Monday, November 19, 2007

My Little Darlin' Has a Firecracker!

Darling was having a hard time coming up with a name. A Spanish online translator was in use every spare minute as she searched for the perfect description of her horse. Nothing she found either sounded right or could be pronounced by our thick German tongues. While the two of us sat and watched a couple of music videos Saturday morning, Josh Turner's Firecracker came on. I laughed and said that would be a good name.

Darling had yet to see her new girl get down and dirty. "She's not a firecracker, she's too calm," was all she said. I just smiled.

Later in the day Darling brought her camera out while I went into the pen with the nameless filly. She'd been dragging an 8 foot lead rope; not long enough for me to just pick up the end of it and start working her with bending and giving to pressure. It was long enough, however, to get me hurt if she decided to turn and kick in fear should I reach for it. So what were my options?

You already know I'm not a flag person, but I must admit to being intrigued by Kitty Lauman's bamboo pole method. I had nothing that was light weight and eight feet long, however, and the next best thing was my little rake with the flag at the end of it that's I'd used on Sunny a couple months ago. reason not to give it chance number four, right?

The goal was to reach out and place the rake on her inside hip, letting it ride along as she circled around me in hopes that she'd get used to something touching her and realize it wasn't going to eat her. That was the goal...but here was the reality:

I should know better. I don't like flags or sticks and neither do my horses. I'm sure part of the problem was that my stick was just too short to do the job...but you know what? I've got a rope! I love my lariat and it does the same trick, only it's softer. Sunny accepted it straight off and so did...yes, Darling decided after the gate crashing incident to call her Firecracker.

A couple of jumps to avoid the swinging of my arm, she came to realize that nothing bad was happening and stood with the rope dangling over her back, allowing it to fall over her shoulders and down the off side, bumping up against her legs without being frightened.

That was Saturday. By the end of 15 minutes, she was letting me pick up the end of the lead rope and giving her face. Sunday she let me touch her nose. Briefly, but it was a touch. With the weather being cold and nasty, I'm only spending a few minutes at a day with her, so I'm very pleased that she's allowed me into her space. She gave nicely to pressure, turning both left and right and came to the realization that nothing was going to eat her.

1 comment:

Anne-Marie said...

Wow! I'll say that didn't quote go as planned. I'm impressed that you were able to make progress though, even with that little um ... fumble. =)