Sunday, January 11, 2009

Steve Holt!, week 5

Steve Holt! had a terrific week, despite the rain and flooding in our region. While my stalls are on the downhill side of our property, and water does tend to drain into them, it could have been a lot worse as you know after seeing Duns video earlier in the week. While things got a bit damp and even soggy, the horses were drier inside than many horses in the northwest this past week.

On to our successes of week # 5!

1) Steve Holt! learned to stand tied for long periods of time. Long to us, at least. 20 minutes at the rail while I rode Sandy at the riding club was pretty darned good, I thought. He also stood pleasantly at the side of the trailer later in the week.

A couple days ago Darling and I had both geldings tied at the rail inside the arena when another woman came in with her two quarter horses. She tied the first one to the rail alongside Sandy, then left to get the second out of the trailer. Her little mare began pitching a major hissy fit, throwing herself around at the end of her rope and screaming wildly for her buddy. My two geldings stood there alongside her; Sandy preferring to ignore the scene next to him, and Steve Holt! leaning forward and craning his neck to see around Sandy, wondering what the commotion was all about. Darling looked at me and smiled. She didn't have to say it, I knew what was coming, "Better be careful with those mustangs; they're wild, you know."

2) I can now pick up all four feet easily, and even get the front feet between my knees like a farrier. Maybe I need to start trimming my own horses? I don't think my back would hold up, but at least I know my new boy will stand patiently for me if I were to try.

3) We went for a walk and crossed a deep creek (once on purpose, once not!) Water hazards will not be an issue for this guy. It's yet to be seen how he feels about mud. My other mustangs are worried about sinking and becoming fossil fuel.

4) Ponying around the tree farm is fun! Steve Holt! did a great job of listening to me, staying back behind Sandy's centerline, walking through knee deep water and not being bothered by seeing a hiker and his dog on the trail.

5) Steve Holt! now stands tied inside the trailer and can be hauled with another horse.

6) Although we're struggling with catching and haltering issues right now (a definite step back), Steve Holt! is taking the bit easier. I can get my right arm up over his head and pull both ears under the headstall from one side without having to do one, then cross over and do the other. He's also relaxing while I stand in front of him, dropping his head down so that his poll is only chest high, allowing me to rub the top of his head and his ears...a definite sign of trust. Or is it resignation???

7) We've begun to lope! And what a lope it is. So floating on air.

8) Steve Holt!'s in hand work is coming along nicely. He's trotting around cones, although his stride is long and he's still breaking gait a bit when the circles get small. He's backing an L nicely and can sidepass down the length of the pole without mishap.

9) We rode in the big arena, if only a few minutes.

10) Saturday we hauled down to Curt's for our first riding lesson! The round pen, as you may recall, is fully enclosed with 8' walls. In order to see what was going on, Curt has to climb a big block of wood on the outside and hang over the the top of the wall...certainly a sight not common to Steve Holt!, but aside from some curious looks, he worked well. Curt said he looked great for ride 8. I asked what I should be working on, and he said he wouldn't change a thing... :)

And that, folks, is week number five recap. Five down...ten to go. I couldnt' be happier with where we're at.


Mrs Mom said...

Go Tracey, Steve, and Sandy!!! (Ya know I am still thrilled that Sandy got to stay with you hehehe)

You guys are making such fantastic progress!! Please give the boys a big rub from me ;)

Lea and her Mustangs said...

You are doing WONDERFUL. Am proud of all of you. Sandy is getting some good education thru this also isn't he and Steve Holt is awesome.

a passion 'n frames said...

Well done your making huge lessons stick... wonderful... progress made and they are so smart to remember it all.... beautiful creatures too ..

Linda Reznicek said...

Amazatastic-fantabulous-wonderful!! I didn't know Mustangs could get that far that fast! It's good to know that problems catching and haltering, don't necessarily translate to problems tying, leading, loading, loping--because lately Beautiful has been a pill in that area, too.

Tracey said...

Thank you, ladies!

Linda, I never realized how far, how fast they could come either until I started working with these deadlines. It's amazing, isn't it? And yes, I agree, it's good to know that catching doesn't translate into all those other issues. Once Steve Holt! is captured, life is good.

Molly said...

Tracey, you and your guys are doing so well! Steve Holt! is getting a solid foundation. Good for you.

Shirley said...

Your progress with Steve Holt! is very good. On the catching and haltering, may I suggest that you spend a day or two where all you do with him is catch him, tie him brush him and generally give him some love, and then turn him loose- at least 4 or 5 times a day. You may have already done this, but sometimes a refresher is good, where he equates being caught with pleasant experiences. Sometimes no training can be good training.

Katee said...

Another great week. I'm really glad that I live all the way over here in Minnesota...otherwise I'd be seriously considering bidding on Mr. Steve Holt! on adoption day. He sounds like a dream!

Tracey said...

Molly, thank you! I'm trying to get that foundation solid so his next owner has something to build from.

Shirley, that's a very good suggestion. I'd considered spending a day or two just taking him out and ponying him on the trail. He's also learned (finally) how to eat a treat, and I know that helped immensely with Sandy. on out, ride him!

Christa said...

Awesome!!!! I am so excited for both you and Steve Holt! Tracey. He is coming along nicely.

Now I am a bit closer and think that bidding on him is starting to sound like a great idea the only thing is I would have to get rid of one of my boys. Hmmmm we shall see what happens!

Gecko said...

I've just watched the video you posted a few days ago, and after reading this post, I can't believe how far Steve Holt! has come!!! WOW!

Rising Rainbow said...

What a great week! I think you're just zipping along. Do you think having one year under your belt has given you a better idea of a time frame and goals??