Thursday, June 11, 2009

Wash rack mayhem

The horse has adapted really well.  We have gone on two trail rides with other horses and ridden in the indoor arena twice as well.  He stands fairly well in the cross ties and is good around other people and horses.  Something had to give.  Enter the wash rack.  I COULD NOT get him to go in.  Luckily it has a back door (people sized) and I had the trainer, Charlie, help me lead him through.  I got him hosed off and he stood fairly well for a while.  Then Charlie suggested I try taking him out and putting him back in.  Nope.  I got him through the back door once more but then he had that figured out too.  So, I tired backing him in.  I got him to back in three times and it was a pretty forced deal.  The winning ticket? A blind fold.  No kidding.  I noticed that he was looking around and wasn't focusing on me at all.  He is often like this.  I usually just wipe my hands over his eyes and he comes back to me.  So, Charlie got a saddle cover from the tack room and we blind folded him.  He went right in.  I let him stand there and gave him a handful of grain when he stood still.  Overall, I think we spent about 1.5-2 hours working on the wash rack issue.  He is stubborn, but so am I.  

Today I tired the whole thing over again.  I let him sniff the wash rack and asked him to move towards it, but I didn't give him a chance to say 'no'.  I blind folded him, and walked him in.  He stood well while I tacked him up.  After our ride I did the same time.  I let him know I wanted him in it, but didn't push him until he could say 'no', which is when he shuts down.  I blind folded him, and led him in.  He was prancy and a little nervous about being hosed, but was a very good boy.  He goes in to the other cross ties no problem, I don't know why the wash rack is different.  I was able to leave him in them long enough to put my things away in the tack room.  That was a big deal to be able to trust him to stand there unsupervised.  

Our ride went well.  I figure if he has enough energy to spook, he isn't working hard enough.  So I made sure to keep him busy and he was fine with the light sprinkling on the arena roof.  Good Boy!  We are still working on the same stuff, bending and cantering.  He is getting very consistent with the canter departs, but he is still very speedy.  I have been working on circles at the canter for that.  I did our regular warm up of cantering both directions at large, then doing some figure eights with simple lead changes through the trot.  Then I did 12 circles to the left and 12 circles to the right.  That took the wind right out of his sails!  I think that exercise will help him slow the canter and also be a little less of a freak at the walk or trot after the canter.  

This trainer at the barn started riding saddle seat when he was a kid as his dad was a saddlebred trainer.  He has shown gaited ponies, saddlebreds, harness horses, arabs, etc.  Then when he was in his 20's he started bulldogging and doing rodeos.  Now he ropes and trains.  Quite the background.  I really like that he knows how to handle hot horses.  He never tried to push Boomer when we were working on the wash rack thing.  I am interested in his harness experience and if he ever brings a cart out here I might take some driving lessons.  That would be too cool!  I drove Fire a few times, but never competitively.  I think it is really fun but really know nothing about it.  I have always thought it would be fun to drive around, but I'm not sure I would trust Boomer or any other Arab to drive outside of a confined space.  

1 comment:

Shanster said...

Anyone with horses HAS to be stubborn! And maybe a bit crazy? HA! Sounds like good progress...

I've always thought driving is SO cool! I had a friend in TX that I saw and he had a Halflinger stallion broke to drive and a cart... he hitched Milano up and off we went. On the way home Milano spooked at something and busted a wheel and then I thought... oooo, horse with deadly implement behind is much worse than a horse running loose!

Nothing happened and no one was injured or anything. I still think it is way, way cool but yeah, you'd have to have a horse with a super solid mind! There is a woman out here that drives Cleveland Bays... I've always been so tempted to learn more about it but the stuff I do now sucks enough of my money that there is nothing left over!