The Squeeze Game is the 7th Game of the Parelli Natural Horsemanship. Since horses are born natural claustrophobics by various degrees, The Squeeze Game is very important.
Sharlie has a problem with the Squeeze game partly because of her blind eye, and also because she is afraid of the trailer. (No longer the stall) Though it is a bit of a puzzle. Is she scared of tight spaces because of something bad that happened in the trailer? Or is she scared of the trailer because she is afraid and/or uncomfortable with tight spaces and areas? Lots of questions and several solutions that I must ALL try.
These last 2 weeks have been amazing yet tiring. I have been juggling helping out at the stable and doing chores and school. It's awesome to experience what it is like to have to be organized and plan out the day so you have time for everything. That is one part of the squeeze game at the moment. (My little squeeze game)
As I have been helping out at the stable, I had little time to work with Sharlie. Of course I spent time with her grooming and such. Bonding time, but little exercise. After all, I have had to split my 1 hour time limit for a couple of horses, with certain time periods and limits for each one. One horse I am playing with is, of course, Sharlie.
So I made a "Trailer Simulation" to practice with Sharlie until the Whites turn around the trailer. It was quite wide at first. About a yard and a half. Then once Sharlie got comfortable, I made it smaller. Now its just big enough for her to stand there comfortably. Well...physically at least. Mentally she is still hesitant, unsure. Of course food always helps! :) Also there are 2 poles that lay on the ground, just wide enough apart for Sharlie to walk through. But just! At first Sharlie was decided. "No Julia, I am NOT going through that insanely small space. No matter how many treats I get I wont dooo....wait you have 2 whole pockets full of treats? And you will give me 3 AND you will put me in the stall? And there will be food in there?! Ok...I guess I can go through..." And today I managed to get her to stand and eat her food in the spot! I was so proud! So a treat required grazing and a nice scratch. Then some more squeezes. Barrels, poles and all. And she almost jumped a small jump the size of a horizontal barrel. I will work and help her a little bit more on that, but all is going all quite well! Freestyle is coming along slowly but well. Online, good. Starting Finesse. Sharlie did an amazing sideways and half-pass. :)
On the right is hopefully what Sharlie will do very soon! (Plus that trailer is very similar to the one I work with)