A Good Kind of “Fight”

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~Maggie when I first got her~

This morning was day one, of week two, and the start of a new training cycle.

Last week was all about mind work, with the physical work kept to a minimum. This consisted of a lot of exercises that focused on making Maggie think, and work through problems.

This week will still have plenty of mind work, but it will take the back burner in place of a more physical workout. Basically last week I worked her mind, this week will be her body. I use this technique to keep a stable balance in my horses.

This morning something interesting happened. Usually I do the equivalent of 12 trotting rounds on the lunge line.

That’s a minimum on the “easy days”, and higher on the “hard days” depending on the horse, weather, arena conditions etc. For this week I decided to do 20 rounds with Maggie, and somehow I think she new the difference.

When I reached the 12th round and didn’t ask her to stop, she figured I had forgotten and decided to try stopping herself. When Maggie tried this, and I cued her to continue trotting, and she through a “hissy fit”.

She flung her head around, stomped her feet and reared, I just laughed and kept the pressure for her to continue, and she calmed down and continued.

The reason I call this a “Good kind of fight” is because it shows me, very clearly she was too used to the old routine.

Maggie told me right there, that she was ready for the next step in her training. It’s also a good fight when it ends as quickly as it started, and things run smoothly afterwards. She through a fit, yes, but she accepted my response of “No we’re not done yet” and continued what I was asking.

These “episodes” should of course be discouraged, but they are not all bad, they can teach us things about our horses. Life is what you make of it, and in horse training like anywhere else, we need to take something good out of every experience.

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