Saturday, March 22, 2008

Week 1 Mar 10-15

I have 10 client horses right now, plus our Hooper Crossing horses which I try to keep up on. I am also giving a couple lessons a week. I'll do my best to get to my mustang filly every day...probably won't be able to, but hopefully I can spend enough time with her to give a good showing down in Sacramento the 1st part of June. Was able to work with her 4 days this first week. Monday I spent 2 hrs. She's not a big horse, but she's just 3, so has a few more years of growing. Tina is a nice headed 'stang, with big eyes. (The left a little bigger now, after the escapade getting up here.) There's a small cut above it and it swelled where she maybe hit the back end of the trailer (or maybe the highway) on the big escape.

Yer wondering why the name Tina Turner. Well she's a little, sexy, scary, wild bay with big hair and good legs. She's even got high heels on the 2 hinds.

Anyway, I enter my round corral a-horseback. After she kinda settles with me in there I throw a loop around her neck, no reason to jerk the slack tight. I work her around both directions with my horse, then start applying pressure, never needing to go to the horn but a few times. I ask and take whatever she gives me at first, because I just want her to learn to give to the pressure of the rope, so whether it's the hind end stepping away or the front end coming to me or just the neck, shoulder or or nose, I release if I get the slightest amount of give. It doesn't have to be but barely noticeable...just a hair of movement is enough for her to start figuring out if she gives to the pressure, I release. Now Tina really wants the easy way, got a perty good mind, gonna be a nice little filly to work with. Within a half hour I was touching her. Whatever side she first gave me, that's the side I took.

Shelley had them put a halter and lead on before they first loaded them up in Sacramento, but she did manage to lose the lead rope before they were loaded into my trailer.

It was about an hour of lass work and I had her stepping away with the hind and getting the front end to go the other direction fairly consistent on both sides and rubbing and petting both sides of Tina a little. I then snapped a long lead rope on her and was able to have my horse stand in the middle of the round corral with me still in the saddle and send Tina one way , kick her hind end away, see the opposite eye, step the front end across, then back her off the halter and lead rope. Also I could bring her up to me , move the hind end around , then change sides and push her eye and step her front end laterally away.

Flagged her all over---neck, along her back, down her hind legs, then started rubbing the girth area. Then I got off my horse and did the same things on the ground. I did not ask her to move away from my hand at her eye but a couple times and just a step or two, needed a lot more trust to ask much of that at that point.

I petted, rubbed and talked to her on both sides for a while, just before I unsnapped her halter and called it a good 1st day.

I did perty much the same thing the 2nd day. Started out in the saddle (on a quiet gelding) and finished on the ground, all the while gaining more trust. Everything took a little less time, so I spent about an hour that go around.

3rd day started out a-foot. Moved the mustang around , kinda got her stopping and looking at me. I used my rope to help her get hooked on me. I would swing it easy and every time she gave me her attention or die down, then I'd stop swinging. It helps desensitize them as well. One can rope her around the neck, on the back , around her body and every time she comes to you is rest and release. It gets them real good about the movement, noise and feel of the rope, to where it becomes no big deal. Depending how much this is worked on you can draw them to you or drive them away with the swinging of the rope. I then used a halter and lead rope to desensitize her all over her body , around and up and down all 4 legs , around her girth area and flank. Did the same thing with the cloth flag. Then I tied a cinch around her girth that I attach with a short rope, tighten it slowly, then let it loose, move it around. Do that quite a bit then move her out.

Introduced the big monster plastic flag that day. It was scary for quite a while, but in time was rubbing her all over both sides with it. It's important that whatever you desensitize with, you also have them move away from the pressure of as well. Where once they were moving away because of fear, I want to step the horse forward and by me with the flag, blanket, rope, etc. Move the hind end away, front end across with pressure at the eye, and back up.

I picked all her feet up with the halter rope, had her step forward and lead around with each front leg, extend her front leg out in front off the ground and relax. In between different areas I was working on I'd stop and work on petting her all over and always move the hind end away and front end across. Worked a rope, stick, and flag all around head, nose and neck to get her good about putting a halter on. I spent about 2 1/2 hrs that day.

The 4th day I spent about an hour going over the same things as days before, but added pushing her forward with the lead and my body language. I'm right next to her, behind the withers all the while patting and bumping her with my body on both sides of her to start simulating where I'd be in the saddle.


Andrea said...

That sounds like an excellent first week.

Your reasoning on the name totally cracked me up!

Tracey said...

Love the name, Keith, and the reasoning behind it. Will you be bringing Ms. Turner to RTW with you in May so we can meet her?