Sunday, June 7, 2009

Friday Training

(Spotless playing with his Jolly ball recently)

I worked Spotless in the round-pen at the ranch where Melissa boards. I did everything I could think of. We did bag-on-stick, grain bag in the air, surcingle, side-reins on the surcingle, saddle, side-rein hooked to the cinch. He round-penned a lot better than he lunges. His cues were sharp. Walk/trot/canter no problem. He even turns in when asked to switch, not out to the wall. We wore the bit and let me bit him up no issues. Before I put the saddle on I had him stand next to the mounting block and I danced and wiggled and acted scary. Then I pushed on his back. I laid on his back. Nothing. He would have let me throw my leg over and just head off. He is going to be so easy to ride when he's old enough. He just turned two on the 26th so he's not going to get to be ridden till probably next Spring, but he's going to be ready when the time comes. After that, he went into the barn and got put in the cross ties and got hosed down. He did good for his first time. I tied him out with Dazzle after that to dry in the sun.

Mister went into the round-pen next. He had been watching from the larger riding round-pen. When he saw me take his halter off the fence he CANTERED over to be caught. SUCH a different boy from when he got here. It's hard to believe there was a time he was hard to catch. I round penned him a bit, then Melissa did a bit, she had worked with him before and wanted to make sure he was being submissive and behaved before I took over with the "scary stuff". He tossed his head, looked out, and kicked at her a couple times, but she kept making him run when he was naughty and eventually he started looking at her more respectfully and listening better. FINALLY, he stopped and followed her around the pen which she said she'd never been able to get him to do before, so it was definitely a victory. She had worked him twice before and he has gone from a naughty, on the verge of dangerous, obnoxious, colt to a friendly, handleable gelding.

After the round-penning I did all my scary stuff and after his work-out none of it phased him. NONE of it. He'd never done any of it before and he still was not scared of it. The round-penning for respect had apparently done the trick. I put on the side-reins and surcingle and he handled that great, then the saddle and side-reins, did that great. Finally, I was out of anything to do but get on. Melissa came in and held the lead-rope and I laid on him and wiggled and talked and then swung a leg over. I rocked and wiggled and whooped. He dropped his head and seemed relieved I was JUST sitting there; no scary bags or running around or anything. We walked around the pen with Melissa leading. I rocked and rubbed my legs on him. Nothing scared him. He wouldn't walk off my leg. But, he didn't spook from my trying to get him to. I had done yielding to the bit exercises on the ground and he gave to the big both sides. He kind of steers. So, not bad for the first ride.

Next time, I will try to get him walking when I squeeze my legs and steering a little. I was thinking about it afterwards and Mister is the 6th horse that I have been the first person on. Kind of cool.

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