Saturday, September 6, 2008

Yearling Training

So I'm at work, its Saturday, boo, and quiet here, so I have time to blog! Yeah!

I got both babies out yesterday and did some work with them. Not much, but it was fun. Lee and I had went out to the big pasture that afternoon to scope out the bird action. Dove season opens today and he has been feeding them cracked corn out there to get them to come in. Well we rode the BILs 4wheeler out there to see how many dove were out there and then came back to the in laws house.
Skip came rambling up to the pasture near the house, but there was no sign of Tuff. Odd. I called for him and I hear his real high pitched NEIGH coming from the gate to the big pasture. That cracks me up that he will answer me almost every time I do his special 'call'.

So the little BIL gets on his 4wheeler and goes out to find him. Well a few seconds later we hear the 4wheeler revving up and slowing down and revving up and slowing down, and we're like, what is he doing?? And then here they come, he is HERDING Tuff with the 4wheeler! LOL, it was so funny. He was trotting ahead of it for a bit and then when he met up with Skip, they both plodded along in front of it like plow horses at about 2 mph. It was so funny. I'm glad they aren't scared of it!

So I went to the gate and Tuff plodded up to greet me, and then I grabbed a lead rope, brush, and the weight tape. Dragged him out of the pasture and parked him up near the trees where the swing and bench is, and also my husband, his brother, and then later the FIL came out. He didn't want to 'park' to begin with, but after a few times of, if you move you get to back really fast down the hill, he decided it was easier to be still, lol. He's no dummy! I think he was just excited to be out of his pen and out and about.

So I brushed him a bit, picked up his hooves and held them, weighed him (he is around 554 :) ) and then practiced some lateral flexing. He remembers it quite well. He should be pretty light in the face by the time I'm ready to ride him. Which with the way he is growing now, wont be for another 2 years! I was wanting to start him next summer/fall, just walked and steering stuff. But we will just have to see.

After that I decided to see how well he remembered his lunge lessons, its been a good 3 months since I lunged him last. And he did just as good as I knew he would. A little 'sticky' but thats no suprise. After I whacked him with the lead rope (brought out my special long one, I love it, its soft and long enough to lunge a smallish circle and still have enough to whack with! haha) if he didn't respond to my light cue, he decided it was easier to not get whacked. He trotted out good on it too, and even did good on his 'bad' side! (the right) I was very pleased!

So, I let him sniff the 4wheeler a bit, threw the white weight tape around his body a bit, around his head, swung it in circles, etc, then put him up.

While I was lunging Tuff the little BIL had said, "how did you get him to do that? Skip won't do it for nothin." I replied, "I bet I could get him to do it". Sigh, famous last words!

So after I put Tuff up I got Skip out. I've not done anything but hold him for the SIL (sis in law) a bit, so I don't know much about him. The last time I really did anything with him he was VERY skittish about people. He's not like that anymore, thankfully.

So the first thing I notice is he has a big, heavy head. Tuff is very light and watches my body when I go, stop, etc. Skip hasn't been worked with as much and you can tell. He is a sweet boy though.

So I decided to teach him about lateral flexing, which took about 30 mins, yikes. The thing with him was he couldn't understand that I wanted him to turn his head to the side, but NOT MOVE. We backed and sidepassed all over that area, lol. But I did get him half way consistent with it both sides before I quit. Then I decided to try what I had origionally brought him out for, lunging. I put him in a real short circle and waved the lead rope at his butt, until he moved a foot, then quit. Very quickly he was doing well on a small circle at the walk. Stopping well, etc. Then I tried to get a trot out of him. TRIED being the key word. Yall, there are no words to describe how DEAD SKINNED, DEAD SIDED, DEAD HEADED, whatever way you want to say it, he is! I was litterally BEATING him with the lead rope at one point and he would NOT break into a trot. It was about to drive me crazy. I got it a few times, but a step or two at MOST. I was working FOUR times as hard as the colt, lol, never a good sign! (the lead rope kept getting wound around and was not very effective, part of my problem)

So the little BIL brings out the lunge whip. I kept the lash in and just tapped him with the pole, that worked marginally better, but not very well. I was chasing him all over that area with it, basically. And then he started turning to face me. So then I finally had a light bulb moment and pulled him in on the circle close enough that he couldnt do that, and I could stay behind him to drive him. And AGAIN, literally beating his butt with the whip and getting MARGINAL response. I have never in my life heard, seen, such a thing. I know I could have done something better, but I'm no expert! I did my best, although I have to admit I did lose my temper with him.

He wasn't misbehaving, per say, I just don't think he really KNEW what I was wanting. If it had been my colt, I probably wouldn't have asked him to trot that quickly. Even though he had been lunged a few times prior to this, I had not been there, it wasn't me. My bad.

So anyway, finally I got him to the point where he would walk faster when I told him, and then we got a few trots without me beating him, lol. So I quit on that. I made sure I rubbed him with the whip a lot so he didn't think it was evil, but he didn't seem to mind it. He is a very quiet horse. DEAD quiet almost, yikes. He didn't seem upset or resentful at all. I don't know if I should get a stick with a rustley bag on it, or what. I heard that somewhere for a horse that wont get any energy up. (not sure it would work for him anyway) But I think once he realizes the cues for speed up better, he will be okay. Just lots of work to get him to respect and understand them.

So that was my adventure yesterday! I'd like to get Tuff out and work on some long lining. I did one session a while ago, and he was a bit confused. He didnt get that swinging lines against your butt means go! I think I will bring the lunge whip with me this time, so I don't have to pull on his head at all. And also inlist a person to lead him a bit until he gets the hang of it.

Thats all! Wow, can yall believe I have just posted a entry with NO PICTURES!! Unheard of!! ;)
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