It has been awhile, I thought I had written something here more recently than that. I did put a video on his facebook page, you can find that >here<
Christmas got busy, I didn’t find time to write. I did get out to work Rusty though. Brief little workouts. He is doing good, mostly. Working on cutting seems to blow his mind, he looses all manners and sense. Any, most, problems are my fault for not realizing or thinking about them and putting in the work to make sure he is minding his manners. Some of our lessons are rushed, the other horses are crowding us, children are running underfoot or it’s SO cold!
He has been crowding my space, nosing the treat bag and nipping at it and any loose clothing. I have been spending some time working on reinforcing him standing back with neck arched and waiting patiently. But not enough apparently.
Yesterday I want out, lured the other two out the gate, and went to get to work with Rusty. As I climbed the fence to work him from the other side on cutting, I felt a sharp pinch on my forearm and realized that he had bit me! My first reaction was fury. I swung the treat bag at him and missed. I tried to whack him with my hand and missed instead hitting the metal fence and nearly breaking my arm. He got the idea that he had done something wrong but mostly seem bewildered.
I managed to get my anger under control. We started over, or started at all, and got down to cutting. I am working hard on emphasizing proper position and rewarding lots for keeping his shoulder even with mine. We did a little trot work, trying to get him to speed out of his turns a little and hurry to catch up with me instead of moseying along.
After a quick work out there I climbed back to his side of the fence, with no incident this time, and we worked on Spanish walk. We have been working on this for so long, the same way, same thing over and over again and still sometimes he acts like he has no clue. But once he started paying attention we worked up to four steps in a row before clicking!! He bowed beautifully and while doing so I noticed he is ready for a trim. So we went back and worked on not bowing when he lifts a foot for me.
He is doing so good for the most part but this bite has set me back quite a bit. I’m not scared in any way, or at all, I just doubt my skills and worry that I’m not doing things right. This type of training is new to me, what right do I have to think I will be able to do it with as little experience as I have and not mess my horse up? I did a very bad job with a few horses training them “normally” before I gained enough experience to do a decent job at it. I only hope I don’t break him.
One thing we are succeeding at! Teaching him to go out AROUND the wing fence. Amazingly difficult, they all get stuck in the corner, on the other side of it, next to the gate. I click him every time as he rounds the end.
- Going Micro At Zero
- Our Little Christmas Blizzard