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Sunday, July 17, 2011

Boy I'm glad I've done so much groundwork with Zeuss!

I've been pushing our comfort zone lately trying to get us both confident with trailriding again after a year or so of only going off the property every 3 months or so.I rode him in the arena .It was his first go with his new hoof boots on and he went great so I decided I'd take him out and see what he thought about the new metal gate the national parks have put across the firetrail behind us.I was expecting him to spook at it as although he doesn't worry about dumped rubbish ect he has a thing about white stumps at times and the gate is a silver colour. It didn't worry him at all he even started trying to eat it.
There is a narrow gap at the side where people and horseriders can get through.I considered riding him through but decided I'd take it cautiously and lead him through the first time. Lucky I did as it is so narrow the stirrups clanged on it .He panicked and rushed through and then when he got to the end of the reins spun around and reared.Bit scary only 6' away. I settled him down and then lead him back through it many times.Even though he was improving he kept rushing the last bit .
 I used to do a game with him where I'd squeeze him through some trees- it was so narrow his belly would  scrape and he'd have to cross his legs a bit on the entry. He used to like to sit in the middle and have a look around before he walked the last bit. I decided to get him to go one step at a time and get him so he could sit in the middle of the gate and be calm.We did it and he finished of calmly walking in and waiting and walking out.The whole affair prob took 15 mins.

The game we used to do.

Coming back across the paddock he got all uptight and I realised he was worried about the dressage whip.I think I have a bad habit of touching him with it when we go for right canter.We don't really need it trailriding as he is so responsive anyway. I spent the next 10mins riding waving it around and touching him with it so eventually he was calm enough to trot and let me do it.Bit scary at times as he wanted to take off and I had to turn him in circles.Boy is he teaching me horsemanship and how to ride ! Adam Sutton told me he would teach me a lot..I think if he lived with another horse he would settle down a bit as today each time we went towards where he knows there are other horses he sped up.
 Let me know if your getting sick of all this horsey stuff. I find it therapeutic to write it down..LOL's

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