Saturday, January 3, 2009

My man is like my horse...

You can look, but you can't ride!

That's a bumper sticker John and I saw today... We just about died laughing!

We decided to take advantage of the 75 degree weather today (???) and spend some hours with the horse. We saddled up and rode out in the big pasture for almost an hour. We walked only. I wanted to make sure that the ride following the mega blow up was nice and calm. We will work on cantering again some other day. With people around. And helmets on. The ride was wonderful. Nothing exciting, which is good :)

Standing tied to himself, he is getting very good about standing still. Notice his ears forward while I rub his girth area.

Still being pleasant while we tack up.

Neck massage. He really loves being petted. His forehead is his favorite spot, closely followed by his upper neck area.

Walking on a loose rein.

Walking by the pond.

After the ride we decided to work with the platform. I rode him over it once, which was easy. Then I fed the horse and we set up a pop up tailgating type tent over the platform. For the last few days, I have been walking him over it and he has been fine. When we introduced the tent, Boomer mostly wanted to look over the top of it, but wasn't tall enough. I worked mostly on keeping him calm. He was hesitant at first, but eventually walked under the tent and next to the platform. He did that twice and then the third time under, he walked over the platform! He is still having trouble with me leading him from the off side, so we are focusing on getting 100% on the near side, then when he is more confident that the tent won't eat him, we will work on the off side.
Checking things out. The wind was blowing and John was holding the tent down. The noise was still scary.

A really great crossing! I am so happy with how calm he stayed this whole time. He really never got excited, which is the key for training him- I think. He must never get excited, as soon as he does, he loses his marbles and reacts without thinking.

Occasionally, he would balk at the tent/platform. As soon as he put his head up and leaned back, I backed him up and made him side pass, etc. Then I would lead him forward and he would calmly walk under the tent. I was really proud of how calm he stayed the whole time!

Here is the result of our first attempt. We backed up and the tried again.

Here is the first time we crossed over the platform.

Here is another crossing. I asked him to 'woah' in order to get a pause from him. He didn't stop, but he did hesitate. I want for him to be comfortable enough to stop and stand eventaully. This is a good start!

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