Ok, as some of you may know, I trained a little pony, Harley, all myself. I'm 15 and he's the first horse I've ever trained, so everything I do with him is exciting! soooo today, I took him out for the first time in about two weeks. Whenever I take a break like that, I go back a few steps and introduce him to everything again before putting it on him. So, I took out the saddlepad and went to put it on him. He flinched and walked a few steps forward. So for about ten minutes I worked on desensitising him to the pad. I threw it at him, wacked him with it (not hard lol), shook it above his back, under his belly, between his legs, and over his head, and covered his face with it. Basically I made the saddle pad a million times scarier than it actually was, and he was ok with it. I Kept up until his head was low and he was licking his lips. I also did a little work with the saddle, picking it up REALLY high over him before putting it on, pushing it off so it fell on the otherside (waaaay scarier to a horse than it sounds), pushing it off over his butt (even scarier), putting it on his neck, etc.
So, by this time, he was falling asleep at my attempts to scare him lol. After I put his tack on, I went in the round pen and walked and trotted him. THEN the wind blew and a bag blew into the pen, he saw it, flinched, BUT DIDNT FREAK!!! I was soo proud! He's started to think when he's frightened!! XD Then I cantered the right lead (for his first time) went a full lap, then went the left lead! he was soooooo incredibly good! Then I untacked him and left him in the round pen for a while to get the snap on reins. I hooked them onto his halter, mounted up, and rode him bareback for the first time! And without a bridle! he's sooooo good! I love him soo much! XD
When I was finished cooling him off, I tied him up and started hosing him down. He ran circles around me for about five or more minutes on both sides before stopping and taking the water like a man, not a pansy. Lol, then I fly sprayed him and put him out.
HE IS A DOLL!! I love him! He's progressed soo far! Im so proud!
I do have one question:
I've seen a horse canter for their first time and some of them are really fast. But Harley's canter is SO slow! You really have to keep leg on him to keep him going. Granted, he's only just started cantering, but is this strange?