Sunday, April 22, 2007

I am still greatly enjoying my quiet time with the horses lately. I've been going out and loving on them, then asking Tonka to do something for a short amount of time. Yesterday I walked him around the house and through the trees, then through some thick brush. This morning I walked him all over the hay field, through some tall weeds, over shallow trickle in a ditch, and down by the creek (he wanted nothing to do with me when I went wading in my rubber boots). When we got done with that I worked on his mane. It still insists on hanging over to the left only at the point where it covers his freezebrand. I don't want that covered! So he got some little ponytails. And I took a LOT of pictures of him.

Tonight we started working on saddling again. First he wore the bright purple Soft Saddle, since that's really light and easy for me to carry. Put it on and took it off several times from either side. Cinched it up, he was a bit weirded out by the pressure on the other side as I tightened it. Kinda twitchy. But he stood. Good boy! Then we did some stuff to take his mind off the saddle (namely, stepped on the evil horse eating tarp) and he forgot all about it. Then took it off and left it there for him to "kill" while I ate dinner. He was having great fun swinging the cinch around in circles.

Here you see him wearing the lighter of my two saddles. I opted for this one since I had to carry it halfway across the property. Turned out to be the wrong choice though, it's way too wide. So I didn't cinch it down. As you can see the breastcollar is lying on his neck. The cinch is hanging on the other side. He really didn't like the saddle, fidgeted a lot, but dealt with it pretty well.

Once he was more comfortable with the saddle I took it off and let him investigate it again. Then lugged everything back to the tack shed. I can't wait to put the other saddle on him and see if it fits. I hope so! We already need to buy a saddle for Lyric, I hope we don't need yet another.

Oh, and back to the tarp. He is SO worried about changes on the ground where he has to step. He is getting a lot better though. Hoses are no problem anymore, nor is the change in terrain from grass to driveway, or muddy ditch crossings. But the tarp is still very scary. It makes noise, and sometimes it moves! He crossed it twice today. The first time he got his front feet on and stood very proudly, and when he finally decided to put his back feet on, the edge of the tarp stayed on the front of his foot and moved with him. He LAUNCHED himself UP and off! It totally reminded me of the "airs above the ground." I think his belly was level with my head, and he kicked out with his hind legs as he passed. Luckily he was not kicking out at me. John happened by at that very moment, and said it looked really pretty. Of course then Tonka had to cross the tarp again, in a more controlled manner. And eventually he did. Not totally calm, he kind of hurried over it, but at least he kept his feet on the ground.

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