Thursday, June 10, 2010


Well I did some homework today. Either I'm doing something very wrong or Mac is just a smart guy. I went out to the pasture to get him and work with him a bit at liberty. He quickly remembered the lesson from Tuesday to go forward, change direction, turn to face me and stop. I rubbed and patted him all over, brought the lunge whip and rubbed him all over with the lash, swung it over his body, behind his butt, around his head, and he didn't move. So then I went to put the halter on and he tucked his nose in to put it in the nose-hole area. Wow, okay!

With the halter and longe line attached I then did some ground work with moving the shoulders and moving the haunches, stopping, going back, etc. I also did some longing and that was less successful but then I realized that I was walking along with him and I remembered Ezra said to stand in one place and when I did that it was better. Having gotten the idea that it was work time, I decided we could move on to trailer loading.

We went down to the trailer and I had the longe whip and the longe line attached to his halter. I pointed him at the trailer and he stood on the ramp and sniffed it. We did that a couple times then I asked him for more and he gave it to me. Within a minute or two he was standing on the trailer and backing out nicely. This was all with the divider moved over. I put the divider back in the middle position and asked him to go on again and he did. We loaded and unloaded quietly a few times and the last time I had him stand there and I just scratched his butt. I thought that was enough so let him quietly back off. Sheesh, our whole training session took maybe 30 minutes.

Then I realized that I had the halter and longe line but no lead rope. I wanted to groom him so figured he could just "ground tie" while I groomed him. We haven't formally worked on this but what I did was have the longe line very slack and held it in my hand while I worked around him. If he moved, I moved him back to where I wanted him to be. He mostly didn't move - just a small step or so, but still, I moved him back. Since he's terrified of fly spray, I put Swat on his face and on the insides of his thighs/sheath area, and took him up to the pasture to let him have some grass.

It was a great lesson!

Oh yeah, and I got the videos from our XC schooling this weekend. Thanks to Colin for putting them up on YouTube!

Trotting over a log

Going up the bank

Going in the water

He did great!

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