Tuesday, January 12, 2010
Curiosity - oil painting of foal baby horse
Today was Dandy's first time encounter with a saddle, and the experience went well. I had hung the saddle blanket and saddle on the fence at the round pen and turned her loose in it. She was wary at first, but approached it after a couple snorts. After she sniffed the blanket, I pulled it off the fence and offered to touch her with it. She spooked and I chased her around, waving the blanket. As soon as she looked in my direction, I took off the pressure, let her stop and approached her with the blanket. If she moved away, I kept her moving. On the third approach, she let me rub her with it and finally lay it on her and flip it all over her.
I did the same with the saddle - and it only took two times around the round pen before she was allowing me to flop it up on her back. At no time did I force her to accept the items - she was entirely halterless and was allowed to leave if she wanted to.
Finally I put both the blanket and the saddle on her back and reached under her belly for the cinch. I had been tightening a rope around her girth since she was a day old, so the tightened cinch was nothing new. Plus there was some fresh winter grass in the pen that she was much more interested in.
I flipped a rope at her asking her to move (see movie) and it wasn't until I got her into a slow lope that she finally got a little cinchy and offered a half-hearted buck. I knew that wouldn't be the only tantrum, so I encouraged more movement and did get a couple serious kicks - both at me and at the saddle. I suspect it was more because I wouldn't let her eat, though!
When I finally got a couple smooth lope transitions with no buck going both directions, I allowed her to rest and graze with the saddle on. After 30 minutes, I removed it - lesson over. It has been my experience that the SECOND lesson is the one to get on film - we'll see tomorrow!
And DON'T WORRY, MOM! I won't get on her for a couple more weeks - just kidding. Actually since she is still so small, I probably won't let anyone get on her before next fall - if then. But by that time, she will be ground broke. And if I can borrow a friend's kid, I may put them on her and lead her around.
God made the wild animals according to their kinds, the livestock according to their kinds, and all the creatures that move along the ground according to their kinds. And God saw that it was good.