Sunday, December 28, 2008

Steve Holt!, weekly update

Darling grows weary of driveway rides...

Steve Holt!'s week was slow due to the holiday and snow. The round pen snow is packed down pretty tight now and slick enough to make working in it a bit dicey. We did, however, manage a short list of accomplishments.

1) He stands rather nicely for the saddle pads and saddle going onto his back. He doesn't mind me reaching beneath him for the cinch, but he's nervous about the tightening process.

2) I can throw his blanket over the top of the saddle and lead him around. He wasn't happy about it at first, but since it hasn't eaten him yet, he's coming around.

3) Steve Holt! lets me touch his ears and rub them a bit. He's not happy about it, but we're improving.

4) He's had the bridle on three times now. He's learning to give to pressure from the bit as I ask him to turn his nose towards me.

5) I can blanket him without having to hang onto his rope. He's letting me put the straps on around his hind legs.

A short list, to be sure. But getting the hand up on the ears and poll is a big thing...a HUGE thing. Bridling and haltering will become so much easier if he'll start to relax with me handling his face.

Today, day 22, held a couple more forward steps in Steve Holt!'s training. I walked into his run and pulled his blanket off without first getting the rope on him. He stood pretty still with very little urge to escape; I was quite pleased.

With the blanket off, I hauled the saddle pads up to him, one at a time, and plunked them down on his back. Still no rope...he just stood there. Saddle in hand, a somewhat concerned look crossed his face, but again he stood without so much as a shuffle and up onto his back the saddle went. I've always had the rope on him before and there's always been some sort of forward movement, so this was really exciting.

He was turned loose in the round pen and left unattended for an hour today. At first he avoided being caught, but after a couple of circles he caved.

He also learned to stand tied while I untacked him and then brushed him.

When I left him, it was without his halter on. He let me walk up to him later in the afternoon and rub all over his face; we'll see how easy it is in the morning to get it back on.

All in all, a very good day 22!


gtyyup said...

That's great Tracey...steady progress forward...hang in there!

froglander said...

I think you and SH! are doing great with the way the weather has been! Hopefully this "warm" streak will last and get rid of the rest of the snow so the slick is gone.

Pony Girl said...

The weather is frustrating, isn't it? It was so it's just a nuisance! It will still be a day or so before I can see My Boy!
Good progress with the newbie and was Darling riding Sandy?

Tracey said...

Thanks, y'all. Yes, slow and steady we move forward. And sometimes slowing the pace gives them a moment to contemplate and make big leaps forward. I went back and watched Kitty's videos of Ranger this weekend so that I could put things in perspective :)

Pony Girl, yes, that was Darling in there on Sandy. She's really growing fond of him as he packs her pretty willingly. It's nice that there's a safe horse out there that she can climb on bareback, or saddle up if she wants to. I think come summer she'll be comfortable enough on him to start venturing out across the creek on her own.

Linda Reznicek said...

Good progress--I can't believe you're having to do this all in winter, but by the pictures, it doesn't look like you have as much snow as we do. We must be approaching 60" by now--just in two weeks. Are you in a milder climate than us in Spokane?

Tracey said...

Linda, Lea was telling me last night how much snow y'all had! That's flipping amazing. We're on the coast so yes, it's milder. The most I ever recall was about 3 feet or maybe a bit more, back in '95.

Deanna Castro said...

I'd call that a Great day! It reminds me of my favorite quote, "If your horse gets 1% better every day it will only take 100 days to train him."

Angie Nelson said...

We are in the 50's and 60's here and in mud up to our knees. No footing for man or beast on some parts of our place. I try not to complain about the rain because we were in a 2 year draught. I would like to ride before Spring though! Keep up the good work with SH.

Lea and her Mustangs said...

Good going. I sent you a couple of e mails. Forgot all I wanted to say in the first. Oh well - The snow is something to behold today. You are making good progress and the day you step up on him it will be a piece of cake.