Friday, January 2, 2009

Starting a Young Horse Part 6

I continued to work this horse every day for the next couple of days always working a little closer to the horse. Keep in mind I had still not caught the horse, put a halter on him or moved him from the round pen. On the 3rd day my goal was to have the horse turn into me and allow me to walk up to him. I turned the horse as if we were going to change directions, but I didn't ask him to step off. As soon as he turned I dropped the lariat and stood still. He looked at me as if asking what do you want me to do? I walked forward a couple of steps, keeping my head bowed and my eyes on the ground. When I sensed the slightest muscle movement from him for flight, I backed up. I continued this dance of going forward and stepping back. I didn't want to push him into flight, but I wanted to inch my way up to him. If he broke into running and the security of the fence, I sent him back into the routine we had established of running, in one direction and having him change...doing this until I had his eye back on me again. Then I would ask him to stop and we would start over again of moving forward and backing up. Finally, on the 3 day, I was able to touch this horse on the shoulder, and that is where I stopped for the day. This was all very slow, not what you will see in the trainer's challenges but, this was my first time for working with a horse totally unaccustomed to any influence besides what he had known in his pasture. My goal for tomorrow would be to touch and work around his head, ears and nose, and to be able to rub the entire body with my hand.

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