18 February 2013

Working With Never

I’ve been doing it. I’ve been getting out there and working him, often. I love the Goblin Child’s long morning nap. He has no problems with the saddle. The first time I put it on him in a long time was on a cold windy winter day, he could not have cared less. I’m not going to start riding him yet, not until it gets warm and the ground thaws and dries so I decided to work on other things.

If he is going to play at being a stud, a Morgan stud, he should know how to park out. Is that even the proper terminology? And Coyote has so many extra buttons and levers I thought it would be nice to install some of them on Nev. And I’ve always wanted to teach a horse a proper Spanish walk and maybe to bow. Not knowing a thing about trick training it seems to me that most of these start at the same approximate spot, the ability to move the feet.

Years ago when I taught Mom’s horse smoke do a pitiful bit of a Spanish walk I started by teaching him to paw on command. It sounds stupid, like asking them to have a bad habit, but ever since Coyote taught me to do it years ago it has been the greatest command. (Excluding stepping over to the fence so I can get on, that really is handy.) Way back in the day when I was using Coyote to calve out a couple hundred head of very grouchy cows we had to pair them out and move the cows with calves to a different pasture. After spending quite a while trying to get a new born calf to its feet to travel with his mom Coyote got tired of it and stepped in to help. I couldn’t get off to pick it up or its mom would of eaten me so I had been slapping it with my reins. Coyote carefully reached out his front hoof, placed it on the calf and shook it. The calf leaped to its feet and took off. With a little encouragement and lots of reward we came up with a cue for this and I am now so lost working calves without this handy little extra. It can be used to move calves when they are up too, I ask for him to paw and he whacks, um pushes, them in the butt with his hoof.

On Smoke who is much more willing to be goofy it transformed into a makeshift Spanish walk. Rider cues the paw he steps one front foot forward with a “little” flourish. I think he is still doing it? Mom? Coyote says no, not with out a good reason. I taught them both from on their backs with Nev I’m trying a whole new approach. So I decided to teach Never to step his front feet forward individually on command. It has been great for him I found a couple of holes I had overlooked by repeating the same round pen, saddle work over and over and he is progressing beautifully.

I tap him on the desired shoulder with my crop and then hook a foot behind that ankle and pull his hoof forward. The first day I didn’t feel that we made much progress but when I played with him today he remembered every thing and then some. At the first tap he picked up his hoof. Yay! He was doing so well, stepping forward at a tap with out any extra help, I decided to add a Target. Using what was handy I found a piece of two by eight and laid it on the ground in front of him. It was a great toy. On command he pawed it, stood on it, side passed over it and simply walked across it. We also worked briefly on parking out, bowing and staying, otherwise known as ground tieing. By spring he will be a regular trick horse.

I’m allowed some wishful thinking.

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Posted February 18, 2013 by Nitebreeze Admin in category "8", "Books", "Bugs", "Chickens", "Computer", "Cows", "Dogs", "Family", "Farming", "Garden", "Goblin Child", "GPS", "Horses", "It's a God thing", "Misc.", "Movies", "Music", "Pumpkinvinefarms", "Soapbox


  1. By tellingson on

    cool! It looks like you have accomplished much! I like the fact that not only are you encouraging curiosity in your horse, but it looks like also in cows!
    Yes Smoke still does it. He can do a step, then point, a step then point. But not a true spanish walk, and as he only does it for me, I have no idea if he looks like he should.
    wish I could come and get some lessons!

  2. By tellingson on

    Also thought Nevil and Illy have a thing going, looking like they are talking


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