Pauli and I continue to do well together.
She does like to push my buttons but I have learned to not take anything she does too seriously. I smile and for the most part just let her work it out as I have found the more I react to her antics the more she pushes.
Her latest thing is to refuse to go across the teeter totter bridge that I built or to step in the “kiddie pool” full of water, sand, and plastic jugs/bottles. She’s not afraid of either of these obstacles, just decides she doesn’t want to cooperate. We work on it until she at least gives me a sincere effort. She is quite treat motivated so often times she’ll do something if she’s going to get something for it (a sense of fairness??).
The pictures attached are from a couple of evenings ago. She’s all cleaned up and ready for the saddle and a little arena time and then a nice walk around our 40 acres. I decided to try something different on her that day and not use a bridle but just the halter you see her wearing in the pictures. I am always concerned that I rely too much on the reins and get heavy handed so I thought this might be a nice experiment. All I can say is that she was perfect…responsive, relaxed, paying attention, etc. She even walked across the teeter totter bridge (end to end, not hopping off at the fulcrum) twice! Maybe I need to consider a bitless bridle on her…I’ll keep using the halter for a while until I know if it is something that I can trust her in on a real trail ride. I’ll have her bridle in the saddle bag just in case though.
This fall we plan to go to Caney Mountain in Arkansas. I hear the trails are very challenging but Pauli enjoys challenges and likes to think on her feet. I will just have to see what her attitude is when we need to make a decision to go for it or go around it. She did great at Shawnee last fall although the trails we were on weren’t very difficult.
I guess that’s about it for now. I do really enjoy this little red horse and am so glad that Jenni O. introduced me to MHWF.
As I always say…LIFE IS GOOD!