Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Firming up with Tanka

It's Tanka time.
I have been wondering if I am being too much of a marshmallow and not enough of a firm hand. I think the trainer made it really obvious today. I need to firm up.
Honestly, having a trainer has its good points and its geez-you-make-me nervous points.
Sometimes, I find her words confusing but when I watched her in action today, I understood her actions well enough.
Tanka was really fresh today. Here's what made me nervous to begin with. Hubby and her were following and I was worried the horse would want to run over me as it is a bit tight through that area. Then, the trainer is like "Just walk with confidence."
She got right in the round pen with a lead rope on and told Tanka to walk and when he didn't walk, she tapped him on the shoulder. Tanka looked a bit wild but that didn't scare the trainer. She also backed him up, turned him. She said she was trying to get him a little worn out but mostly engaging his brain.
I had a lot of "scary objects" like plastic bags, white boxes, light colored pillow cases. I felt I needed to get over the whole I shy at stuff that Tanka does. I think things that are contrasting like white scare him the most. She was willing to help me on that.
She worked with him and once she got him walking nicely beside her and behaving, she started sending him by the "scary" stuff. By the end, he was standing by the stuff and going by all of it pretty good. He sniffed the hanging pillowcase. Then, she rubbed the pillow case on herself and then on him. He took it well.
Then, I got in there and I tried. When he wouldn't move out I tapped him on the shoulder and he moved! Having seen how that worked, it didn't seem quite as nerve wracking to me. I worked him on both sides in a circle near the scary stuff but I was firm when I needed to be firm. I had Tanka stop near the scary stuff.
The trainer asked if I could walk him out to the mailbox "I said "Sure, no problem."
Then I walked Tanka out to the mail box and the trainer said "Let's go to the telephone pole". Then we saw the pigs. She said just keep walking normally. Stop and let him look right there. Walk normally, stop there. We didn't walk up to the pigs but we did look at them from across the street. It went really smoothly. We did the pigs twice:) And then I walked him confidently to the mailbox and into the gate of our driveway:)
We let the horse hang out and then Hubby worked Tanka near the trailer. It was nice to see Tanka relaxing and I thought Hubby and I are now sort of on the same page with training.
This is where the trainer gets a little confusing, as an example "Always have the whip with you so you can have it to block if he comes up on top of you." Later, "You don't need the whip just use the rope." Okay, I'll figure out what is best for me as I go:)
I did learn a lot today from the trainer even if I did end up feeling a little nervous. She is so nice and encouraging. Watching her in action helped me learn.
Hubby says I am way less nervous when no one is there watching me. Hopefully, I will be able to do better with my nerves as I gain more experience. I know I am doing so much better driving Wiseguy now that I feel like I know what I am doing.
I let Tanka and Pony hang out together for the afternoon. Pony let me walk right up to him and put his halter on today.
Yesterday, Pony was so upset that Tanka had left him behind that Pony started rearing up and banging on the gate with his front hooves. I was working Tanka in the round pen where Pony could see us. Suddenly, I realized Pony had gotten the gate open somehow but he was still behind the gate. Of course, by the time I got there Pony was out and running around. I called Hubby and we finally cornered him up front where he gave up without a fight! Pony Baloney is a bad Pony!

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