Zum is overwhelmed and withdrawn from me because of all the training he is going through. I understand this as he is in boot camp for horses. There are two interpretations to the word ‘respect’ in the horse world. The first definition of this word insinuates that the horse obeys you because the horse is intimidated or afraid of you or what you will do to the horse if the horse doesn’t obey you. The second meaning of the word ‘respect’ is that the horse regards you highly, admires you and looks up to you. I do not know how to get Zum’s respect in the first way. I want to get Zum’s respect in the second way. Once Zum is trained, I will find ways to win Zum’s heart again.
Buddy used a very clever technique to help me forget about my fear of Zum. Buddy had me so busy learning right and left leg yields, yielding towards pressure, posting up in time with Zum’s front leg as Zum and I trotted around and around one way and then the other way in the round pen that I completely forgot about my fear. Zum is very happy doing whatever Buddy asks him to do now. Buddy is now training me.
Last week, I asked Buddy if I could leave Zum’s toy which is a rope connected to an old halter that Zum loves to tug on with his teeth. Buddy told me that Zum should be tired after being ridden and should lay down and rest. When I rode Zum yesterday, Buddy told me that I sounded like I was begging Zum to do something. Buddy wants my tone of voice to be more firm and assertive. So I took Buddy’s advice and I told Buddy that I was going to put up Zum’s toy in his corral. Zum started playing with it right after I hung it up!
Buddy rode Zum and I rode Huszar in the wash in Wickenburg this morning. Buddy had Zum trotting and cantering in the wash beautifully. Watching Buddy ride Zum teaches me on a mind, body and spirit level. Buddy reassures me that Zum is acting like a normal young Arabian horse. I rode Zum in the round pen. A woman driving a truck accelerated loudly and I yelled in fear. Buddy jokingly said he paid her $5 to make so much noise and frighten me. I am the anxious one now. Buddy said I need to breathe and relax when I ride Zum.
Buddy uses a snaffle bit on Zum with 3 inch rings and a 5 inch mouthpiece. He tells me that this snaffle bit is intended to control, reinforce and refine lateral flexion or sideways pulls of the reins. He uses only one active rein at a time. It teaches Zum to move his head and hindquarters to the side. This bit is not the kind of bit to pull on with both hands to stop the horse. He says that there is a perfect bit for every stage of a horse’s training.
Buddy gets Zum to canter around him to the left by swinging the rope he carries towards Zum’s withers. If Zum doesn’t move as fast as Buddy wants, he throws his rope towards Zum’s forequarters with more energy. If Zum resists, Buddy matches Zum’s resistance. When Zum canters, Buddy quits swinging the rope. Buddy tells me that Zum is not lazy. Zum just doesn’t always want to do what Buddy asks.