A Confident Horse: Opportunity And Challenge
We all want a confident horse, but when confidence is coupled with a lack of interest or just plain laziness it can present challenges as well as opportunities for how we approach things.
The last thing we want to do is encourage that confidence to be used against us, or worse still lost and replaced with mistrust.
Getting A Feel For The Starting Point
Topaz is our calm, confident, but lazy horse that we are getting ready to bring on.
Like the other horses, Topaz has spent quite a while just enjoying life grazing in the fields.
To get a sense of our starting point, we took a little time getting a feel for Topaz and where she is at.
We also wanted to see if she was open to beginning to make a connection.
This was just a short period of assessment to help us decide our approach before doing anything more structured.
As expected, in the beginning, Topaz wasn't that interested. She had spent a long time doing her own thing and just being part of her horse herd.
It wasn't that she had a disregard for people, just that her dominant interests lay elsewhere. Her attention was more focused on what was going on outside the arena with her herd, rather than anything that was being asked of her.
This was all perfectly understandable and nothing to cause concern. It wasn't a mark of disrespect or any other negative label that we might be encouraged to put on the behaviour. She was just being a horse responding to a change.
After a few gentle activities to make myself more relevant, Topaz started to take notice of me and developed some curiosity in what was going on.
A willingness to accept Topaz's behaviour while gently introducing ourselves into her environment, allowed us to gain her attention through her decision not ours.
By not forcing ourselves upon Topaz, she in turn rewarded us with being willingly soft to give and flexible.
This is a good starting position to be moving forward from.
Topaz has a totally different personality to her older full sister Jade (our challenging horse project). This is due to her contrastingly different experience of people.
She has never been given a reason to distrust people and gives the appearance of a very calm, confident horse.
Sensitive When Engaged
Like all horses, Topaz is capable of being very sensitive.
But access to that sensitivity is dependent on her being engaged and attentive, otherwise she will tune you out and quietly go about her own business.
Topaz hasn’t done a lot but she will take most requests in her stride as long as they are not too demanding.
Emotional When Pressed
However, if Topaz starts to feel pressured through escalating demands or raised emotions then her calm personality can quickly fade. With this comes with displays of resentment and some spectacular legs in the air bucking if she is loose.
The challenge will be to overcome her laid back laziness. Which means energising her interest without losing her good nature and calm disposition.
Topaz is a strong, powerfully built horse that requires motivation to bring out her potential and develop her interest in learning.
Once on that road she will be a dream to be with, impressive to look at, confident and very capable.