I wanted to do one last update on magnesium as we continued down that path to alleviate the overly spooky tendencies that had sprung up this winter. A month or so ago I posted my original I love magnesium post. We had started O on 3000mg of magnesium, and that is the dose she has continued on. Since she lives outside, she doesn’t get it at the same time everyday or anything, but rather each of the 5-6 days a week when she does get ridden. In my first post I raved about how much less spooky O had been since starting the Mg.Today I’ll be repeating myself a bit. She still eyeballs things, but it is so much less dramatic than before Mg. Does she still peek at jumps?–Absolutely–but I cannot remember when she last stopped at a jump. It has probably been a month or more. This is a big deal. I can deal with a peeking horse! Better yet is the desired side effect. Since she is relaxed enough around the ring’s ‘scary’ jumps we are able to reinforce that when she does something good, she gets rewarded. When she does something good over/around/near something scary she gets bigger rewards (pats everywhere). Since her brain is quiet enough to let her soak in this idea, I’ve been much more successful.
In fact in my lesson this week, I swung up and she immediately marched across the ring to a jump that had been slightly undone, the standards were leaning wonky and the poles were askew; the very same poles that we had stopped at only weeks ago (oh yes-she refused a scary blue pole). Without guidance from me she power-walked to it, and without missing a beat climbed through the awkward set up and continued to march confidently around. Small victories!
Basically I’m not saying that it works for everyone and it may not seem like a big deal, but Mg is giving my horse the chance to really process what is going on around her, without getting anxious. She’s now having those confidence building moments, and I’m able to reward her. Even further, the more confident she gets, the better she is actually jumping.