'Cool Running Creek'

'Cool Running Creek'

Friday, June 22, 2007

As week 2 comes to an end

It's been 5 days since the last update so bear with me as I bring you up to speed. After Father's Day, the weather here has been very hot and humid. Our best training time has been late evening prior to dark. Each evening this week we recapped an all lessons learned- 2 eyes, easy catch, leading, more desensitizing and giving to pressure along his shoulder, barrel and hip on both sides. I'm looking for yielding with just the slightest bit of touch. He now stands for several items including ropes, blankets, fishing poles, etc. with just the slightest bit of interest. Left and right yielding have also been a focus to soften that huge neck. Backing has become natural as well, with the slightest bit of pressure on the lead or hand signal. He very seldom freezes during leading and if so just a bit of direction change gets him moving again. Emily spent some time one evening on his face and this has really made a difference with haltering and brushing. Lunging is improving; he gives to the side pressure of the line and he's really keeping his head set toward the inside for direction. His left side is still better than the right on turns, but progress is being made each day.
Today, Friday, 22 Jun, we had a visit from the local newspaper, The Chatham News, for a possible story; the opportunity for something special moved itself up 1 day. Saddle time. I started with the blanket, (old hat) then moved to the surcingle (sorry 'bout the spelling) . Man, what a waste of time. He gave it no more attention than the falling sky. Next, the saddle. I started with a light child's saddle just putting on a removing it from both sides. I did it maybe 10 times without a cinch, just lots of flopping straps, sturrps, and latigos. Next came the real McCoy! He gave it little attention, even during the cinching up "til...I asked for him to lunge. I expected a bit of action so I kept a good hand on the rope and gave him his room. "My response was to try and jump right out from under this saddle; that didn't work so I'll try to out run those flapping sturrps, and they just moved as fast as me...hmmmm, what next? This binding thing around my waist, it just wouldn't loosen up...What do I do? I'll just try to stand still. Well what do 'ya know, it all went away." After 3-4 trips around the ring with a little pressure on the lunge line, Doc settled down and never gave it another thought...We changed direction with no problem. I guess all this prep work really pays off. I wanted to finish with a little weight in the saddle so I stepped up and down several times, both sides then mounted Medicine Man. Folks, this is the HORSE. No problem, I made sure he saw me from both eyes by flexing and he just stood as if he'd been doing if all his life. Guys, I just wish he was a bigger horse. I think he's going to be "train track proof." Tomorrow and Sunday I plan on ridding around the ring and then out into one of the smaller pastures. It's time he saw some more of Chatham County.

Medicine Man donning the surcingle

Cinching up for the first time...with little response...

Finally, a reaction! Even if short-lived...

Prepping for boarding...

Thatta Boy!

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