Tuesday, May 19, 2009


Okay, some people know Noodling as this: Catfish noodling. Noodling is the practice of catching catfish by letting them latch onto your arm.
To begin, a noodler goes underwater to depths ranging from only a few feet to up to twenty feet, placing his hand inside a discovered catfish hole. If all goes as planned, the catfish will swim forward and latch onto the fisherman's hand, usually as a defensive maneuver in order to try to escape the hole. If the fish is particularly large, the noodler can hook the head around its gills. (AND IF IT DOESN'T GO AS PLANNED???)

Here is a horsey girl's version of noodling.

This was a few days ago...Wyoming is wearing the Wintec saddle and some noodles. He wears them criss-crossed over his back...

...and down low like he is practicing to pull a cart (I had them up along his neck too and turning was weird for him, but he did it)

...then there is the head piece...

Tonite we start out with Tiger wearing the Wintec. This is a pretty huge thing for him. He just isn't sure about seeing things on both sides of him, and when he can't get away, he stresses, but mostly in place. We worked long and hard to get to this point, and he is wearing it with the girth tightened. After a walk and some bouncing the noodles around on it, he didn't mind. Okay, he probably really minded, but he did not let it show. :-)

Then we added a noodle...Tiger did much better than I expected! I was very proud of him. I put it in each stirrup and let it move around while we took a walk up and over things. Good boy!

Wyoming got to wear the big heavy saddle today. It is his first time and considering how I have to get momentum to get that thing thrown up that high, he did GREAT! It flops on his back, the back girth gets stuck under the saddle along with the strings, I move it around and yank stuff out from under it...yeah, he did alright!

Then I tied a noodle on the back so he could see it out of both eyes. That did not phase him either. Good! I like that! We spent some time going thru the box both ways. We have been working on direction changes, and the box and the timbers are simple, but they are enough to make him have to pay attention to where his feet are, plus do the direction changes.

We went for a walk and climbed the dirt pile. After I did it first, I sent him up there changing directions as we played. His attention span is very short, so I can't wait for the ground to really dry out in a big spot so I can work him the way he is begging to be worked! He loves to learn, and when I am teaching him something, or doing something a little different, he will focus, but if I lolly-gag along, it doesn't take long for him to move on mentally. The good thing is he comes right back.

After working with both of them a while, I put them back in the pen wearing their saddles and noodles. Now this turned out better than what I expected - I did not expect anything big to happen, I just thought they would mosey along. Well, they played with each others noodles, which made the noodle wearer jump in shock when his noodle was moving! Then Wyoming would walk real close to the panels and his noodle would rub. He reacted the first time but after that he did not seem to care that much. Tiger was the same way. They both got to running and they did scare each other when their noodles made a louder scraping sound on the panels than it did when they were walking! I could not help but laugh...it was neat watching them work it out.

Batman was checking out the Big Boy's saddle...

This is totally off topic! CoCo found her place in the bathroom window...I don't blame her. If I was a cat, that would be one of my places too.

It has been a great few days.

OH! Did I mention that I trimmed Wyoming's feet? Yep! All four of them! Now there is a lot of clean up to do, but I got them as balanced as I could for now, and I will go back for clean up and to take a little more off. I am happy with them considering it was his first time, and he was so patient! They sure were long and it was driving me crazy!
I got Tiger's front hooves done - ran out of daylight. Same thing on him - will clean them up and take a little more off very soon. He let's me clean his rear hooves no problem, so I am hoping he is as good as Wy was. :-)

Until later...Karen and Tripp


jill said...

Awesome! I want to do noodling now too. Batman is so cute. Did you ever measure him? Is he 5 hands tall?

mkyamse said...

You're doing great! Love the kitty. :)