I have had William a little over 2 months now. We had a set back in our work as William cut his foot pretty bad about a month ago and it is still healing. It worked out since I have stopped riding him for the meantime and am focusing on ground work. I have been absolutely swamped at work and stressed with the holidays so he has been getting more time off than I would like. That good thing is his foot is healing, and he is getting a lot of daily handling and grooming which is helping to relax him I think. He is also still so young and we are in no rush so I am not worried about him not doing a whole lot.
He had his feet done yesterday and they are looking better with each trim. He is a pretty healthy boy now and seems to really enjoy the attention of grooming and hugs. As you can judge from the pictures, he needs the grooming often, too. He is very patient on the cross ties and will stand quietly as long as necessary. He is really great while I clean and change his leg bandage also. I think the daily routine is helping him adjust to the world of being a (future) "show horse".
I'm still using the western saddle and have been taking it on and off more times than I care to remember. The good news is that he has been excellent when saddling the last few weeks and has not been doing his "scooty butt" attempt to buck thing at all. He has been walking away quietly and looking at me for commands.
|I use the towel for desensitization..|
I also noticed that when a time comes when he may have run off bucking in the past, he now halts himself and waits for me to tell him what to do next. This is a really good step for him and a promising result. He is learning to trust me, and look to me when he is afraid instead of running off like an idiot. This is the one thing you want to teach a nervous or spooky horse. It's ok to be afraid, but it's how they manage their fear that matters.
I also started doing some ground driving with him and he seems to be really enjoying it. At first he was a little apprehensive with the ropes touching his side, and me behind his bum, but I actually think he enjoys it now. He walks along happily, changes direction, circles, and moves over from pressure. I think this is another good exercise to desensitize him more before I get back on him.
The plan is to do a little more ground driving with him. I think I will try ponying him around a little bit with Archie and then once we have done a bit of that I am going to tackle the mounting and unmounting until he is bored to death, and shows no signs of tensing. Since I have a few weeks off coming up that should give me plenty of time to work with him more. I have a very short video of a bit of our ground work;
Until next time! xx