Sunday, August 29, 2010

Obstacle Training and Trail Ride Day

I. AM. EXHAUSTED. I am also a weakling because I should NOT be this tired from 2.5 hours in the saddle.... even if it was 90 degrees outside.

It was one of those days I wished I had a personal photographer to follow me around!

Today was the monthly obstacle training and trail ride event at my barn. My BO is one of the trainers and one of the mounted sheriff/police guys is usually the other trainer but he couldn't be there today. Junior isn't afraid of "stuff" but it is always good to build trust with "no really, you can do this, it won't hurt you....see?" kind of activities and I wanted to go on the trails with the BO so she could help us negotiate the creeks. For the obstacles he was a champ with everything. He knocked over the jump we tried to walk over but that was a lack of coordination, not confidence! He even served as the leader pony for some of the other less confident horses many times. He had walked under the streamer trellis and over the bridge before but we also got to do lots of new stuff.

So today for the first time we:
  • Attempted to rope the plastic steer roping skills leave a lot to be desired but he did not mind the activity...
  • Opened, went through, and closed the rope gate
  • Went through the shredded tarp curtain
  • Went through and backed through the aisle with the pool noodles sticking into the middle (maybe I should have taken pictures!)
  • stuck our front feet into and walked through a truck tire
  • went over and backed over a big flat wooden circle
  • kept one end of a board on a barrel while holding the other end and walking around the barrel in a circle
  • dragged a pole by a rope forwards and backwards
This ball is not so big, it's a yoga ball like Stacy Westfall uses. Junior thought it was fun but he was bored with it by the time I took out my phone... oh, and next time I take video with my iphone I will try and remember to hold it sideways...sorry :)

THIS ball was HUGE! I was very surprised that he did not mind it at all. I even had him push it backwards.

Then we went through nearly all of the trail system included a big part we hadn't been through yet that was pretty steep and included a very scary creek crossing. The BO was impressed with his willingness to do things even when they are clearly scary to him. Now that I think about it we have come an awfully long way in two years! I'm excited to try that part of the trail again. What bothered him most was waiting for it to be our turn to cross the creek beds. He got very head tossy and agitated while in a group of 6 but later on the new part when we were only three horses he was much better. He still didn't like to wait. It seems he likes to lead more than follow, but he does like to have somebody else there.

I told the BO today that I want them separated from now on. Of course this was NOT a problem at all and tonight he'll start going out with only one other gelding, either Ranger (a sweet 1/2 Arab who JR was in the sand lots with before he was put with the full herd) or with Max. His neck looked a ton better today and was hardly swollen at all after the ride. Gunner was hurt too, after all with a big bite on his hip that made him a bit off. I talked to his owner and she and I were both happy to see them separated.

1 comment:

  1. I almost bought a ball like that the other day... but I thought Lilly might freak out and hurt herself. Junior looks like he's having a good time with it! :)

    Lilly gets like that too when she's with a group of horses. I really need to take her out on her own more often to help her gain confidence. Of course, that means I'd have to actually be able to ride her...

    I'm glad his neck looks better!! Dang horses!