Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Tanka goes outside the fence

It is amazing how much satisfaction I get from learning with my new horse. Tanka is a wonderful fellow.
Tanka really does seem like he is unbalanced when I pick up his rear feet. I decided that for my safety, I would try using the lead rope on his back foot to pick up the foot and encourage him to hold it up longer. That way I am no wear near his foot when he leans over my way and puts his foot down. I encouraged him to pick his foot up "foot, foot" then held it up for a few seconds at a time. I also worked on making sure he is well positioned for balance. I think he did better by the end of our session yesterday. I need him to hold up his foot and not lean on me or towards me in any way.
We did a few little things in the round pen.
I took Tanka down the driveway and had him help me open the gate. We stood at the street as a car went by. He was curious about the different textures under his feet like asphalt, gravel, sand and hard packed playa. We went by a dark spot of mud and water but I didn't ask him to go through it.
I let him stop and look around several times. I took him on the quiet side street of sand and playa. I went about a quarter of a mile and then turned around. On the way back we stopped at the neighbor's house and let him sniff and touch some wood pallets and a swivel chair. He was very curious to see new things. I swiveled the chair and he touched it with his nose. Very cute.
Another car was coming but the horse did fine with the loud truck going by.
As we were going towards my gate, the neighbor dogs barked. He was just a bit startled so I turned him around and we went and looked at the dogs behind the fence from about 100 feet away. He was curious. Another dog started barking at another neighbor's house and he looked but, over all, he was very calm.
Back into the yard where he helped me close the gate and then a challenging walk through the side area that had him waiting for me to go out front on single tracks and then coming back to side by side.
Our first adventure into the real world went smoothly. I love working with Tanka. I know it doesn't seem like much but I feel like we are getting to know one another through our working together. Next time, the side road with the dogs!

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