Extreme Mustang Makeover 6/24/07
Friday, June 22nd, 2007
Amigo has learned a lot of new things in the past two weeks. Among them are the fact that humans are not the enemy, giving to pressure earns rewards, enclosed barns are not necessarily the devil in disguise, and that playing with Ted can be a lot of fun. The rain is still not cooperating with the training process, but Ted and I both came to the revelation that just maybe the weather we feel we are fighting is actually a blessing in disguise. It has forced Ted to find new and different approaches to the training process and go slowly with Amigo, in the process perhaps making even greater strides than he might otherwise.
Amigo is leading and giving to pressure reliably enough to be trusted in the open yard for almost all exercises. Ted is still using the round pen for off lead lessons, but there we are still contending with the mud.
Picking up the feet with minimal effort is an important skill for any horse. For a wild horse, it is akin to giving up his freedom all over again. Taking away his flight mechanism can be a fearful event for a mustang. Ted teaches Amigo that giving the foot is not a frightful experience and that he can have it back. Each pick up is a little longer than the last and it was fun to watch Amigo begin to anticipate the request and actually hand his foot to Ted!
Other work on Friday included reinforcement of previous training in crossing the bridge, tarps, sacking out and other tasks. The other new element was Ted being able to lay his weight across Amigos back.
Saturday June 23rd, 2007
We awoke to pouring rain
Saturday, and thought that we would lose yet another day of
training, but after a few hours the rain abated and the yard at least dried out
enough for a little work. Today included a little more intense sacking out, crossing
obstacles, picking up feet and just repetition and refinement of previous
One of the things Ted likes to teach all our horses is to put their head down on cue. It's a "calm down" technique and just all round useful skill. Amigo has finally mastered this one completely!