Sunday, March 30, 2008

Sandy's Third Week

My Kingdom for a DRY Horse!

This morning I woke up to yesterdays left over snow plus a thick, wet fog. Fog isn't good news for me as being out in it for any length of time tends to give me respiratory problems. Last spring while sitting out with Sunny one day, my lungs breathed in this fog and I coughed for six week afterwards. Hopefully I won't have any complications this year.

I stepped back a notch with Sandy's training this past week, avoiding the saddle (until Friday) and working on building trust. To do that, I used grain. I was never a big treat person, and neither Firecracker or Sunny, my two distrusting souls, would take treats. But Sandy hasn't got the head shyness both of them did, so he's been more willing to reach out for a treat. Brushing isn't his thing, at least for now, as he's still a bit too shy about having his body touched. So if grain works, that's what works and it's what I'll use.

Our accomplishments seem small and few, but in Sandy's world, they're big.

1) He looks for the hand out while I'm with him. He's not aggressive, but curious and interested. This has helped him remain relatively calm as we progress with new steps in our training.

2) He lets me lean my body on his side. Even when I could reach my hand over to his withers or back, he wouldn't stand still for my body to brush up against him. Pretty necessary in order to mount, so that was a big accomplishment.

3) He lets me into his circle with the mop, even when he's not got a halter and lead on. It's not super easy to get there, but it's easier each time.

4) I was able to attach the running martingale between his legs. Another seemingly small, but really huge trust issue for this boy who's scared to have me touch him below the elbow.

5) When I stop while leading him, he can now be coaxed into moving up alongside me rather than hanging back.

6) His pivot on the hindquarters is starting to take shape, and he crosses over beautifully with his front feet.

A slow week, to be sure, but one that set up some important stepping stones for me. I've begun to rethink where I had City Boy place the round pen. It seemed so practical to have it out in the pasture where I could walk to and from while still fenced in. But now I'm thinking maybe he had the right idea about putting it alongside the driveway. Where it sits now, it'll be mid summer before a truck can haul in any sort of footing. Alongside the driveway I can have footing delivered any time and start using it right away. Any bets on whether or not City Boy is going to want to kill me now that he's hauled all those panels out through the mud into the pasture?


Rising Rainbow said...

The ticking clock has to cause lots of pressure but you still need to be safe. Beginning something before the horse is ready will only slow you down in the long run and could get you hurt.

I've heard John Lyons and a number of those other guys all say that the horse will put up three fights before they are done with an issue. Even though they might submit and look like they are done. You can count on that three times before it's really done. I try to look for those befoe I move on. When I don't or think I know better, it usually bites me later.

Good luck in your up coming week. The weather is supposed to warm so hopefully that will mean no fog.

Mrs Mom said...

Just remember Tracey- It will take as long as it takes, but you will get there faster in the end ;)

Hoping for a break in the weather for you girl- Heaven knows you need it there.

Stayhealthy too!

Tracey said...

Thanks for the healthy wishes, ladies! The fog broke right after chores, but immediately turned to snow. Thankfully, that stopped pretty quickly as well. I just finished playing with him for the last hour and there's actually a sun break at the moment!

Kathy M said...

I'll bet he would like the weather to improve too!
So Cal has decided to stay windy and cold, it makes everyone frisky and silly, but we at least we aren't wet..

March is supposed to go out like a lamb isn't it? What the heck happened to the end of winter this year?

Tracey said...

In like a lion, out like a lamb...or in like a lamb, out like a mom always used to say it was one of the other. Not this year. The whole bloomin' month has been roaring.

Darling is tired of the weather reports, saying the weathermen should just say, "There'll be weather today" and call it good :)

Mustang challange - Gav & Roy said...

I first want to say thank you for all your comments. It is amazing to me the kind and caring people that are involved in this. How is you finger? Gavin had decided not to worry about riding Roy if it happens it happens. He will take Roy as far as he can without leaving any holes. It is more inportant for whoever buys Roy to know what to expect. Hope you get as far as Sandy will let you I think thats all we can ask and It's better then when we started.

Callie said...

Wow, they are great accomplishments. It takes along time to build that trust as it normally stands much less with a wild Mustang. Keep posting and keep us updated with his progress. I still think he's handsome, scar and all!

Jamie said...

Wouldn't it be nice if spring would just show up and stay? None of this nice for a couple days and then crappy for a week after that.

Seems that you're making progress with your boy. Good luck.