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  • Writer's pictureColton Woods

The Independent Packer, Spending time with Leroy

Headed out to the arena this morning with my second one for the day right behind me. This horse is an all around great 'packer' and will be great for his owners. For me though, this horse has challenged me to think from so many angles. Essentially this guy will do all the basic, is super safe and quiet minded, goes around seemingly happy (ears forward and soft expression), but given the choice to be with you or off to himself, this horse would rather be by himself. 1 Exception- if you got feed he'll be your best friend, don't have feed, forget it. Now don't get me wrong, it's not like he cannot be caught. He know the whole pressure, release, balance point, rolling the hind quarters across, facing up routine. The thing is he's lacking the WANT to be with us. He's been on stall rest for a minor cut he got on the back of his hock which due to the location has taken a bit of time to heal up. I've worked to really take advantage of this time in several ways. One which was cleaning his stall while he was in there. It's pretty easy to turn horses out for the convenience factor, but using this time to connect with your horse can be super beneficial. While cleaning his stall we could work on his understanding of when he needed to move, where I was asking him to move and most definitely rubbing him while I cleaned his stall. While cleaning his stall though you could see how tense he was. He'd stop eating, stand fairly rigid, nearly glaze over in some moments, space out and occasionally jump if you were in a different spot when it appeared he tuned back in or if you happened to rub him during one of those moments. I also spent a lot of time just hanging out as well as hugging/cuddling this cute little fella. In everything we had done, there was no expectations just a focus on a relaxed, positive environment with a goal to help develop a more willing attitude. Now as for today, I sat in the arena with this guy for about an hour. As soon as I sat down he sighed a bit and lowered his head. Frequently he'd look out or call out to the other horses (that's another post in itself), then he's focus back on me, and after about twenty minutes he sighed again, dropped his head... ⤵***Rest in comments right below***⤵ (Originally Posted on Instagram)

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