Seven Days :)

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Seven Days :)

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        10-10-2009, 10:42 PM
    Seven Days :)

    In the beginning of June, I started working with my friend's Chincoteague Pony Gelding, Harley. He was hard to catch, didnt trust anyone, and didn't respect personal space AT ALL. I had some experience working with green and problem horses (my first horse was a four year old half saddlebred greenie) but I'd never started a horse before.
    Day One: I couldn't touch his sides or ears or pick up any feet. When I'd lead him, he'd occasionally stop and not move or rush past me. He was a pain to lead and was very disrespectful. He also had a bad herd-bound attitude wih made it hard for me to keep him focused on me for too long before he'd call for his friends. Joined up in 30min.
    -spent the night in a stall-
    Day Two: I could finally touch him all over. I'd been practicing the "friendly game" by Parelli, to gain his trust, but since this happened so quickly, I think it was a matter of misbehaving rather than fear. He also lead calmly and politely after I showed him on day one that the worst possible thing to do was to not listen to me. I still had a little trouble with the back feet at first, but with some 'convincing' he stood quietly for me while I picked his hooves. I also worked with disengaging his front a hind ends and moving away from pressure. Joined up in 10min.
    -spent the night in run-out stall w/ no other horses-
    Day Three: I could make him put his head down easily and he was good with neck-flexes and disengaging hindquarters (building blocks for emergency dismount & stop). He was also used to things like the whip, fly spray -nightmare!-, brushing his mane(!?), and the round pen and arena. I began to get him used to the saddlepad. When he first saw the killer beast, he tried to take off. Me being only 115lbs and 5'2" he started to pull me as well. Luckily, I had the whip and made him lunge around me, going as fast as he pleased, only rewarded when he stopped. (I was repeating the same pattern with the pad, hitting it on my leg). Finally, he stopped and dropped his head, then I repeated the exercise on his other side. After ten minutes on both sides, I put the pad on him repeatedly, until he dropped his head or licked his lips. I rubbed it all over him, under his belly, on his head ( DX ), in between his legs, under his head in front of his chest (that freaked him out). By the end of the session, the saddlepad was his best friend. I also practiced jumping on him and putting weight on him bareback (not getting on fully) Joined up in 5min.
    -spent the night with mean shetland pony-
    Day Four: After being put in a stall and eating his breakfast, I put a bridle on him and went and watered and fed the other horses. When I came back to his stall, he had already stopped munching on the bit and was falling asleep. I put a rope halter over the bridle and led him outside. I worked again with the pad and he didnt freak at all! I took the 'baby' western saddle out (its veeryy teenie - used for toddlers) and introduced him to it. He flinched when he saw it, but since I'd been working on his curious side (not sure which side of the brain that is ^^) he didnt run away! He walked right up to the saddle that I was hitting against my leg -like the pad- and sniffed it! He licked his lips,dropped his head, and I brought the saddle to his side, still flapping it around. He flinched a little, but otherwise stood calmly. (the other side was just as well.) I put both saddle and saddlepad on him, then put the girth on (didnt tighten it yet). I led him around with the loosed girth and with every step, I tightened it, slowly. After a while, he realized he could breath and was fine. I lunged him in the pad, saddle, girth and bridle, then called it a day. Joined up immediately.
    -spent the night with mean shetland and nice quarter pony-
    Day Five: worked a LOT on disengaging hindquarters and steering with a bit using the "Driving Game" by parelli. I also practiced with my english saddle and putting my foot in the stirrup and putting weight on him on both sides. He would also follow me now wherever I went! No lead rope required! Whenever I lunged him, I worked on vocal commands like whoa, walk, trot (and clicking), canter (kissing), and WHOA lol. So if he was following me, and I wanted him to stop, I'd say whoa and he'd stay put where he was and not even eat grass!!! Didnt bother Joining up with him ^^.
    -spent the night with new best friends, mean shetland and nice quarterpony-
    Day Six: I finally got on him. He was totally cool with whatever I did, and so, when I was putting weight on him, I just swung my leg over that extra bit. He didnt care! I had my friend's brother-in-law (who trains horses) come over and help me (first time I got help). He would lead harley forward every time I squeezed with my calves. And every time I said whoa, pulled back, and leaned back, he'd have to stop and take one step back. By the end of his first undersaddle lesson, I was doing circles, stops, and turns! I could even disengage him and flex his neck from his back! I did a lot of scary, loud thumping dismounts and mounted from both sides, and he didnt care! I was thrilled!
    -spent the night with new best friends, mean shetland and nice quarterpony-
    Day Seven: Rode in the arena, instead of the roundpen, and did poles and barrels (at a walk) and other obstacles. He wasn't even afraid of me opening and closing a mailbox mounted, when even older lesson ponies would flinch!!

    Harley Now:
    Harley has participated in two pony camps at his farm, where begginer riders, from ages 4-11 were working with him. He wasnt afraid of anything and the kids adored him! He even did riding classes at the camps where the kids rode and led him! He also did two 'exhibitions' at the end of the camps, where there were flags, streamers, shiney stuff EVERYWHERE and he didnt even bat an eye! He wasnt afraid of the flash photography, the fold out chairs, the strollers, NOTHING! I felt like squeeling!

    He is now doing w/t/c under saddle nicely, knows how to neck rein, AND I've started doing poles and small jumps with him! EEP!

    Harley Learning to bow

    Harley waiting for the bridle. This was his third time with a saddle and second time undersaddle <3

    This is harley during his first bath. He was a tad resistant at first, but after a little while he was fine.

    Harley harnessed for the first time. don't you love my face? Lol (tehe I'm wearing my zeppelin shirt)

    Harley after cantering for the second time

    Harley's new hair cut!

    Harley dressed up for the Pony Camp Exhibition

    I hope you enjoyed reading our story! I love him so much. Its a shame, though. No one really rides him unless I'm there, and I'm usually the one to ride him. So, I went over there last week to play with him (after he'd sat idle in his field for a month) and I rode him and did a bunch of stuff with him and he was perfect! I was surprised! For a four year old, he doesnt act like one!
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        10-10-2009, 10:49 PM
    That is so cool, you did an awesome job with him..btw he's gorgeous!
        10-10-2009, 11:02 PM
    I know, I love him he's suh a pretty little boy <3

    Here's his parents:

    Jigsaw, His daddy

    His pretty mom, sugar. She's got the most beautiful blue eye :)

    More pics of Harley here:
        10-10-2009, 11:55 PM
    Great job with him! He is adorable!!!

    I looooove his mom!!! Love that blaze of hers!
        10-11-2009, 10:46 AM
    Mhm she's so pretty! I really like her!

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