I started out standing next to her shoulder, but she's done so well with her leading exercises and "crazy walking" that she started backing (rapidly) as soon as I approached - she thought that's what she was supposed to do! So instead of trying to modify that, which might have been confusing to her at this point, I changed what I was doing and stood directly in front of her face, with my arms extended and holding a rein about a foot from the bit in each hand so the reins were approximately in the position they would be in when I'm riding. (This did have the advantage that, as she would get distracted by something and turn her head - there were lots of things going on - the farmer spreading compost, people and dogs walking by, cars driving by - I could use one rein to ask her to straighten her neck before backing.) As I expected, as soon as I lifted the reins, not even really asking yet, she started to move backwards. After a few repetitions, she began to understand. First we did a lean backwards - no foot movement - my job was to give an almost instantaneous release after the ask and her job was to stop her lean as soon as I released. Then one foot backwards, and finally two feet with a pause between. Every time she did it the way I wanted, slowly, relaxed and with softness, we took a little break and walked around. We also did some head-downs with my hand on her poll to improve her relaxation. By the end of our session, I got three repetitions of two slow steps in a row, with walks around in between, and we were done. She seemed happy with herself, and relaxed, which was the point. It only took about 10 or 15 minutes, but a lot was accomplished. We'll keep building on this in-hand until it's solid - now that she's getting the idea it won't take long - and then reintroduce it under saddle.
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Melissa at Paradigm Farms sent me this lovely photo of Lily enjoying her retirement:
Have a great weekend, and may it include horses!