Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Good Boy, Steve Holt!!

Steve Holt! climbs into the trailer

I'm not sure I can handle it much longer. Mud, that is. And it's only day three! Once Steve Holt! is working reliably on the end of his lead, we're hitting the road in an effort to find drier digs, even if it's just for an afternoon's work.

I'm trying not to compare where I am with this boy to where I was with Sandy. Two very different personalities, and while Sandy was scared spitless forever, I had the saddle on him on day 8. That's the one big milestone I remember. I'm not sure I'll have that going with Steve Holt! as I've got a busy week.

Today held small steps both backward and forward. Backward, because when I went out this morning I found his halter rubbed forward over one ear. Ears were the spot he didn't like me touching yesterday, and it posed quite the challenge today as he determined I was trying to attack him when I put my hand up there. He made laps around me in a panicked attempt to escape, and I just kept the pressure on until he slowed down and looked at me. Then I stepped backwards and he faced up to me, eyes wide with worry, nostrils flared. Poor guy.

From there it took a bit more coaxing to get back to rubbing his shoulders and neck, and eventually back to his face like I had been yesterday. I was finally able to rub around the ear just enough for him to give in long enough to pull the halter into place. Big relief for the both of us.

After that I worked him on the long rope, flipping it up and over his back, around his legs, over his neck. He wasn't fond of it, trembled, but began to accept it. I tossed it over his back and reached under his belly to grab it, pulling it up like a cinch. I wasn't able to do that with Sandy until well into the second week as I recall. He was a nervous wreck when I reached below his elbows. Steve Holt!, on the other hand, let me run my hand down his left foreleg today; nervous and fidgety, but he stayed with me mentally as well as physically. I think that's what I'm impressed with...he's scared, but sticks with me as best he can. He's trying harder than just about any horse I've known.

Good boy, Steve Holt!!


Jeanette said...

You know, I am so amazed at how it seems like Sandy and now Steve Holt! are pretty darn comfortable in the trailers!
We have had some horses that have serious trailer issues, course there was the one horse...we owned one who loved trail rides and being trailered meant a trail ride (or some other fun event where she was the center of attention). She would get in at ANY given opportunity and pout if she didn't get to go somewhere.
I'm impressed tho! Really impressed with Steve Holt!!!

Cave BlackFyre said...

Hey Tracy, sounds like SH! is figuring out that things with you as the human are not too bad!

Are you going to ride one of the other horses while SH! is on the ground so that he can get used to the site of human on horse over horses's head/neck area?

I have found that my youngsters I started by first riding other horses around, handle being started much calmer and with less stress and worry. It's even better if you have a horse you can pony off of, but if nothing else being able to ride around them.

We did that with Poncho and it meant we could finally get on him for those first rides ;-)

BUT I fear, I do hear you falling ni love with this boy already (heheheh).

photogchic said...

I am so far behind...I gotta find out who this "Steve Holt" character is.

gtyyup said...

Going well Tracey!!! Nice fix on the halter.

You don't have an indoor facility either???

Tracey said...

Jeanette, Sandy really didn't like trailering, and we did have a few issues with loading. Overall, though, my mustangs have been really good about it. Can't complain :)

Karyn, I'm hoping to pony him up on Stewart a few times. I might ride Sandy up there and pony Jet a few times first, just so he gets used to it, and I need to pony Dude a bit, too. I'll start with the easy ones, then move on to Steve Holt!

Photog...yeah, you'd best catch up! Not that I have room to talk; I'm ever so behind with other blogs...sigh...

Karen, what I'd give for a roof! But barring that, what I'd give to live in glorious Harney County where the sun is shining 300 days a year!

gtyyup said...

Whoa!!! Don't let that lil' bit o' sunshine fool ya...you weren't here last winter when it was below freezing for day after day, week after week...snow blowin' sideways, and the only way into Todd Titus' place to work horses was to get hauled in via his tractor!

Ha!! Sunny days...don't let 'em fool ya! Yep, it's Harney County here!

Why do you think I'm not doin' the Mustang Challenge????!!!!

Tracey said...

Gty, I figured it was because Ramona and Patti weren't giving you the same guilt trip they were giving me, lol! Yeah...I know it was bad there last winter. Give me some jingle bells and a tractor over mud any day, though :)

Shirley said...

Tracey, Steve Holt! is not just another pretty face is he (and I do like his face)? He's got a brain too. I'm looking forward to the chronicle of your journey with him.

Katee said...

Steve Holt! sounds like he is coming along so well. I love that he's curious about you and trying to work with you.

What is his movement like?

Duckie said...

That exclamation point on the end of his name gets me every time. I swear I can't read it as "Steve Holt". His name is always exclaimed in my mind. Oh my! Steve Holt! ... Makes me laugh every time. xD

Gecko said...

I'm really looking forward to seeing how Steve Holt! turns out here, maybe even a little more than other horses in the past. Do keep us updated, although it may be a week or so before I can read it. YOU HAVE A WEEK! hehe.