We took a few days off. The wind has been wicked and honestly, family times are important! But today, while everyone was napping, I snuck out and caught Whiskey!
We saddled up and even got the bit! Whiskey got a new saddle pad, halter, flag, and girth for Christmas! I also bought something I have never used before…. driving lines. Gasp! To be honest, the idea of working the bit, while behind a young one, is a bit daunting for me. It’s time to break out of my comfort zone!!!
After getting un-tangled and finding my coordination, we did it! We learned left, right, whoa, back and turn all the way around each direction!!!! I really had to put on my thinking cap for this. Using the flag on the off side to encourage him to move away from the flag and toward the bit pressure was simply a mind game for me. Whiskey was like “get it together woman!! What do you want?” But we did it! I was 100% excited! After a lot of this and that, I finally removed the lines and the bit. I put his halter on him (has a long lead rope) and we worked on lounging. This is something that I find easy to teach a horse. Asking them to give to their nose and move their feet in a smaller circle around me using the flag is something I have taught many of kids… I mean horses….
I don’t have many photos of it as holding my phone while asking for things with my hands and body makes it hard to sneak in a photo. Whiskey was easier to move to the right (clockwise) vs the left. Everything else, he is more willing on the left vs right. Maybe I finally got the right side softer? He learned to keep his hip and shoulder engaged while bending at the ribs. He learned that when I say whoa, he is to face then wait for me to ask him to come forward. This kid is pretty darn smart! I’m so used to baby horses that have the attention span of a gnat. Whiskey loves the attention and will keep going as long as I keep it interesting! He is also a little older than the others that I had worked with in the past. Lynx and Goose both came to me as long yearlings. Whiskey will be three in May. I’m starting to see the improvement and see the retention of our sessions!
After our lesson, I decided to put him in the other pasture. He went out with the mare, Gabe, Declan and the mini jenny Evie! Totally different dynamic in that pasture!!! I have four stalls made out of panels for feeding. I had caught the rest of the herd to feed them. Whiskey would be between Declan and the Mare… he was like “NOPE!” I tried to coax him into the stall. Both Declan and Honey would give him a stink eye and he would focus on me… take three steps in then stop. He didn’t get fed tonight. If you can’t go in your stall, you don’t get fed. I’m sure tomorrow he will be more willing!!! He does anything for food! I really can’t blame him. The mare had to put her two cents in as soon as I turned him out. Declan was being weird too. Not all out attacking but also not allowing the butt sniff situation to happen without a squelch! However, I feel that he needs to meet and learn about all the horses on the property. Nothing is more annoying than having to separate horses when tying at the trailers!!! Lynx is the worst! He will pin those ears and do everything he can to assert dominance over his trailer mate. It’s important for Whiskey to learn his place but also to learn their mannerisms!!! Anyhow, Merry Christmas!!!