Thursday, May 1, 2014

Ball

J came out to the barn with me tonight and we pulled the trailer out for some trailer loading practice. We started with the helmet on, but I think he's going to have to trailer without it, since it blocks his vision. I wanted the practice to be low key and relaxes, so provided proper snacks in the form of some type of sweet feed. He walked up to the trailer, but refused to step on.

Cassandra came to try and help. She put her hand on his butt to encourage him to  move forward. He kicked her twice. That did not end well, but he still did not go on the trailer. I took him back from her and tried to take the volume down a little, since this was just to load and unload quietly with riling him up. He was having nothing of it and pulled back hard every time we got near.

I found my come-a-long rope and made the figure eight around his haunches and around the base of his neck. I tie it off there, so the rope doesn't slip, and thread the other end through his halter. He began kicking a lot. Every time there was the slightest pressure he kicked. I had had enough. He kicked, he got the long end of the rope across his butt. Once was all it took and he stopped kicking. He worked in a circle around me and then started to calm down. I walked him to the trailer and waited to see what he would do. He thought about it right at the edge. I gave him a minute and then applied just the slightest pressure on the come-along. He stepped on the trailer. I praised him and let him have some sweet feed as a reward. Then we turned and stepped off. He rushed a little bit, but not as bad as last time.

We walked away and then turned and walked back . It took a couple of times for him to figure out that he needed to walk forward, since pulling back or kicking resulted in working in a small circle around me or being smacked on the haunches. He walked right into the trailer and all the way to the front with out any issues. I fed him, praised him a lot and then walked him off. This time I paused at the edge of the back and asked him to wait. He did. Then we stepped off nicely.

I took him down and turned him loose in the outdoor arena with the lights on and then brought him his ball as a reward. I used the barn's compressor to fill the ball and as I was carrying it past the horses they were spinning and snorting and WTFing all over the place. As I was kicking it across the parking lot to the arena, Ashke saw it. His head came up and he trotted over to meet it as I kicked it into the arena.

Then this happened.

















He let me know when he was done. We would have a hard time with a super long endurance ride, because the boy is afraid of the dark. I think the next time we try to play in the round pen he will be very happy.




6 comments:

  1. Okay, that is just way too cute!

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  2. He is so adorable with his ball! I was grinning from ear to ear watching the videos! <3 Ashke!

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  3. I want one of those balls!! Where did you get it? He loves it! So cute!

    I had no idea he was so difficult to load. The kicking sounds scary. I'm glad he figured out that was a bad idea. I hope the next practice session goes smoother. :)

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