Careful Targeting

Rusty and I have been playing with all the different way it is possible to get on a horse. Trying to think outside of the usual and come up with unusual, overly complicated methods. It has been fun digging into the different layers of training involved in some of the more interesting ones. It may seem like a silly useless undertaking on the surface but, like with all trick training, the benefits go so much deeper.

Yesterday though, we didn’t accomplish anything. Not what I had intended at least. It is spring and that green grass gets a little distracting. I was trying to get him to walk under my noodle and he was more interested in grazing. Or butt scratches. We did accomplish that.

Completely by accident I taught him to target me with his butt. He wanted it scratched. I, his lowly and loyal servant must comply with his wishes. There is simply no use arguing with someone of his determination.

After that amusing interlude I gave up. He was acting… weird. I don’t know how else to describe it. Other than the eating, that’s normal for right now, he kept leaving. He never leaves. He wants to be with me. If I don’t work him he eats the fence. If you ever wonder why so many boards are gone from the wind break, he is the reason.

I tied him up! And saddled him. The goal was to ride out through the cows, check calves. By the time we got to the gate into the pasture he had convinced me that was a bad idea. Not doing anything bad, just… weird. There was a storm blowing in. Dark clouds had ridden the horizon most of the day. The wind was sucking back into them, determined to take us all with. The warm air from earlier in the day was moving out to make way for cold. I was not brave enough to ride a hot colt who wasn’t interested in working out into the hills.

Once we turned around he proved my fears to be somewhat justified. He was never scary. He was, however, stuttery? He would leap forward with tons of energy, or freeze up and not want to move. The lightest leg was his cue to run. No amount of leg pressure was enough to persuade him to move when he was stopped.It was a good ride though. We did some leg yields, worked on haunches in, loped circles in the soon to be garden, and practiced his Spanish walk. Besides, he mastered targeting me with is butt. What more could I ask of a ride 😉

Here is a quick video of him targeting and, eventually, making around the pickup. Original goal accomplished.


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