Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Establishing the routine

Today was a lot less stressful. I thought about some of the "moments" we had yesterday, and worked around them today for maximum training effect.

1. Slide stall door open 4 inches
2. Reach arm into stall, clip rope on first halter ring available...
3. Insert "whapper stick" (2 feet of hard black plastic water pipe) and push back on chest.
4. Enter and close door behind you.
5. Snub tasmanian devil to post.

I swear, tying is the best thing I ever taught him.

6. Apply chain shank. Now, I've been handling horses for 31 years, and I taught myself a new trick today. I've always clipped the chain up on the ring behind their right eyeball. Well, if you pull the chain around under their jaw and snap it on the ring behind their left eyeball, you don't have to cross in front of them or fumble around blindly. Ta-Da! I've seen that done on horses at the track but it never ocurred to me the brilliance of it in this situation.
7. Slide door open.
8. Wait for composure to return.
9. Unsnub and lead away, taking that extra rope with you, so you can hold on while you remove the shank. I've learned to take the rope, the chain shank, and the whapper stick with us everywhere we go. You never know when you'll have to throw that rope around the nearest post! And yes, sometimes I start juggling and get tangled up...

Things were A LOT quieter today. Instead of rushing around screaming he was quiet, and took time to play and check things out. His brain is beginning to clear.... He walked instead of dashing around, and even stood still on occassion. Amazing. He was also trust worthy enough that I was able to step away from the gates for a minute without him trying to jump over. I thought again, what would we do without this indoor? This is the best money we ever invested in the horses. I can't imagine trying to turn him out in any other kind of fencing. No wonder people get horses hurt during weaning. Even using our "safe" plank fence paddock, how could we possible guard all that fence in case he decided to throw himself into it?

He even interacted with Hairy a little. Poor Hairy. He's still intimidated by this whirling dervish. In fact, before I took Ace back to his stall, I led him around a bit in the arena. As soon as I had him caught, Hairy came up to him, then followed us around like a puppy dog 2 feet behind. He figured he would take the opportunity to check the little guy out. When Ace returned to his stall, he did cry a little, but it was short. Peace and order are returning to our lives.

As for Copy, she is happily enjoying her time off. Today I put her on cross ties, groomed her a little, and tried my hunt seat saddle on her just to see if it would fit. Her head shot up, her ears cocked back and she shot me a look out of the corner of her eye which said.... "Don't even joke about that! That was NOT funny."

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