Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Kieran Torture

Proof of what a terrible horse owner I am:

Yes, those are blue sparkly fairy wings (I love the dollar store!). Yes, Kieran is wondering why someone won't rescue him. ;)

In other news, I free jumped him a bit tonight. Set up the chute with first a low crossrail, the cavaletti, and then the jump at the same height we had on Sunday. Ran him through a few times and gosh, he was being lazy! So I changed the crossrail to a vertical and did it again and he did better. Then I added a single barrel to the middle of the last element, and changed it so the crossrail was the second element and just put a ground pole as the first element (since I was adding in the barrel, I wanted to make the other things simpler, and use the crossrail to kind of funnel him to the middle of the chute).

So he comes through and totally puts on the brakes at the barrel. Like, "wtf, mom, don't you remember that thing might eat me?" So he tries to go around, but there's a wall on one side and a rope on the other and me over there telling him to "go over, okay!"...so he did, from a standstill. Heck, I would have taken him just bulling through it like he's done other things. So then he figured out he was capable of jumping over the one barrel and we did it a couple more times, but I noticed he was trying to jump to the far left of the jump (next to the rope, where there was no barrel).

So I added a second barrel, and at that point the jump was set up the same way as it was on Sunday (except that Christina only had it as a single jump, and I still had my chute set up).

Hah, he ran right on through for me, but when he got to that last jump, he totally cleared it with a few extra feet than he needed to. So I sent him through a couple more times until he did it more reasonably and ended there with lots of praise and a cookie. Now, at least, he knows he can do it. I'll probably do it again with him at least once more before we try tackling it under saddle (and when we do again, I'll probably ask Christina if we can't set up a similar grid since I think it helps him find his spot).

Oh yeah, I also had finally remembered to bring a tarp up because I just wanted to get Kieran to walk over it at some point (one of the obstacles at a judged trail ride some of the barn folks went on had a tarp that the horses had to cross). Well, as soon as I shook the thing out and just laid it on the ground, Kieran came over to inspect it. One hoof on the edge and a snort. Then he looks at me. He paws at it. Snorts. Paws. Looks at me. And I coax him toward me from across the tarp (I had been planning on leading him but since he was so willing to come over on his own...) with a treat. He streeeeeeeeeetched his neck as far as it would go but didn't move his feet. So I just put a little pressure on his halter and he came right on over. Then I led him over again (no hesitation that time). Good pony!

I feel it was a pretty productive horsey day.

1 comment:

SallymetHarryHorse said...

your writing is great, fun and honest, and Kieran is such a cutie! Following along :-)