It’s been a few days since I did a post. I have been doing daily sessions with Timber, but it’s a lot of repeating what I’ve done in previous sessions. There are small improvements each day. This is a process that just takes time and patience.
After all the time I’ve spent trying to get Timber to come in to my space and being comfortable there, I began working on exercises that send him away from me. For example, I want him to circle around me when I send him (both directions). This turned out to be very confusing for Timber at first. After all, I was now asking him to go away, rather than to come to me. Over a few days, he eventually got it and, I think, he actually likes it because he gets to move around me and I’m not asking him to stand still while I touch him. It now takes just the very lightest cue and he takes off to circle around me.
We ended this session with a rather long walk around some of the property. My objective was to see how he reacted to new things, both man-made and natural. I was amazed at how curious he was and at how little he was really bothered by new things. I am more convinced that Timber was indeed part of the “timber horse” herd in Oregon where they grew up in “timber country” rather than in open prairie. At the end, I challenged him with going thru a smaller gate and into the paddock area where my other horses feed and spend the night. He did really well with this new environment.
He is truly an amazing horse. I feel really privileged to be a part of his life and I hope that he is learning to appreciate the new life I m trying to give him.