Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Linus is a Nurtural

After much research and feeling that Linus was ready for the next step in his training, I broke down and ordered a Nurtural Bitless Bridle. The shipping was incredibly fast and I'm not just saying that because I work for Canada Post either!! I picked it up, took it to the farm and put it on him briefly. He accepted it like it was something he wore every day. Then I took it home and watched the DVD which came with it. It was mostly just clips of other horses wearing it for either their first time or other various lengths of time. Then, FINALLY at the end they had a blip about the proper fitting. So, the next day I took it back to the farm and back onto Linus, made a few small adjustments and we were good to go. Before this though I again cross-tied him. He is having more and more respect for them. I made some adjustable ones so that I can tie him in different places. He got a quick currying to change his coat from mud back to red...speaking of which I think March should be its own season. We could have Spring, Construction, Summer, Construction II, Fall, Winter and Muddy March. That sounds like it suits this area perfectly!!
Anyway, back to topic. After I gave Linus the recommended lesson of: this means turn right, this means turn left, this means stop and this means back up off we went up the driveway. It didn't take him long to realise that this new head gear he had on really meant business, and I don't mean that it caused him discomfort but it made my signals that much clearer to him. Which is a great help because when I am working with him I have to keep reminding myself to be vocal. I am naturally a pretty quiet person around animals. Just something I have picked up over the years from working with them. When training my show heifers I could get them to move by voice commands too but its easier to teach when you are standing right beside their ears to show them!! The Judge would think you crazy if you shouted commands or talked a normal pitch!!
Anyway, back to topic...again. We went up the driveway and down the road a little bit. I found it much easier to ask for a turn and we even did back up, which is something we hadn't yet covered while driving. Just from his shoulder had we done back up. Then the ultimate in scary monsters came around the corner. Around the corner which is washboard with potholes to make it sound even scarier! An old noisy chevy with a snowplow on the front pulling a rickety trailer with a 4wheeler in it and some other miscellaneous stuff that was rattling around. I thought I would have my hands full with Linus already being "chipper" with the scent of spring and new grass in the air (obviously after our newly named Mud season). But, nope he was more interested in where his K9 friends Essa and Tess had gone to. I held him near his head and rubbed his neck. Then waved the neighbour who had kindly slowed down and off we went as if it happens all the time. Great exposure for Linus! If I didn't want him to encounter these things he wouldn't be out on the road!!
Prior to my taking him out I let him out for a run in the cow pasture. The cows were all at the feeder wagon so he had a very amusing play time with the umpteen calves running around. The hilarious part was the calves didn't know whether to chase Linus or run away from him. During the chase phase it looked like they didn't want a "red" in with the "blacks" (our cows are all Black Angus). I wish I would have had the camera!!
Happy Mud Season!


  1. I love your new seasons-they would work perfectly for Vermont as well. I think we are well on our way to Muddy March and maybe even into April.

    Keep up the great work with Linus it sounds like he is doing fantastic.

  2. Linus sounds like a great fella. Love to hear of his cattle adventures. Angie


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