Day 23 – Phi’s Courage’s Journal

Morning feeding: Phil was polite.

After haltering Phil I asked him to move up, down, back, right, left to see where his mind is this morning. I felt he was ready for a lesson on leading by the front leg. This morning I secured a soft lead around Phil’s front fetlock. The lead was not tied, it was merely looped behind his fetlock. With the leg caught I applied pressure by pulling the leg forward and asking Phil to step. When Phil stepped I released pressure and praised him. Phil was very reluctant at first and I had to hold the tension for quite a while. Once Phil figured out how to find his release he caught on fairly quickly. I did this to both front legs until I could lead Phil around the round pen by just his feet. I have found that these preparatory exercises for hobbling really build trust between you and your horse. Essentially, you are taking away his ability to flee from a predator and he really has to trust you to give up this option of flight. You will use this exercise under saddle. By being “in tune” with your horse you will be able to communicate so clearly that you will be able to place your horse’s feet with a soft feel on a direct rein.

More rain this afternoon. Phil was not a happy camper.

Evening feeding: Phil was polite and respectful, but I could tell by his body language he was not comfortable in the rain.