Zoëbird is my first "actual" baby in terms of a horse that came to me with only good handling and no negative baggage to overcome.
I mean, yeah, it helps that she has this incredible brain and is level-headed and intelligent for sure.
After all the rubber-meets-the-road theory testing I did with Courage, I am having a fabulous time applying those things with Zoëbird.
I have zero interest in pushing her along that road. I am on principle opposed to time-bound competitions for young horses. I think it encourages egotistical behavior and a wanton disregard for the long term good of the horse. (Admittedly, it could be argued that the competitions themselves weed that out--high achieving pairs are rewarded and those who pushed too fast too soon generally sift to the bottom of the barrel.)
Instead, I find that with Zoëbird, the accomplishments are their own reward. She went from afraid of the hose to confidently standing in the washrack and letting me hose her whole body down with zero use of force or extra people. I just went slow and explained it and rewarded every try.
|trotting off the lunge!!|
|NOT WANT TROT Y R U KICKIN THE ZB STAHP|
Going slow. Explaining every step. Watching the light bulb click on and having my very cool baby horse start to offer behaviors because she understands the question.
|so basically she's a champion of everything|
Right now, everything is new for Zoëbird. But every single day, she shows up to work.
It is so much fun to work with a horse that wants to be there. Whether it's her first time trotting off the lunge line, her first ride with me up, or her first time playing with ground poles, Zoëbird is the sort of horse that makes every day fun for both of us.