Hey, y'all! Sam here with yet another Ember Update. Don't know who Ember is? Meet Ember.
I'm so happy to have this sweet pony as a part of the family, even if it's only until October when she gets adopted out. Ember's learned a lot these past few weeks, and so have I.
Let's start small, though. We moved Ember and my horse, Ellie, into the same pasture to see how they'd get along. At first, there was the occasional buck or rear, but they finally got used to each other. Ellie took the role of alpha, so now all Ember wants it to follow Ellie around like a lost puppy. That little detail hasn't exactly been helpful in our training. Whenever I try to get her attention, she just keeps turning back to Ellie.
Even with some alpha problems, we've still made a lot of progress. This week she learned how to back, how to whoa, and how to go away. Now, the last one was pretty tricky. Her old foster owners had taught her to follow. It was all about following the human. So, of course, Ember's not bad when it comes to leading, but when you tell her to go away, well...
Why would I want her to go away from me? I don't mean like, go off to pasture. I mean to go away like, to lunge. To lunge and to back. Those are two good examples of when you'd want a horse to go away from you.
At first, Ember sucked at lunging. She just wanted to hug up close to me while her hind-quarters moved away from the whip. But she finally got the hang of it, and now she lunges (almost) perfectly from both sides.
She also learned how to back. This wasn't near as difficult as getting her to lunge, but she still put up a bit of a fight. I had to repeat myself until she got it, pushing back on the halter and letting go when she moved backward. Over and over again.
We also rode around a bit. She'll lope/canter with me on her, though, we haven't gotten into a gallop yet. To desensitize, I've ridden her around cars, bicycles, a trampoline (with one of my little siblings jumping on it like crazy), and cattle. It took a little while to get her used to some of these things, but she finally learned that they wouldn't hurt her.
And last, but certainly not least, Ember and I have done some liberty work. I'm a noob to this technique. I think the only liberty work I'd ever done was leading Ellie around without a halter. However, after doing a lot of liberty training with Ember, I've made a mental note to go back and do some hard work with Ellie later.
When it comes to liberty work, Ember can get pretty stubborn. As I said, she'd prefer to go follow Ellie around. So whenever she gets the chance, she'll pull away from me and run to Ellie. However, as soon as Ellie's tied up on the other side of the house, her full attention is on me.
Liberty training is a lot more fun than I'd imagined. It's like you're controlling the horse with your mind! Okay, so it's not really like that, but that's how it feels! In just a few weeks, Ember will be lunging with no ropes whatsoever. What a step that'll be, am I right?
All right. That's enough rambling on my end. Comment below whether YOU'VE ever tried liberty training, and how much you've like it! Sam out!