Sam is doing really well. I think he is a little lonely so I am on the hunt for a Shetland to keep him company. I lunged him lightly on Saturday. He had a wonderful time bucking and carrying on but I did notice he is dragging his off side hind a little. Hopeing the chiropractor can come out this week. I lunged and rode him on Sunday. Scott and Jack came with me and we all went for a little walk. Sam did really well. He was on his best behaviour in the round yard. He perked up when we left the round yard but still stayed with me. He didn't try to race off, stopped a few times but was then happy to continue after having a look around.
Today we had an amazing moment. I took Sam up into the round yard and let him loose with his saddle and bridle on. I had a halter on him as well as I was going to attach the lunge lead to it. I let him have a look around but he didn't want to go anywhere so I walked off around the round yard and pretended to look at things and ignored him. He was watching me intensely the whole time but wouldn't walk around. I started to do a bit of weeding and then he started to sniff around. I moved to the middle of the round yard and asked him to walk on. I held out my left arm in the direction I wanted him to go and used my voice, I also wiggled the lunge whip behind him slightly. He walked on a few strides then stopped. I asked him to walk on using my voice and held out my left arm then wiggled the lunge whip. This went on for a bit before he continued to just walk. We then practiced walk, halt, walk, halt. Then I asked him to trot. I didn't have to use the lunge whip! We did a few trot, walk transitions and then changed the rein. He changed direction by turning away from me which I didn't like but I didn't push the issue. I then did the same on the new rein. I was also able to ask him to canter. I bought him back to a halt and then asked him to come to me. I closed the gap by half, asked him to 'come up' and then I tried something. I lent forward, smiled and pretended that a lead rope was attached to him and pretended to comb the lead rope. (I don't know if this makes sense - if you know the Parelli sevens games you use it when you ask them to come in to you)
HE TURNED AND WALKED UP TO ME!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! This was amazing. Why because even when I have him on a lead rope we always have tension, resistance when we do this. To have this happen with no lead line was just awesome!!!!!! He was then locked on to me. Followed me all around, stopped, turned, his nose at my elbow the whole time. Then an unfortunate situation arose. In the paddock next to the round yard is Pepper who is a yearling and a paint gelding who is 3. The paint gelding was having a roll when his cotton combo slipped and when he got up he broke both leg straps and the whole thing slipped around so it was all hanging in front of his chest. He tried to walk and kept stumbling and getting caught in it. Pepper was getting quite scared - cantering away, turning back around and snorting. This wasn't helping the geldings reaction to what was happening with him. During this Sam was watching but still locked into me. I was torn, I was having a moment with Sam but this gelding obviously needed help.
I left Sam and helped the gelding. He was very good, stood still while I undid the chest strap and the last neck buckle that was still done up. I have never handled this horse or been near him. I also have never watched him be handled so I was hoping he knew how to pick up his back legs as the rug was caught around this I think he would have really panicked if I had left him to try and get it off himself. He was very good and let me pick it up and untangle the back leg.
I noticed Sam watching very intensely the whole time. I was prepared to have 'lost' him when I got into the round yard but he came straight up to me and and continued to follow me. Just what I wanted!!!!! I mounted him and went for a walk in a new area. It was large and open so I pushed him into a trot. I could feel his power and implusion. He was active and really wanted to go but stayed with me on a loose rein. We did a few trot, walk transitions using my voice and he was listening really well. He then chose to walk.
It really was an amazing time with him and I will remember it for a long time.
What would you have done - continued working with your horse when you have something that you have never had before or would you stop and help the horse in need?