Yesterday when I was at the barn, there was still some daylight left. Although it was windy and a bit chilly I decided to work with Kyra outdoors so we could enjoy the last few sunbeams.
When I walked into the barn to get her, I changed my mind about the work and decided to let her loose and just observe her and enjoy the moment. She was actively seeking juicy patches of grass and it was a joy to see her displaying a lot of exploration behaviour. She went into the round pen where there is only sand. We usually only use it to make video’s in there, so it involves a lot of bridge signals and reinforcers. I guess it is the reward history she has in there, that made her want to enter the round pen.
While I was observing her I realized that I really like my horse. Why?
Kyra is curious
She wants to explore new things and she seems to enjoy learning. I like it when she shows curiosity and I encourage it. When we walk in the isle she wants to sniff things and I let her. She will come with me, the sniffing only takes a few seconds.
Kyra is cooperative
She really likes to find out what it is I want from her. Of course using positive
reinforcement in training helps a lot. She is also very forgiving. Sometimes it happens that I cause frustration because I raise my criteria too early (lumping instead of splitting the behaviour). When I correct my mistake she is willing to please again. I really like this in horses.
Kyra communicates clearly
I work a lot at liberty and I don’t have sanctions for walking away. If she walks away from me or walks towards the exit of the arena, I interpret this as a sign that she is not interested anymore and I change plans.
In the pasture she is very clear about her boundaries towards the other horses.
Kyra is gentle
I am always very surprised how gentle and patient she is with people in general and with children in specific. She stands perfectly still when children groom her, even when they are a bit nervous or clumsy.
Kyra is beautiful
I like her soul, her character and her appearance. Since she is a grey her coat changes every time she sheds. She is like a jaw breaker: changing colours all the time. I like her big open eyes and her soft muzzle with the long whiskers that tickle in my face when she greets me.
What do you like about your horse?
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