Zum goes through learning cycles. One day, he seems to know the right response. The next day, he tries every option other than the right response. As long as I don’t change the cues or the rewards and keep everything the same, he works through the ups and downs until his performance is consistent.
The entire teaching process is a positive experience for both Zum and I. Zum lets me put the shipping helmet on his head easily now! I make the experience reassuring for Zum so he develops confidence in me and my leadership.
I let Zum smell the shipping helmet and chew on it. I let him look at it at various angles. I put the shipping helmet all around his head. Gradually, the helmet is not so scary. This approach works for just about anything that is frightening to a horse!
I have to teach Zum to trust me to put a shipping helmet on his head. A shipping helmet is extra precaution that a horse doesn’t hurt his head when traveling long distances in a trailer. Zum doesn’t like anything put on his head.
I read yesterday that Randall Davey, an artist from New Jersey who took up permanent residence on Upper Canyon Road in Santa Fe in 1920, also bred Arabian horses! His Arabian mare was named Santa Fe! My grandmother Helena was an artist and she lived many summers on Canyon Road in Santa Fe around that time. I wonder if they met? I wonder if they inspired each other? My grandmother loved Arabian horses and she bred Arabian horses in Colorado. I am so happy to find out that Arabian horses were once loved and cherished in Santa Fe!