Titan has the soul of a workhorse mare who is tragically trapped in the body of a hot little stud.
For the past several weeks I’ve been training Titan according to Stacy’s recommendations. You may remember part of the plan was to put down debris i.e. logs, brush etc. in his path and then perform various gaits with intermittent backing up. This was to help solve the problem I was having with over excitement on the canter. He quickly relaxed on the canter, but continued to have stress over lead changes, (which may have been the problem all along).
In the meantime I had trimmed out branches and debris for the exercises on the wooded area at the very north end of my training pen. Last week while I was doing my normal exercises in that area, riding Titan I grabbed part of a tree I had trimmed to haul out into the clearing to make a brush pile for burning. As I hauled, the branches bumped against Titan’s haunches and around his face as we walked carrying the branches. He did not flinch. He was not bothered at all. He seemed to enjoy the project.
Later that day I tried the same project with Fanny who jumped all over the place. She was over anxious about the branches. However, while being afraid of the branches, she accomplishes lead changes without any concern at all and never has.
So why not specialize Fanny to doing lead changes and Titan to hauling branches? Why put them through the extra stress? No, caring for my horses and wanting them to be the best that they can be, I went right to work on Fanny getting her used to the branches and am continuing with slow success to solve the lead change problem for Titan. I’m working on these training projects by slow, careful, continuous introduction to the object of their fears.
Hey, did you ever think maybe God does this for us?