The first section of the video is Querida. She loves and seeks out the present moment feeling of peace. She now head collars softly and nearly helps. We have started working with her to, firstly, find a really peaceful place once the head collar is on, and you can see her thinking levels really come down; and now to be peaceful with not grazing when the head collar is on, and this is coming along really nicely now.
The second part of the video is Chocolate. She was wary as ever when she saw me approach, but again, because I have been working with each individual on finding a peaceful space, she recognised the feeling, and slowly came and sought it out. Because we then weren’t thinking about what has to be done once the head collar is on, she could release those anxieties and was happy to invite me in to put it on. Once on we spent some time just being peaceful with it.
The third section is Neige and she comes right into me and helps me put it on. Unfortunately I had the ponies head collar so it was a bit small and we had to fuss about it. We went into our connected peaceful place once it was done up and she just came with me.
With all three it was also important that when I took the headcollar off this was peaceful, and I also asked each of them to stay with me for a little bit after removing the head collar, before releasing and going back to grazing.
Ever got tired of chasing around trying to get head collars on your ponies / horses? I did.
There is an expectation that we build with our horses or ponies that a head collar means we are going to be doing something. With laminitic ponies that could mean being muzzled or being taken off the grass, or made to walk when your feet are already sensitive. With others it could mean foot trimming, dental, vet, arena circling for hours, being saddled and ridden.
Rarely does it mean peace.
None of what needs to be done is a bad thing..it is just that as humans we tend to go at it like a duty, a goal, something to be achieved, not something that could actually be peaceful, enjoyable, fun even. (I am generalising here).
So I have been working with finding peace with the head collar as a start to finding peace with everything we do, me and the herd. If they go into a state of peace, a thinking level of 2-3, as soon as the head collar is put on, it is a lot easier to see an elevated emotion, or raised thinking level, with the next thing, such as introducing a harness or saddle, trimming, giving wormer, even offering a treat can cause emotions to go sky high.
It is also important to remember that we need to be at peace with what we are doing as well. If you are not at peace with what you are asking or doing, how can your animal be?
The video doesn’t include Risada or Timmy yet. Timmy is still not happy about being too close to me when we share the peaceful place, and Risada just did not want to engage at all. Actually Risada’s emotions and thinking level went very high when she saw me with the head collar. Interesting! This is fine. They will take longer. It is better to wait, than push and break trust.