Ruby: Day 15 horse training walking quietly


vaquero bridle

Vaquero Bridle

Today in the round pen, when I walked toward her with the saddle, she ran away. I encouraged her to run by slapping the whip on the ground. I asked her to turn and go the other direction often. She finally started to slow down and look at me when I asked her to change directions. I took a more passive stance and after a few moments, she took a few steps toward me and stood for the saddle.

I mounted in the round pen and asked her to walk. After a few steps, she started to trot. I stopped and turned her by pulling the mecate’ (vaquero reins) with my hand, holding the rein out from my body so that she could see it. I pulled as lightly as possible but forcefully, as I needed to turn her head until she turned around. We walked a few steps and started to trot. I repeated the same action. After several repeats, she quit trying to trot and walked steadily and calmly. I undid the round pen gate latch and open it from her back. Then we rode through the gate and closed it behind us.

We walked off on a loose rein but she quickly moved into a trot. I gently and forcefully pulled on one rein, pulling her head around, which caused her to stop and turn. She started to trot several times and every time I turned her in this way. I changed hands right and left. Eventually, she stopped trying to trot and we were able to walk steadily on a loose rein.

I asked her to trot, which she did willingly.  She did not try to go faster. I asked her to walk but now after trotting, she decided she wanted to trot again. I repeated the same maneuver a couple of times and she stopped trying to trot off on her own initiative. She was able to walk steadily and not push for a faster speed for the first time since she’s been here in these last two weeks.

Next time I ride her I will work the same strategy until she no longer breaks gait.

Today Ruby was the calmest she’s been since I started working with her on April 30 last month. Today I experienced real evidence that things will likely turn out well for her after all.

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