Sorrel, go cut a thin willow. The horses that find a whip intimidating seem to be ok with the willow. When the leaves are stripped it leaves tiny nubs which make for a pleasant feeling if you see - saw it across the horse's back. I used the willow for a few days then found the horse was responsive to my doing the same hand movement as I had when holding the willow. Way more relaxed.
I want her desensitized to the whip. We worked on it today and she is now responding to it with no fear, and is not bothered by the sound or the movement anymore. She just had to learn to differentiate between a command and movement. Unfortunately, we don't have any willow around here anyway...
Thanks you guys :) She's going to be a good little horse here soon.
Today was a day for love... :) I decided she could have the day off, as I am house sitting some arabians for the week. On that note, I did have to deal with a snotty yearling arab stud who is severely getting on my nerves, but I have to remember it is not my horse and it is not my place to teach him respect...Just so long as he doesn't decide to put me in danger.
That's another rant! LOL
Bubbles just had me put her halter on and give her cookies today, so she doesn't think the halter automatically equals work.
Hopefully more to report tomorrow!
She was so funny with the bit, chewing on it and looking at me like "wtf really mom?" But after a bit she settled down and I got her flexing with it and accepting it. She didn't mind me taking it off either. The biggest problem we had today was actually the sound of the leather reins when I tossed one over her neck. She didn't like the slapping noise it made when it hit her side, but she got over it pretty quick.
The saddle blanket was easier than I expected, she really didn't care about it flapping or making noise at all. Next time we'll do this all again and introduce the saddle if she feels good. She's coming along on her groundwork faster than a lot of colts do! So proud.
Now of course, pictures!!
It looks poorly adjusted in this picture, but it was just because she was moving it up and down in her mouth.
I know it! I am so surprised too. My theory is that while she hasn't been worked, she's also not developed any bad habits either. She's basically a clean slate, and has settled down a lot since her mom has been separated from her. We owned both her mom and her dad back in the day and her sire was the easiest going horse on the planet, and was notorious for throwing easy going babies too which definitely can be seen in Bubbles.
She wants to please, she just needed a path to go on. I'm so proud of her!
It was pouring rain yesterday so I didn't get to work her, but I turned her out with the others for the first time and went up, caught her, and led her back to the round pen with no problems! She stood "tied" (Rope draped over the fence) while I brushed her and put the saddle blanket on, she's still not fond of the bridle but I'm going to get some fruit roll ups to wrap her snaffle in for now. I think she'll appreciate that. That being said though, she didn't fuss with it as much.
I did get the saddle on today! It was hard though, I'm a short unathletic wimp whose arm was getting tired from flapping the saddle at her and desensitizing, and it's only an itty bitty barrel saddle... She didn't mind the cinching but dang was she a bronc when I asked her to move! Woo!
After that she was great, I desensitized her to the stirrups and the over and under on the saddle as well as wiggled it around, put one foot in the stirrup, hung on the saddle, etc. She was a little nervous but at the end was totally relaxed.
The darn saddle blanket kept slipping back, but my Mom had taken our trailer with all our good pads in it this morning unexpectedly...So, yeah.
Great job!!! Wow, she's going to be a smokin' hot momma under saddle.
One thing I might mention that I like to do with young horses the first time I put a saddle on them. I like to keep a lunge line or a long rope on their halter so that if they do decide to go "bronc", I can try to pull them out of it. If she's allowed to get into the habit of throwing a bucking fit as long as she wants to every time the saddle is put on, it's hard to get them to stop.