Saturday, December 12, 2009
Look what was waiting for me today
A lovely keen horse with ears forward and a very very sweet look on his face, and he was oh so polite today. Not pushing the boundaries you know. So - there you go - I was proved wrong - well by little doubts were! Just goes to show horses don't think like humans and we need to think like a horse.
So - I couldn't be bothered hooking my car up again today and it was a bit drizzly - so I found the perfect simulator!!! The corner of the washbay - with the ball in the right corner (tack box) and the gate backwards it's a bit skinnier than my float but about the same length - and the gate goes back enough to be a great divider!
First though we did some grooming - found two nasty tiny tics. Then I got the mini massager and practised by retreating within the retreat..ie find a spot he was 'ok' with and go back there (with massager still going) if approaching other areas got him uncomfortable. He snorted when I turned it on so we did off/on/off/on etc for ages.... I also got some treats out and gave him one if he turned his head towards the mini sabre tooth massager.
Maraschino leaned over the yard fence and asked for a massage - I massaged his face and he was moving his head up and down to get the right sot - brave horse.
I managed to massage Garbo all over on both sides and under his belly which oddly enough he seemed the most ok with. The rest (especially his shoulders) he was not totally impressed but we are making slow progress.
Then I decided to try the 'new and improved' back up - ie correcting the crookedness with the nose not the HQ. I had been having consistent troubles with getting Garbo to back into his stall - if Zone 5 was not already parked in the gateway. I asked him into the yard, turn face and wait - then yo yo'd him out, nearly all the way - then back in - he started to go crooked as it to say - I can't - but I corrected with Zone 1 and voila - he could!
I asked him forward and came all the way out (about 6 ft from gateway) and then I asked him back from there - and he did it - I cheered!!! Cn't believe I had got off the track so much on that. Never mind - back on track now.
So - then the trailer loading simulation. I asked him in and he went in and turned left towards me - I corrected with the carrot stick (my arm) and he straightened up - then I moved his HQ over and he sidled up to the ball very nicely. I added the gate 'divider' and he didn't touch it or lean on it. I practised moving him sideways and backwards and forwards - all perfect. Then I asked him out (seperate signal - the tail as Pat calls it - the lead rope at the back) plus the rope high.
We did it two more times, one for the camera - and then he got an apple. I was very pleased.
I finished watching Online Level 3 today - so much to take in. But timeley as ever there was Pat saying - you want your horse to seek out the trailer (like he does obstacles) and willingly be thinking forward and going in (not trying to dodge it or not go in).
It's funny how you keep thinking you have nailed float loading - until Pat steps it up a level. His 6/10 for float loading is put the rope over the horses back and he gets on. Also of course your own standards get higher and you notice more little unconfidences, defiances, whatever. Like Pat says - if you're green you're growing. Positively progressive and all that!