This blog is dedicated to my friend, my mentor, and the best teacher I have ever had. Without him, I would not have embarked on this amazing journey. Split, this blog is for you!
Ponderosa Misty Icon, aka "Split," is a handsome gray Welsh pony who came to me via a phone call "out of the blue" (actually Peterborough, Ontario). Our first few months together were rocky to say the least, which made me question my ability as a horse owner, as a horsewoman, and as a rider. Forty years of horse ownership had not prepared me for this little gray pony!
But we muddled through and because of Split, I have begun a journey that is both spiritual and enlightening. I hope something here resonates with you and that you'll check back now and then.
We leave you with one of our favorite quotes: "The best whisper is a click!"

Friday, July 2, 2010

Mr. Personality!

I've been learning about the clicker and the CAT approach but haven't heard much discussion about how the personality of the animal plays into things. Or maybe I've just not done enough research......At any rate, I was thinking about this the other day when I was riding. Split is easily frustrated by my ineptitude and doesn't hesitate to show it; Jingle just waits til I figure out what I'm doing and then goes along with whatever it was I was attempting to do. Split flips his head and flaps his lips in frustration; Jingle waits patiently for me to figure things out. Split will argue with me - stop, step sideways, flip his head, walk in a circle...Jingle never argues - she just waits patiently.
Through the course of the years I've dealt with lots of animal personalities and I do think that they play into how the animal perceives the world and the humans around him/her. Some horses are more forgiving than others; some are naturally braver, more athletic, smarter, have a sense of humor, etc. Just like we humans.
I think, though, that many humans probably lump all horses - indeed ALL animals - into one unthinking mass and treat them all the same. That's pretty sad.
Despite Split's low frustration level and his high flight or fight response, he has many, many wonderful personality traits! He has a great sense of humor (did you know a pony can tip toe??), he's extremely loving, he takes care of me whenever I'm around him (he knows exactly where I am at all times to avoid stepping on me or knocking me down), he's patient with children, he's patient with clicker newbies, he's adept at reading my moods and has at times absorbed my sadness for me................................
I'd love to hear from others about their horse's distinct and different personalities and how they play into your training approach!

"When your horse follows you without being asked, when he rubs his head on yours, and when you look at him and feel a tingle down your spine...you know you are loved." John Lyons

Have a great weekend, everyone!!

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