Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Baby, it's COLD outside!

"Bureau", a kiger promo colt

Despite their promise for nice weather, and despite the sun that shone down this morning, this afternoon the clouds rolled in and it's become quite cold. Before being able to go out and work with my own horses today, I went down to Steve's and took a few photos of 'Bureau', the promotional Kiger colt that was sent home with him in November. Bureau will be available at one of the Washington adoptions this year; last I heard it was to be Odessa in April. Isn't he a cutie?

Once home, I went out to work with both Jet and Firecracker. Since the bulk of my summer was spent with Sunny, I really hadn't done a thorough job with Jet. She's such a willing horse, but super sensitive, so rather than go straight to Firecracker, I pulled out the lariat and used it on Jet instead.

Jet wasn't so sure what to think of it all, and jumped around all silly like. It wasn't the motion of the rope so much as the feel; it doesn't take much to get her to move off from pressure and throwing the rope over her back was like tickling a super giggly girl. At first she darted around in an effort to escape, then she settled down and accepted it. So funny, considering she'll stand stock still to be saddled without being tied.

After ten minutes with her I switched over to Firecracker. My fingers by now were freezing right down to the bone, but we seemed to be doing so well that I wasn't going to miss an opportunity. She started out very quiet, accepting the branch along her body, under her belly, down the legs (both front and back) without missing a beat. Since I already had the rope out, I used the branch to reach the end of the lariat over the top of her back. That was something new, and at first she wasn't sure how to handle it. After a bit of wavering, spreading her legs and wondering which way to dart, she finally opted to stand still and I was able to drop the rope down onto her neck. I really wished I'd had a camera out there with me, but as my freezing fingers were already full of rope and stick, I'd not have gotten anything anyway. I'll have to bring Darling out after school tomorrow so she can play photographer for you.

The goal with the rope and stick is to be able to fashion a rope halter, rather Kitty Lauman style. I think that will work really well for Firecracker, and based on today's experience, it should help immensely with floating this boat forward!

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