HORSE TRAINING: Splash, Day Nine

For those of you who haven’t been around horses much, this is Kiwi’s, “Better watch out, I’m angry!” face. Notice her ears are back, her neck and nose are stretched out.

After our sessions in the round pen, Splash pretends that he is a big stud when he greets Kiwi. This behavior is too familiar for Kiwi, who immediately has to reset the boundaries. I’m sure glad that we don’t behave like animals and have to work out our boundaries with this kind of crude violence.

You have probably seen the news of our heavy rains. Splash had two days off because of rain and one day off because of mud. The break is significant because the horse will digress a day or two after a break, mostly because they are fresh. ‘Fresh’ is a term a horse person gives to a horse’s attitude after a break from training, riding or working. They do not forget their training, but it appears like they do at the outset of a new session. There is a bit of wildness that appears after a break. So it was with Splash today.

He received the saddle, stood for a minute and then he bucked for a long time, very hard. After he worked the kinks out with his bucking, we resumed the training of giving to the bosal and the mecate’. In this he acted much the same as the first time we worked on it, that is, heavy but not belligerent or afraid. We also lounged on a rope line for the first time. Up to now we’ve always lounged in the pen without a rope connection.

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