Matt doesn’t like any unusual textures or anything out of the ordinary. He would get highly agitated before his lesson, and then spend the first part of every lesson moving around, fussing and moaning his displeasure once he was on Dobbie’s back. Then one day I had extra time with Matt while his lesson buddy was mounting his horse. I showed Matt how slowly the horse breathes and got him to place his hand on the saddle pad to feel the breathing pattern. He was paying very close attention. Then I asked if he wanted to feel the breath on his hand. He put his hand on top of mine, then allowed me to put it in front of Dobbie’s nose. He pulled back immediately. I told him it’s like someone whispering on his cheek, and to my amazement, he put his face carefully down in front of Dobbie’s nose so he could feel the breath on his face.
~ Robin Anderson,Volunteer Horse Leader