Progress with a hard to catch horse.
We've all heard that saying, sometimes it's “two steps forward, one step back.”
Trying to make progress (no matter what it is regarding) can be frustrating. Working with Dart has been no different.
We’ve had it where you could get a halter on him; but, you’d have to lure him out of the larger pasture into a smaller pen. Then, essentially, you'd get him in a corner. Eventually, he’d let you get up to him, and then he’d squirrel away towards the gate. Then you’d get him back into the corner, and towards the gate he’d go again. Eventually, he’d finally give up on the games and let you get the halter on him. Sure, it was nice to be able to halter him and work on other things; but, I just knew this wasn’t sustainable.
My fear was that the process of getting the halter on wasn’t built on a solid foundation. You hear stories of being out on a trail, a horse getting spooked, and then they run 10 miles back to the truck. It’s not that you can ever 100% avoid that from happening; but, I want to make sure the foundation is set that he feels safety being near me (or any human). That when he gets spooked or feels fear, he knows being near me is the safest place he can be (not 10 miles away at the truck).
So, instead of focusing on building upon the groundwork we have been doing, I decided it was best to take a step back and re-evaluate getting the halter on him. Trying a different approach.
The goal, to set up a better routine so (long term) catching him isn’t just a big “to do”.
Is this frustrating? Of course. For me, I constantly want to be building upon what we did last session. As humans, we think we are going to start off the next sessions right where the last session left off. Well, as much as we would like that to be the case, in life (and working with horses) it doesn’t always work out that way.