What an amazing lesson Hannah had with Kami yesterday. The week before Hannah had been tense and it made Kami unhappy. Understand, Kami loves Hannah. For over a year now, When Kami sees Hannah arrive she generally whinnies and comes right over asking her to play. Yesterday, when Hannah called to her on her arrival, Kami stood in the corner of the paddock and stared at Hannah without moving or responding. Wow! Talk about voting with your feet!
I told Hannah that she needed to step up and ensure that Kami had a good experience this time around because her tension was making Kami unhappy. Sandor followed us in and asked us to play with him so we went into the paddock and did some “follow the ball” games with him, laughing and rewarding him generously.
After a few minutes of watching us play with Sandor, Kami came over and asked Hannah to play with her instead. After a few minutes of liberty play, we saddled Kami up and Hannah took her into the arena to play at liberty again. Kami climbed up on the pedestal and Hannah asked her to “wait” while she walked around the pedestal or all the way around the barrel. Horse and girl were on the same page and happy. Hannah asked Kami to park and slid on.
Hannah and Kami were in sync this time. Hannah stayed relaxed and Kami was perfectly responsive to Hannah’s body language ….. up until the moment when she announced that she was done. Since our goal was to ensure that Kami had a good time, we called it quits, rode back to the barn, unsaddled the horses and then Hannah and Kami went back to the arena to play at liberty some more! Kami was happy and so was Hannah.