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Saturday, July 9, 2011

Working With horses

This week I rode Razz on Monday and Bailey on Tuesday, then thats where it ended in riding.  I sure would like to ride more, but Wednesday I worked with Jamaica a little bit and it was the BBQ and it was also hot, about 30.  And Thursday was even worse with temp of 33 with no wind and it never cooled down till it got dark out.  So yesterday it was only about 25, so it was time for Jamaica again.  He is learning me to be more patient.  I hope he is learning something for himself as well, and I think he is.  He is fine all quiet and calm out there and even when I go in the pen hes fine until I go to reach for the lead rope he thinks he needs to run away, so I have been roundpenning him (in a squarish pen) and he is really good at facing me and turning to change direction.  I am impatient and think I only need a few minutes and he will stand, but he reminds me everyday he has to work hard to get his brain in gear.  I sure wish I'd done this last fall when he was smaller and younger and I probly had more patience cause he was younger and smaller.

I eventually get him to where I can just walk up and scratch him, but he is not relaxed about it even if I do it a million times.  I am unsure about how to fix this, but I will keep trying.  Yesterday I had tied him up which he is fine with untill I walk up to him again then he gets all tense.  So I did it about 50 times and he eventually  just stood there while I walked up and scratched his withers.

I keep looking for signs of relazation which I am always told are licking the lips, lowering the head or cocking a hind leg.  And I believe the licking of lips and lowering head, but since I got Razz, I am not sure I believe the cocking of a hind leg means relaxing.  Razz would stand there all bug eyed at something and haave leg cocked.  She looked relaxed if you didn't look at her head.  I thought she was just weird, but then I seen Jamaica do the same thing and there is no way this is a relaxed pose.

So I guess I just need to go out there more and just scratch him (which he doesent care for) and get him used to me being around all the time.  But not today cause I am helping my friend move today.  I also kinda wish he was more like Jazz, she had a big reaction when people came around to do something with her (rearing up and big eyes and blowing) but she settled and was calm and quiet about a minute after you got in the pen with her and then shes always okay when I touched her.  It was really amazing how much different they are.


fernvalley01 said...

Since you are using a squarish pen , maybe try , working him and giving him a "safe space to rest" if he faces up , give him a break, then forget about the lead and work your way to him in his pocket (safe space ) if he stands well, reward and back off ,if he pushes out , push him till he settles back in his pocket and stands quietly .I can see whay I am trying to say in my head , but don't know if it translates . I find babies(yearlings or less) respond well to this , pressure relaes idea nad the "safe pocket " it is a place for them to pay attention to you without feeling too pressured

fernvalley01 said...

I would try to video this and show you with Dnady , but unfortunatley his "safe place" is my pocket lol!

Country Gal said...

I dont live with horses but was raised with them and worked with them when I was younger and road them but we always knew what you called cocking his leg as resting one side, relaxing it, kind of like humans drop one hip when we stand ! As for the approach maybe he is picking something up off of you that you dont realise, maybe your body language on the approach unnerves him ! Just a sugestion ! Hope he gets better with the approach for you ! Have a great day !