Today I had my first official Sparkle Pony lesson with SP Queen, Sadie! We discussed my goal to have Tara in the Transcend Bridle full time, along with my fears over hacking in a more gentle bridle. Sadie pointed out that pretty much all my fears were me creating extreme catastrophic scenarios that in reality have barely any chance of actually happening. One of my fears is that Tara will bolt, I’ll fall off, and Tara will run away and get lost or injured. Considering that Tara has actually only bolted once in the whole 9 years I have had her, and has never run away when I have fallen off, this isn’t a likely situation! However, Sadie put together a plan for me to feel a little less worried about the prospect of her running away and getting hurt if I fall.
Step one – Working with Tara in the round pen, using protected contact and getting her to follow her target around the pen. She already does this but I haven’t done it in a while so a little refresher session needed!
Step two – Training Tara to stand at a stationary target. Ideally without knocking it over or picking it up… She already stands at a jumping block when I’m adjusting fences so this shouldn’t be too difficult. I think I will stick to using a jump block as she likes to knock over cones!
Step three – This is the new step for us… Training recall to Tara Pony!
Hopefully once I have a solid recall, I will be less concerned about losing Tara if I fall, as I can just call her back to me. A small step towards becoming more confident to do things using smart training methods! Keep an eye out for my next blog post, where I will be making an update on my progress!