Thursday, June 05, 2008

More Monster Lessons

Yesterday we finally worked on walking across the dreaded tarp. I've been meaning to do this little task for, oh, about a year. I finally found the moon and stars in a row and remembered to take a tarp out to the barn along with the other important tool, the handy lunge line.

First I put the bundled up tarp in the arena with her loose so she had the opportunity to smell and taste it. Don't you love it when they cock their head to get a good look at any monster lurking under the object? Then, just holding the end of the lunge line loosely I drug the tarp to the position in which to work. Since it was breezy I needed to find a few small rocks to weigh it down on the corners. With all systems 'go' we petted and relaxed and discussed what I had on my mind. I stood next to the tarp and sent her off on a little circle. She locked her brakes as soon as she realized there was no place to go other than over the monster. Stop and think. Then, back the other way. Screeching brakes again. Slowly and softly we did this several times before I got her head and neck across in the left direction. A few more slow semi-circles and she gritted her teeth and barely stepped on the demon. We stood and contemplated whether she might lose that hoof or not and then she walked directly onto the middle of it and took a mouthful to be sure it was dead. Her very best human friend, Larry, had walked up to the rail in the middle of all this torture so after she bit the beast a few times and then let out her long held breath we walked over to receive a treat from him. A brief recess then we went back to work a little more on the right side but she was much more cautious that way. Her Ying and Yang weren't in agreement that this monster should be trusted. We went back to Ying and finished on a high note. Another day we will deal with Yang.


Pony Girl said...

This is something I want to do with My Boy! This is one of the challenges we have on our guest ranch trip "games" in August, and it's something I want to practice. I keep telling my sister we need to drag a tarp up to the arena and we haven't yet. I watched Pat Parelli work with a horse over a tarp at his event last month. It was interesting and gave me some ideas, too.

Molly said...

I love the way Parelli gets stuff accomplished on the lunge line instead of leading a horse. With Bella, I could really see her thinking.
Your August trip sounds like so much fun!

Rising Rainbow said...

It's really funny how they can see things so differently from the other direction. And yet sometimes, once they get it one way, they are fine either way. Makes you wonder what goes on inside that head of theirs.

Trailboss said...

Seems like there is always something we need to work on with our horses. I got some good tips from Heidi the Hick the other day about my mare moving while being mounted. I haven't tried them yet because I suffer from hot flashes as well and I have had a tendency to stay in the A/C for a while now!