Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Tanka Time

Tanka time.
I took Tanka out to the round pen and left him there while we did yard clean up and burning today. I'm still trying to have him get used to people being around and movement in the yard or on the street. He's okay with cars just not people or dogs or horses :) on the street.
That went pretty good. It's a long process and it doesn't worry me that he isn't quite there yet.
Later on in the afternoon I went out and brushed him and combed his mane and such. I was going to leave it at that.
I walked him out of the round pen and we headed the long way to his pen. He started acting a little goofy. The wind was blowing a bit and he doesn't like the hedgerow.
I decided to move his feet. I want him paying attention to me not the shrubbery. I twirled the end of the lead rope towards his hind end to get him to yield and all hell broke loose.
I hung on and then dropped the lead rope eventually, not wanting to get my hands hurt. He apparently felt the pressure he ran into with the rope and turned and faced me about 10 feet away. I walked over, picked up the lead rope and walked him some more and we went by that spot back and forth several times.
The good news is he did not come over the top of me.
I decided back into the round pen for a few lessons in I said move your self. I ask for a back and I ask a little harder and then it is arm waving and MOVE.
I ask for a hind yield and then I say MOVE with the twirling rope.
I ask for move fore and then I say MOVE with the twirling rope. He got into my space on the move fore and I said MOVE out of my space NOW.
I know that it is time to firm up and I am determined to make that happen. I'm being fair. I'm asking before I TELL him. He does know what I mean.
I was watching a CJ video and it isn't all hearts and kisses. You gotta know when to firm up.
If they get in your space and crowd you, as he says, abort mission and get the horse out of your space!!!
I think we are doing good but I also think it is time to ask for more basically. I'm asking and then I am telling.
This will help him learn to pay attention to me which is one thing I wanted to work on this week.

Friday, February 24, 2017

Tanka Softly, Gently

I left Pony Baloney and Tanka out back in the big pen today. Pony looks like he has been slobbered on all day on his face. I think I need to get a wet towel and clean him up. I'm thinking Tanka was the winner of this round.
I made Tanka go away while I haltered Pony and took him out of the gate.
I brought Pony back to his home pen and his buddy Wiseguy.
I went back into the big pen with Tanka. I walked right by Tanka and went to the far side of the pen. Tanka decided to follow me. So cute.
I spent a lovely soft quiet time with him. I rubbed his back and his neck. I rubbed up onto his ears. I had to persist a bit with the ears. I asked for a front foot and then a back foot.
I held the halter in my hand but didn't offer it to him. I walked away again and once again he followed me. We looked out across the the desert to where the neighbor was putting up fence. I rubbed his cheek and tickled his nose. He let me touch his lips. I pet him from both sides. His right side is starting to be as good as his left side. I felt privileged that he and I felt so good together.
I walked away again. He came over and I let him sniff the halter. He wanted to look away but I asked him to look towards me by letting him run into pressure from my hand on the far side of his face. Eventually I got the rope around his neck and we did the same with the rope. Let him run into pressure when he looked away. Let him find the answer.
Eventually I got the halter near his nose and when he looked my way I dropped the halter down away from his nose. After a few times I asked him to put his nose in the halter.
Soft and gentle today. Soft and gentle. We did some back and some walk on the lead. Stop, back, walk, stop, back. Took Tanka the long way round the pen and then out through the gate and across the back acres. The dog across the street was there. I gently asked Tanka to keep moving, turn fore, turn hind, back, walk. Eventually we made it to his home pen.
Today was sweet and soft and gentle and it felt so good to come home to that.

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Tanka and Pony Running

Love this photo of Tanka and Pony running in the big pen this morning.  It's cold and it feels like snow.

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Tanka does obstacles.


This is Tanka and I doing a few obstacles.  My trainer came over after about three weeks of bad weather.  She was so impressed with his progress.

My goal in the next 100 days is to ride my handsome Tanka.

Friday, February 17, 2017

Tanka Trains

Today it looks like rain but no wind so I am working outside.  I still have a lot of yard clean up to do.  Lots of burning.  Lots of hedge trimming and raking.  So I best work at it some.

Today I worked on haltering Taka using the running into pressure method.  After running him off a few times and letting him run into pressure by putting my hands in the way of his moving his face, it improved immensely.

I then let the halter dangle across his back with release when he looked calm, ears looked nice or if he lowered his head.  Then, put halter towards head on neck.  Put on pressure when he turned his head away.  Let off when he looked straight ahead.

Got the halter under his chin.  Let off the pressure when he touched the halter with his nose.  Did that a few times and touched on top of his nose.

Decided it was all going smoothly and slid the halter over his nose.  Made sure he ran into pressure when he turned away a bit.  Next thing you know, the halter was on and the whole deal went smoothly.

Yes, it did take a bit of time but so worth it.

We calmly walked out to the round pen.  I noticed the tarp had blown into the yard.  I decided we could handle walking over to it, picking it up and dragging it to the round pen together.  Yay, we did good.

Asked for a couple of backs and turn fore.

Left him while I organized pen cleaning and checked on the dogs.

When I came back we worked on desensitizing to a few objects and I got up on the rail to desensitize with the pillow case above him.  He did really good.  Look at it or step forwards, release pressure.

I sat on top of the rail for awhile and Tanka came over to me to see me and let me pet his face from up there.  Truly is progress.  I moved around on top of the rail and jumped off and got back up there.  He did really good with that as well.

Thursday, February 16, 2017

YouTube and horse group

I put up a video that I knew some people would manage to get really critical of me trying to get my horse used to me being above it since I had to coax the horse to come nearer to me.

It's really not a bad effort and I didn't do that badly but a gal wrote me a huge paragraph and then followed it up with another huge paragraph on how I was getting everything wrong.  Which, again, it wasn't a perfect job by any means but it was actually not a bad effort at doing something new.

I was trying to follow something of the video course that is online and associated with the group.  The guy suggests what I am doing.

I decided I just can't take so much criticism today and made it private.  I am pretending I don't know how it happened that no one can see it.  Take that world.


I'm adding a link to the video.  Really, I think we did pretty good.

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Tanka's First 100 Days

Well, I finally put up a couple of videos of Tanka and I working in the round pen. People were very nice so that is good. One thing about videos is Hubby is right there on the rail which Tanka is still having a hard time with people being around him.
I am very proud of Tanka. What you don't see in the videos is that he is comfortable with things around him like towels or sheets on the rail or the box hanging above him at the gate. The fact that he could work at all with Hubby on the rail is amazing.
Tanka can now function with me tossing things around ... not at him but if I toss a few things into the round pen or if I toss a bucket out of the round pen. If I walk around moving my arms he doesn't look like bolting. I can kick the ball around and it is okay.
I can bring a towel in and touch him and put it on his back. I can touch him with the crinkly grocery bag. I'm going to try to blanket him next week when I have Hubby to help me. I can put the saddle or the bareback pad on him.
I can get "taller" by stepping on the rail or a chair and it doesn't freak him out anymore. He was totally amazed, surprised and frightened to see me grow taller. I had to work on him being more comfortable. Hubby and I both sat on the top rail yesterday a couple of times. He didn't look thrilled but I let him work it out for himself and he looked and looked at us and then decided to relax a bit. He did not get a freaked out look.
I can ask him to stand to one side and wait while I bring his food into his pen.
I can pick up all four feet now.
He is not upset by me having the whip in my hand.
He leads much better now and although the outside world is a challenge for him, it is improving. His head is lowered when we walk most of the time and lots less spooking.
His right side was very difficult to work with and has improved.
There are so many little things that are working so good for us. When I look back to where we started from I am quite pleased with my handsome boy and his first 100 days with me.

Sunday, February 12, 2017

Tanka Time

Tanka time - I didn't have as much time as I wanted today but I did groom Tanka in the round pen.
I hung up a box where it was above him blowing in the slight breeze. I popped up onto the rail a few times.
I brought out the grooming tools by carrying the bucket out to him from the shed to the round pen over my head and swinging it down and such. Not too wildly when I got closer :) Little things to make sure he is getting more and more used to the world being above him and movement being involved.
I rubbed him with a crinkly plastic bag.
I groomed him with the shedding comb. He is starting to lose his hair. So is the little Yeti, Wiseguy.
Later in the day, I went to put his halter on him and he pulled away. That is the second or third time that has happened. So, becoming a bad habit if I don't nip this in the bud.
Because he didn't want his halter on, I had him go around the round pen in both directions and I demanded a lope in each direction. Since I had to leave, I then walked out of the pen and didn't look back.
I got home with plenty of time to do a bit more work. I had no problem putting the halter on. So move fore, aft, back, step up. Walk out on lead, turn, walk out.
I asked him to walk out of the pen and we did a few obstacles in the obstacle course.
Finished up with a walk down the scary driveway. He totally spooked when going by one of the cars parked there but he did not try to run over me, he spooked in place basically. I told him "Sillly boy, let's go" I call that an improvement.
We went out the open gate to the corner. There were people walking loose dogs way up the street so I decided not to go far. I said "Hey, piggy, piggy, piggy" as suggested by the trainer but I didn't see the pigs. I asked him to back, turn, yield hind. I turned and walked back through the intersection. Then, I asked him to move fore, move hind. Calling it good before the peeps and the dogs could get close, I walked back into our gate and up the driveway and took him to his pen.
Over all, he walked with his head low and although he still looks tense in the outside world, I think it went well.
I'm hoping Hubby can help me go for a walk with Tanka on Tuesday when I will try to make sure he is a bit worn out from working in the round pen before taking him out for a walk.

Friday, February 10, 2017

Tanka Time

Tanka time! I finally got to take Tanka out of his home pen, into the round pen to do some work with him. The wind and the rain have been atrocious for days. Hubby is having to drive many miles out of his way to make it home tonight due to road closures and flooding on the Carson River and around Carson City area. Our area is fine.
Couldn't get him to lope on the one side and had the short whip with me :)Twisted an ankle and almost went down trying to run around after him "Lope" "Lope" due to the wet sand. Oh well, the ankle is fine and tomorrow [or actually Sunday ] is another day.
I left him out in the round pen and did some chores. When I came back, I did desensitizing to the whip, the white box on a string, the old white sheet, the rope and the hula hoops.
Did some yield fore, yield hind, back, step up.
Here is the good part. I stood on the rail and had him step towards me even though I was way above him. Had him do that from both sides. This is big. We are one large moment closer to actually getting on him.
I finished up with a walk up to the front through the no- as-scary-as-it-used-to-be driveway. Around through the orchard. Back up the driveway and into the home pen with almost no high headed moments.

Thursday, February 9, 2017

Pony Baloney

How about an update on Pony Baloney since there is no training and almost no outside time today. Wind gusting to over 40 mph. Sand blowing into the eyes. I tried to do some weeding with the hula hoe but finally gave up.
I have worked with Pony for over a year but he just seemed so jumpy and nervous. Jerky, can't put him in a stall, can't tie him. Practically leaps like a deer when you try to yield fore and hind. I may not be the best trainer but I really was doing nothing to cause this. Really !
I've been trying a supplement for Pony. I'm not big on supplements since they often just cost a lot of money but don't really do anything but after trying to work with Pony for over a year, I was ready to try something.
He is actually a reasonable amoulnt better after 3 weeks on the magnesium/calcium/b-vitamins/probiotics. They call it UlcerAide. It is relatively inexpensive and I am not recommending it for your horse. I am just saying I am glad to have found something that might be helping.
Whereas I could not tie up the Pony at all, now I have successfully tied him briefly.
He hated being touched but I can now rub on him and hug him over his back. I am able to brush him some.
He now has no problem going into the stall to eat his special food. I haven't tried closing the gate yet.
He is looking less like I want to bite you.
He is still a bit jerky and jumpy but when I tell him to go away he is slower and less deer like. He is still impatient. He is kind of pushy although he is not horrible.
I do feel that Pony was in a bad situation and some of his problems are due to that. However, my feelings of not being able to help Pony are diminishing. I certainly hope we can progress to giving him a job.
I bought a harness for him quite some time ago and was thinking about just selling the harness and maybe finding Pony a home. Now I feel like, let's just see what happens. Maybe he can still be a cart horse. I have the pony sized buggy picked out in the catalog and would love to be able to call a friend to say "Hey, I'm getting the pony out. Want to go for a drive?" That is why I bought Pony. So I had a horse big enough to haul two people.

Thursday, February 2, 2017

Pony and Tanka get into the round pen today...separately

I started with Pony today. I swear he seems less nervous with the calcium/magnesium/B-vitamins/probiotics I got him. He is still nervous but I think the edge is off him. He and I worked in the round pen and he did give me the stink eye several times but we did pretty good. Later, when I brought Tanka into the big pen, I held onto Tanka's lead rope and faced down Pony, whip in my hand. Once Pony moved off and finally turned towards me with both eyes, I got Tanka out of his halter.
During Tanka's turn in the round pen, I did a lot of backing, step up with Tanka to begin with. I was trying to be more exact. Two steps up, three back, etc. I insisted that he back up faster by jiggling the rope, waving the rope and then stepping up with the whip upright and my hands waving. I think he got the concept. I said move!
I free lunged him in the round pen. I then slowed him down to turn, walk, turn, walk, turn, trot, turn, trot. No, don't leave, turn fore, turn aft. Hold still. Rubbed him with the whip several times. I didn't put up with a lot of guff since he does know what turn fore and aft means but I hoped I kept it fair.
I was hoping to improve Tanka walking beside me. He is good walking behind me but seems to drag when up beside me. I used the whip with no bag to encourage forward motion while walking him close to my shoulder. If he got too wild I quickly whoa'd him to a stop, told him walk and we tried it again. If he got in my space, I pushed him away...hard. If he lagged I flipped the whip behind my back towards his shoulder.
Did I do a great job? Not sure but we had some really successful short walks on each side where he was exactly where I wanted him.
I also worked on the walk near my shoulder to the big pen. I insisted there was a proper place and reacted if he didn't step up and walk, if he invaded my space or if he got ahead of me.
I faced down Pony Baloney with Tanka in hand. I brought out some hay which Pony did not get until he left, turned and faced me.
The true test of whether I got my timing right will probably be when I work with him this afternoon. I bet he leads better

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

The three horses together

I felt daring so I put all three in together. I hope little Wiseguy is still okay when I get home but so far it is a reasonably peaceful kingdom. Although Pony is pushing at Tanka to nose joust.
Tanka was nibbling on Wiseguy's butt. I hope that doesn't mean that Tanka will want to take a bite out of Wiseguy next.
My trainer pointed out the Tanka doesn't really kick and that Wiseguy would probably be fine. I hope so since Wiseguy is so little.
It's nice seeing them have a real herd to interact in.
It was also nice to see all three horses come up to me to say hi one at a time. When Pony started to poke at Tanka, I pushed Pony off and told him to leave and Pony did leave.

When I got home,  everyone was fine but it was a little tough wrangling one horse out of the pen at a time. Mostly because Pony kept circling everyone like a shark trying to make his move to and prove he's a very bad pony