Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Tanka tries the saddle again

Tanka had his saddle on again today.
He shied pretty good once while I was putting the saddle on. I took it off and did better at being more direct with the saddle lifting and gently tossing it on instead of looking sort of sneaky like the time before.
He wasn't too happy about the saddle although he did not completely fall apart. I had to reach under Tanka to get the cinch. I asked everyone to just hold still while I reached under since Tanka and I have done this before and we have been fine. The trainer and Hubby cooperated which gave me confidence that they were listening.
We took all the steps nice and slow.
Eventually I walked him around on the lead rope wearing the saddle. I asked him to back, step, move fore and move hind and then go around in both directions while I walked him on the short lead. I wanted to distract him from the fact that he was unhappy with the saddle being on. It did work. He looked slightly humpy but never did have a meltdown and he looked better after a bit of that.
Tanka was pretty unsettled today. When the trainer reached out to Tanka, he jerked away. She went ahead and worked with him alone in the pen to try to desensitize him to her. I thought that was a good idea since he has accepted her previously.
That went fine.
We then let him hang out with the saddle on for a good hour.
Hubby was there and so was the trainer. We sat and talked while Tanka contemplated the saddle. He didn't look too happy about it. He is a funny horse. He would look at it by turning his head from one side to the other.
Once he finally came over to stand near us, I decided we could go ahead and catch him to get the saddle off.
Tanka did not want to come to me in the round pen with his saddle on. I asked him to walk and change directions and walk then tried again . He still didn't want to come to me.
He shied at the bag on the fence even though it didn't bother him at all for the whole morning. He started to come into my space in the center of the pen. I said "Don't you dare come over the top of me." And he didn't :) That made me happy.
After trying the move your feet 3 or 4 times I finally decided to block his energy and get him to stand still. I moved to in front of his driveline [not directly in front] and got him to stop. I managed to get up to him and pet him and get the rope on his halter.
Hubby stood outside the pen holding the lead while I carefully unbuckled the cinch and loosened it. Hubby held still and I asked him to please not do anything to surprise the horse. I managed to get the saddle off the horse.
It is somewhat windy today. And we had a few sprinkles. The trainer and Hubby were there. Plus we saddled him. I think it was a lot for Tanka in one day. He wasn't a nervous wreck but he was unsettled.
I do think it was good for him today. Yes, I asked him to stretch his comfort level but I don't think I let him be pushed too far. He will chew on this and by tomorrow, he will realize that no one tried to hurt him and it wasn't so bad.
I went out in the brisk wind this evening and handed out carrots to everyone. Tanka was still just a bit unsettled in the wind and I could tell he was a bit unhappy with me but he decided he could take carrots from me anyway :)
I'm so glad I got to work with my horse today since the weather is going to be bad for the next couple of days with lots of wind.

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