Thus far, Aspen isn't quite as chill about desensitizing as Ranger was, but I don't think that's a bad thing. I really breezed through the desensitizing stages with Ranger because he really didn't seem to care. Then when I wanted to tap him off my leg with the dressage whip, he acted antsy and I had to backtrack a bit.
My theory is that if the horse is initially a little unsure about desensitizing, but you are able to work through that and gain his confidence, you establish a pattern of you pushing the learning zone a bit and him realizing that he can trust you to not push him too far. I hope that makes sense. We'll see how my theory plays out with Aspen.
I was able to get a little footage on Thursday (more backside views--sorry!), but he was so pushy with his head and forequarters that I ended up spending a lot of time driving his forequarters away. Ultimately we spiraled out of the viewfinder for most of the video. He's so skinny, it's hard to lay on him and keep my balance. He is also learning to balance himself with all the extra weight on his back.
I was really hoping for a good Jefferies Method demo video. I'll have to try again later. You might remember I posted one with Ranger back in January. A few days later I blogged about how I was recovering from the flu. My mom said "Oh, that's what was wrong with you. You were moving so slow."
I went back and watched the video. She was right! You know the new movie Warm Bodies? I just saw the trailer for it. I was moving like one of the zombies! Who knew body aches and chills could turn you into zombie material?
Today I taught Zeus to lay down. I don't do this with all of the horses that come here, but I felt like he would benefit from it with his slightly dominate behavior toward people. He did a good job. It took about 45 minutes of applying, and then releasing pressure when he would start to bow down, for him to finally lay down quietly and willingly. Once down, he seemed totally relaxed and comfortable--really liking the sand. I rubbed him for quite a while, then went over and sat down a little ways away. He just laid there, half asleep, for 10 or 15 minutes. I finally went back over to him, rubbed him again for a bit, then asked him to get up.
I wish I had thought to take a picture of him laying there. Oh, well, posted below is some footage from Thursday. Enjoy!