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