Saturday, November 20, 2010

A Tarp? I'm over it.

*Disclaimer: This is NOT the safest nor smartest way to introduce your horse to anything as potentially terrifying as a tarp. I know this. I knew the entire time that something could have gone dreadfully wrong. Do not try this at home, kids. Or, if you must, do it in a much safer manner such as in a roundpen or with a rope halter and lead, NOT in a snaffle bridle and reins, while recording it at arms-lengh with your iphone....

A Tarp. I have a tarp. Ever since Junior refused to go near the scary cornfield in our 2nd fall, I've been meaning to try desensitization techniques with the tarp. I finally got around to taking it to the barn today. I wasn't sure how I should do it, if I should put it in the roundpen and just let him discover it? When I got to the barn I set the folded tarp in the arena on a chair. And then I forgot about it. I groomed him ground tied in the aisle and he was an angel. I tacked him up and brought him out to the arena. Oh yeah... the tarp. So I led him over to it and picked it up. He didn't care. I began to unfold it and it made noise. He didn't care. I unfurled it. He didn't move. I lay it on the ground and he walked right over it. I backed him over it. I picked it up and shook it. He practically yawned. I threw it over him. He reached back and tried to chew on it. I pulled it off, threw it back over his face so he couldn't see. He backed up slowly while I pulled it off. I threw it back on and made him walk around until it fell off. He didn't care about it at all. I then left it in a heap in the arena, mounted and rode around and over it several times at a walk. I guess the obstacles and trail rides we've done have helped? Or maybe he'd been tarped before? He sure didn't give me that impression when we first encountered the rustling corn, or the small tarp blowing in the wind at one horse show.

After the tarp fun, we spent about 10 minutes trotting in 2 point and posting and I had to quit. I am embarrassingly out of shape. Tomorrow I have my 2nd lesson with Monet and I think we're starting the jumping process... not sure if that means we'll actually go over small cross rails or what. I've never taught a horse to jump, I'm not sure how slowly and carefully it needs to be done, but that's why I hire professionals. SHE intends to turn us into eventers, but I'm fairly certain if 10 minutes of trotting is tough on us, we are certainly not athletically inclined enough for eventing.... oh, and by WE I mean ME.


  1. ha! Doesn't look like he cares in the least. I use to do all kinds of crazy things involving tarps with an Arab I started. I figured if he wasn't afraid of tarps then he could conquer the world:)

  2. I had a horse that was deathly afraid of the tarp. He wouldn't go within fifteen feet of it. By the end of the day, of course, he would walk over it, back over it, and let it sit on his back. But that took a loooooong time to get there. Like horsemom said, if a horse isn't afraid of tarps, he can conquer the world. =))

  3. Tarp, schmarp. He looks bored. We use tarps, pool noodles, corn stalks (when in season), rain slickers, logs and tires to get them used to everything. The craziest thing that Hank shied from, and that I couldn't prepare him for, was when they painted the new yellow lines on the highway. I Could Not get him to cross.

  4. LOL! You bore him with your silly tarp!

    I'm out of shape too. I think it'll take me longer to get back into shape than it will to get Lilly back into shape. It's so very sad.

    How cool if you and Junior started jumping! He'd make such a cute little hunter! :)