Of Tarp and Trot

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Today was spectacular. For one thing, the weather channel said it was supposed to rain all day and in fact it was sunny and beautiful. And for another thing, my brumby was so collected in the ring today, she looked as dainty and exquiste as a sea horse. At first I had her stay collected for five strides. Then I'd release her.Then I counted a few more. Before I knew it, my brumby was trotting along for fifty and sixty strides with her head tucked in perfectly. Beautiful. Later we tried side passing. Uh-oh. Not so beautiful. In fact, quite ridiculous.

Bill had to step in and show me how it was done. To start with, I couldn't even get Lilly to stand still. She kept wanting to jiggle all over. And when she was finally still enough for me to ask her to sidepass, she'd start to-- and then back up...and keep backing up...and keep backing up. I tried to remedy this by placing her right in front of a little ditch full of water and pollywogs. Well, my horse backed right into it. She has never been afraid of water! I must practice the sidepassing. This year, I am determined to get it right. The thing is, I can see Lilly is trying to figure out what I want. She tries to get it right, then she gets confused (poor dear) and then she gets frustrated. Just like anybody might. I'll have to keep working on it. It's that simple. Then we switched to tarp-curtain training. My brumby did not like walking through the tarp curtain. Too scary. It was a little breezy so that made the tarp seem even scarier as it floated up, and then floated back down. I did get Lilly to go through it a few times, but she would scramble and bolt through it like a scared lamb. When this happens, you must be very careful not to get run down. I gave Lilly an A for effort. She was really trying. And thankfully, once again, Bill came over to help me out.

Here is brumby really feeling rotten about having to go under/through the tarp danglies.

And here she is half-way through and freaking out a little. Bill refused to let her charge through the tarp. When she did he let her know that sort of panic was not OK. Then he'd make her stop when she was almost through it, with the tarp tickling her back. This is how she was learning to say to herself, "Oh wait a minute. These little strands of tarp are not hurting me after all!"

After several dozen minutes and a load of patience....

.....you have the beautiful result: Bill riding Lilly safely and slowly through the tarp with no panic attack to be found. See how her ears are even forward? Good Brumby! This is when having a good trainer is a real blessing. Bill is a horse whisperer!!!

This is a funny picture because it looks like Pokey's ears are on my head!

1 comment:

Paint Girl said...

That is fantastic! Such a brave Lilly! Did you get a chance to ride her through the tarp? I need to set one of these up at my house!

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