Saturday, August 15, 2009
Guess what? Today, with my friend Sierra's help, Guinness took his first steps while mounted!
We started out by tacking him up with a bareback pad and then taking turns playing with him on the 22' line and at liberty in the roundpen. (Even after years of fooling with the 22' line, I still struggle with managing it and do much better at liberty!)
After that, we asked him to show us his "saddle up" trick (see the video on my last blog post). He did this happily, even though it was in a different place and with our new mounting block. (Thank you to my "horse girls" for sponsoring it for us!)
Next, Sierra leaned over him while I held him on a loose 12' lead. He oinked a bit, so I sent him off and asked him to do a few hard things like moving his shoulder, backing, and hiding his hiney. Then I brought him back and she swung her leg over just as I have been doing. He was totally fine with it.
Then, I beckoned him forward while Sierra balanced on his back without gripping with her legs. He was tentative at first, but I clicked him and gave him treats and soon he was very enthusiastic. :-) I used words like "walk" and "whoa" to reinforce what he already knows how to do.
Sierra also asked him to bend his nose around to her knee on both sides, in exchange for a treat of course.
I was thinking of getting on him myself, but by this time it was hot and he was sweaty, so we decided to end on a high note.
I gave him a good rinse which he loved and then turned him out. I went with him and invited him to roll which he did 3 times with me clicking & treating each time. Hopefully, he will soon have a cue to lay down.
Thank you so much for your help, Sierra!