Tuesday, July 15, 2008
Being handsome doesn't keep Tripp out of trouble!
Tripp wears his bridle for the first time.
Tripp wears the tarp.
Resident black snake in the chicken house. She has two bumps in her that we are assuming are eggs. :-) We don't mind sharing eggs as long as she eats mice too.
What is up with the subject line you ask? Tripp has been a turd two days in a row. Yesterday I decided he has been very good so I let him out on the small hillside without me as a babysitter. He wandered around and munched grass and was quite content. I didn't want to leave him on the grass too long, so it was time to come in. I put his lead on him and we headed up to the pen. Once he realized we were going off the green and onto the brown, he stopped. I tried to move him off balance back and forth - nothing - he was not moving. So I thought I would lunge him a little bit to get his feet moving. I twirled the end of the lead rope and he snorted, threw that head up, then turned and tried to escape while he snorted again! I planted my feet the best I could and yanked him back my direction. We did this 3 or 4 times before I got smart. He backs up very well, so I backed him the rest of the way up the hill! When we got close to the gate, I turned him around and we walked in. Then we worked for a while. I prefer to work then rest. Well, yesterday was work, rest, work again.
Today.....I let him out again thinking it would be different. Not only was it not different, he got a little more bold and gave a small rear and pawed the air in front of me. Some would call that a strike towards me. I popped him a good one on the butt, turned him around again and we backed up the hill. He tried to stop and get away from me again and darn it, I was not happy! I am pretty easy going but I won't tolerate things like that because it just plain old isn't safe! I turned him around a few times, started backing him again before he could think about it, then we went into the pen. We worked again! Harder than yesterday. He doesn't hold a grudge. We worked and he was wonderful! Today I was stupid and did not go out dressed for the occasion. Tomorrow I will be - and he has lost grass privileges for a couple of days by the way - but we will take a walk out of the pen and back in the pen....as many times as it takes for him to realize that I am not another horse and he can't play rough with me and cop an attitude like he would with one of the others. He has tried to be pushy with me before, and I thought we had addressed that with success.
But.......everything else has been great! Yesterday he wore the tarp and it was funny because when I had it from the top of his head to his butt, I think he thought he was stuck and could not move. Usually he will face me no matter what I am doing, but he just would not move for a while. I finally touched his lead rope and he followed me. We did that for a while, then I saddled him up and put the tarp over the saddle and lunged him. New noise, plus it was flapping on each side of him. He did GREAT with it! A lot better than those plastic bags!
We also worked on our bending, picking up feet, and leading. I am sure we did other stuff but I am tired and can't remember.
Today, Tuesday, was great (except for the attitude thing) too. I finally decided to put the bridle on him. He played with the bit for 20 - 25 minutes before he finally picked it up to hold it. It was driving me crazy...I wanted to 'save him' and take it out. So I went to feed and water critters instead while he got used to it. I went back in and put the saddle on him, and instead of pulling the stirrup up, I just slung that thing across his back. He scooted about 1 ft sideways then stopped. I got it cinched up and let him wander around with it while I finished feeding and pooper scooping.
After taking care of things I had to get on - it had been a couple days and I needed it. The past several times I had been on bareback. When I tried getting on the first time tonite he jumped a little bit. I did the up and down thing on both sides, then swung myself up and over. We stood there a while, then I got him to moving. Nothing too crazy yet because the saddle won't adjust to fit my leg length. My other saddles don't fit him so we need to get this one worked on. He did walk around a little bit and we turned both directions. We backed up several steps too. He tucks his nose very nicely during his backing.
I worked on picking up feet again and we got all 4 up without him swinging the back legs! Woo hooo!!!! I also took my Hoof Jack in the pen for him to nose around. He needs to get used to it - that thing makes it much easier on the bad back.
That is about it - I need to make some pen adjustments again so I have more room. I have my bridge but still don't have it in the pen. I get a little claustrophobic, so it is just a 'me' thing right now. :-)
I think he is doing good. Sometimes I read about other trainers and their progress, and I am ancey to get to where they are. They are amazing! I am trying to learn every single day, so I know I will get there someday. For now I need to keep it real - go at my own pace, which just happens to be slower. It is all good - I am living one of my dreams...not everyone can say that.
Okay, gotta get some sleep.
Karen and Tripp