Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Boogie's home-schooling day 1

I figure he will not get less anxious without more exposure right? And if he strokes right out and pitches over, I guess that will solve that problem. I kid, I kid! I sound like such a bitch.

Anyway, tonight when shockingly well. When I got to the barn, I fetched him from the hay field. As I was haltering him, Diablo bit him on the ass and he bolted. He did not go far though. I got him and brought him into the barn, tied him in front of stall one and went to fetch Grandpa so he could start his dinner marathon, and eat while I was at my meeting.

I got back and decided, what the hell, let's saddle him up, starting with all my new knowledge about him--hang the off stirrup over the horn, and move slowly and quietly. There was a small wiggle at one point, but that was all.

I cinched him up pretty snug but not tight, and tied him in a stall in front of a feed bucket and gave him dinner. Maybe he will associate being a good boy with eating, which is his favorite thing.

I did the few other things I had to do--fed everyone, threw away a bunch of crap in my car, and suggested to Madison that she keep an ear open for him pulling a stunt in the stall, where he was going to stand tied and saddled until I got home. Off I went to my meeting.

When I got there, I realized I had Strategy dust all over my black shirt, and some down my shirt, where it was mixing with sweat and making Strategy dough, so to speak. I am such a girly girl.

I came home, and heard the report of Boogie doing God knows what that resulted in a stall wall being dislocated, but he was still tied and quiet. Madison and I took him out to the sand pit, which is the only small enclosed area we have to work with right now. We wanted to send him off with the stirrups banging into his sides and try to get him desensitized to that.
This is right off the bat. He trotted around with no reaction at all. I was really surprised, to tell you the truth.
This was toward the end of the 15 minute event --this sharp turn got the leathers flapping, so I really thought that this would lead to some sort of blowup. Nope.
Some more trotting around with no reaction from him.
Here I think he wanted to run to me to get away with Madison whose job is to make him go.

This was at the very end--clearly relaxing, even if he had not been worked up to begin with.

My next concern was how he would feel about Madison and her green rope which she had been swinging to make him go--and now needed to halter him with. Not much issue at all. He stopped, she approached, he backed a step or two then quit.

We went into the barn and I realized we had one more hurdle. The removal of the saddle. I dont think we have had an issue with that yet, but with new ones popping up all the time regarding movement near his sides, I honestly expected a problem. I was slow and quiet about it, and we had the best reaction to saddling yet--none at all.

I really was proud of him. Madison got out her pink scrubbed and rubbed him down good, trying to make this as pleasant an experience as possible for him. He was content, not flinchy, not spooky, nada as she did it. We turned him out again and called it a day.

I feel much better about things today, I just wish Barry had been here to see it


Holly said...

several things struck me.

1. in the first photo, he's still not relaxed, but he's not freaking either. That is good.

2. you went very slow, and gave him time to think about it. I would bet this helped.

3. you left him alone to figure out the consequences. That also is pretty good.

He will come around. Slow and easy the way you did tonight will work for him I bet.

Anonymous said...

From the Horse Student.

Looking good! ! !


*Sarah* said...

I don't know a damn thing about horses but I'm glad you're feeling better about it!

Paige said...

While I am all in favor of relaxed, what I am going for is not spooking right now. He can be anxious if he wants, what he may not do is react to that

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