'Cool Running Creek'

'Cool Running Creek'

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Out of the roundpen?

Yes, things have made the turn-around for Pardon. Saturday brought 2 more opportunities for Pardon and me to work on our under saddle skills. Round and round we went, left and right inside and outside turns, moving off the front and rear have improved with slight leg cues. His gas pedal still has some issues beyond a trot. Seems his lopes are very uncomfortable for him. He has an issue with his rear feet hitting each other in the roundpen during a lope, don't know why but quite evident.

This morning, Sunday I invited over a couple of friends for a trail ride to bring Pardon out of the roundpen and pasture. I first introduced Scooter, Chapin's roping horse to him inside the roundpen for a little socialization and follow the leader. This went well so out of the pen and into the pasture for several laps of both walking and trotting with Pardon both following and leading the way. I have several obstacles in the pasture, logs, a wood bridge, traffic cones, cross ties and a four wheeler. We accomplished all these tasks with no problems so I guess the trail was next. With 4 horses total, we left out with Pardon 3rd in line. Into the drive, up a short woods trail, down by the highway, first car, barking dogs, 2 ditches and we're into the main trail. Pardon handled all this exceptionally well as we went along. In the first 20 min's the only issue I had to address was him trying to follow to closely to the lead horse. We fixed this with that rider holding a short limb over the rear of the horse and swatting at Pardon each time he got within range. Pardon picked this up quickly, (20 swats) and found his place. Across 2 fields, into more woods and then his first water. I must say I've never introduced a horse to water for the first time with no refusal until today. Not just a small stream but 3 feet of water as we moved up the creek. I think he actually enjoyed it! So, back around and backtrack to the last field.
We stop for a short talk and suddenly all (*&#$(#*&$# breaks loose with Pardon. Don't know what caused it but for the first time today he really sets up for the big one. I guess for some reason I was prepared and we really had a bucking fit for 5-10 seconds. Yielding him around to the left we got things back under control and he stops with this very uncomfortable feeling. (Maybe for his first trail ride I should have shortened the time). Back on the trail, through the woods, into the next field with no problem. About half way of the second field Pardon moves along Reba, my personal horse and I rein him back and here we go again. Bucking and rearing this time and I'm without the right stirrup, Now this was the big one and I really thought I was a goner until a good lunge and rear gets me back in the seat giving me a chance to really hunker down. I felt like this episode lasted 44 min's 'til he relented to the one rein shut down. Now I have the shakes. Before we make it back to the house he tried 6 more times with each one being less and less severe. The last few were quickly dispersed within 1/2 second by shutting him down with 1 rein. (Thank goodness for the one rein stop). His softness is not nearly as good as I'd like but time should fix that. I did ride in a full cheek snaffle today so it was very difficult for him to resist the pressure when applied.

All in all I am very excited and pleased with Pardon's performance for the last 5 days. He is quickly meeting new people and that's making a difference in his acceptance of new things. He received his first full bath yesterday with shampoo and conditioner. He accepted this with only a line laid over the rail. No moving or pulling during the whole soaping and enjoyed the whole experience to include drinking out of the hose. Tomorrow, into the arena (a flat part in the pasture) for a little improvement in his responsiveness and handling.
We're heading to Ft Worth in 45 days!

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