Not only was it not a park, it was our driveway, it was not easy.
I caught him in the pen and went through our usual routine, pick up feet, move hind and fore quarters, give head to each side, lots of petting. He was doing so good. I brought my lunge whip along, waved it all around, rubbed it under his belly and against his hind feet as he walked. Even wedged it under his tail and was able to get it around his hind legs with him walking. He was doing great, a little bored even.
So I decided we would take a walk. Get out of his comfort zone a little. I had noticed when he had his feet trimmed and I thought we would do it in the dry spot behind the house, that a switch flipped in his brain as soon as we went through the gate. Calm quiet Rusty was gone and spooky high headed Rusty took his place. So that’s where we would go.
We took our time through the gate, I had also realized that day that he didn’t understand proper gate procedure. You don’t realize how important it is until it’s not there. He must wait patiently, allow me to send him ahead, then yield his hind quarters to come back and stand with his head at my shoulder as I close the gate. Mine have it down and I do love it about them.
We worked on whoa the whole time. Asking him to stop and take a step back when I stopped. But mostly we worked on not running me over. He looked and gawked and jumped in place and thought he might be safer on top of me. I flapped my elbows shoved at his shoulder and tried to maintain control. In the end nobody died! No that’s exaggerating a little, he wasn’t that bad. My arms are wore out from working to keep him out of my space but it was good for both of us. I’ve been wanting to diet and get some exercise, he provided the exercise. He is learning, we need to do this a lot more often.
When we got back to the corrals we worked on the gate again. My two horses had come up to the front so they provided a little extra challenge. Rusty did good. Then we walked down the lane towards where I had left my “stuff” and I let him go. He left, apparently we are no longer friends.
As I left I made a point of making him let me catch him for a good rub and a cookie. I’ll see if he lets me catch him tomorrow.
- I found His Dad!
- Daily Walks