Been a while for an update, been super busy with thes start of show season!
Sam has discovered that he's pretty good at grond work an he enjoyes a 'good boy' and a good scratch when he does something right. He's now doing well with the tarp but he's still horified at the sight of a saddle so we're working on that. He approaced me in the paddock last night to catch him. I nearly cried.
Samantha has progressed nicely. I'll be riding her pretty soon. She also really likes to do things right and it has made her brave and wililng to face things because she knows a 'good girl' is coming.
Typical of arabains, these two are highly motivated by their success and now that the target for success is prety small and tolerates no spooking or other silly behavior, they are 'aiming' well and putting aside their tendency to be spookyand stupid for a success.
Sam had a close to 2 hour session today and we really got somewhere. Of course when I was done, I didn't have time to do Samantha too, so she will have hers tomorrow. Sam is flinchy and weird about everything so I threw a bunch of things his direction so he would have to decide what he was scared off.
I completely saddled him probably 15 times in between tarp work, lunging, ground work and anything else I could think of and he did really well. He was goofy and stupid the first time I put the saddle on him and he got better with every saddling.
I decided (2 hours later) that when I put the saddle on his back, he let out his breath, dropped his head and licked his lips, while standing on a blowing tarp...we were done :)
So things don't always go as planned. My plan was to work them over obstacles but the wind was making stuff fly everywhere...totally miserable to be in the sand. So we had a date with the tarp monster in the grassy field. It was super fun.
It's a measure of control and respect when a horse will lunge at the walk past a scary object in stead of running past or jumping on it and they both accomplished this. Sam, bless his heart wore the tarp as a scarf at one point unintentionally. Although, to his credit he snorted but did not spook or run off. He did look at me with a "get this off me or I'm going to wet myself" look but none of his spooking or bolting nonsense.
It's been a while...
Samantha is doing GREAT. She's under saddle and doing well. She will go home in about 3 weeks and the owner is bring me another of her Arabs.
Sam has hit a road block. He's terrified for anything to touch his hips while mounting or leaning over the saddle. It's a very odd fear. I can't even imagine what happened to him but it was BAD, what ever it was. So we're working mounting one slow tedious step at a time. He's at the point that my assistant can put weight in the stirrup, pull herself over the saddle and lay on him (while I have him on a halter and lead). We're working on getting him okay with her touching his hips while she's up there, tapping him with her foot etc.