Firstly, many thanks to 10 (count TEN) followers. I'm still geeking out about it. It really means a lot <3
And now, onto Greters. So I've been working with a resident horse trainer and we've been doing some back-to-basics ground manners for the girl. I have taught the ways of "silent treatment" (not as awful as it may sound) and they have been working wonderfully so far! The "silent treatment":
You can love and cuddle and "dress her up in a tutu if you want," but when it's time to work, it's time to work. You only speak when speaking is needed, otherwise "looky" (that's my instructor's wording and it's perfect, I could see Greta being the gossipy girl that has to see what's going on at all times, and in a bossy manner too. Love you too, girl!) horses will get confused with the constant influx of "good girl! oooh, such a smoochie, oochie, woogie sweetie pie!" and not be able to distinguish that from "whoa." You might be thinking, "um no, they should be able to tell good girl from WHOA!" but in my case I say one praise immeditaly followed by a comman and then another influx of praises, so in the end it's just a jumbled BLEH coming out of my mouth to her. So, I only speak, say I'm lunging, when I'm giving her a command. When I tell her to whoa and invite her back into my space at the center of the round pen, then we can do all of our smoochie-woogies.
Same when I'm leading her. I can't get all "ooooh, goody girl!" when I'm walking up to her and putting her halter on. Today I put a smile on my face, thought "YOU are the lead mare, Bre," and simply pat her neck before putting the halter on. She lead without a problem and without any tug-of-wars, which is a huge relief.
Now, why all of these tug-of-wars and refusals to lead, you ask? The simple truth is: Greta's figured me out. She knows what she can get away with, and as my grandmother put it, "she's waited for a horse for such a long time, so now that she has one, she wants to be best buddies with her and not hurt her feelings."
Greta, you can't shake me off, you're still my bestest buddy and I love you, but I'm still in charge.
There's more to it, but.... anyway, I also did have a scare the other day with her left front leg. She was limping a little trotting to the left in the round pen and I was just uneasy with it, so I asked another rider there, and she said she was definitely sore in that left front. I put some liniment on and stretched it out, and it was still a bit stiff today, so not much trotting in our lesson but a lot of walk-work (like I've been wanting to do anyway!). It was, however, significantly better than yesterday.
And we did a turn on the forehand. Go us!