I finally got to do it! Woo hoo! We were due for several days of dry weather, so it was safe for me to make a goal for this weekend...I was going to get up on Wy. There is still lots of ground work to do, and I am not organized as to having an order of doing things, but the end result should be the same. I do have a list I found with training broken down in phases. I am going to use that to make my own list so I will have a guideline....
Anyways, to the fun stuff!
Standing in the stirrup on the 'off' side...and he did very well.
Standing in the stirrup on the 'on' side...notice my spotters! The chickens are there for me! :-)
Alley Oop! I am on! He knows this feels much different than me leaning over him. He never did react to seeing my leg come over the other side - good!
He is relaxing a bit...
I got on and off several times and he just stood there. I rubbed my foot all over his butt as I was getting on the 'on' side...not quite coordinated enough to do that on the 'off' side, so will practice that one later.
We only had one small incident while I was on him...one of the balls came rolling by him real slowly and he watched it, then snorted and moved away from it in a not so controlled manner. Tiger was in the pen too, so we ran into Tiger's rump and that was when I wondered if I should try to get off. But I kept getting his head turned and he finally stopped. Yep, he was very stressed out. I sat there a bit, rubbed on him and talked to him, then got off. We walked back to the flat part of the pen and I got right back on. He was very okay with it!
As far as him reacting to the ball - sometimes they do and sometimes they don't. I think I might have tensed when he snorted and moved away from it, and part of his reaction was to my reaction. I will never know for sure, but it is something I will pay attention to.
We then went out of the pen to do some light lunging to practice our direction changes and "Whoa"....
Robin (Batman's Mom) is in heat...so when we came out of the pen she was over by us talking sweet nothings. I did not give him time to talk back to her, we started moving around and she followed him. He still does not realize he was gelded, so I was very proud of him for listening to me instead of letting instinct take over.
Tiger did not get off so easy either. He wore the Wintec saddle again, and again it was a very scary thing until I got it on. It is like he says "Oh yeah, I remember now...this isn't so bad." I have leaned over him like a sack of taters several times, so I thought I would try it with the saddle. I lowered the stirrup so I could be more comfy leaning, and he did great! I beat around on the saddle and stirrup on the other side and he paid attention, but he did not try to escape.
After doing that a while, we went out and played on the dirt pile. I lunged him both directions, and asked him to go up and down the dirt pile. I think he had fun! I wish Brian was closer so I could get him to take pictures, because Tiger was coming from the downhill side and was leaping up to the top of the pile. He was gorgeous!!!! :-) Brian was taking out some fence. Sooooo....I had to wait until almost dark to show Brian what we were doing. Most of the time Tiger will trot with me leading him...
Both horses are very different.
Tiger has been doing some things longer than Wy but isn't as comfortable with it. Like me bringing out the pad and saddles, and any sudden movements. Kicking the balls at him still freaks him out, and I think Wy runs because Tiger runs. I am getting to the point of 'tapping' the balls to him and he will check it out, so there really is progress. I just have to be patient, and I am not the type to force the issue with them. Why force it when it will come?
But he is great at paying attention to me, even if he freaks out and takes off around the pen I can usually get his attention real quick and he will follow me back to square one. He really focuses on me and wants to be close. He is going to be one of those best friend horses who loves attention.
Wyoming has not been handled as long as Tiger, but he does great with the pad and saddles. He still doesn't like balls being kicked at him, but I can bounce them around and take them to him without any blow ups. I can use his body as a backboard and bounce the balls off him. His reactions to scary stuff are very short, then he just stands and pays attention. He is very smart but he has a short attention span. I think he is about a year younger than Tiger, so we are working with the maturity level, and the hormones right now. As soon as those hormones even out, I don't think his brain will fly in so many different directions. But during all of this, even tho he still doesn't come to me and follow me as easily as Tiger, he still tries and gives a few steps. He is paying attention, he is learning, he is less reactive, and I can't wait to get him out on the trails! I really think he will love being out there getting to travel and see new things. Watching his eyes is like watching a little kid see something new...
So, that was my Friday evening!
Everyone have a great weekend!!!
Karen and Tripp