I just had a break through with my horse Tango. I think we both felt it and it was too amazing not to share with you.
Tango has mounting issues. Mounting from the ground, a mounting block and even just being elevated around her. She gets mean, ears go farther back than I have ever seen on a horse, bites at her shoulder, has bitten me, swishes her tail and stomps her back foot.
I have tried several different methods and I always get results but this issue just never seems to really go away.
Today I just stood on a tree stump in her paddock. Tango came to me (came to me!!) and turned her ears and started being all pissy. I put my hands in my pockets and just shifted my weight left to right and took deep breaths. Tango moved in closer to me. If I looked at her or moved my hand towards her I would get the sass. So I didnt. I just stood there minding my own business. She kept moving in closer and closer to me. Her breath got longer and longer and she shifted her weight right into me.
Now we must have stood there for about 15 minutes and I could tell she was falling asleep. Her lower lip was sagging, her head was low, her ears forward. I leaned in to her and touched her.
Tango turned her head real quick and I thought for sure she was going to go sour. She didnt!
Here I was, standing on the stump, elevated, my hip at her withers (she put herself there mind you) and I was touching her without any fuss.
What was different about today than all the other days?
I am working on mounting my little rescue TWH, Penny. I have had her since she was a wee little rescued filly and I earned her trust and confidence in me by working with her little bits at a time. That time has built this amazing bond. Today she let me sit up on her bareback and get on and off several times without a fuss. Why am I not doing this with Tango? How is she any different?
Today I let her decide how much was too much and when it felt right for her just by simply letting her be there. No halter, lead rope, nothing. She was there at her own free will. 15 minutes of relaxation and trust building was better than the 15 minutes of fighting with her to get a mount. She gave me something I honestly have never really asked her to give me. Her honest and sincere approval of the mount and just like Penny, it will take time. So, just like Penny, she will have as much time as she needs. I plan to live with her for rest of our lives so we will make the most of it.
Today was such a good day.