Sunday, May 28, 2006

May 27, 2006 - Day 7

There's something I've failed to mention in all the previous entries. Most of this progress and training has gone on with kids playing and hollering and fighting and me having to pause and yell halfway across the world to the kids to do or not do something. I think that's pretty impressive. And I think it's good for him. Preparation for the real world where things aren't quiet and gentle.

So I've been wondering, in a vague sort of way, whether he might be ready to go to the Wild Horse and Burro Expo in Vancouver in September. That would be neat. I guess we'll have to see where we're at with training and if I can afford it.

I picked out both his front feet! I also rubbed all over his hind legs and "private" area and belly etc. with the bamboo pole. He didn't seem to mind much at all. I startled him in his girth area a few times. He never moved his feet or offered to kick though.

I worked with him trying to get him to MOVE, so we could do some of the round pen type exercises, and establish that his feet need to move when and where *I* say so. I was getting so frustrated and couldn't figure out how to make it work, thinking "am I just going to have to quit?" when finally something worked! I was yielding his hindquarters to keep him from sticking and then flicking the rope toward his head to move it away, trying to turn that yield into a forward motion. It worked! No matter how much driving from behind I'd tried, it wasn't working, but concentrating on his flank area, moving it away, then moving his head away while encouraging him to keep going, worked. It didn't get him way out to the end of the rope, but he was moving in a circle, lightly and easily.

We then had a lot of trouble with leading from the off side. Once again I thought I was not going to be able to communicate to him what I wanted. This time I'm not sure exactly what did it. I think it was more lateral yielding leading into forward motion, with a bit of driving from the flank area with my free hand. He was leading like a champ by the time we were done. Both directions, turning, tight turns, staying out of my space. When we stopped he dropped his head to the ground without me asking, and just stood there, relaxing. He doesn't seem to lick and chew much. But he was doing some of that when we finally made the breakthrough. I love this horse!

I still don't have a name for him and it's been a week. I have got to find a name!

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