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Corona goes French…

20 Jun

Tonight I decided to switch up Corona’s bit. Since he arrived, I’ve ridden him in a single jointed eggbutt snaffle. Tonight I switched him to a loose ring french link. My reasoning for switching was threefold:

1. If I were a horse with a bit in my mouth, I think I would appreciate a double jointed bit;

2. I’m hoping that having something that moves a bit more in his mouth will assist him in relaxing;

3. I’ve been wanting to switch for about a month now but wanted to see what the Boss thought, as I’m no bit expert. Then, the other day she suggested it after we were discussing Corona’s tendencies to “fiddle” with things while being ridden.

Tryout 1 went really well, he felt super soft and light in my hands and was much quieter than normal. I’m anxious to give it a few more goes before I determine whether it was coincidence or not….

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A shining moment of accomplishment

23 May

I am a gushing horse-mama, I am so proud of Corona!!

I went to the barn last night after work. By the time I arrived, the horses had been turned out for the night. I walked over to the field where Corona and Roller get turned out and they were both at the opposite end grazing to their heart’s content. I whistled at the gate and they both looked up and ignored me, the delicious grass was clearly more appealing than I was. I started to open the gate to go into the field and at that moment Corona decided to abandon his grass-guzzling frenzy and he cantered over to me! I’ve never had him canter over to me – ever. There have been a couple times when he’s mooched over or trotted over, but last night he came over so eagerly that it really was something else to behold.

I brought him into his stall and put on his rope halter as we were going to do some groundwork a) because I love groundwork, b) because he was caked in wet mud and there was defintely not going to be any riding going on and c) to switch things up after our focus on preparing for the dressage tests of last weekend.

We went into the coverall and started with some friendly game, followed by the porcupine and driving games, then the yo-yo and then circling. I was getting some really nice responses but I definitely have to do some DVD-review to up our games. For the first time, I also introduced the sideways game and I was completely shocked at how quickly Corona seemed to get it. We played around the mounting block as well, as I’d like to start working on mounting from both sides. There is some definitely hesitation from Corona to have someone standing on the mounting block on his right side. Right now, he won’t stand square and tends to walk forwards or move his hindquarters over. After a few attempts however, I was able to stand on the mounting block and lean on his back from the right side.

Over the last few months, I’ve been putting Corona on x-ties in the barn when I’ve been working around him (previously I’d work on him in his stall but that stopped when he began being aggressive). He’s pretty well behaved on x-ties, but he has this habit of tossing his head up and down – it’s like a nervous tick and he’s done it since he arrived. The previous owner told us about it and said how they tried a variety of things to try to get him to stop, but were unsuccessful. I’ve never liked that he’s done it, because I know that he does it out of stress, but I have noticed that he has improved a bit since first arriving, and he tends to do it less after being worked. To be honest, I somewhat just accepted that it’s one of his quirks and hoped that with time, he’s just do it less and less until it stopped. Over the last few weeks, when I’ve been finished with him on the x-ties, I’ve been unclipping him and asking him to stand still for a few minutes at a time before turning him out. He’s done quite well and has responded to my corrections (ie: backing him up using the porcupine game when he walks forward).

Last night, I decided that I wasn’t going to put him on x-ties at all. I was going to take this “standing still” game up a notch and do it while I brushed him. This horse blew my mind. He stood like a gentleman the entire time and I hardly had to correct him at all. I couldn’t believe it. At first, I held the rope, but he was doing so well that I lay the rope over his back. I brushed him and brushed him and brushed him…then I picked out all of his feet and he didn’t move an inch! To say I was elated would be an understatement, I couldn’t believe how polite he was being….and…there was NO head tossing. None. Not even a shake! He was so relaxed…yawning, resting a hind leg, he was really just happily standing while I worked around him. Even when I fiddling with equipment beside him and not touching him, he was totally complacent. I gave him some carrots – no problem, no pushiness, no rude head butts, just standing still, happily embracing whatever I was doing.

I love this horse. A lot.

I took photos too…and have been staring at them with pride ever since!

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5 rides, 4 days!

2 Apr

The Easter Bunny came and delivered lots of horse-time this past weekend!

Friday:

I went out to the Boss’ only to find the Trainer there! I thought he was going to be gone…apparently not. He’s on his way out however, and that makes me happy. He wasn’t there any other day so I can’t really complain.

I continued with my groundwork on Corona and he was great. Like last time, there was no spooking at my stick & string and we seem to be learning the cues for hindquarter and forehand yields slowly but surely. His backing up is really improving and I even got to use it in a real-life uncontrolled scenario! Flash-forward to CG and I putting the horses out after our ride…I put Corona out first with Roller and CG was bringing out one of the racehorses. Rip charged through the gate (naughty!) but CG still had the lead on him, at the same time, Roller and Corona trotted up to him and chaos was about to ensue and the teeth were barred, butts were turning, and poor CG was not in a good place. I was standing at the gate and I yelled, “CORONA! BACK UP!!” and he actually listened to me! He backed up a couple of steps and didn’t lunge at Rip, I was so proud of him and this gave me warm fuzzies that our training is paying off.

Flash back to our ride – Corona was FRESH! All the horses have the springtime sillies right now. That, combined with the melting ice/snow that cracks under their feet on the track, makes for a bit of an uppity ride. CG was working with Grace, who was also super peppy, but since I had done groundwork with Corona first, she was almost done her ride by the time Corona and I started ours. Corona was good, we didn’t do too much due to the footing, but I have no complaints.

After the Boss’s, I headed over to TB’s to have another go on Amber. I’m pleased to report that I didn’t feel the need to apologize to the poor girl afterwards! Our ride was great – it started off a bit rough, but I worked on flexion and keeping her focussed on figures just at the walk, and then only when we were getting in tune with each other did I ask her for a trot. I was also fortunate enough to ride with a girl who leases TB’s fancy dressage show horse – he was second level champion and third level reserve champion this past season, so my jaw was on the floor as I watched him work. It was really inspiring to say the least. I was really chuffed afterwards as well as TB came to see us when we were done and Laura (the rider of fancy show horse) said that Amber and I looked fantastic out there. YES!!!!!!!!

Saturday

It was a horse-less day, went out of town to my bf’s family for Easter dinner…we did see lots of horses on our drive, but I have nothing to report about them…

Sunday

Started out the day at the Boss’ with CG. Continued groundwork with Corona and he was quite good considering the wind was howling and the horses in the paddocks were running around like maniacs. I managed to get some really nice hindquarter yields which made me very happy. I’m going to be focussing on the hindquarter yields as they are key to moving on to the exercises I have in store next J

After the groundwork, I tacked him up and we joined CG and Roller on the track. I focussed on getting Corona to pay attention to me at all times and we did lots of leg yielding, turns on the forehand, turns on the hindquarters, and shoulder-in. The footing was horrid – the snow and ice was melting, but it was just falling apart in chunks and literally collapsing from under us. I was so proud of Corona however, as a couple of times he as was walking about a foot from the edge of the “iceberg” and it just slumped down under him…the look on his face was priceless, he stopped dead in his tracks and just looked at his feet to see what the heck had just happened. No spooking! By this time, there were also quite a few puddles around, so I used them to my advantage and asked him to walk through them (he has been known to be finicky about water in the past), no problem!

I did a bit of trotting but the problem with the spring sillies is that it is contagious – when one horse has it, they all have it! We asked the horses to trot, Roller decided to canter, Corona subsequently thought he was a racehorse and that was the end of Zen-Horse. I settled him down and decided to go the opposite way of CG. Temper tantrum ensued with Corona squealing like a pig and launching himself in the air. Of course this was also the exact moment the Boss and her friend began watching us. Perfect. I managed to get a nice walk out of Corona and once he relaxed again, we called it a day.

After the Boss’s, I went to TB’s for a ride on Quinn. As always, he was a dream. He stood like a rock for me to get on and then once I was on, he began his moonwalk. I did a few corrections and once he stood still for a few seconds, I asked him to go forward. We had a great ride and worked on our canter. He is good at picking up his left lead, but won’t pick up his right. TB came in at the end of our lesson and got me to do an exercise where we pick up the left lead canter, canter the long diagonal, and then right before turning the corner, we trot and ask for the right lead. I still couldn’t get the lead, but this will be a good exercise to practice. On a very positive note, TB did comment about how my hands look much better and clearly I have been practicing!

Monday

I went out to the Boss’s again for some Corona time. The weather was horrible!!! The temperature had dropped to about -3 degrees and the wind was howling. There was debris flying around and even on the drive in, I could feel the wind blowing my car around. CG was there and we were going to ride, but then she had to leave early. I debated whether to ride, do groundwork or just have a spa day with Corona (he has the springtime muddies along with the springtime sillies)…I decided to ride because I wanted to see how calm Corona was in the bad weather with no other horses around. I’m glad I did, because he was great! There were a couple of spooks at a plastic feed bag blowing around, and a flock of crows, but otherwise he was pretty good. We did a bit of trot up the long side of the track where the footing was reasonable, and continued plodding through puddles which now covered one entire short side of the track. We were only out for about 30 mins, but I was frozen…my eyes were teary from the wind and it just wasn’t pleasant.

After our ride, I gave Corona a good grooming and he really seemed to love it. He was covered head to tail in mud, except for the parts his rain sheet covers. Before our ride, I had just brushed off the dry parts which luckily were where his girth lies. By the time we had ridden, most the mud was dry and Corona seemed to enjoy the pampering.

I’m pleased to report that there was no aggression on any of the 3 days…not for tacking up, not for untacking, not for brushing, not for anything! I wish every weekend could be four days long…only 4 days until the next one!

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Amber – the horse that will teach you softness

28 Mar

Last night, I headed out to TB’s after work for a riding double header. In addition to riding Quinn, I also tried out a former off-the-track-TB mare called Amber. The story on Amber is that she was retired from the track and purchased by a very novice rider who subsequently found her more than he could handle. TB got her because a friend of a friend of a friend (etc.) was told that this guy had had enough and was shipping her for meat that week. TB picked her and her buddy up that afternoon. I’m not sure how long the former owner had Amber for, but apparently it was a sufficient amount of time for him to completely ruin her mouth and make her extremely worried/nervous during riding. She is a very sensitive soul and is going to be a horse that will teach me (and any others who ride her) quite a bit about riding and softness.

Her ground manners are impeccable, and based on her behaviour when I tacked her up, I was shocked at the different horse she became when I got on. I felt quite relaxed about the whole process, especially because TB was going to give me a lesson, but I realized that Amber did not feel quite so at ease with me. She was pooping up a storm, probably went about 4 times in an hour, she was clearly nervous about this new person sitting on her back and asking that she do things. I felt bad for her that I was taking her out of her comfort zone, so I tried to be as quiet as possible and gave her lots of praise and scratches which she seemed to appreciate. TB explained that this mare will make me understand what it truly means to have soft “requesting” hands. I thought I knew what this meant, but this mare has confirmed that I have some work to do. I need to focus more on keeping my outside rein consistent and giving the horse something to move into, while at the same time massaging with my inside rein and releasing when I get flexion. These are not new concepts to me, but schooling these concepts on these rescue horses is quite different than schooling them on Corona. With A LOT of coaching and demos from TB, I was getting somewhere by the end of the session and I got some really nice long-and-low and relaxation. The other teaching method of this mare is that she is extremely sensitive to the leg…not that she will take off on you, but she kicks if you use too much! I didn’t think I used too much leg, but I think the trick here is that this horse needs more seat and rein aids, as opposed to leg aids at the moment. It reinforces the need for me to secure my leg position as I mentioned in my blog about my first lesson with TB. I really enjoyed riding Amber and am pretty darn excited to continue to work with her. I apologized profusely to Amber at the end of our lesson in hopes that I hadn’t worsened her issues, but she seemed ok with me J Also, TB got on her for 5 mins to demonstrate some things to me which was incredibly helpful. I also was grateful that Amber’s session ended on a really good note as TB is an excellent rider and clearly Amber appreciated it.

Next up was The Mighty Quinn (which I have learned is now his full name; I like it but I was gunning for Quinnie McWhinnie as I think it suits him although perhaps doesn’t exude the same tone as “mighty”). I continued where I had left off on the weekend, with lots of practice at standing still for more than 5 seconds at a time. Mounting was even better than our previous session, instead of doing 10 steps of moonwalk, there were only about 2! On the negative side, he refused to stand at the mounting block for more than 10 seconds once I was on. Onwards and upwards however; I took the 10 seconds a couple of times and then asked him to move forward on my terms. I practiced what I had just learned on Amber and Quinn seemed to respond really well to it as well. He isn’t as sensitive as Amber so was definitely more forgiving. I’ve noticed a bit difference since our first ride together, I’m sure a lot of it has to do with the fact that we are both getting used to each other, but things are definitely moving in a positive direction. I wish I could afford more than one horse, whoever eventually gets this guy is going to be really fortunate.

With the long Easter weekend starting tomorrow, I’m looking forward to the 4 days of horsey times ahead. I’m excited to see Corona and continue on our “Road to Respect” and I’m planning on getting in a ride on each of Amber and Quinn as well. I’m keeping my fingers crossed that things are drama-free as it would be wonderful to just relax and enjoy the journey(s)!

Confidence and determination

27 Mar

I wish there were more non-work hours in the day that I could devote to horsey items such as riding and staying up-to-date on this blog! I guess I will continue to hope for a big lottery win, but given that I don’t play the lotto, my chances aren’t looking too good…

I’ve been out to TB’s twice since my last post – once last Wednesday evening, and then again on Saturday afternoon. What can I say, other than I absolutely adore Quinn. He’s such a nice horse, incredibly calm and level headed and a quick learner too. He’s not the most patient boy, but he’s only a baby so I’m keeping that in mind as we work on patience. Throughout the whole process, I’m trying to keep in mind the big picture – that the goal for this boy is to find a forever home. This is very important so that a) I don’t get too attached and b) so that I can focus on things that will help him get a great home. First impressions are extremely important to potential buyers, especially when the market is flooded with good horses. As a result, I’m really paying attention to ground manners and teaching them consistently as part of our lesson time. Quinn is pretty good on the x-ties, he fidgets a bit, and paws, so I’m trying to stop that. He’s also a bit fussy about his ears, which has repercussions for bridling, so we will continue to work on that too. He also is not a fan of standing still for mounting. It’s been a bit of a dance trying to balance teaching him to stand while I get on. We have made improvements though – on Saturday he stood still until I was in the saddle, then he decided to moonwalk backwards which tipped me onto his neck. I caught my balance quickly and then we stood still for about a minute so he received a lot of praise for that. Riding-wise, we are getting the hang of each other. Our ride on Saturday was excellent. He moved off my leg incredibly well and was feeling pretty light in my hands. I was doing a lot of transitions and various figures and also practiced straightness using the quarter lines. All-in-all, I’m really enjoying working with him. I’m going out to work with him again tonight and possibly do a double header with a TB mare named Amber! I got an email from TB yesterday saying that there’s a potential buyer for Amber and that she could use a few sessions with a strong rider – quite flattering!

On the Corona front, I had a PHENOMENAL time with him on Saturday. We started off with some groundwork, where I really focussed on establishing my own personal space and asking him to stay out of it. The whole “I want him put down” incident with the Boss has given me a new and more confident/determined attitude with him. Whether good or bad, I see it as my mission to prove to everyone around how great this horse can be. Whether it’s a fluke or not, who knows, but since I’ve had this confidence with him, things have changed for the better. I basically will not take his crap – any of it. Ever. Why? Because if I do, I am risking his life. Period. I’m not willing to put his life on the line so I need to be the best that I can be at all times.

Usually when I work with my “savvy” stick and string, Corona tends to spook at the string anytime it’s dragged across the ground. Not on Saturday! Could this be a result of my confident attitude? Perhaps! Regardless, I was really happy and this has made me even more confident! Funny how that happens – confidence leads to good results, which leads to more confidence! We did lots of groundwork – leading, backing up, yielding the hindquarters and forehand, basically focussed on the Parelli games #1-3 and practiced yielding to various pressures while at the same time keeping out of my space. I ended the session with some trotting in hand and not getting in front of me when I would stop. I wish I had a video of this. This horse was stopping dead in his tracks without getting ahead of me. Amazing. I wished the Boss had seen it, but she was in the house at the time. I dream of the day when I show all the doubters what this horse can do, I can just imagine their jaws dropped on the floor and Corona and I riding bareback and bridle-less into the sunset (yes, I may be getting *slightly* ahead of myself)…

After our groundwork, I tacked him up and we went on a nice walk around the track. The wind was howling and there were snowdrifts everywhere. We didn’t last too long out there but we had a great couple of laps. Super relaxed, I was asking for flexion and yields and my furry friend was more than happy to oblige. There was no spooking, no acting up, it was just blissful.

I also wanted to ride because I had just bought Corona a new saddle pad – I thought we both needed a little pick-me-up to signal our new found determination. It’s red with white and navy trim and really suits him, picture is below. There was a sale at the local horse store which I took advantage of (saddle pad, two pairs of black bell boots, maple flavoured treats), and I had to go anyway to pick up some Quietex – side note: the Boss sent me a text last week telling me to get some for Corona. I will emphasize here that it wasn’t a request. Apparently his old owner used to use it on him and suggested it to the Boss when the Boss was no doubt informing her of the drama of her wanting to get rid of the horse the week before. I didn’t ask details, I just bought it because if that’s what it takes to keep the Boss happy for the time being, then so be it. I don’t know how I feel about using it – I personally don’t think he needs it, but am interested to see how it affects him.

On another note – I’m pretty sure the sh*t is about the hit the fan at the Boss’. CG told me that on Sunday, the Trainer told her that he was moving as of this Friday (i.e.: the day after tomorrow). None of us have heard anything from the Boss on the subject. The Trainer was supposed to be leaving in May, but this change in plans is just moving up the inevitable chaos that was going to ensue in May anyways. Not sure what the plan is for the racehorses (4), or the other boarders’ horses (3). I had thought that the Boss was going to have downsized to a manageable number (4 or 5) before the Trainer left because she wouldn’t have the daily help the way she does with the Trainer. With the sudden change in the Trainers’ plans, things haven’t exactly worked out the way they had planned. Also, apparently the Boss has decided that she might start up again with one of the racehorses (Bally) who was retired (for a number of reasons)…given that the Boss is not physically capable of taking up a horse, let alone hitching a jogger to it, this should be interesting. When will the madness end?!

I should have some interesting updates to provide this weekend…

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Back to the drawing board…

14 Mar

I had a great ride on Saturday, the sun was shining and I was actually too hot (and I wasn’t even wearing a jacket!). I was nearly blind for the first 20 minutes because of the reflection of the sun off the snow, but I’m not going to complain about sun after the last 5 months of grey skies! Corona was great for our ride, nice and calm and we did our first trotting intervals since his injury! He was sound, and happy and really relaxed, it was great. In terms of his recent aggression, it was still there, but still much better than it had been so I was pleased.

I was taking a training course at work this week and we were let out early yesterday so I thought I’d get out to the barn for an extra ride. Caught Corona, he came to me willingly at the gate and with the good stall behaviour back the last few times, I thought I’d brush him in his stall. This turned out to be a bad idea. I started with picking out his feet and he was happy enough for the first foot, and then as soon as I stepped back to do his hind, he pinned his ears and moved back so that his butt was right up against the wall, leaving no room for me to pick up his foot. Nothing I did changed this, he just kept his ears pinned, tossed his head around and swished his tail at me. That was the end of the me in the stall. I decided to experiment and I put him in another stall. He seemed fine at first, I was able to pick out all of his hooves and then the ear-pinning started up again so I decided cross-ties would be the safest option.

I gave him a really good grooming with the curry comb and he seemed to love it, I found a bunch of itchy spots and focussed on those and he was like butter in my hands. This was great! Then I got the dandy brush out and it was like someone flipped a switch and the horse-from-hell came back! I couldn’t even rest my hand on him without him pinning his ears and tossing his head around. Off and on, something would catch his attention out the door and he’d prick his ears forward and be his normal self again, only to turn back into the devil a second later.

I tried bribing him for lack of a better word – basically giving him small treats in those short moments when he was non-threatening, but he kept reverting back to the anger. I tacked him up on the x-ties and he was fine. Rode him and he was fine.

After my ride, I tried the stall again and he was good until the tack was off and then out came devil-horse again, including turning his bum toward me. So back on x-ties we went and he was relatively good (compared to the first grooming).

Throughout my ride I was thinking about his behaviour in the context of the eventual move to CG’s barn (likely in the fall) and the fact that this would literally be my horse. The shadows of doubt reared their ugly heads and I began to wonder if perhaps Corona was indeed too much horse for me. I never want to get to the point where I’m scared to be around him, but I can see this happening in the future if things continue down this path. At the same time, I know that if I didn’t take this horse, that his future with the Boss would be uncertain (mainly due to her hatred for this horse and the fact that she sends horses to the meat man rather freely). There is no way I want this fate for any horse.

When I was brushing him after our ride and was talking to the Boss, I said, “you know, this horse is making it really hard for me to like him right now!” and proceeded to explain what happened during our grooming session. She didn’t really know what to advise because nothing happened that should have triggered this behaviour. She then proceeded to tell me that if I decided that I didn’t like the horse anymore, that she would get me a different one to work with and she’d have Corona put down because she wouldn’t want to just pass along the problem. On one hand, I was shocked, but not for the reason you’re probably thinking…I was shocked that she said she would put him down rather than send him to the meat man. Regardless, this isn’t something I want to even consider. I was hoping she would say that if I thought he was too much for me, that she’d find him a new home. Guess not.

I spent last night googling “aggressive horses” and watching Parelli videos in hopes of coming up with a plan. I’m still optimistic that we can reverse this behaviour, but I’m extremely disheartened at the entire situation.

I have an arrow for that!

7 Mar

As I’ve mentioned previously, over the last few weeks, Corona has begun to pin his ears whenever I bring him into his stall to groom him. Initially I had thought he was sore because the first time it happened I found a fresh bite mark on his neck, so thought maybe he had been involved in a paddock scuffle. However, the next weekend, the exact same thing happened, he would pin his ears whenever I’d touch him (with a brush, with my hand). Due to the weather, last week just happened to be the first week that I was able to ride him. I was a bit hesitant to put a saddle on him because I wasn’t certain if he was sore or not. I decided to do some experimenting to see what his reactions would be so I took him out of the stall (safety first!) and put on cross-ties. I did up the girth loosely (expecting that he would have a reaction if he was sore) and he didn’t flinch. I finished tacking him up and then we had a great ride with no issues.

This past Saturday I went out to the barn and his aggression in the stall increased from the previous 2 weeks. The stinker lifted a hind leg at me and half kicked out in slow-motion, and at one point he turned towards me to bite me. He would also turn away from me (and block me) when I went to go in front of him to get to his other side. Once again, I put him on the cross-ties to tack him up and then he was perfect for our ride.

At this point, I was fairly certain he wasn’t in any physical pain, mainly because the ear pinning came and went and he didn’t care at all when I rode him. The bugger was just being dominant. I shouldn’t say, “just” being dominant…it’s not a minor issue when a 1,200-pound animal decides to boss you around!

At home on Saturday, I proceeded to Google this behaviour and what could be done about it. I also asked for some advice from fellow Haynetters (thanks Lorraine and Elaine!).

On Sunday, I had a breakthrough. The more I thought about it after Saturday, the more I drew a similarity between what was happening in the stall, and what Corona does in the field. He is out with two other geldings and Corona is definitely the dominant one, or at least tries to be – the other two fight back occasionally, but for the most part it is him who is #1. There is a round bale in the field, and Corona clearly thinks he is the boss of the hay; he drives the others away from it and then will eventually let them come and eat. When I bring Corona into his stall, there’s normally hay in there because we’ve just mucked out and prepared the stalls for the night. This made me think back to the previous day and how he would block me from getting between him and his hay. I decided that I would take the hay out of his stall just to see what happened. Surprisingly, he was 95% better just with that. I actually groomed him in his stall, and he just watched the comings and goings in the barn, no ear pinning, no teeth, and there were no threatening leg lifts!

I put him on cross-ties to tack him up and there was some ear pinning and head tossing when I put his saddle pad on. Instead of moving away, I stood my ground beside him, talked to him and went out of my way to look relaxed. After about a minute, he stopped his head tossing, ears went forward, head went down and the lovely boy started yawning and chewing. I rewarded that and then put the saddle on and he didn’t even flinch. I felt like I channeled my inner Pat Parelli at this point and was pretty darn proud of myself. We proceeded to have a lovely ride through the snowdrifts with CG and Gracie.

After our walk, I had to sweat his leg (we’re still sweating his knee to try and get the last of the swelling), so I put him on cross ties and groomed him again. He began pawing quite intently. This isn’t a new behaviour, he doesn’t do it all the time, but it seems to be when he is frustrated or fed up with being on cross-ties. Regardless, each time he did it, I asked him to move over. It continued off and on so then I decided that if he wanted to paw, I’d just pick up his foot and hold it. This seemed to work well enough that eventually he stopped (it did take about 10 times of me holding his foot), but whatever works!

I also tried to reinforce the good behaviour on cross-ties with treats. We’ve been working on groundwork so I thought we could practice on the cross-ties and use it to my advantage. I would walk about 10 ft. in front of Corona, and ask him to “back up”, when he did, I’d give him a treat. Clearly the ears were forward at all times when this was happening.

I’m excited to see what this weekend brings, regardless, I’ll have my bag of arrows on and ready!

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