Today, I saw Yalla! laying down in the dirt, enjoying the warm sun and I went out to see her, hoping that she wouldn't get up.
She let me walk right up to her.
She was in a three quarter position as I squatted down at her chest. I had a few crazy fleeting thoughts of just climbing onto her back right then. lol. She's never even had a rider before! Instead, I pushed down on her head and neck and made her lay down all the way back. She struggled a little and then relaxed.
I talked to her and stroked her head and neck. Then I rubbed her shoulder, chest, and around her face, mouth, and ears. She lipped a little and I could see her relax. We stayed like that about ten to fifteen minutes and she only tried to get up twice during that time. A few times she tilted her nose up into the air, very strangely, like she does when she's running.
I was thrilled that I was able to get her laying flat out for me. I've been wanting to lay her down. I still intend to at another time, from the standing position. I've got her kneeling down on one leg now so all I need to do is push her over and lay her down. It sounds easy but she's got several hundred pounds on me and she has a very forceful personality. I've been thinking that laying her down will help me in training her. Has anybody used "laying down" as part of their training process? I would love to be able to teach her to "settle" and climb on her back routinely, once she's been trained to be ridden.
I was hoping that she'd go to sleep but I guess having her eyes half-closed will have to do. I let her get up and she took off running and kicked out with her hind legs, as she hightailed it around to the other side of the fence. She stopped and stood, looking at me, with the fence between us, as if to say, what was that all about?
She licked and chewed a little and then casually strolled back around the fence towards me. She stopped, took a few steps, and stopped again. Eventually, she was at my side. I gave her a head hug and then turned away from her and took a couple of steps away, looking back over my shoulder at her. Slowly, she took the few steps to stand next to me. She is one of the friendliest horses I've ever owned. Every morning, when I walk Skyy, she'll come down to the front arena gate, far away from the rest of the herd, to see us. I don't even give her treats. She just wants to be near. Sometimes, Annie will join us for a short while before turning and galloping back. Just to clarify, Scout and Nadia are in the barn runs, so they cannot come over, even if they wanted to. Yalla! never turns away; it is I, who walks away from her. Then, she'll run back down the arena to join the others.
When I am working outside, it is Yalla! who will stand and watch. Randomly, she will call out to me if she sees me or anyone else nearby. She has stood with me in the dark of night, at the furthest point from the barn, as coyotes howl just outside the fence.
And yet, she is a very dominant horse. She herds the other horses around and thinks nothing of kicking out at them as she has at me on occasion. I am extremely cautious around her and I've warned my kids to be wary of her. Everybody gets bullied by her, even Sandy the dog, and her own mother, Annie. That is why I was so thrilled to keep her laying down until I let her get up. However, that little cocky kick as she ran off bothers me. Does this mean that she didn't feel dominated by me during the lay down?