Yesterday was SO much fun!
I got past many milestones that I had been putting off with Xena. In the round corral, I played a bit more with lifting her feet, and got her fronts at liberty. Her back feet we are playing the "kicking the carrot stick doesn't mean you get out of lifting your foot" game. We played on the 22' line, and she felt so good that I was confident in taking her to the big arena.
The big arena's fence is barely 3' high, so I've been worried she'll jump out just because she can. And last time I attempted this she got realy right brain and snorty. This time, she was totally confident! I know last time she was probably feeding off of my nervous energy of trying to let her graze but frantically avoiding the kick zone. With the 22' line, it didn't really matter which grass pile she followed lol! There is pasture all around the fence line, so of course she was sweet on the rail. Once we had done a couple walking laps, I tried put your nose on something, and she missed the targets multiple times by trying to pull me towards the grass. Passive persistance... pretty soon she understood that after she finds the target, we can go graze. Once she found every bucket, two cones, and a trash bag, I sent her over the fence, and she nudged the little plastic holders that used to be connected to electric fencing... like "Hey, I found something! That means I get to eat now." And then put her head down to eat. :D I laughed out loud at that one.
After that, she stayed totally left brain! In fact, was a downright LBI! Luckily I had carrots in my pocket. We did a few circles, and turned those into weaves, until I got one perfect pattern with her focused on me. She is getting SO light on the halter! There were a few times where a loud car would go by, or she'd spot some monster off in the woods invisible to the human eye (lol!), or a plane would pass, and she temporarily tunes out. This used to be a precursor for the snort--buck--sustain-an-injury pattern. Yesterday it only took the lightest of bumps on the halter to get her back to earth and back on her job. Responsibilty has done this horse well! At the end of the session, she gave up on fighting with the fence to get a few grass blades, and actually left the rail to get a forhead scratch. I love my horsey!!!!!!!
So it got me thinking... I have such a strong mental connection with her, communication is nearly effortless, she's so much like me... It's impossible to have a bad horse day with her. Yes, Parelli people are supposed to be like this with ALL horses, and I'm working on it, but Xena just can do know wrong. There's still some dust with the others. Haha, Xena's the only one to give me a debilitating injury, and I still think she's perfect! She is teaching me to love everyone as an individual though, rather than letting the left brain antics drive me nuts! I dont wanna jinx it, but I got a feeling that level 4 with her is more than a distant dream.