Sunday, August 08, 2010

"I don't like this metal thing in my mouth!"

Scout wore a bit for the first time yesterday. Actually I think I may have slipped a bit in his mouth for a second some time a couple years back, but of course he didn't remember it.
He immediately slipped his tongue over the bit so I snugged it up a bit more. Then I asked him to follow me around a little. He didn't start to settle until I took the reins and lead rope off and went out of the round pen to let him graze. He's such a busy little goof that I don't want to leave him alone while he's wearing it. He'd be sure to get in trouble. But with time he'll get used to it.

Here's a rather unflattering illustration of why I don't want to ride him yet. He's fat and his back isn't strong.

Do you have any exercises you recommend for a young horse to get them into shape for riding? I'd like to target his core muscles and get that back stronger. My plan is to start working with him most every day, and either do groundwork or pony him down the trail. Since I can't haul out every day he'll have to work more at home than anywhere else, which limits the distances we can do. I'm hoping to be able to take him out on the trail twice a week but that may be difficult until school starts.

Also, do you find it's beneficial to get into a routine of working at the same time every day? I know a lot of trainers recommend it, saying horses are creatures who thrive on routine. I'm not good at routine but I'm thinking it might be best for both of us, mainly to keep me accountable.

He's such a neat horse, I'm excited to start spending more time with him. His weaknesses are that he's slow to respond and pushy. When I ask for something, he won't give it to me right away, I have to get after him. He's the same way with the other horses, not just me. I'm hoping to get him responding to less pressure and speed up his reaction time. He also needs to quit lugging on the halter and getting in my space (he does that especially when he's feeling insecure). Not that he does it all the time. His good points are that he's not reactive, he takes to new things quickly, he doesn't have a mean bone in his body and he's real personable. He's also really lazy but I'm not sure whether to put that under good or bad points. :) I'm sure it will be a little bit of both.

1 comment:

froglander said...

The suggestions you got on the mustang fever forum sound good. I've just started lunging Cody with side reins to try and help him build up some back muscle. He tends to look good when moving and look all angles when standing still. And you could maybe do sidereins to one of your rope halters with rings and just let him carry the bit until he gets more used to it. Good luck and keep us updated :)