I went to Laura's both Thursday and Friday. To begin both days, I cleaned Dyna's stall. Dyna is one of those equines that takes time to trust people, so by being around her in her space for a little bit each day, I can slowly build her trust. Then when I handle her we can both be conformable around each other and she will trust and have confidence in me. When I first entered her paddock, I focused on getting her attention on me and drawing her toward me as I do when lungeing. I got her attention by tapping my leg and clucking. It took me a few minutes to get her to come to me. I had to walk toward her hips, cluck, wait until she looked, then took a small step back. Dyna then took a few steps toward me and focused on me. When she did, I approached her, petting her and letting her know that it feels good to be with me. I then went on to clean the paddock. Friday, Dyna actually came up to me without me asking her when I was in the middle of cleaning. She waited beside me for a few minutes.
Thursday, I lunged Lucky on my own, without Laura watching until the end. I'm getting better at asking Lucky to do what I want using small cues. I focused on controlling my breathing, too, to get Lucky to relax and breathe. Laura recommended I do this, and I used a technique in the book Centered Riding. Sometimes, by unconsciously holding our breathes or not breathing deeply, we can make the horse do the same and become tense. When Laura came, she told me to turn Lucky's head to the inside by squeezing the lunge line and pointing at Lucky's side with the whip to get her bend. Laura demonstrated this, and then I tried. I kept Lucky on a small circle at the walk, squeezing and releasing when needed. When Lucky was bending really nicely, Laura decided I should finish there. It's always good to end when the horse is going nicely.
Thursday, we also began preparing for a donkey clinic that Laura will be hosting at the end of March. It's going to be a fun day, and I am looking forward to it! I will mention more as it draws near.
Friday, Lucky was at the other end of her pasture, which is pretty big, and didn't want to come all the way up to me when I shook a bucket of grain, stopping when she was about maybe 20 to 30 yards away. Laura decided to let me try on my to catch her so that I can learn. I decided to try what I did with Dyna, taking a few steps toward Lucky and making a sound by clucking and clapping my leg. I waited a few moments. Lucky stared at me, her ear perked, so I took a step back. She then began approaching me. It's really neat how everything I am learning with Laura fits together and helps with all aspects of horsemanship, not just riding.