Monday, February 23, 2009

Tuffs First Ground Driving Lesson

<--Tuff says, whatchu doin back there??

The grey fuzzy butt had his first real lesson today and it went pretty well!! I tried it last year once and it did not go as well, (he was TOTALLY confused) so I gave up until I had someone around to kind of help him at his head.

Well today I got him out early and brushed him, etc. I had brought out the surcingle (sp??) with me to see if he was big enough for it yet. Alas, no. :( But he's not far! It just won't adjust up enough around his belly. It's at the tightness of say a back cinch right now.

So I took it off (he did very well with it btw!) and we walked around the yard looking at scary stuff, lol. The inlaws have tons of stuff to look at in their yard. He's funny, if something looks scary he doesn't run away from it, he wants to go see it! Thank goodness. So we had to nose a few things, and he jumped back a few times when they moved/made sound, lol. But then decided finding something to eat on the ground was way more important. He was a bit 'up' today with the breeze and coolness. But still a good boy. We walked over a few things and even a LOG, I mean, this was a big piece of wood, and he did it like it was nothing, sucha good boy. It was really short too, but he didn't try to avoid it, yeah.

After that I tried the bitless bridle on him again. Last time I tried it his head was still too small. But today it was a-okay! The noseband still won't tighten like it should, he has a itty bitty nose. But it was doable.

So we walked around with that, yielding to the side, stopping, etc. Then we worked on some trotting in hand, pivots. I saw on a QH world show video the halter people trotting their horses at a slow jog and they would just walk beside them. For some reason I thought that was really cool, lol, so I did that a few times. It was fun! I am easily amused sorry! Then I worked on him picking up the trot faster (yes, I jogged with him this time, ;) ) and worked on setting up, etc. One time we stopped from a jog and he was square already! I watched a vid of in2paints where she did a pattern and her horse basically did that. Was neat! He's still pretty slow on setting up. But getting there! Our pivots, eh, well I'm really quite clueless on how to teach that, so we mainly worked on him crossing over his front feet. He did pretty good!

Then went over to the shed to drag out the long lines. It was a bit of a struggle to get the things going like I wanted, they were not the type of material where it is easy to coil them up, so after a little while I just let them drag behind me.

So first I rubbed him with them a bit, but I knew he would be okay with them. He was. I tried to lunge him in a circle around me with them on first, but that was a disaster. He didn't have a clue what I wanted and I couldn't get him going out onto the circle. So I finally just stepped behind him. Aha! Much better! (that was supposed to be step 2 after step 1 was good!) Anyway, he took a bit to figure out when I tap him with the reins he is supposed to move, but he got it! (that was our big prob last time) and pretty soon he was walking all over like he had been doing it at least half a dozen times.

It was so fun!! He responded pretty good to turning, not so good in the beginning, but got a lot better. And he did very well with the 'go' cue. Woah? NOT so good. Really quite bad actually. But he has plenty of time to improve! He did so good when I walk at his head, but if I get behind him and ask for it, I have to REALLY put some serious pressure on the lines to get him to stop. And then he doesn't stick there. He will try to move off again. Frustrating, but we will work on it! He did one really good one and I quit on that. Lots of pats!
Look how cute he is in this picture to the left!!

Anyway, I tied him back up to the hitching post and there he lost some 'good boy' points. I swear he was trying to try my patience. I could see it in his eyes!! lol, anyway, he has gotten on this kick where he does NOT want to stand quietly when tied if your not messing with him. And sometimes when you are! So that went on for quite a while, me trying to keep my patience, and I think I did a pretty good job! Anyway, finally he was still for a bit and I decided to not push my luck. I wish he would just realize when he's tied he is TIED. So just stand there until your UNTIED. *sigh* Yeah, he LOOKS like an angel in the picture above, but don't be fooled! ;)

Oh well, I need to remember he's still young! But he still has a long way to go on giving to preassure. At one point he stepped on the long line and kept yanking until part of the leather crown broke. Thankfully it was a part where I could just put it on a higher hole. -_- And he still tests the lead while he is tied up. One of the scariest things is to see a horse pulling back with all his might. Gives me butterflies just thinking about it. I should have worked on this more when he was younger. *sigh!*

So thats about it! I put him back in his pasture and he stood at the gate like, "well, we're done? Aw!" then walked off, lol. The whole time the other horses had been getting their breakfast and eating, so he behaved like a good boy even with that going on.

I'll keep yall updated on our next sessions! I'm not going to drive him 'naked' again though, he got his leg over the line too many times (won't keep his head up the heifer!!) so I'll have to either use the surcingle or a saddle. I also want to get his 'daddy' out to drive him after he's going pretty good :).

Check back tomarrow, I'll have a video of us ground driving up! (hopefully! windows movie maker is being a pain in the you know what as usual)

Next Blog!
My Weekend Ride With The Mother :)
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