Rides Two and Three
Totally uneventful. I didn’t have my number one assistant, Ellen, but Kevin did a fine job as number two assistant. He held MerryLegs for mounting and stood with us as we practiced standing quietly and walked by our side. He stayed with us the majority of ride #2, but I only had him help a little on ride #3.
We haven’t done much except practice “walk” and “whoa.” He only tried backing up a couple of times. We got stuck at a standstill a few times, but we were able to work it through. He can’t seem to break out of a small circle, but at least he is circling in both directions.
I’m glad to say that he is relaxed and hasn’t once spooked or done anything sudden. It doesn’t seem to be his nature.
Wow, what a boring post.
On to other things. He is getting used to bug spray. Well, it is fake bugspray. I filled up an old bottle of bugspray with water. It only smells a little bit. In the beginning, he acted like I was spraying him with battery acid. I spray him when he is loose in his stall, and with patience and the help of my clicker, he will stand perfectly still for spraying.
He is terrific with saddling and bridling.
His leading has improved dramatically. The only difficulty I still have is coming out of his stall and going out of the barn door—but last night, he only gave me minimal resistance.
When I got him, Mrs. Shoes warned me that he doesn’t like when a farrier picks up his foot and holds it trapped in his legs. That was a challenge I sought to overcome—and I think has decided that it is now no big deal. I gradually got him used to it—with the help of my handy clicker. In the beginning, I could do it only for seconds. After a few weeks, I could clean his foot with his leg trapped, but if I went much longer, he would sway backwards. Now, I can hold it as long as I want, and he just stands. He no longer has any issues.
I have now started to do it in the crossties, since that is how our farrier likes to do the horses. Last night, he was perfect.
Our only big problem—he has learned to self bathe. He decided dumping his water bucket is great fun—turning his stall into a swamp. He was seen actually grabbing it from the bottom and flipping it over. He also liked lifting it by the lip. I switched to a different bucket, and he seems better. I also got a bucket holder, so if he starts up again, I will put that up.
If it would only stop raining—I want to get him across the river. Ellen and I call this the “New Horse Curse.” This happened to us the summer we got Cole and the summer we got Dante. It is very frustrating.