Well the past two days have been awesome with Decker! I feel so much more confident with him. I think I start doubting myself and just need some positive encouragement to push me again. I know we have it in us, its just coming together and making it happen!
I sat down and wrote notes about our lesson, so I could read over them and really make sure I "got" it! :)
The key things I learned were:
FOCUS!!!!!! Look where I'm going and have a plan. Leaders don't look to the horse.
Phase one is the thought and go straight to phase 4 if he ignores me. It is better to make an impression on him quickly than TAPPING and desensitizing him.
Help him move when he needs to or acts like a punk.
For every inch he takes, make him move a foot away from me.
Extreme Friendly game will give him more confidence. Do more friendly game in zones 4 and 5.
80/20 ratio of play and rest.
Hang in there when he throws a fit...they don't last that long.
Change it up so the games and patterns don't become chores.
I need to breath and have more confidence in myself.
And finally read him. Blowing out, head down, yawning, sleepy look, standing quietly, licking and chewing.
I know that's alot, but I wanted to let you know how much you helped me. I think my mind was in a melt down stage when I contacted you. All the negative comments and pressure from everyone around me had just beat me down to nothing. I was even doubting myself. Not the program at all, just if I could do it alone! Now I know I can! Like you said, it will all fall into place all of a sudden!
Yesterday and today I worked with Decker! He was great!!!! So willing and he had such a great look on his face since I knew how to get the "cream off the top!"
I basically spent 2 to 3 hours with him working on everything we touched on in our lesson. I don't know if it was luck or if I'm getting better at predicting when he is going to have a punk moment, but the first time I asked Decker to jump the barrels he tried to throw his shoulder into me again and I put pressure with my carrot stick on his shoulder at the perfect moment! He jumped it! He knows that is what I'm asking now!!!!!! I let him rest after the first jump yesterday and then later went back to it and he willingly jumped it again. It was awesome! Today I only had him jump it a few times, but every time he knew what to do and was great! I even tried a little more liberty! He walked with me for a few steps and then he decided that he had to leave! I helped him move and it only took a few times around at the canter before he was back to wanting to please. I did what you said and asked him to keep disengaging his hindquarters. It worked and once I got him connected again, I quit. It was great! I found all of his itchy spots and both sessions ended really well.
Sorry for the book! I'm just really excited. I really think Decker enjoyed it to. When I put him back out in his pasture, he just stood there with me. :)
Thanks again for everything!
I got the links and the invite to the communication challenge! I'm going to try to make it! I'll send an official RSVP and money as soon as I know if I can come.