Monday, July 27, 2009


This morning, I decided to put off my office work and go outside to play horsey instead.

I have to separate the Rockies from Smokey to eat, since Smokes eats twice as much as they do and they tend to run him off.

Smokey gets fed in the roundpen and before I turn over his food, I've been giving him a task. It is amazing how motivated my RBI has become to jump barrels, show me his sideways, and even canter to me. ;-)

Anyway, while Smokey eats, I've been teaching the Rockies to come to pick me up at the fence at liberty. My friend's 4 year old Arab, Ivan, has been seen to *canter* to her and sidle up to a fence for her to mount (in exchange for a mint). It is very impressive and I confess my envy. So, we've been practicing this ourselves!

Today, I brought out my bareback pad and bridle with sweet-iron snaffle to tack Cody up for a ride. Cody looked pretty skeptically at the stuff, and Guinness was very interested, so I tacked him up instead - including the bridle (without reins). He took it all in stride.

Next, I hopped up on the fence with my alfalfa cube treats. Surprisingly, Guinness pushed past Cody to sidle up to the fence for me! Over several tries, I managed to put my knee over his back and also to swing my leg 3/4 over him, while keeping some of my weight on my other leg on the opposite side of the fence. I clicked him as we did this so that he would know that he was reacting correctly, and gave him periodic rewards. Wow!!!!

I think that wearing the bareback pad cushioned Guinness' back so that he wasn't disconcerted by my poking him a bit. (During previous bareback attempts, he seemed to think that I was being impolite.)

I also think that he has been watching me play this game with Cody and mulling it over. Plus, he has been seeing other horses being ridden much more. Nothing like a little rivalry for motivation.

My camera is still missing. I may have to write it off and go get another one so that I can document this stuff. :-[

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