Sunday, July 6, 2008
After arriving home early on Sunday morning, 2 AM I gave my project a little rest until Sunday evening. I had planned on getting the halter off, number tag off, and a little hands on before the day was done. Having only 1 roundpen and 2 mustangs we (Chapin and I) are having to schedule our times so as not to conflict. Chapin was in first and gave me the pen around 7 in the evening so I could have a couple of hours before dark. I picked a name during the ride home for my horse due to his reaction in and around confined areas. In watching him he reminded me of a pinball bouncing off anything he touched. Hence, the name Ricochet came to be.
Ricochet entered the roundpen with purpose. He was a little lost without Chapin's horse, "Razin Cain" in the pen so his focus was on the attached stalls. It didn't take long for Ricochet to pull into my world and he was very quick in facing up. This was really exciting because this can sometimes take 15 min's. With him, in less than 5. Direction change went well after that and he seemed genuinely interested in what was going on. After about 30 min's of left, right, face-up and follow me with his head I decided to put a rope on him to speed things up and go for the touch. Without the rope I was able to get within 10 feet of him. I didn't want to make the same mistake I did with Medicine Man in working til dark and having to deal with that.
So, out comes a new rope my kids game me for Father's day with a Buck Brannoman honda and around his neck it goes. Now, here was a big surprise, no bucking, kicking, snorting, or rude behavior when he felt the rope across his body or the pressure on his neck. (I had already thrown the rope on him several times during the initial roundpen work to kinda de-sensitize him to the new feel). Within 5 min's he was facing up fully and backing away from me when I applied to much pressure with my body. What else could you ask for! Within 30 min's, I was able to touch him on the forehead and a jaw rub. We had several observers that evening so the distractions were very large for this close contact. Our friend Helena decided she wanted to try her hand at this mustang taming stuff so in she comes and gives it a try. One thing I failed to tell her was don't try to hold him when he runs off, wait until the burst is over and have him face back up using the rope. Well, he gave her a real sand ski trip across the roundpen and her poor hands just could take the sliding rope and she wound up with several rope burns. I think she maybe learned a lesson. After a few touches I removed the number tag, removed the rope and gave him the rest of the evening to soak-in his lesson. Monday would bring new and exciting things.
Posted by Jimmy Thomas