Some for me; some for you

We all make mistakes and I wouldn’t want mine held against me so it’s not fair for me to hold it against Z either. Yesterday, after the bucking episode I used the roundpen to get her to stay at the mounting block. Today, I had re-thought that.

I put the mounting block in the large arena where I had Z free. Then I sat down on it and waited. It didn’t take long for Ms. Curious to come over to me. Click and Treat (carrot bits).

I stood up and had her target my hand to get into position. Click and Treat. Got up on the mounting block and stroked her. If she stood still she got a click and treat. After a few moments she wandered off and instead of me chasing her about or sending her away, I just sat down on the mounting block and waited.

She went about 40 feet away, watching me out of one eye, circled about and came right back.

We repeated the above. She didn’t stay as long and moved off as soon as I put pressure on her back. I sat back down on the mounting block while she went over to graze the grass on the edge of the arena, giving me the eyeball.

In a few moments she again came right back. We repeated again and this time she was more comfortable with me patting her back. I even tickled her with the dressage whip and stroked her hindlegs.

After this we did something I thought she would like which was to take a walk on the lunge line in the large back pasture. I let her Horse-lead this walk for the most part with me behind in the following/driving position. She took me all over those 6 acres, walking quickly and not even stopping long to nibble the delicious grass.

More clipper and bath training. She is already showing me that bathing is now no longer a big deal, and I expect clippers will be no big deal by the end of the summer. I think it will take yet another year for her to feel 100 percent comfortable with hooves being picked up – this is just one of those sticking points with her.

Who knows about saddling and mounting — it will just need to be worked on slowly but surely.

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