Monday, December 13, 2010
Next step.... Leading
With decent weather and a day off from work, how could I not go out and play with my new filly, Oska. First we worked with getting brushed, she wanted to eat the brush but enjoyed the attention from it as well. Next we did more rubbing all over her head and neck with the halter, putting it on her nose and pulling it off. Then I fastened the buckle and went away to my shed to get my next tool. She isn't even bothered by the halter at all. I figured if she was left alone with it, she might rub on her leg or something, but she didn't at all. I returned with a long lunge line. I had been asking friends for advise and wondering what they did with their mustangs, and this is what I came up with from the different stories. I decided since Oska's current home is the Round Pen, I could use a lunge line to teach her to lead because if she was to get scared and run off, I could still hold an end of the rope and let her escape without any resistance. Plus I didn't want to have a lead rope jerked from my hands and then have her step on it, adding to the panic. I am a big fan of drag ropes though, but I just don't feel like she's ready for that lesson yet. Plus it's so icey out here that I don't want to initiate any crazy running, tripping sprees. Ok, so on with the lesson. I let her feel the tension on the lunge line, you could see the gears turning in her head. I then asked her to turn her head with pressure from the line. She turned, so I released. We tried the other side, she did it as well. Then I tried a downward pull (which can be very hard for most trained horses to succumb to). She gave just a little, so I released the pressure. I tried another, she gave a little and so that lesson was done. The lesson went on, I got out ahead of her and gave a little tug. I just wanted to see what she'd do with this pressure. She just planted her feet. So, I walked over to her side and gave another little pull. Pulling to the side will get them off balance and they have to move their feet. Please understand, I'm pulling very gently, this isn't a rodeo. When pulling to the side, she moved. So I released the pressure and let her rest. I then walked to her other side, did the same. She took a few steps. This went on for about a minute or two and soon I found her just walking right next to me. We walked a few laps around the Round Pen, stopped, did some petting. Then went back to walking around the round pen.
It was just that easy. I cannot believe it. I cannot wait to work with her more, but I know with young horses you do small, happy lessons and you'll get a better result.
I failed to mention. Oska and Classy got to meet finally. I first let them meet through the panels. There was a little nip from Oska, but Classy is the gentlest creature, so he did nothing. I decided that they'd be o.k. to be in the pen together loose and introduce themselves. There was lots of sniffing. Oska nipping Classy's nose and Classy licking her nose and her neck. She got really rude and put her nose up under Classy's tail. He clamped it down but he's an Arabian so it naturally pops back up. So, she took that as another invitation. He then picked up a hind leg to warn her. She moved but then went back at it, he picked his leg up again and shook it. Still didn't faze her. It went on like this until she found something else interesting to inspect. And if your wondering, Classy never kicked or made contact with the nosey little girl.