In our work with Nuri, a two-year old stud colt, we have found some areas that need improvement. In particular, this horse is much more defensive and worried when people are working on his right side. Often times, in general handling, Nuri likes to push on people with his right shoulder, then position himself so he puts the person back on his left side. When it comes to riding, this little hole can lead to big trouble, so we went to work to fix this.
Below is a link to the video of Kendra working with Nuri on the right side with the stick and string. In regards to working on desensitization, there is rubbing when the horse stands still and there is rubbing when the horse is moving. Both need to be understood by the horse in order to have a safe ride. For Nuri, rubbing on him while he stands is very easy for him, but once his feet move, he’d rather you not touch him, particularly on his right side. Since we hope to swing a polo mallet off him and do other basic things from his back, we made a project out of fixing this little hole.
Here’s a short video showing how worried Nuri was as we began to work on this issue. Select “Nuri Desensitization” in video link: https://www.youtube.com/user/JulieRobinsHorses
As you can see, he is really uncertain and his self preservation is really high. We help him through this by allowing him to move his feet and we redirect the energy by yielding the hindquarters to get him to begin to think while we are calmly working. Being able to rub the horse while moving is a good thing. At this stage of his learning, we are focused on helping him learn to read our intention and our energy. It did not take him long to make a change. We always reward the try, for it is the try that brings the end result that we want.