Something pretty neat happened today...
This fella is a 5 year old QH dun gelding that I started and have had the opportunity to work with. From the beginning focusing on 'slow and relaxed' has our mission as he has frequent moments and times where he is very tense. From learning how to adjust a horses poll, releasing their TMJ to stimulating facia in their mouth, all this has been learned thanks to this guy and for the sake of helping him find relaxation.
Today we came out to work on some ground work and he was tight. We went through various exercises as I looked for what may be right for him in that moment. Everything I was asking him were things he knew. Then I pulled an exercise out of my tool box he had never done.
We worked close together, my hand on his halter helping him feel his way down as we walked a slow small circle. First to the left then to the right. He was starting to relax and let down a little bit. A bit change from where we were a few minutes prior as he trotted real short choppy steps, his head raised, neck and poll tight.
After going the second way he kept his head down towards the arena floor on his own. I just knelt down beside him (right where I am in these pictures) and rubbed his forehead a few times then just watched him. About 2 minutes later he started sifting the sand around with his nose and then he laid down. He didn't roll and I didn't have to move. He just laid right down, lowered his head and relaxed.
I was not searching for or aiming to accomplish a lay down session. Just hoping to help him find a bit more relaxation. It was a pretty neat way to end the day. He doesn't have a lay down cue nor have I worked on teaching him to lay down.
We ended the day on this note and once he got up, hung out for a few minutes then turned him out in his paddock. We'll see how he comes out tomorrow.
For anyone who may be interested- this cute fella will be available to be purchased from Mallory Quarter Horses. He is an absolute beautiful mover. At this time he is green but has a bright future ahead. Feel free to shoot us a message if you'd be interested.
Thank you to Liz Sawicki for getting these photos!
And a huge thank you to Kathryn Raedeke (Valhalla Equine Services) for her guidance on the body working techniques to help this fella find some relaxation.
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