A year ago I kept a log (part of which was published in this blog) which includes my first efforts with Crusoe. This morning I found another entry to the log which I never published entitled “Horse Training: Crusoe, Day Five and Six” created on 26 June, 2012 @ 10:09″. The following unpublished post completed Crusoe’s training history for last year.
He receives the saddle nicely, although he is showing a little concern as I tighten the cinch, but he stands quietly enough for me to finish the job. He is allowing me to pick up his legs-both front and back. I put my weight on his back but didn’t throw my leg over. I don’t want to startle him by jumping from the ground. By standing on a log and then lying over the top of him I eliminate that little trauma. He smelled my legs and then my arms and turned in circles as if he was trying to figure out where I was.
On day six I didn’t use a log to jump from; I just jumped up and laid across him. I’m attempting to do this gradually so as to not leave any bad impressions. This method has worked before for me and seems to be working on him.
It all comes back to my memory as I read it. After this last recorded session my time became overwhelmed with other horses to train. I didn’t have time for my own trainees, or even blogging, until now.
Bringing our story up to date: when I brought him into the round pen on Friday he remembered our training from last year better than me. He responded very quickly (in fact, immediately) to the join up. He definitely finds security by being by me. He was worried about my touching his feet so I worked mostly on that. I hobbled him for a couple minutes because I’ve noticed from past experience that an introduction to hobbles often helps getting them used to having their feet handled. Everything worked just fine with very little stress.
I led him down our quarter-mile driveway. Meanwhile a neighbor was using his chainsaw in the woods, the dog was running alongside us, sometimes darting out of the woods sometimes upfront, and sometimes running up from behind, and there were people at the end of our driveway in the cemetery with flags. He showed anxiety at all this new action by snorting and taking in short tense breaths, his ears up facing the odd sounds. I jumped on bareback at the end of our driveway to ride back. I could feel his tension. He didn’t seem to be bothered by my new position but he didn’t want to move. I coaxed him to move by gently squeezing with my legs and pulling first left and then right on the bosal. Once going at a walk, he wanted to run every so often, not because he was bothered by my weight but from all the scary sounds. I managed to hold him to a walk by pulling on the bosal first on one side and then the other. I asked him to halt and move out several times on our ride. He was heavy on the bosal but nevertheless was able to stop.
This was our first trail ride. He responded very nicely.