Saturday, December 13, 2008

Steve Holt! Weekly Update

So here it is, the end of our first week. Seven days...and what have we done?

Steve Holt! allows me to touch him pretty much all over...that is, once I have a hold of him. He's not 100% comfortable with being caught, but once my hand is on the lead, he's becoming quite agreeable.

I can run my hands down his front legs and he'll lift his feet without panic.

I can brush him all the way down his haunches to his hocks, and have even gone so far as down his cannon bone on one hind leg. I think he'd be fine for me to go all the way down on both legs, but we'll save that for next week.

I can also reach under his belly without him being nervous.

Steve Holt lets me pat his neck. Check out this boy's nice hiney!

He came with a pretty nasty witch's knot (or braid, to some) in his mane. I was afraid I'd have to cut it out. Today he stood still while I had both hands working on him, giving an occasional scratch under his mane along the crest of his neck to keep him focused on the good stuff. I was wishing I had something to spray in it to help loosen the strands of hair, but was pleased that he seemed comfortable enough to hang out and get a little attention.

Nasty knot...hope we don't need to cut it out!

He's super curious about things I bring into the paddock with me. He thinks things feel funny when they touch his lips, so grain isn't something he's been quite sure of. Today I put some alfalfa into a grain pan, with grain beneath it, in an attempt to encourage him. It was a no go, so I left it in his stall.

Speaking of stalls, that is another accomplishment; he not only stays in his stall all night without fighting, but I can lead him in and out of the stalls now without him being too worried.

Hey...check out the mane! Mission accomplished!

Steve Holt! has begun wearing jammies. I may have to find a better fitting blanket, though, as this one seems to slip around a bit. The buckle came undone as you can see; hopefully just a one time deal. It's cold outside and I don't want him going without now that he's had it on a couple of nights.

Getting the blanket on him Thursday was a challenge, but he wasn't too freaked out about it today. I took it off mid-morning, then put it back on before dinner. He was nervous, but nothing like last time. Tomorrow I'm going to put the back leg straps on; he's so good about letting me touch back there that I'm sure he can handle it.

"Why do you insist on torturing me???"

On Thursday, Steve Holt! allowed me to touch his face with both hands at the same time, one on each side of his head. That's a big deal...they feel trapped.

Today Steve Holt! let me stand on one side and reach my arm beneath his neck and up onto the other side and pat him under his mane. Again...a trapped feeling, but he remained calm.

I can stand at his shoulder, grab his mane and bounce up and down like I'm going to jump onto his back without him flinching.

All in all, a good week. There were a couple of things I'd liked to have done, but didn't, such as getting his halter off and on, but that will come. Next week the goal is to master the halter, lead him out to the round pen, and learn to load into the trailer. I'd also like to be able to pick up all four feet and begin saddling him.

Of course...nothing escapes the watchful eyes of the master horse trainer, Steven T. Cat. The T, I'm told, stands for The. I think perhaps he ought to be called Steven T. F. Cat. F, for fat...


Jessie said...

Sounds like Steve Holt! is coming along nicely. I sure do love bay mustang geldings... Sorry to hear that you had to cancel your show. That's a bummer. Better safe than sorry though. And I bet Sandy enjoyed the extra attention!

Shirley said...

Great cat picture! Though you have already got the snarl out, here's a tip - keep some Armoral around; it's cheaper than Showsheen and works just as good or better.

Tracey said...

Jessie, not sure that Sandy ever enjoys that sort of attention...or at least he pretends not to :)

Shirley, I'd never heard to use Armoral, but that would work! Great tip, thank you :)

Pony Girl said...

Tracy, it's great to read of the progress! I have a question, perhaps I missed this in an earlier post. Was SH totally wild when you got him, or had he had some handling at all?
I love the cat picture at the end! :)

Tracey said...

Pony Girl, totally wild. They haltered him just prior to loading. Darling has a video that I need to post; it shows Froglander's colt first, then Steve Holt!.

Jeanette said...

WOW!!!, That's pretty darn impressive!
What a good boy...and yes *nodding head* he has a nice hiney :) He really is handsome, but sounds like he's got a good mind TOO!!!
Can't wait to hear more.

Cave BlackFyre said...

Nice Work! SH! is coming along... I had to force myself to go outside to clean stalls and care for the animals in all this blooming cold wind... I'm very sick of the wind adn so are my horses, they won't leave the barn, not that I blame them..

SH! must feel at home with this cold, now dry weather, lolol.

Lea and her Mustangs said...

Good going Tracey. He is coming along well. Yes Armorall works good. So does WD40.

gtyyup said...

Nicely done Tracey!! Great week!

The cat pic is really cute!

Judy and Bob said...

WOW Tracey, an amazing first week. You and SH!have accomplished so much already. Never thought of Armorall. I use the cheap leave-in conditioners from the people stores.

Tracey said...

Steve Holt!'s mane may well need some armorall after all as after a good shake, that same area becomes easily entangled. It's just too crimped from so long in a big knot.

Gecko said...

Aww again, a gorgeous kitty photo!

It's awful to admit, but Bundy has 2 of those (what do you call them?witch's knots? ) in his mane at the moment. They've been there a about a week because a) I'm conteplating how to get it out, and b) I know as soon as I do get it out, he'll put another, bigger one in.

Gecko said...

Oh, and I forgot to say. My farrier swears by putting Mr. Sheen in manes and tails to get rid of knots...but don't put it on their back, you won't keep a saddle on them if you do! It slips straight off!