I thought I’d keep the good stuff separate from the negative and write about Cayenne in another post. Don’t get me wrong–I’m staying optimistic throughout this ordeal, and I’m sure a few weeks off will be a nice refresher, but dealing with horse injuries is always a stressful time.
Meanwhile, Cayenne is progressing nicely. She does have her moments: you can tell she’s been allowed to get away with making her own decisions, but for the most part, she has come to realize her new place in the ‘herd.’ It saddens me to see that it appears someone has probably beaten her in the past. Sudden movements result in her tensing up and bracing for impact. I worked quite awhile yesterday on desensitizing her to flailing arms near her head, neck, and shoulder. Once she realized that I wasn’t going to strike her, she visibly relaxed, and today on the cross-ties, she was the most relaxed I’ve seen her yet. I did a bit of stretching and relaxation work, and her chin was hovering at knee level–a very happy horse, indeed.
We’re still proceeding with the basics. Most importantly, I am reinforcing the ‘always go forward’ mentality. Her cutting horse bloodlines make her prone to react by rocking back on her hocks–which is good, except she tends to then scoot backwards or rear when faced with tension (this is all transpiring on the longe line). She’s fairly respectful of the longe whip without being scared, so that’s a bonus, and she did well enough yesterday that I hopped on her bareback. Today I saddled her and leisurely walked around the arena with contact. Although she is still resistant and stiff, she is now accepting contact, and we had a few moments where she relaxed her poll and went forward into the bridle. She’s going to get there, and it appears it will come easier than my journey with Johnny. I absolutely love her sweet personality–she just might change my mind about mares.