Lyra – Session 2
28.44 minutes – SESSION 2 – In this three part video series Angie works with a young filly called ‘Lyra’. She has just arrived to be started under saddle and she will stay on for long term Reining training. While Angie was setting up the mic and doing a test before filming Lyra turned her hindquarter on her at first, then she did it a second time and then a third time and also lifted her leg to threaten to kick Angie. Straight away Angie noticed that she is a confident and dominant filly that displays a lot of defensive behaviour. In this video Angie explains the three states horses can go into; flight, fight and freeze. Angie doesn’t want to allow these states rather through working with each horse a certain way she wants to foster a state of engagement and connection and then encourage and teach horses to also find a state of relaxation. Lyra’s go to state is the ‘fight state’.
Over the next three training sessions you will see how Angie teaches Lyra how to:
– free lunges in the round pen
– lunge for the first time
– desensitise to the flag and stick and string
– yield her hindquarters from rhythmic energy
– come forward off a feel on the rope to prepare her to be solid
tied
– yield her hindquarters from steady pressure
– lateral flexion
– steady pressure yields under the halter to back up
– back up out of personal space
– be confident with ropes around her body and back legs
– yield and follow a feel with ropes behind her hindquarters
– get used to a belly rope to simulate the feel of a girth
– accept and bridle her for the first time
– jump up and down around her
– accept being laid over

Angie has to teach her all these important skills as she is preparing her to be started under saddle and ridden. However, the most important thing Angie is wanting Lyra to learn is not to feel like she has to be so defensive and dominant, rather engage, connect and relax. If Angie doesn’t focus on encouraging, rewarding and reinforcing positive behaviours Lyra’s dominate and defensive behaviours could escalate very quickly.

PS – we found out a few months after starting Lyra under saddle that she actually cut her leg badly as a weanling/yearling and was rushed in for emergency surgery within a few hours of her doing it. Thankfully the cut just missed the ligaments, tendons and bone and vet gave her 100% recovery rate but it was a serious surgery and had to be in a cast and she was locked up in a stable for months and months with injections and a lot of medications during the recovery. When we found this out it really helped piece together why Lyra would try and push boundaries with people and constantly and then go between either dominant or defensive behaviour.

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Angie Wicks