28 October 2011

A Bag and 60' Rope

Yesterday I attached an empty plastic shavings bag to the end of my 60' rope. I placed the coils on the bridle rack next to the round pen and mounted Bellaria. We side passed over and I picked it up and rubbed and flopped the coils and bag all over her. She was content.

I asked her to walk and trot and repeated the process. (Remember! Standing still and accepting is much easier than moving and accepting. Also, I did all the plastic bag work with her on the ground before attempting any of this...)

Reins in one hand, I took my coils with the attached bag and threw them out in front of Bellaria's head. She watched them fly through the air with perked ears. When the rope and bag landed in a heap, she licked and waited to see what I would do next. I started coiling the rope up, dragging the bag toward her blind spot. That bag made an awful racket, but Bellaria stood confidently.

After a few throws and recoils, I set the bag off to her right, circled around it and then dragged it around the pen. I started with the bag far away and gradually shortened the distance until the bag was fluttering about next to her hind feet. I worked both directions and then had her turn and face it and I backed her while she watched it move toward her.

She never spooked. She is starting to trust me more as I do these "crazy things" to her.

Next, I took Ziggy out to the pasture with the same rope and bag, I had him drag it at walk, trot and canter. He's an old pro at this and knew exactly what I wanted. He circled the herd at a respectful distance and then closed the gap to see who would get upset. Bellaria knew from her morning session to continually face the bag. She followed it at walk and trot, her head low and curious. Showing that behavior, I stopped the Zigster and allowed Bellaria some time with the bag. She sniffed, pawed and chewed it while the other horses stood by in amazement - they wanted nothing to do with it. When I continued circling, she ignored it and went about her grazing. As the other horses continued to show concern, she just ignored them and continued eating.

We're making progress!

1 comment:

  1. Our 3 yr old filly(Fancy) has been at the trainer for almost a week now. We (my daughter and I) went out yesterday to see how she is progressing and we were amazed and how much she has learned in just a few days of work. We watched as the trainer worked with her on the ground and then rode her for only the third time. I guess the ground work I have done with her has paid off. She still has a way to go but she was doing everything asked of her. He was even able to open a gate and go through it with her with out a problem. I was really amazed. She will stay ther for at least 3 more weeks.