The Breaker 2

Read The Breaker 1 here.

Meet Roger.

Meet Roger

Don’t be fooled by that soft, fuzzy exterior.  Roger is not just a pretty face.  He’s as tough as nails and he’s damn good at staying in the saddle.

Tilou and Roger were introduced.

Roger 1Tilou was very suspicious, especially when Roger tried to rub his neck.

Roger 2Roger gave him a couple of nuts, and Tilou was a bit happier about him.  And then :

But the consistency remained.  Pressure – response – release – reward.  I actually LOVE how Tilou is always looking to come in to Alexandrine – she is his anchor, the one constant in all of this new stuff he is learning.  Once he had worked well in both directions with Roger, he got loads of praise and Roger ‘dismounted.

Alexandrine then did some mouthing work with him.  There is no tying down, no marching along behind him holding long reins.  It is all done walking close to the horse, with her hands holding the reins where they would be if one was riding.  I’ve seen her doing this before, when she takes baby horses out on the trail for the first time, before she eventually mounts them, but I hadn’t seen her do it for the first time before.

First she does it standing still :

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Pressure – asking Tilou to turn his head to the right

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Response – Tilou complies

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Release and reward – the right rein is dropped completely and Tilou is praised.

Then while moving :

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Pressure – Tilou was already in the process of responding when I took the photo

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Release

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Reward.

A couple of tours in each direction around the round pen was enough, and the session finished with loads of praise and treats.

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Alexandrine once told me that she bonds with each and every one of her breakers. I think you can see that here.

Tilou had a lot to think about that night – it’s an awful lot of new stuff for one little horse-brain to absorb.

How would he be the next day?

Watch out for The Breaker 3…

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