Sunday, March 9, 2008

Kiss My Big, Fat, Hairy...


I think it's a good idea to start out with a new training method when you're up against a 90 day time frame and the biggest competition of your life, don't you? Such as rather than using a long rope, or even an 8' lead, putting a short, 3 1/2 foot rope on your new wild horse that prevents you from reaching down and picking up the end of it, thus speeding up the gentling process. Perfect time to try something new!

At the end of the first day, Sandy has begun kissing. Blowing in my face, really. He's curious, but lacks confidence. At the bottom of the horsey pecking order and with chunks missing from that lovely bay coat of his, he tends to approach things a bit cautiously. Despite that, he's learning to lead, giving to both the left and right, plus following along behind as I walk forward. He also let me touch his nose. That's a first for me; the girls were all nervous about noses and preferred me to approach shoulders instead.

On our way down to Sacramento to pick Sandy up, we made a very special stop to visit a dear old friend...Quiet Storm! Short, fat and hairy; she was the same sweet girl we love and miss. She's doing well in her new home with Stephanie, though, where she's well cared for and loved.

BFF...Best Friends Forever!

Sponsor me in the Mustang Makeover!

Join the Hay Burner's Club and donate $15 towards Sandy's upkeep and I'll send you a 5x7 photo (once the horse is here, of course.) Or buy advertising space in the form of a button.


Katee said...

Giving to pressure and letting you touch his nose and eating hay out of your arms already??? You're certainly starting out on the right foot with this guy. He certainly is a bit bland looking, but I have high hopes that he's going to be easy to work with and will out shine everybody else with his level of training.

Andrea said...

You got yourself a good one! And I don't think he's ugly. But then, he's got those mustang legs and those mustang feet and all those other mustang characteristics I just adore. Keep up the good work!

Callie said...

I'll be going to the Midwest Horse Fair this April, Can't wait to see the Mustang Challenge!

Rising Rainbow said...

As I'm reading this I thought about the new exercise I learned this weekend. If you can get the rope around Sandy it might be really helpful for you.

The trainer called it the belly band theory. He took a 24 foot cotton rope, 1 inch in diameter. The rope had a loop at one end. He circled the rope around the horse's truck in the cinch area, threaded the long end through the loop then went between the front legs up to the noseband of the halter where it threaded through. Then the free end he would tie to a ring in a smooth wall (wouldn't want a leg through a rail) and then added light pressure, if necessary, to move the horse from side to side.

When the horse hits the pressure against the rope, it rounds the horse all through the head, poll, neck and back with out causing any injury to the horse teaching the horse to round off of the pressure.

Even if the horse throws itself on the ground fighting the pressure feeling confined, the pressure will round the horse and not cause injury (except for an occassional light rope burn from a horse that gets incredibly stupid) The rounding up causes the calming endorphines to be released that come with lowering the head.

Horses taught to tie and give to pressure this way, do not pull back when tied or fight pressure. Also have a firm grasp of giving to pressure against their head in any way.

I saw it demonstrated and it really was awesome. The trainer that was demonstrating gets many domestic horses who have been unhandled until they come into training (some at 3 to 5 years old) so that's why he's used this method.It's saved his body, his help and never injured a horse of the hundres he's used it on.

After seeing it in action, I think I'm going to be using this method to teach all of my babies to tie. You just never know when one is going to freak and pull back and hurt themselves.

Good luck in your project. And Sandy has nice soft looking eyes.

Tracey said...

Thanks, MiKael; you may need to post a photo for me =)

Sandy does have sweet, expressive eyes. When you stand directly in front of him and he reaches out to sniff, they really suck me in!