Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Ol' Broke Pony

For the past couple of months Dude has been on stand by as I've headed up into the hills with Jet or Sandy. He's stood in his paddock as I've pulled out other mustangs and halter broken them for their new owners. And he waited around while Darling and I went to the fair without him. In that time he's gone from being unsure about people getting into his personal space to what we like to call a pocket pony. He follows around like a big pest and you need to watch your toes or you may find him standing on them in an effort to get your attention. Dude is a people horse.

With the fair over and the excess horses moving out, it's time for me to shift my attention to Dude's training so that he'll be ready in the spring for Darling to begin riding. On Monday I drug my trusty rope out into the round pen with him, did a bit of lunging and then wrapped the rope around his belly to see what he thought about the pressure. problemo!

The pressure didn't bother him. He let me reach my arm under his belly without getting at all goosey about it and wasn't bothered by the feel of the rope cinching up. The saddle pad slipped up without any issue. So out came the old, beat up, made in Mexico saddle that has taken a licking and kept on ticking.

Up and down, up and down, I tossed it over his back. Three times, then leading him around while I carried it in my arms. Then three times more, and back to leading. Never up there long enough for him to think about it. At first he thought me a bit looney to be putting that up there, but by the third set of up and downs, he was no longer caring, so I led him in a small circle. No cinch to hold it in place, just the weight of something up there.

Dude, you gotta be kidding me! Piece of cake, man!

The following morning (without my camera girl present) I once again tossed the saddle onto Dude's back. This time I added the cinch, and other than a few unsure steps backwards as I began to tighten it, he didn't offer up any objections. I lunged him at a walk and trot both directions, and the feel of the girth beneath his belly didn't appear to give him any grief. At this rate it won't be long before this little guy's an old broke pony!


Callie said...

Wow, That's amazing! That is trust!

Nuzzling Muzzles said...

This is awesome. I am so glad that you are posting about breaking a horse. My 3-year-old filly had been lungeing with a saddle for over a year now, but I can't ride her yet because she's still too petite. I'm anxious about mounting her when the time comes. She seems really calm and relaxed, but who knows what will happen. I'd like to see more posts about what you are doing to prepare for that first ride.

Anonymous said...

That is great. Doesnt Dude look smart all saddled up? He's a dandy.

Anonymous said...

That's amazing Tracey - so easy! What a clever Dude! Though I have to wonder how much he has watched you over the past months - starting the other horses, working with them, & saw that you & the process weren't bad or scarey, & it all actually looked to be, like, kinda awesome fun? [for some reason I imagine him "talking" with a real teen twang? like, you know? :grin:] So when it came to his turn, he was ready & relaxed about the whole deal ... No wuckers, as we say in Australia [from "no wuckin' forries" - hee]

All the best as always! x Jules

Callie said...

Off topic, Hey, Girl, What happened to your links? ei:blogroll?

Gecko said...

Wow, yay for Dude! Too easy! Although can anything be too easy these days? =P

Just imagine what that must be like for them though, the strange sensations. When we have to wear something that feels strange and unusual, we usually take it off. So for Dude to stand for you and not care about it, such a good boy!