Peaches joined our program in late May through collaboration with the NHSPCA. At the time of her arrival Peaches had only basic handling, and so we are evaluating what she may be best suited for in future.
Initially, Peaches was quite reactive and easily distracted by the new setting and all of the farm activities. Once she began to settle in, Peaches became much more receptive to training and has made some nice progress in the last several weeks. She loves our obstacles, and gains confidence from working through them.
After a lot of work in hand, Peaches can now stay attentive to her handler when being lead around the farm. With some practice, Peaches now lifts all four feet for picking out and we were able to have the farrier trim her all around. She stands quietly for grooming and bathing, and lunges well.
Peaches can still get stressed and distracted when presented with new sights or experiences, and so we do a lot of work in hand and in the roundpen. We want Peaches to learn that she can rely on people to keep her safe, and we want to show her how to work through stressful situations more thoughtfully, instead of simply leaving the scene.
By teaching her how to move her body around and by directing where her feet go, we can help Peaches to stay more relaxed and focused when presented with any new challenge. If we can direct her feet, than we can usually direct her thoughts. This work also helps her to soften and stretch through her body, which feels good and contributes to overall conditioning.
This is a very sweet little mare who will continue to improve with consistent handling and exposure, and we look forward to furthering her skills over the summer.