Our 2nd session was an in-hand walk again, me and Solly with Mark and Stormy for company and this time we decide to go in the opposite direction from last time. This is mainly because soon the horses have to come home to the house paddocks for Winter so I thought it would be a good idea to walk that route as we have a new track in unfamiliar fields this year. SO…..off we went. This time too I made a small change with Solly as I asked him to wear/carry a horsey ‘backpack’ which he actually did very well for me. It was very handy to put my excess clothing in as I got warmer. Here are the pictures from our walk……
Out of the gate and down the first hill, keeping off the frozen section so that the horses didn’t slide. Along the flat field at the bottom wasn’t a worry at all, we used to have the herd in this field so they know it. I’m also better on this walk because we travel this route twice – three times a day when visiting and feeding the herd so I know what to expect along the way. Out of the 2nd field and we have to go up a pretty steep ‘new’ road that was put in this year for logging purposes. The horses have not seen this before and took it pretty well.
We went slowly as the track has stones on it and a steep fall to the left to the river. My heart was going slightly but because I knew the route I was able to keep calm and help Solly stay with me emotionally.
At the top of the hill Solly went much slower, his head low in a stance I usually take to mean he’s out of his CZ and a little introverted. We go really slowly for him and let him take his time to come back out of his shell. When I could feel him trying hard to come back to me I ask him to just do a couple of ‘games’ to test he’s connected tome and not disconnected and withdrawn.
The games I ask are: touch it with his nose to the log pile (to help him smell and touch his environment and to let me know if he’s frightened); move fh & hq’s to where he’s sidled up to the log pile (again to see if he’s frightened of it); back up away from the log pile (to allow his brain to reconnect with his feet and shows me he’s listening to me and back in the world).
The wood pile is HUGE so I was very pleased Solly walked by it so well.
Then we’re onto a small pretty piece of track that goes through a small wooded area and to the last gate for today.
We all take a rest and a good look around.
From here we can see the rest of the road and the uphill track that goes to our house, which is where the herd will be coming when the weather turns really nasty over winter.I feel very confident that they’ll know where they’re going when we do this walk later on and I felt very confident walking Solly to this gate today. Such a HUGE difference to me from a track where I know where I’m going to one where I have no idea, I’m sure the horses are the same so it was good to let Solly and Stormy have a ‘recce’ trip out today.
The whole trip back was pretty nice, some grazing for the boys and also Solly showed some curiosity over things he’d just walked ‘blindly’ past on the way up.
Curiosity shows he’s ‘awake and paying attention’ to the world around him, lack of curiosity for him means that he’s gone introverted
and not paying attention.