Tuesday, May 11, 2010
Internet has returned to the Boonies!!
Some photos to start....I need to catch up with them now that I can finally load them!!
Linus in action!
Who is more curious?? Linus or the cows???
Learning to drag things beside and behind. This was a suggestion from a friend!
A photo I liked taken the day of our newspaper interview. Sporting my RAC shirt!
My sweet deal on a training cart and buggy!
Linus backing in to the cart. It looks really small from this angle but is the perfect size for training him. I was able to get him all the way back, but it showed me that we need to spend more time getting him used to being squeezed. This is where the mini-challenge of the squeeze game will come in very handy! He will happily walk through a closed in area. He just needs to get more comfortable with being touched both sides at the same time. That is where I got the idea from Karalee to have him drag from his surcingle. She attended a driving clinic where they suggested using PVC pipe to get the horse used to dragging something. I had some but it had been stored wound in a circle so that would have been a nightmare to work with. I modified some old hose to quick attach to his rings. If he gets in trouble all i have to do is pull down on the clip and he is free. We did some work yesterday on my lunch break like this. I lead him in circles and let him feel the hose on his legs. He is such a good boy, he assesses if its a threat and once he deems its not (usually within a minute or two) he settles right down and carries on like nothing is out of the ordinary.
You'll have to excuse me if I repeat anything from the last post or two. Its refreshing my memory having the pictures here. To continue with what we did yesterday, I also did some stop on cue work with him. I imagine this will be very handy in a driving horse!! He picked it up very quickly again. What spurred this activity was that he had been in the barn since the previous afternoon and wanted to get back outside!!! Listening to me was not on the top of his priority list. So i made it be!! I have been reading a Monty Roberts training book that was loaned to me and put into practice what I learned for getting him to move out away from me. This woke him up but he didn't want to stop. So I used something I learned back in December (and something I have seen here in the RAC too) which was to shake my line in a snake-like fashion causing him to pay more attention. When he stopped so did I. I really watched his muscles for when he was thinking about going again and before he did I shook the line again and he settled back in looking at me. What a good boy. Then I made him stand still while I hooked the hoses on and well, you know the rest!
Sunday was a very windy day!! Yes, a chance for some points, but it was a practice run. Not a points run; mostly because I didn't have my camera and it was snowing so that would not have been good for the camera anyway. I bitless bridled Linus from my knees (yay!) and attached the lines without the surcingle so that I could get him used to feeling them high and low on his sides and flanks. Then wee switched to his rope halter and I attached a smallish flag to the end of a dressage whip (my carrot stick is loaned out to a neighbour to try) and we did some work with the flag. I waved it high and low, the wind helping a lot! Then I rubbed it all over his body. He was such a good boy. What I noticed is if the flag started cracking, he sought the comfort of being at my shoulder and then investigating. It showed me again that he is trusting me and respecting me more and more as the leader of our duo!
The other thing I did was bring out a horse blanket to put on him. Seemed like a great task for a windy day. I am very careful with this blanket though. My Great Aunt made it by hand for when my Great Uncle was in harness racing. This was about 65 years ago. The blanket is still in great condition. Linus had it on once before but that was in the barn and just for the purpose of one more thing to not be afraid of! Outside in the wind was a new story for him. I let him sniff it then rubbed his neck with it. Then i set it in a pile on his back. No big deal. So I opened it up and that caused him to circl and try to slip out from under it. I Whoa'd him and he stopped and turned to look at it and sniff it. I took it off and put it back on a few more times. He had no problems with it now so I buckled it up and we walked around with the wind lifting it off his rump a bit every now and then. Linus had accepted it as a non-threat and stood quietly while I took it off. For extra fun when taking it off, Ipulled it over his head. Again, he didn't care. I struck gold with this guy I swear it!! His 1st Birthday is quickly approaching and I was thinking last night about all the things he is comfortable with for a horse of his age. It made me very proud of him!
Now, time to go and visit him and see what we'll get up to today!!
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