|' Dusty modeling her grazing muzzle '|
|'Blue waiting for his dinner'|
I’ve been riding Blue and we seem to have come to an understanding. He will work for treats and so every time he does what I ask he gets a treat at the end of the exercise. Works for him and works for me. I’m not opposed to a little bribery once in a while to get what I want and he’s not above taking one.
We’ve decided to work on his steering—which is similar to a drunken sailor on shore leave—at the beginning of the lesson. While walking he just wants to meander all over the place on a loose rein and basically this zig-zag-weaving will lead us back to the gate with a look back that says, “okay, that’s it for the day, I’m done.” Once he’s given his opinion (and it’s rejected) we actually start working; when he tries to outsmart me and finds out it didn’t work to his advantage, he basically gives up with a huge sigh. We’ll work for a while, until he thinks he’s done enough. Blue will never fight but he does have his own tactical strategies: leaning on your hands, using his nose as a sand plow, slowing down etc. He’s got a lot of behaviors in his wily arsenal of evasions. I’ve got to hand it to him because a few weeks ago he had me looking pretty silly; I think he does this for his own amusement because he’s bored and way too smart for his own good and mine.
Now that we’ve come to know each other’s faults/weaknesses things are running a little more smoothly. Blue and I will keep plugging away and taking it slow for now. He’s out of shape, it’s hot and we’re not in a hurry to get anywhere fast. All good things come with time and patience.
Until next time
Quote for Today
The horse you get off is not the same as the horse you got on; it is your job as a rider to ensure that as often as possible the change is for the better.