Interesting observations on Rigitta's space tolerance.
When I met her in New York she was bulldozing me with her shoulder. She was under some stress as she was in the barn isolarted from the mares she had spent the last 2 yrs turned out with. At that time I made note that when I was firm that she not do it she would stop for a nano second and chew, but I had to continually remind her.
Once she was home it took me only one session with her on moving away from me and not pushing me around with her shoulder. I have not had her repeat that behaviour but it is tucked away in the back of my mind that it will come back in a stress situation. I am comfortable though that she understands the signals to step away from me and she aims to please.
So back to the interesting observation. When I am working her in hand and I am not paying attention she will position herself right at my shoulder about 6 inches away and stands still. This is also happening all the time when I take her out of the field and turn to hook the gate. I do not feel it is a dominance behaviour it feels like an "I feel safe" when I stand close to you.
But it will need to be dealt with as it is not safe for her to be standing that close to me and I will be working with her to be 2 feet away from me and not move into my space.
Something else that I find interesting is that, without my working with her to do this, she naturally will walk head parallel with my shoulder and walk on a very loose rope without speeding up or falling back. I stop, she stops, I walk she walks. I back up she backs up. I walk towards her she turns away.
Well we will see how much she regresses when she moves to Second Nature farm in 5 weeks or there abouts.
- Jill Murray
- USDF Region 1, United States
- Rigitta is a 2005 Lipizzan mare,(Pluto II Dixana x Rheia), that I finally found Dec 2010 after a 2 year search for a Lipizzan. Many adventures and new found friends later, Rigitta and I begin our partnership and eventual dressage competitive career. Rigitta has not been started yet so this will all be from scratch just like my 2007 Dutch Warmblood, Cedar(Theo), has been. I am an over 50 Adult Amateur Dressage competitor. I am a supporter of the Nokota Horse and have owned several. ... www.nokotahorse.org ... Amy Dragoo is helping me with my Blog photos. Majority are from her. ... AK Dragoo Photography, LLC ... www.akdragoophoto.com ... You can follow her Blog here: http://akdragoophoto.squarespace.com/view-all-posts/ ... Also a shout out to Sarah Casey and Waltzing Horse Farm Berlin, New York where I got Rigitta ... http://www.waltzinghorsefarm.com/ ... Make sure you click on "older posts" at the bottom of the page to see everything that has been happening since the beginning of the adventure!