Saturday, April 3, 2010

Maverick – 04/03/10

I have to admit, I have been impatiently waiting to start this pony’s training.  He’s proven himself to be incredibly smart and willing to please, so I knew he’d be super easy to train.  

He never screamed or got nervous when I took him away from the herd.  He remained calm and curious throughout, only wanting to know what the next step was.  Walk on a circle?  Got it.  Trot when you cluck?  Got that too.  It took him two tries to figure out Whoa.

I had the saddle at the pen from when I had Molly up there earlier, so I thought, why the heck not?  Let’s see how it fits…

I slung it up there without even holding on to him.  He just stood there, of course.  That’s a 17” seat and it’s just a bit too large.  Chunky Butt is also still growing!  His butt is taller than his withers again.  All the youngsters are going through growth spurts right now, but I didn’t think Maverick had another big spurt in him. 

I cinched the girth up, but not too tight.  Just tight enough to keep the saddle on if he decided to go crazy.  He walked and trotted, stirrups clunking him in the side, and the saddle didn’t even phase him.  After only a few minutes I had him stop, took off the saddle, brushed him down, then let him go back to the herd. 

Next time we’ll see how he does with the bit in his mouth and maybe do some long lining.

Friday, April 2, 2010

Jewel – 04/02/10

It’s been a long time since I’ve done anything with Jewel.  But over the winter she’s gotten to be quite the attention hound, seeking me out in the pasture for a scratch.   She’s become easy to halter and has calmed down A LOT.

All that changed today.  *sigh*

She was fine to halter and lead up to the round pen.  As soon as I turned her loose in the pen and asked her to “walk on”, it was all down hill from there.  I never even touched her with the whip and it was not necessary to chase her around the pen to make her trot.  All I did was stay in line with her hip and push her forward with body language.  Apparently, what I thought said “move forward” meant “I’m going to catch, kill, and eat you” to her.  While she didn’t explode and she kept a steady pace the whole time, there was no way in hell she was letting me near her after a whoa.  Nope, sorry Charlie.  Not even with treats. 

She got worked for well over an hour.  I was hoping exhaustion would bring her to her senses, but even though the sweat was flowing, she was not going to give in.  I eventually let her go, but she didn’t want to go.  She knew I had treats, she just didn’t want to come to me to get them.  But maybe, just maybe, I’ll throw some on the ground in front her?  No way! 

I know I’ll be able to get my hands on her tonight at dinner when she goes into her standing stall, so all is not lost.  Lesson learned, next time I keep the longe line on her in the round pen.  Eventually, she’ll learn that allowing me near her means rest from work and a good scratch behind the ears (her favorite place).  But today was definitely put down as a waste of time and a step backwards for Jewel.

Jasmine – 04/02/10

When Jasmine got here last May, she had a month old colt and a yearling colt both suckling on her.  She was not halter broke and did not see the need in letting humans touch her unless she had her head in a bucket of feed.  Both boys have been weaned for some time now, so Jasmine’s training started today (thanks to Mother Nature for drying out my round pen)!

All winter, Jaz has been getting friendlier by the day, even though I haven’t put much effort into her, except to worm, feed, and play with her feet.   She enjoys being groomed and will stand quietly, sans halter, while I scratch all of her itchies for her.  She’s still a little jumpy if I move too quickly, but she doesn’t go far.

Today was her first day in the round pen and my main objective was to teach walk and whoa, and get her used to the longe whip.  The longe whip was easy.  She quickly figured out that it was just another way for me to scratch the itchies.  Walk and whoa were also very easy, almost making me think that she’s had a little training at some point in her past.  But I think the whoa was just her saying “yup, I can come to a stop and not exert any more energy.  No problem!”

In other words, she’s a bit on the lazy side.  When I first asked for a trot, I had to actually tap her on the butt with the whip a few times.  Rather than explode, she slowly ambled her way up to a jog.  Barely.


I only did a few minutes in each direction, but in the end she had the idea.  Whoa means stop and stand.  Maybe look at the silly human to see if she’s got a treat.  Otherwise, go forward.  Right.  Got it.  Is it dinner time yet?

I have a feeling Jaz is going to be a very easy horse to train!