Thursday, June 19, 2008

Tripp learns to lunge...

Tripp playing in his water bucket during his break.

Tripp trying to decide if the pole bites.

Last night (Wednesday the 18th) we finally got my pen the way I want it so it was the first official night I lunged Tripp. Up to that point I have been working with him giving to the lead rope, and touching his face. He still was not keen on me getting close to any other part of his body, but he got okay with forehead rubs.

I got my lunge whip out – I like it because it is light weight and long enough, plus the string is good for draping over them. He is very curious so I let him smell it. He took it from me! I took it back and thought to myself that it might be good he did that, and it might not.

Oh yeah, I took his lead rope off last night too. Right or wrong, who is to say? All I know is I was stressed watching him step on it every time he moved and if I was stressed, he would be stressed. So off it came. At first he walked kind of funny and I think it was because he didn’t realize it was gone and that he was not going to step on it and yank his head down.

Let me start by saying he backs up real good. If we backed around that whole pen once, we backed around that thing 100 times! That is what he does when he doesn’t like something. It isn’t a crazy run for your life back up, it is very slow and methodical.

He did real good free lunging to the right! But trying to get him to go to the left was WORK!!!! I need to lose some poundage, and every night of this just might do it! He just doesn’t like me on his left side, and he backed up, and backed up……and backed up more, and even backed up more! I would try to put more distance between me and him so that he might slow down and I could hopefully get around to his shoulder to get him turned, but that little stinker would stick his nose out and block me! When I would finally make it over there and get him turned, it was a fight to keep him going. I didn’t care so much about that because I was happy just to be there! There were a couple of times he did a beautiful roll back to head the other direction, then I would have to work to get him turned again. At that point I really didn’t care if he turned towards me or towards the fence – I just wanted him to go left.

He is very sensitive with the invisible drive line too. The first time he stopped when I moved forward he stopped on a dime. Tucked that butt and just stopped! My first thought was that he would make a nice little reiner or it might be fun to play with some cattle. Of course this is coming from someone who has seen it but really doesn’t know what body type is good for it. He stops on a dime every single time I move forward.

I then worked on touching him with the whip. He moved a lot and I just moved with him. When he stopped, I stopped and moved away. He didn’t like his back legs messed with but never kicked out – he just lifted the foot in slow motion and acted like he thought about it. I spent more time with the neck and back area. He actually did great with his right side, but that darned left side was a challenge to approach.

When I was finally done last night I tried to get back up to his face, which he was letting me do the few days before. Not last night! He was pouting and just was not going to let me do it. Which of course I had to follow him until he stopped because I don’t want him to know he can win. He finally did let me close to his face, he brought his nose out and let me touch it. I rubbed his forehead, moved his forelock, then quit on that note and gave him groceries.

He was not happy with me last night. He actually pouted! Which of course hurt my feelings! Ha ha! I will be the first to admit that I am a major pushover when it comes to the horses, and with Tripp and the event, I know I have to step up to the plate and be the leader!

Tonite (Thursday the 19th) went much better! We did not do near as much trotting around, but we did more turns. Most of the time he turned in towards me, even when changing direction to the left. I still had to chase him at times to get him to move forward instead of backing up, but for the most part he did good.
Then I worked both sides touching him with the whip. And you know the weird thing? He does better with me touching his left side (once I get there) than he does the right! Go figure. I also rubbed around his neck and chest – he wasn’t sure about it but did excellent!
I was also working with him on facing me. Last night when he was mad he didn’t want to face me. I would wait a minute or two then he would peek at me, but would not face up.
Tonite he faced up, and when I would move from side to side he would follow me. I was tickled with that!

I gave him about an hour break before playing with him again, so I gave him a bucket of water. He played in it. It was cute! He even chewed on the bucket.

All in all I am very happy with where he is at. I will be able to get some extra time on the weekends with him. I just wish I could work in extra time during the week. I do spend a few minutes just hanging out with him in the mornings. I let him come up behind me and let him rub his lips on me.

I know it will happen in time, but I want to hug him! I also want to file on his feet a little bit. He seems a little pigeon toed on the front – Judy, kind of like Jake looked after his trim. I think it is just some flare but it is hard to tell. I will know more when I have a chance to check the bottom of his foot.

Brian brought it to my attention yesterday morning that if I was to pick a horse for myself out of those pens, Tripp would have been in my top 3. Yep, he is right!
This little horse sure is going to teach me a lot. And hopefully I return the favor and make him proud.

I will have pictures on my posts tonite....I am going to try to get caught up. :-)

Karen, who is on cloud 9!

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