I have a large property that includes a wooded area complete with 4wheeler trails all in it. The trails are really nice for the horses! Yesterday I decide that it was time for Tuff to come out of the pasture and see that there is more out there than a round track and then a stall.
He seemed interested more than excited which is a good thing...that's what I'm looking for out of him at this point. The Sun was shining and the breeze was light. Perfect elements for lots of Shadows! Big scary shadows! Horse eating vicious shadows!!
So after walking the trails in the woods we came to the exit which is down hill (small hill...maybe 4 feet, not a deep angle). The hill and clear lot after it is dirt and in the sun! All the trees around it were casting shadows every where! Most riders take for granted that their horses are used to the basics but try having a TB who is fresh of the track and try introducing him to "the world".....wow!
So Tuff thought that I was asking him to walk into the Lion's den! He did not want to go down that hill! I used leg and I turn for a different approach. I talked calmly and I used a strong voice. I let him stand and watch the clearing for awhile...blowing,snorting, and head bobbing! I even broke off a thin 8 to 10 inch limb to use as a make shift crop! Nothing doing!
I didn't want to dismount and walk him down because at this stage it's important for him to do things and learn to trust himself and start to build some confidence. So I went back down the trail and came out at a different area and the brought him back to "the scene of the crime" and we went up it instead....then I turned him around and very slowly he went down...kind of a rinse and repeat process! Up and down! But hey, he did it and the last time we went down he seemed proud of himself! He even went out into the Sun at a little trot, head held high and looking straight ahead!
After that, me walking him across a tarp covered in water was a snap! He was ready to take on the world!
I'm loving the TB! He's going to turn out to be one of the best horses I've ever had or trained! I can feel it!