Extreme Mustang Makeover 7/25/07
It has been a while since I updated the website. Amigo and Ted have been hard at work, but as I always say, so much of training is about as exciting as watching paint dry. Some additional accomplishments that have been made in the past week include Amigo being able to load himself on the trailer - more about that later - sending him over obstacles, and lots of refining of his basic skills on the ground and under saddle.
Friday, July 20, 2007
Had a visit yesterday and today from a delightful couple from North Carolina. Ttodd posts on our bulletin board and she and her husband were on a road trip through the area, so stopped in for a visit and to meet Amigo. We had a great visit and made new friends. It was pretty much an ordinary training session for Amigo, a little ground work, saddling and a ride. He was a bit full of himself at first, but settled down and worked like the trooper he is.
The session started out with more review of all lessons learned so far. In addition to reviewing, the lessons are becoming more refined and Ted is asking more precision of Amigo in completing the tasks.
Saddling and bridling are becoming very routine for Amigo, and he stands well for the process. We have tried a couple of different bits, but so far his favorite seems to be a D-ring copper snaffle. He still likes to mouth and chew the bit from time to time, but he's always been a very oral horse - loves to play with things in his mouth. Eventually he will get used to the feel and stop paying it any mind at all. We are thinking about trying a sidepull on him for teaching new tasks, to take his mind off the feel of a bit while trying to learn something new.
Monday, July 23rd, 2007
Amigo continues his progress. Nothing really new this evening, just lots and lots of basics. One thing about this mustang, he learns amazingly fast, and once he's learned something, he doesn't feel like repetition is a very good thing, he'd much rather go on to something new, thank you very much! But he's learning that sometimes he simply has to do what is asked of him, whether he sees the value in it or not. In this picture he has a thicker rubber snaffle that we tried. He let us know that he was not as fond of this bit as the copper one. Nothing bad or ugly, just not as soft and giving, so it was back to the copper snaffle. You have to listen to your horse and see what he has to say about the tack in order to get a truly willing partner.
Tuesday, July 24th, 2007
Tonight was a wonderful session. Ted and Amigo have been working on Amigo loading in the trailer unassisted. He had that down pretty well in a previous session, so tonight Ted tried a little different twist on it. You can see the results in the video link.
Something I have to add, it never takes more than a couple of minutes for Amigo to figure something out. This is the third time they have worked on trailer loading. The first time, Ted led Amigo into the trailer, he went in on the first attempt and has ever since. He loaded about 3-4 times that first evening at varying intervals with other work in between. The second session of trailer work was a few nights later, and it took about 5 minutes for Amigo to figure out that Ted was asking him to enter the trailer alone. After that he did it another 3-4 times and Ted called it a good lesson. Last night, he immediately entered the trailer when asked, and so Ted tried the approach you'll see in the video, and Amigo never even hesitated. I have nine domestic horses here that don't load that well (though I imagine they'll all probably be getting trailer loading lessons now!)
After the trailer loading, Amigo learned to cross the bridge by being sent across, rather than being led across. I'll upload video of that tonight when I have more time. Then he was saddled and they rode for 30 minutes or so. He just continues to amaze us all with his calm attitude and willing demeanor. I cannot say enough about this horse!