Monday, July 19, 2010

Double Post Today

This afternoon the sun came out around 3pm. I raced outside, brushed Sam and did some float loading practice. I did this yesterday and was able to get him to load and to stand there while I did the back of the float up. Today I took Sam up to the float, tied him too the float while I put the ramp down and opened it all up. I untied Sam and up he went. Stood still while I closed up the back and walked away. I was so proud!!!!!! That was it I wasn't going to do it again.

There is something that I would like to teach Sam but I am having trouble with teaching him. If I am standing on a mounting block and I would like him to move closer I would like to be able to tap him on the 'off side' to get him to step into me so he is closer. I tried standing at his shoulder and tapping the off side hip. He moved forward, backward, into the whip anyway but towards me. I put the lead rope on the off side and held it up at his wither and turned his head slightly away from me. My reason - so he couldn't go through that off side shoulder. He still moved forward, backward, into the pressure with his hindquarter. At one point I felt a slight shift in his weight toward me so I stopped tapping immediately and praised him. I tried again but got no where. I understand why he won't step into me because he has never been allowed too but now I actually want him too. I guess I will just keep trying.

I then took him out onto the road and we went for a little jog. It took a bit for him to relax next to me but soon he started to stretch down and relax. I then took him into the reserve. I decided to hope on board so I lead him up to a stump, tied the lead rope to his halter and jumped on board! He was quite happy to take me around. After we had wandered around for a bit we headed for home. When we reached a flat section I did some working on halting and turning. I concentrated on my position, what were my legs doing?, what was my back and shoulders doing? He was soon halting straight, moving off straight and bending around my inside leg - why because I concentrated on myself!

When we got back home I thought I would have one more go at loading Sam - why do we do things again when we should just leave them alone? Not that it took long but he did bawk a few times. The best thing was that he backed out one step at a time!!!!!


Kate said...

On the mounting thing, you are on the right track, I think. If you reward him for each small try - even a lean - in the correct direction, then reward him. Try not to guide or constrain him - just let him try out different things and figure it out. A nice release for mounting is to take the horse on a brief walk around after each successful try - that becomes the signal that they've done it right. Then some back and ask again. It might take an hour, or even several sessions, to get there. My horses come up to the mounting block, position themselves right next to the block and stand there on a loose rein until I mount and adjust stirrups and reins, and only move off when I ask - but they didn't start off that way!

Nina said...

Thanks Kate - I will just keep working at it bit by bit!

Wolfie said...

Your mention of training Sam to move closer to the mounting block is timely. There have been a couple of times my boy has adjusted his stance before I got my foot in the stirrup. I like the idea of repositioning him without having to get off the block. I am going to start incorporating this exercise into my routine.