when I just put a bit of weight in my outside stirrup, she willingly drifts back to the rail.

Must think of how I could play with this with her.

17 December 2019

Here are the two vids I took today:

hahahaha I wish I could get down there - Ok so the first one Carlotta got allot closer - when this happens, go and engage her with the target click and treat then go back and be full of praise for Carlotta

Ok so the second one you did YEAH and you had eyes in the back of your head...yes so at 4.50 go and engage again and come back - every time she walks closer go and treat her - make it fun then go back. 7.28 was great - now when she left at 7.42 was this perhaps the influence of valeta? do they get along?

Haha, I bet that sometimes you just itch to come and work with mine when I do silly things. I bet you would do so much better!

Carlotta started to be a lot more interested in the second one indeed. It is not always easy to keep an eye on her reactions, as Valeta is so enthusiastic and taking most of my attention, but I try.

Not sure why she left at 7.42. Don't think it has to do with Valeta, as Lotta is higher in rank and it's Valeta who yields to her always. My feeling is that she just had enough for the moment and needed to go and have a little break. Might be wrong, of course.

oh I dont know about that I wanted to do an extra video this morning to explain something in Susannes coaching and I just looked at it and it needs to be redone! see if this coaching one for Susanne looks OK - I had some issues with the formatting as adobe updated their software and I did not check it all - I wont post it till susanne sees it but see if it works for you by downloading it - playing on the dropbox app seems to squash everything but downloaded it looks normal

17 December 2019

I watched it with the dropbox and it worked fine all the way through.

Ok ta, if you are using the standard dropbox then thats what it is then - the app as windows 10 has an app for dropbox

Looking very good to me, great coaching. Susanne will love it. And I am pleased to see that she picked up my (your) suggestion for social interaction/talking a lot to her horse.

oh great - yes she was doing some fine chatting - she seemed over the moon with her post that she posted this morning

It felt like some months back when we went through all this with Carlotta

These days, she is finally becoming pretty good with it: she automatically positions her legs (mainly the front ones, but often then "corrects" herself and does the hind ones as well) before even thinking CA.

Will write about this in the course once Susanne's coaching vid will be up. yep maybe, maybe it is the German in you ladies, wanting to be perfect LOL If that's OK with you, of course.

OK yes for sure - I want her to be happy with it first given the full group sees it so I am sure she will get back to me tonight

I feel it is a learning process which allows us to graaadually understand that less is more in the beginning and how we need to become a lot quicker, so we can capture the very beginnings of the try

I am sure she will love it, Julie.

And I am equally sure that she will relax a lot and enjoy the fun of the whole process

yes you are probably right. Hopefully by the end folks will enjoy it and get something out of it so I have some evaluations to use - looks like I am getting a small waiting list but I want to go though one lot first to be sure I take account of anything that might need to be changed. have fun

Good idea. Once you are ready to start the next one, I will let the people interested know that it's open for enrolment. There are a few who couldn't do it this time for various reasons, as you remember.

18 December 2019

got the painting, thankyou it is lovely - and the feather and the other little one LOL - forgot to deposit the money will do it tomorrow morning (hate giving banks money overnight)

Glad you like it!

Haha, the other little one, you mean the colour copy? That was all I could find to wrap in around the surface, so it didn't get accidentally damaged. That was a painting for somebody in NSW who had taken my GSD Nemo, who is in the picture. Still miss him.

all good, it is done now, I dont like owing money - hahahaha about the colour copy - I was wondering if I missed something

19 December 2019

Thank you!

Busy this morning with cooking (smoked salmon platter for entree, then Beef Stroganoff for main course, then Baked pears on puff pastry, filled with chocolate balls.

2/3 through, whew, just the beef now. Got my ride in at 7:30 this morning

busy busy! well you would not want to ride here at 7.30 - already it was over 30C

Yes, was a busy day. Doing nothign right now, well almost, as I will continue with the course

Tomoz around 43°, so it will be 7 a.m. for riding. I will let the mares into the (treeless) grass paddock overnight and then into the bush paddock during the day.

yep it has been fun today

It's good to be back to lazy. But Greg told me there is more fun ahead, as 2 of his cousins have announced their visit. And Greg wants to invite them and their wives and do the usual big dinner thingy and spent the night here.

Very nice video - an excellent eye opener!

oh great! ta

20 December 2019

I noticed in a post on your page you said that Carlotta uses the PW to deactivate - this is not deactivation but rather using mastery to give her confidence to tackle what ails her - deactivation is standing and offering calming signs, yawns, even displacement behaviours - but when they offer a PW they are faking till they make it

in cases when this happens we need to support their social engagement system - I have video of Star doing this the other day if you want to see it? the camera angle does not pick up his facial expressions but it is nice to see him trying

Yes please!

Aah, OK, might be good to mention this in the course. Feel free to use my comment and then correct it

it is mentioned the crunch and PW are for mastery (repeatedly LOL) - as was my presentation to Sarah- deactivation only occurs when the horse is stressed and we need to wait - my goal is not to have the horse stressed in the first place, but if that happens we need to wait - the course from how you are following it, you are up to crunches and some of the explanations for the actual fake it till you make it - we are not focusing on deactivation as this is where Sarah and I differ - I do not agree with growing a window of tolerance because this stresses the horse and grows the grey matter

Dang, "medium" out of control bushfire 20 km east from us. 62 vehicles working on it.

the winds you have down there are not going to push that to you

No, they blow in the opposite direction. Fire not yet under control and over 70 vehicles at work. It's labelled "large" by now. Fortunately, the yesterday conditions of 44.5° plus strong winds are now gone. 20° and practically no wind at the moment.

How are things your end? it is going to get bad soon

Here is today's CA vid:

Sorry, camera isn't positioned very well, but it shows (more or less) what we are trying to do. I tried to apply what I saw in your course video, i.e. using the pointer to improve the CA. Lots of room for improvement, but she tried very hard, my dear girl.

22 December 2019

her core work looks good - hahaha 1.28 was timed funny - so you had the idea but asked for her to look at the stick after she stopped lifting - but can you see that her expression changed here? this is because you changed things around - can you think about whether I might be on the mark here and that is that we need to be careful that each time we ask for 'anything' we ask differently or we don't do it - so no repetitions - and I am also wondering if she needs to play between each one (but that was a nice piece of core lifting) and 2.03 hahahaha - OK so were you trying to strength her back here? lift - can you stretch while holding the lift? little at a time - yea good one at 2.28 - so dont repeat this and move onto something more interesting for her - she did seem to get a little more animated here though - it went down a little after this and I really think that anything where we are 'practicing' wont work well for her motivation wise (and also your tone changed after the 2.28 one)

Thanks for the great feedback about CA. Haha, very true. I know I did too many repetitions. Was too greedy there. Good idea to play in between. Hm, I seem to have trouble to et stretches while holding lift. You need to come down and work with her.

Yes, I can see what I did at 1.28. Bummer. Will have to figure out how to ask for stretching while she holds the lift. Gnnnn....

Usually I ask for 1 or 2 lifts, then stop. But you know how it is when the camera runs - you wanna "produce" something

oh the holding and stretching is done very slowly - in the video I tried only to get a slight hold - just take your time and even use your keep going voice as you ask for the core - yes yes yes - and then we capture the stretch before they drop off their core - so at first dont wait to see it - try and time the lift as a good lift and slight leaning towards the pointer - click and treat - the shoulder will give you a better indication as to how much out of the core she is at the time you click (in other words before the shoulder drops back down) - yea we always get greedy - just remember variety

Need to digest all this. Thanks a lot, very useful answers. Will take another one and see whether there is improvement.

Another try:

the flies mum!!!!! OK so it is hard to tell with the shoulders when she is not side on to the camera, it seemed to me she was stretching forward but the shoulders were the tell here - when she went off to PW it was good to with her - PW with her and have a game. It was interesting that when she said na I want to stay here you asked a few times, rather than went and did you own thing - I still cannot shake the feeling she is not always engaged with it all. OK so at 4.30 or so you are walking and she is following but your gaze is so on her - look ahead and see what happens (we can always see video later ) I want to see what happens to eliminate your gaze on her as being the 'culprit'. Yeah finally a side on close shot LOL - I really am spoilt with the Pixio ...yes beautiful crunch - look in the same direction as she is though - but this was a lovely crunch..yes that was perfect at 5.48! now another piece for thought - when you say are you ready? what is it that she does to tell you she is?

24/12/2019, 12:24

This is the riding vid from the same day. There are some nice examples of "panther trot" (aroun d 8.something and at the end), as well as some of PW after an effort (like half-pass along the pole).

Thanks for the feedback on the ground vid. Yes, you are right, she is not always engaged. It was a lot better when we played regularly on the ground together. Maybe I should do more of it again (instead of being so focussed on riding hahahaha).

Yeah, right, I was staring at her again sigh But I am so very pleased how much her CA has improved now. Took only a year...

I had planned to wait for the spare parts for the pixio (to make the assembling easy), but looks like I have been ruined for tolerating the dot-at-the-horizon horses in normal videos now. So, next time, Pixio it will be again

About: "when you say are you ready? what is it that she does to tell you she is?" It depends! Sometimes she is ready and then goes into the CA, and sometimes she isn't and says "push off, I don't wanna"

Really, I know right away in most cases, before even asking. I should know better and listen to my guts

Anyway, wishing you a happy Christmas and a safe property and animals! Will be back soon. I will have a look at the video later

2 January 2020

Something to take your mind off for a little while: I took some more Pixio yesterday from the horses playing in the arena and doing social engagement.

Carlotta came closer several times and looked a lot into our direction, but wasn't really willing to participate yet. Well, as long as I can see some progress... which is the case

Valeta was brilliant: she figured out how to straddle the pole at liberty. Must have given this some thought since last time

She also figured out some new things, like stepping into the tyre and on the pedestal. What a smart little coookie!

The old yellow clicker on the pointer died completely that day, but I managed to get it off and glued one of the red ones on. So, all good, and no need to buy another one

So good to have 8 horses here, reminds me of my former days with up to 17 horses, belonging to me! I love watching them walk around and eat and interact. That grass should be gone within a week or two at the rate they are attacking it, haha.

Means I have to keep Carlotta and Valeta in the house paddock which also has high grass, and that implies picking up the manure, i.e. painfully dragging it out of the grass. Eeek! Takes sooo long to do it. I am afraid I let out a few not very ladylike comments in the process....

I will look at it tomorrow. the non branded clickers are not as good as the branded ones so let me know if you need some more - no manure picking here for me - it is too hot and storing it just adds fuel for combustion it is better to leave it in the paddocks

the video is good, but you cant help yourself with carlotta - at the beginning you click and treat (yes) but then you want to ask her to go to the mat - walk back to the mat and make it fun - she needs to come when she wants to engage (not when you ask). It is good that you went over to her when she looked at you the second time and clicked and treated. She is not finding you playing with Valeta exciting enough at this time but look at 2.42 (shame you did not see this, but she was not to know the click was not meant for her as it was timed perfectly). Here I would have made a HUGE fuss over her, tripple or even more clicks and treats heaps of scratches - anything to really mark that moment - rather than treat it the same as you did the moment before - does this make sense? I am not sure what caused her to go away then but it feels to me that she needed more reinforcement - she wanted to be really sure she did the right thing - and I feel that if you had the time over again you could make this a HUGE moment for her. See at 4.45 when you kicked the ball? this woke her up - I was only saying to myself as I was watching whether we need more energy here to motivate her....what does she love to do? here at 5.13 as well but after you went to her Valeta caused her to go away - so this is the message she is getting each time I think also - is Valeta the dominant one here? Can we amuse her when you go to Carlotta (a bucket so you can drop treats in perhaps?) See at 7.23 she wanted to engage with you but I don't know what happened after that and the next time I see her she seems to be in a different position. Valeta is getting good on the mat LOL - so maybe we need to control Valeta when she is following you to Carlotta and also find something more exciting for Carlotta?

4 January 2020

Now for the video: Finally got to watch it. Yes, I can feel your pain about how I handled it from 2:42. She was willing to engage and all I did was click and briefly praise her. You are right, big fuss it should have been! So sad when she gave up and turned away

Yes, same at 7:23. How could I miss all those great opportunities. Sure, I did acknowledge most of them (when I noticed them), but definitely not enough and it frustrated Carlotta.

Valeta is not the dominant one, as Carlotta drives her away and is the "boss", but I have the feeling that it annoys her when I do things with Valeta and she plays the second violin only, so to speak. Just my gut feeling.

Yes, I could try the bucket thing, but that would need to be a lot of treats, as Valeta clearly wants to be with me all the time, and this gets on Carlotta's nerves.

As Carlotta isn't overly interested in what Valeta does with the mat, maybe I should stop this, at least for a while, and have Carlotta in the arena on her own again and play with her.

Unfortunately, she is not overly interested in playing. Yes, she enjoys PW, but not as enthusiastically as other horses do. I have the feeling that she is very proud of offering it to me when ridden, but when it comes to playing on the ground, it is only occasionally interesting. Same for other things. I can't think of anything that really thrills her to bits and which she loves doing.

Apart from quiet things, like standing close to me, put her muzzle into my hand or lick my hand. And when I do Bladder Meridian work with her as well.

This morning, after the ride, when I asked her for a couple of CA's, first she cheated a bit, so I asked again, saying exexex to try to extent it a bit. And at the third try, she did a beautiful one. I jubileed and praised her, and she started to nicker softly.

If you have any idea what could be exciting for Carlotta, I would be glad to hear it. She seems to love levades, but I don't want to overdo it with those. Maybe play with the tyre and the pedestal?

Maybe, I should just go back to more ground fun. When we did a lot of it in the past, she seemed to like it (most of the time).

Having Valeta in the arena at the same time is demanding, as she absorbs most of my attention with her fun stuff and interaction, and poor Carlotta is left out. I think we have to change this.

Talking about coaching videos for the course. Do you want to use any of my recent ones for it or should I make one or two new ones? And what would you like to talk about for our case? CA? PW? Or maybe even PW under saddle?

She is doing quite nice CA's under saddle now. She usually starts with a fake one (just with the neck, so to speak), but she I say "lift", she lifts her back as well. That is one of the rare times where she gets treats when ridden now. I just want to mark such great moments.

4 Jan 2020, 13:57

hahahaha - yes well I am not up for a drive down to vic LOL - 44 at the moment and it is hard - we have been in the same danger for 6 weeks - it has not changed - the containment is holding at the moment ...mmm OK let me think of some strategies then as if Carlotta is the boss and she is not showing it, this means you are not a resource at the moment she wants to guard - now dont feel bad about this - I think there is something else happening - but need to think on it...this then may give you some ideas as to what you can offer her for play - I think a new crunch one would be good for the workshop - keep it short LOL be back when it is cooler

Took 3 little vids (with always a play break in between). Not as good as I might have wished, but I think there could be some stuff worth commenting in there. I am sending you all three, so you can decide which one is the most appropriate (or put them together, if you prefer).

5 Jan 2020, 03:27

with the first one and Carlotta - she is using her neck allot and her hind legs are tucked under - she actually looks quite reactionary in SATS and her back legs in particular react to the touch rather than purposefully move on our suggestion. I am a little perplexed with her as she was showing allot of calming signs - and she also has gone back to using her neck (and you are clicking for it) now she looked like she had too much in her mouth or she has a tooth issue - if she had too much in her mouth then she held onto the food and this is an indicator of stress - if there is an issue in her mouth unless you have changed your mind now and will get an equine dental vet unfortunately until it is very obvious a standard equine 'dentist' cannot pick it up as they cannot look into the mouth properly unless sedation. So just tuck it into your mind and watch out for this happening again. The yawning then was good, but there should have been no need for it given what was being done. She then let out a good one from behind - this should not be needed with what was just happening. I feel there was only one little spark from her in the whole clip and that was when the click registered - may of the clicks did not register with her. So thinking about what I see on the other videos and the fact that she is the one more likely to voice her opinion, I think maybe doing the modelling is not working for her and may be confusing her. We have to look at the value to the horse- so we can see that Valeta finds these modelling lessons more valuable - she finds your time and attention more valuable. Carlotta does not and in this circumstance, when competing for your time and attention and training, she is prepared to say - it is not worth it for me - Valeta you can have it. So she is not learning anything because she is not really attentive.

So I think yes the modelling is not working for her - I think you need to experiment with the things you suggested yesterday - I am interested in what changed with her when you said yesterday - "This morning, after the ride, when I asked her for a couple of CA's, first she cheated a bit, so I asked again, saying exexex to try to extent it a bit. And at the third try, she did a beautiful one. I jubileed and praised her, and she started to nicker soft"...the levardes are something that can be used as an extra incentive - so maybe throw a couple in

why is your pointer not extended? She is allot more 'alive' in this second video. The second attempt correction was good but she should not be using her neck anymore - what seems to be happening is that she is going back and then trying to go up and this is the reason that she is using the neck, so there is no raising of the cervical vertebrae. In this one at 1.28 your correction was more forward thinking so this is why she went off balance but she really tried there. That hind leg should not be doing this in SATS but also strange that she felt the need to move it the way she did when you asked for a crunch. OK I think I know when you clicked next LOL at 2.00 you are training it hahahahahaha - see she is a horse who seems to love to lift her legs or levade as you say or stretch - even her PW is dainty and stretchy rather than awkward and 'ugly' so you need to think about what she is doing when you click as these kinds of things are her go to moves (so yes the pedestal would be helpful for her motivation). You need to change the way you are asking for the lifting of the core - your hand is well below where we want the lift from and nearly at the lumbar spine and you are facing inwards rather than in her same direction - this means that you are missing the fact that she is not lifting at the shoulders. and also you are back into the habit of sweeping back with your hand towards her tail when you ask and this means for her (as she loves to take her weight back) that she forgets to use her shoulders . So here is my thought - this one may be good if we can show how to fix this - so go to the pedestal and her front feet are on it, so this means the elevation is there for her already - ask for the activation but only a little, extend the pointer and watch the shoulders - when you see the shoulders lift a little or any idea that there is muscle activation there click and treat - just a couple and see if you can set the camera up to shoot it straight onto the shoulders- you are going to remain still so it should be fine to do. You want to stand at her shoulder and your cue for lift is going to be your body language (shoulders - even if you are on the other side of her so the camera, carlotta and then you in order of the vision - if you need to face her to see the shoulders thats fine - I will look at the third one

yeah na the second one, might be the go - the third one is more into bending of the hocks (which we do not want to encourage at the standstill) and again this is not meant by you I know but she loves to elevate herself and unfortunately she is bending, and then using the lumbar (for the most) to lift - then the lift is coming towards the cervical spine but as the last thing to happen rather than the actual first. I would love to see you try the lift (shoulders) on the pedestal - I can video this for you if you need it. So what was going on in the first video? her demeanour was very different in that as compared to the other two?

5 Jan 2020, 10:19

I can try again, I know they are not ideal. But that gives you room for pointing out what can be improved

Dunno, she was kinda grumpy and sulking that I took her out a second time that day, I suppose. She is not in a very good mood at the moment, maybe because she doesn't like all those strange horses on her territory? She will be in for a surprise, when she has to go into that big herd for 2 months soon...

Maybe my fault what she did in the third video. I think she was following my hand far back on her lumbar area/croup and leaned back against it? She certainly thought she was doing what I asked for. Yes please, video it for me.

I can practice stepping on the pedestal and then see whether she can do a lift. Might take a bit of time.

5 Jan 2020, 17:47

Tried to take another video of the CA for you. Uploading right now. She enjoyed playing a bit in between with PW and then offered me even a panther trot. Looked great. Of course, the camera wasn't on...

Then I remembered that you are interested in trying CA on the pedestal, so we worked on putting her front legs on (took a vid), and then I asked for CA, but she got all confused and rocked back and forth. Will need to practice this some more, sorry.

I dont think she was confused because if you look at the CA videos this is what you are now reinforcing for rocking back - the forwards is extinction as she is not getting a click for it - frustration and confusion - it is the same thing - or are you saying she was confused about putting her front legs on? the only reason I suggested the pedestal is that you said she loves it (so a normal thing is front legs on the pedestal). shame about the early stuff LOL

I meant she might be confused because I was in a different position. Mea culpa for reinforcing the wrong thing....

6 Jan 2020, 03:28

in your first one, that click was a bit late LOL - she moved her foot nicely and she expected a click and her expression showed this (which is good). OK so this one is not a good one, unless it is a demonstration of no autonomy LOL (and blending) - so she is not though flush to the camera and I can see you are trying hard for her to get her neck out but your pointer is far to short for it to be of value - she cannot 'look' at it when it is short and close to your body as it means turning her head towards you after she begins to use her neck. We need her head flush first between her shoulders and lifting at the shoulders - you are still watching her spine. I would not be clicking when she reacts with her back leg - the second was not a reaction I can see that she wanted a scratch - so I would have scratched her not clicked her LOL. I am not sure what happened at 2.10 you seem to want her to turn her head towards you maybe?......I think it is better to get the core work done by lifting at the base of the cervical vertebrae first - the head turning is AFTER they are in activation mode (with no neck). I am a little confused with allot of the clicks after this though. As we need to restart and not practice using her neck you had a great opportunity just after you said ready at 2.44 this is when I would have clicked and slowly build this back up but when you clicked it was fine - and I think you knew it also. I dont recall her being so willing in many attempts like this one though also

cant access the second link. The third one: I think they are in the right direction, cant see what is really happening in the first few - but think about the clicking you are doing - you seem to be clicking more and more and I think it is becoming a habit . The one at 1.00 was boarding on clicking for the neck but this could have been 'fixed' by asking her to look at an EXTENDED pointer, so dont try and get her to turn her head at the moment until the neck is out. that was a better use of the pointer at 1.14. Yes good click at 1.28. Yes the next one, I think she was trying and it was not something caught in a tooth?

so pretty good focus working on getting her to step onto the pedestal - there goes that hind leg again at 3.50...pause at 3.58 - is this just the camera angle or maybe she is dirty? but it looks to me that her rump muscles are fully 'loose' here...I see this sometimes when the wrong muscles are being used for stabilising - not sure but the way she is holding herself here feels strange to me. When she moved back it almost looked like she was using her stifle for balance for a sec....OK so she knows she can activate on the pedestal so same deal here we cant click for the neck - as she did this one herself smile and say a wonderful try but lets go smaller and then ask . I cant really tell what you were clicking for as you were standing right at her shoulder LOL

fingers crossed Star will co-operate this morning and I can video him on it - we may get a dirty willy in the camera (I must clean it), but I will try and aim for effort so he has to focus rather than 'fall asleep' hahahaha

6 Jan 2020, 11:00

I found some old videos of them using the pedestal - we actually got a sprinkle of rain this morning for about an hour - probably only a couple of mils but the camera could not go out in it - now there is too much smoke around

so if you want to see the old ones let me know

Sounds like a made a mess of it. sigh Will really have to concentrate more on the things I should do! Might give it a bit of a break for now, as I feel somehow pretty discouraged that I went back to bad habits again.

Yes please, if you can send me the link to an old pedestal video.

Good to hear that you got at least a little bit of rain. Checked the national rainfall map, but doesn't seem to be much in your area.

Bust be horrible with the smoke. We have some from the Gippsland fires, but not too bad at the moment. Just all grey and overcast and a bit of smell.

Will go into town early arvo and work a bit with Wotan and the girls. Seems they have just started with riding lessons too. I hope that won't ditract their interest from Wotan and Savannah too much. Thought about doing some poolnoodle fun and maybe some leading and beginnings of laterals (shoulder-in in hand). And maybe also the seasaw (I have a small one).

Also have to go through all our things and see what can go to bushfire victims, like spare horsie and household stuff. We tried to make a donation through Rotarians, then Red Cross, but they refused to accept bank transfers. Do they have to be that difficult when you want to give them money?!

Will try to donate to the organisation that sends trucks loads of hay to Gippsland and NSW. That sounds like an excellent initiative.

dont be disheartened, but you have fallen into some habits LOL and you are relying on the click a little - but we all do it and trhats why videos are great because we can catch them before they develop further. I am not much of a fan of the seasaw but I have never seen one done well where the horse is actually balanced well rather than relying on the wrong muscles to keep them there - also anything where a horse does not walk on without a lead raises a ? in my mind as to whether it is something good for the horse or just the human.

Will see today or tomorrow what happens without lead rope. I put it on yesterday, because it had been years since we last did it. Just to give her an idea basically. You saw that I didn't put "pressure" on her, just held her hand.

it is not something they forget - we did use the pedestal this morning and they both just go for it - but I know that if Sharney does not make a B line for it when we are in that area she is not feeling the best

yea I did see that there was no pressure but I just find it interesting that she prefers to go side to side

Yes indeed. My other horses very quickly enjoyed lining up at the short side and fairly quickly went up with all four legs. Keldan even with a rider.

I never did much with Carlotta with it, which might be the reason that she is at the early stage

Tues 10:33

So here is one of the earlier ones when I began experimenting with 'carrot' stretches as well as crunches on it - will try and video tomorrow

Tues 11:38

Very nice and creative, Julie. Star shows some of the behaviours Carlotta did. What a beautiful crunch at 2:04!

Might be a bit more difficult for Carlotta on the higher pedestal. Maybe I should build a flat one as well for various games. A lot less smoke today, so we can do outdoor things again.

the higher it is the better it is for them but also horses love the height, It would not usually be in their nature to enjoy something low to the ground.

10 January 2020

Nice ride this morning with a very cooperative Carlotta. When back to MB, she stopped dead and said she just couldn't go there. I let her stand for what felt like ages to see whether she would deactivate, but it didn't happen, so took her to arena and pedestal again to dismount. No dangling lead rope this time, but the sliding door was rattling a bit. Maybe there was no "real" reason, but just some hidden fear cooking up. Who knows.

We did a little bit of CA, with the pointer in use as you suggested in your wonderful short video in the course.

Worked really well. Now, I'll have to repeat it in front of the camera...

My troup from Chris is doing a great job, eating all that long grass. Hopefully in another week or so they will be finished and can go home, together with Carlotta and Valeta.

Oh, and when she did an extra-wonderful CA, I just praised her repeatedly and enthusiastically, like you showed us (good jooob, Carlotta, wonderfuly, good jooob etc.). She looked at me, then turned her head towards me and started licking my arm and hand.

Felt very good inside.

hahahaha - no rain for at least another week here. Carlotta needs to have the confidence to go through a deactivation - can I suggest that you dismount and then use the bladder meridian technique - helping her gain the confidence to show you that she can let down - I fear she knows you will pull her up and take her somewhere else and then the mind becomes the new 'job' - the first time I tried this it took over 30 mins I know it is a long time but it then became very easy

That sounds a very good suggestion. Will try next time. Tomorrow I should have time to wait it out, as there is no gardener or cleaning lady or whatever turning up and distracting us.

I did the bladder meridian technique from the saddle. Yes, I think you are right - she knows that I will let her go to the arena after a while, so time to change strategies.

Would this be good for the mat as well? I.e. stand at the distance she is comfy with and let her deactivate there?

Look at that:

just hang in there for a good deactivation and then go ahead and go somewhere else - she has to activate before we can get a deactivation. I have not seen that there is any activation at the mat she just is not interested

17 January 2020

wish I could have added another day on when I see Alice Cooper but could not do it with the flights that were left (not that hub would have been happy me spending another day away - as it is he has to not work for 2 days because of the flights that were available)

Hahaha, you read my mind! I was going to suggest you come and visit me for a few days

Lovely cool weather here (18° today). I have decided to keep Chris' lot for another week, as there still is a lot of grass. One of the young mares was very skinny (belongs to our friend Amber). It's a Peruvian Paso and they can't figure out what the problem is. She seems to be starting to put on a little big of weight now. She is the younger sister of Bella which I eyeballed recently.

Have thought about a strategie to get Carlotta to become interested in the mat and overcome old worries about it.

I have placed it in the center of the arena, close to the tyre, and just rode around like I normally do. Each time, she looked at it, I praised her. At one stage, I tried to stop at a spot, approx. 5 m from the mat, and she couldn't stop, so I does still worry her. Continued to work a bit, then gave stop cue at the same distance, and she stopped softly and happily. CT and goody! And lots of goooood job!

Once unsaddled, I took her back into the arena and let her loose. Suggested we do a bit of PW, which she did happily. I still rewarded each look into the direction of the mat with praise. Then she stopped and we softly chatted a bit. I pointed with the pointer, she did a CA, then suddenly but very slow-motion, went up into a levade or rather pesade. I laughed and said: Oh, that's what you want to do. Fine! She offered a few more and looked proud and happy.

Then I invited her (doing PW myself) to walk towards the mat, and she did a few steps, then stopped. I gave her scritchies and friendly talks, then walked to the mat and sat down on it. She started grazing nearby, then looked at me. I put a handful of lucerne chaff on the mat. She looked, then took a few steps forward and ate the chaff. We ended on that.

Do you think this is a valuable approach? I had in mind to continue leaving the mat in the arena, just as part of it, until she finds it normal.

yeah no way we could risk me being away other than overnight as fires will still be burning. Yes still sprinkling but a solid sprinkle so thats good. As long as she feels she still has autonomy under saddle it may be OK. it is good she ate some food on it, I would give that a go for a bit, as long as she is not worried - see we cant use habituation as there is anxiety, we can counter condition but she would have to do something for it, and it is also a little like overshaddowing, but I only like to overshaddow when what creates anxiety is necessary (as the mat is not necessary if we are not careful we will strengthen the anxiety). I was going to suggest asking for a small step on a small mat like the surefoot pads and then put them in a larger square etc like I did with the cones

you cant leave it in the arena if she is under pressure, as she cannot habituate to something that creates fear

Yes, I understand that you can't stay away from home with this situation. But glad you can go and see Alice Cooper.

Hmmmm.... yes, I can bring in the small pad in, but they are quite high, so maybe she will find that difficult. I can buy some thinner foam and work with that, if you think this is useful. Somehow I don't have the feeling that the small ones will help her with the mat, but I can be wrong, of course. All this is a bit difficult to work out. When I started riding her in the arena yesterday, I had the reins on her withers for the warmup, as usual, so she could go where she wanted. She walked along with very relaxed poll, but didn't meander through the arena, as she usually does, but instead stayed on the rail.

Then I could use my usual light cues, once I had picked up contact, and she performed normally, that's when I tried to walk a bit closer and stop. A bit later, I suggested we do a figure of 8 around the mat and the pedestal. She wasn't completely comfy with this, but did it willingly with loose reins. She preferred the enlargeing the circle (shoulder-in) to travers. I only did once circle, then went back to the rail.

Will try to get next session filmed, so you can give your opinion. But, bearing in mind what you said above, it's not such a good idea after all, and I should just give it a miss.

After all, if I can't work with the mat with her, it's not a disaster. There are enough other things we can do.

17 Jan 2020, 13:19

yeah I feel that the mat is worrying her - I cant remember but have we tried CAT with the mat - but use it as BAT as if the mat were a horse float?

yes it was good that Kaye said she wanted to go as the tickets in Sydney were not that good and at the time they were released I assumed that feb would be too hard with the usual weather and that I had to travel to Sydney which meant overnight in any event - when we looked at the ones in vic there were good seats (as the rod laver arena has the two levels and there were OK ones on the second level) - I thought it will take longer to drive to Sydney than to fly to melbourne - so thought overnight will be fine (I hope)

Yes, she hides it, but I think you are right, the mat still worries her. sigh No, we haven't tried CAT with it. What is BAT?

BAT was an invention from someone who was initially on the list when JRR was teaching me CAT - I dont like BAT because of the issues that can arise if the horse thinks he or she needs to go with the handler - so I like to use it without a lead. Walk next to her towards the mat stop before the threshold wait to deactivate and then turn around and walk with her away from it, wait 10 seconds, see if we can approach again - just a couple of trials and leave it and do not be greedy

18 Jan 2020, 11:40

Might give it a try from time to tim

This morning's session was so much fun. It was one with a lot of autonomy for Carlotta (without the mat - have skipped that). She walked into the arena all keen, did her warmup and went straight into proud posture when I picked up the reins. Did some lovely laterals, then I asked for a little trot, but she decided it was Power Canter, followed by Panther Trot (not sure how to call this one). She offered CA's, each time we stopped, then back into the elevated gaits without me asking. I had to keep praising her almost all the time!

After about 8 minutes, she went into a beautiful Panther Trot again, so I ended the session on this. Walked towards tying area, but when she was about to go under the roof, she suddenly stopped and said she couldn't. So I just waited, and she deactivated very quickly, then purposefully turned around and walked back to the pedestal in the arena and lined up there.

On the way back to the paddock, she started Panther walking again and I squealed with delight. Then I did a bit of SATS with Valeta, while Carlotta stayed nearby (very unusual!) and stuck out her tongue from time to time, so she could participate, haha. They got clicks and treats alternately and suddenly Valeta stuck out her tongue a bit. Was the first time she really did this, after only moving her lower jaw, then opening her mouth in a chewing motion for quite some time. So big praise and I let them out on the grassy part. I know you think it's funny, but I just love that, and it's always a big success with visitors

I have noticed a shift in Carlotta's attitude since 1 or 2 days now. She looks at me a lot more, is happy to stand and await me, then wraps her head around me or licks my hand, or gives me gentle nudges. It feels like she is "with me" again now. Maybe she feels that I am trying very hard to find and apply what makes her happy?

we got a bit of rain, no not enough to fill the dam - we would need hundreds and hundreds of mils, we probably got about 10. It might be enough to kick the grass on but without follow up rain it wont do anything except be a pain. It sounds great with Carlotta, she maybe coming more into being able to have the confidence to trust herself or that you are listening - it is certainly possible I hoped there would be more rain for you today and the following days.

20 Jan 2020, 12:15

Let me tell you a little story from around here

The other day, Chris brought in her young Morgan stallion for a first ride. She had sat on him previously once and asked for 1 or 2 steps, and he was calm and cooperative, so this time, she wanted to work towars the next level.

Romeo did a wonderful job and was surprisingly cool bananas about it all. But at one stage, I couldn't hold my tongue and suggested Chris give him a bit of time to just stand there and process (deactivate). She didn't take my suggestion, but things were fine, he worked through everything with kindness and willingness.

Being the stubborn person I am, I addressed the matter again afterwards, how much horse-friendlier it would be to give him a bit of autonomy. Of course, it didn't work (remember how long it took me to get to the stage where I was open for this approach, haha). Chris pointed out that she was well aware when he felt pressure, but had the feeling that he could handle it. She was right, he could, but still....

As you know, she is very experienced and has impeccable releases, so why should she listen to her less expert friend!

Oh Julie, you have completely ruined me for "normal" horse training! Hahahaha.

Yesterday, Amber came over and played a bit with her PP filly Luna. I offered to take photos and took about 100 of them.

It was remarkable to which extent it made me cringe to watch a (very kind with her horses and also open to do some "alternative", a bit spiritual things with her horses) conventional person interact with her young horse. OK, she took into consideration that Luna was puzzled and distracted as this was her first time away from the herd and in my arena which was unknown to her. She settled down very nicely and tried very hard to find out what Amber wanted from her. But each time I saw the pressure and the "dominant" guidance, it was so incredibly difficult to shut up and not react!!!!

Wouldn't have been any good to say something, she just wouldn't have understood, I bet. But believe me, I itched very strongly to put in my 2 cents

no no more rain. LOL you are funny, I think it can always happen for everyone eventually but sometimes it just takes that 'something' to happen. I feel that your relationship with Carlotta is a hugely different one now but you had to go through it to believe it and it was when that 'something' was 'not' happening that you thought well try and see what happens

Yes, same feeling here. She still is not, and maybe never will, be the outgoing, open person Valeta has been from the beginning, but it is not surprising with her dad's baggage, so I will take her the way she is and be grateful for small signs of affection from her part. She looks at me much more often now and whinnies to me, but still is not coming towards me or only just a little bit. We share quiet, tender moments together, but she soon has enough and walks away. I am not taking it personally

On the other hand, I feel a very different flow between us now, so all is good. And she is so incredibly kind and willing with me when I ride her. And so proud to show off what she can do. It feels like a great togetherness and partnership.

Funny that it shows so much more when I ride her than on the ground. But the other day, when we did that short liberty session together, it was there too, and she wanted to do some things, like the PW and the Pesades, but was very careful to remain polite and offer things slowly and in a controlled way. Difficult to describe, but the feeling was very strong. She is so much MY horse really!

yep I hear you

21 January 2020

Thought I owe Carlotta an apology, as I was a bit tensed up for the photo session. Greg is never available for very long, looses interest after 5 minutes, so I have to pack the maximum into those sessions

So, today, we merely worked on doing things at the walk and stop, like stopping without reins, arrangeing her feet, softening her poll, standing square and walking off with head in a good position. She worked with me and seemed to enjoy it so much that she spontaneously offered a beautiful CA, then PW. We ended the session after 10 minutes. Once unsaddled, I stood at her left side and give her some wither scratches and she crunched beautifully again. She must really like these and feel empowered by them now.

photo session? was there something planned? that's great about how she is activating her core. Ok so you are the first person I know who 'wants' to participate in a medical study LOL - hope they dont keep you long

Tues 17:13

Doesn't she look soooo lovely now? So proud of her.

I thought it was time to do something "social" to help scientific research. So I agreed to participate.

hahahaha - well good on you - not for me as there are too many rules - where are the pics? Oh thank you, that would be lovely, Julie. I don't know how to do it, indeed.

I just wanted some photos taken.

it is fine, just send me the raw footage and then I can take snaps - you just have to tell me the time count

OK will try now but probably internet it too slow at this time

panther walk 1 and 2 she looks proud - she is worried at backing 2 you just copy and past the raw video to me on dropbox

She must have seen something at backing 2. The horses were running around in the paddock. But look at her in backing 5!

She is still leaning inward in canter. Will take more time to remedy that...

yeah but her eyes are closed - in a few of the pics I see this

I think she felt my tension and wasn't very happy about it.

sorry missed the 'nearly' closed maybe you cannot see her from where you are stitting LOL

Will try to figure the pasting into dropbox tomorrow. Bahahaha just load the video onto the computer and copy and paste into dropbox What is the link to the dropbox again? Have lost it. use this one

24 January 2020

A quickie, before I go over to Chris to film the long sword clinic (the horsie part at least). Hadn't ridden for 2 days, because of the strong wind, but did a few minutes of playing with Carlotta. She walked quite happily towards the mat and ate the chaff from it. This morning, when we played a bit after the ride, she walked towards it very purposefully, ate the chaff and stood very close to me (who was sitting on the mat passively). Then approached one more step and pawed the mat twice. All her decision


Ride was great: she is getting the hang of putting herself in a better frame more and more easily. Lots of lovely PWs, a couple of CAs, and then again that very elevated Power Trot with thrown legs. Boy, that lifty you up!!!!

I am copying you more and more on the very abundant verbal praise, and Carlotta seems to love it. Her ears play vividly and her neck arches!

Have done a little bit of ground playing today with the mat.

It feels like Carlotta is much more interested in the mat now and more relaxed. Maybe time to spread it out?

I cannot let her loose at the moment, as the gardener has sprayed the weeds in the arena. But I am looking forward to see how she will react once at liberty. spread it out = unfold it

25 January 2020

In case you want to check today's riding vid:

She was pretty tense at the beginning and also a bit further into it. Couldn't stop at one stage. And at the beginning, she couldn't do the task well known by her to go out of arena a few steps, then stop, then back into it again. She picks changes and vibes up so quickly!

I was more relaxed today than last time, but distracted by Greg at times, and Lotta acknowledged this right away.

Something interesting which we managed to catch in this video. From about 9:50 onwards and repeated several times: each time she goes into her power trot, she actually does trot. The only time she does it reliably, apart from going over ground poles, where she also trots. I would be interested what you think about this.

I hope I will be able - in some distant future - to use it for developping passage and piaffe. Quite difficult to teach her trot, as she usually gaits.

there are a couple of moments where you could have remained there and waited for her to deactivate rather than ask her to do things in the first couple of minutes - also the first approach was SEEKING so no food let her find her way - when she was pawing she was doing it for a click and treat that is fine, but dont disappoint her and not click. Oh that head in the canter LOL where is your pointer. She is very nervous still each time you were on the mat or off it she was very worried yes it should be opened, but I suspect that it will worry her still - she needs to SEEK and learn for herself but also she needs to learn to control with mastery so remember to ask for a crunch etc. remember to give her time to deactivate.

I will get back to you tomorrow I got up to 7.50 of the riding one but for some reason my monitor is playing up big time - if it is not one thing it is another, so puter is being turned off, I will worry about it tomorrow

No worries Julie. Thank you in the meantime

so I thought it looked nice and it was nice to see a 'normal' gait LOL - she seemed to actually hold her body better after this also (around 11.16 I was thinking). So I am not sure as I have no knowledge of the gait of the Paso but know they can trot. it looks like she tries to bunny hop as well so maybe as she was unable to achieve this, it threw her laterals out? or even that as her PW was in there as well at times this helps take the laterals out of the gait? thought this might be of interest - the course can be downloaded

Hahaha, yep, she can be very creative even with canter! But at least, she can canter.

There are lots of gaited horses that can't trot at all, they pace instead. This can be tricky to sort out too.

Yes, definitely the PW helps with working towards gait. I have the feeling that she really enjoys the fancy gaits. Today, when I asked for a simple slow trot, she went into a few steps of elevated canter, then fell into the power trot. It is very "uplifting", but my education from very young days is still working and I can sit it pretty well.

She repeated this several times, so felt like she is working on something new and finds it fascinating. When she added a few steps of Panther Trot at the end, we ended the sessions on it with lots of praise.

I just love her creativity! I am beginning to think that we are make real progress here with working on diagonals.

yep it is great she can offer different things

Who knows where this will lead us?! I would never have thought that something like this could happen to us. Thank you so much, Julie!

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