Tuesday, April 25, 2017
Tanka throws a fit
Well, it was the good, the bad and the ugly today. Everything was going along pretty good until it wasn't :)
I had Tanka meet the neighbor. Then a new neighbor came by. Had Tanka meet him. I thought Tanka did pretty good considering how he feels about new people. He came up to the rail but wouldn't let the guy touch him. That is still an improvement that he walked right over.
I showed the new neighbor how Tanka could do a number of things like back, turn fore, turn hind, pick up his feet.
My trainer and I worked on getting the back belly strap on the saddle. We got that done and decided why not put the saddle on Tanka.
I thought it was going reasonably smoothly. I had the front strap buckled when Tanka seemed to notice the belly band looked or felt different. Tanka all of a sudden sat back and started thrashing around. The trainer kept a hold on the lead rope which was wrapped around the new sturdy post I had just put in.
I moved to get out of the way of Tanka.
I told him he was being a fool and needed to settle down. Trainer said don't talk to him. Okay by me. I moved the saddle rack out of the pen while Tanka kept throwing a fit.
He finally calmed down. I approached him and let him stop snorting and fussing. Trainer said just act like nothing ever happened. I told her not yet, let him have another minute or two.
I then got in there like nothing ever happened. Told him how brave and handsome he was. Rubbed his shoulder and got a hold of the saddle strap. Loosened it and let him settle again. Went ahead and lifted the saddle off with no problem and set it to one side on the rail where Tanka could see it.
We left him tied out there so that getting the saddle off wasn't all that fun!
Let him off the halter later and gave him some hay and water.
This evening, I went out, took the saddle rack and saddle and pad into the pen. I let Tanka sniff it all over. I moved the saddle to the mounting block. Let him sniff it all over again. Carried the saddle around with me while he was on the lead following me. Sat in the saddle on the mounting block for some quiet time on the lead and he sniffed the saddle again.
I desensitized using an old sheet and an old crinkly sounding coat. Let the items go below him and asked him to walk with the items "following" him by holding them next to him.
I picked up the saddle and had him walk with me and the saddle on both sides. Then, walked him out of the pen, set the saddle down on our way by the shed and took him to his home pen.
I felt like we really did end on a good and trusting note today. He had a soft eye and came over to me easily.