Sunday, May 3, 2009

The weather is lovely, the sun is out...

... what a beautiful day to spend training my horse!

But no one told Brego this was supposed to be a nice easy day, hahaha!

I just got back in the house, I'm exhausted and I think he is glad to see me gone. It started fantastic, went horribly horribly wrong, then we managed to salvage it.

Warm ups went great, he was laid back and relaxed all through grooming and tacking up (aside from silliness about giving me his hind feet to pick out and trying to kneel down when he thought I'd been messing with one front foot too long) even though I was intentionally being quick and kind of gruff about it. I flopped the bare back pad up on him, and off of him, and back on him, about 5 times. Girthed him up (buckled up 4 holes on each side instead of 5 so he is filling out some). Ran the long lines. He gave me his head nicely both directions and instead of continuing to work him on that I decided to head right into ground driving.

In retrospect, I think I rushed it. *whacks self with a news paper*

Anyway, we did some slow circles, super. We did some slow figure 8s, also super. We walked along the side of the barn going straight and he lost it. Tucked his tail as tight down as he could, bunched his hind quarters up... I saw something coming and tried to get his head pulled around and the smart little stinker tucked his head into his chest, planted both hind feet and leaped forward like a pulling horse on a stone boat. I skied behind him for a bit then just let him go. He made it half way around the barn before he realized that stepping on the lead rope and reins and jerking his own halter around was "Not Fun". THIS is why I start in a halter and not in a bit.

He just stood there looking at me like "What? I didn't do NOTHIN' I'm just standing here looking handsome in this weird crap, minding my own business. Hum dee dum." he didn't even have the decency to look startled or freaked out or anything, lol.

*rolls eyes*

So I walked right up to him, grabbed the rope and the reins, and sent him back to doing circles and figure 8s. Then when I asked him to go straight it was like instant repeat. I managed to get his head around to the side some but he just powered his way through me. So I let his stepping on the lead stop him again and went and grabbed the lead and the reins and explained that we were going to do this until I got a good straight walk of at least 10 steps out of him, but first, we were going to do a lot more circles and figure 8s. At one point he tried to see if he could just power through my hands in a circle and I took his head away from him to the inside and he looked shocked. THAT was the turning point.

Once he went both ways nicely without trying to be a brat I turned him off the circle and we made it all the way up one fence line. Then I thanked him for giving me a way to stop on a good note because i was sick and tired of circles, lol.

So, at this point I took off the long lines, put on shorted riding reins, grabbed my milk crate mounting block, and practiced laying over his back. It went really well, aside from some dancing around the first time I leaned over him on his off side. I was able to put my entire weight on his back and he fidgeted a little but not much. I did this for quite a while and he was starting to doze off, hehe. I figured I should leave well enough alone at that point, considering how awful things had gone earlier. So I untacked him and gave him his lunch.

I seriously want to get my wood posts up and I am going to use them to make a round pen. This working in the barn lot isn't cutting it. In a round pen when he pulled this crap he would hit curved fence before he got his momentum up and I could just take his head away from him when he was forced to go to the side. Plus, there are two dead trees and a barn in that barn lot. If it weren't for those I might have tried sitting on him today but they are just not safe.

The funny thing is you can see he obviously wants to make me happy, but I rushed the "going straight under control" issue. MY mistake. It's been almost 20 years since I started anything other than a mini ground driving and minis are just... very different. So I need to keep reminding myself to slow down a bit, especially when he has had a week off due to weather and when he is all full of himself because the weather is nice and he is getting lots of yummies to keep him fired up.

I just took a break to run out and see him and took the camera....

He still loves me enough to follow me around while I try to get pictures of him:

Trying to show me his itty bitty mustache (if you click on it for the massive view you can see the little 'stache better. It makes me giggle):

I finally tricked him by putting some pellets on the barn door stoop. Hehehe. This is when he realized what I was up to:

*wistful sigh* Even when he is a stinker I wuvs him bunches and bunches. *hearts and flowers and sparkles*

"There she goes again, taking pictures of my butt." *rolls eyes*

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