Thursday, January 8, 2009

Starting a Young Horse Part 10

I put myself together, and then set about the task of putting the horse back together. I could not let this day end on a bad note. Back to the round pen I went, letting the horse start over with all the preliminary things he had learned. Going one direction and then turning when asked and coming to me, with lots of petting and reassurance. Once he got into doing the things that were easy and familiar to him, then the more settled and trusting he became. Surprisingly things went very good and I quit on a good note.

The next day we ran through the same exercises, but I also added the saddle. I flopped the stirrups around and once again, if he moved out on his own, then I would send him back to rail having him change directions until he was ready to come to me and allow this. Once I felt comfortable with his efforts in accepting the saddle and the movement of the stirrups, then I put my foot into the stirrup. He did not seem to mind. I went to the other side and did the same thing. Then I added a little weight, popping up and down like I was going to mount, but not moving all the way up. Always making sure to do the same thing on the other side. Finally I was able to come all the way up in the saddle and swing my leg over and into the saddle. Now, there have been times (with other horses) that I have done this and thought everything was going to be fine, when all of sudden the horse seems to realize something is out of the ordinary and takes off like they are shot out of a cannon, so be prepared. You do not want to be stiff and nervous about mounting, but in the same sense you do want to be prepared for the unexpected. This horse stayed very calm and I very calmly dismounted. I went to the other side and repeated the process. I did this about 3 times on each side and then called it a day. I wanted to convey to him that this was all I wanted and it was not bad at all.

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