My trainer friend, B, came out after work to work with Joey again this afternoon. We're aiming to maintain once a week Thursday afternoon sessions. She comes around 3:30 and luckily the shade had hit at least half of the round pen by then, as it was in the 90s today and pretty darn warm out there in the sun.
She found a full cheek snaffle of mine that she liked and introduced the bit to him on my little leather Cob bridle I bought in Ireland when I was about 14. I just love that bridle, I don't give a fig for leather tack but it has very sentimental value coming from that amazing horsey trip to the UK.
I have to say, Joey is a GOOD BOY. He has his triggers and is quicky and spooky at times, but overall he is very attentive, smart, and most of all willing and happy to work and please. It doesn't get much better than an attitude like that! She held the bridle up to his mouth and he chomped onto that bit just like he does his wormer. She left it a little loose so that he had no choice but to pick it up (or let it hang, uncomfortably) and in a matter of a few minutes he was carrying the bit quietly and nicely.
Oh, a bit, no sweat..
Huh, more crap on my head!
Is he not GORGEOUS?
Next it was time for the bareback pad, but he's such a diminutive fellow that she had to put a saddle pad under it to make it close to fit, and it still slid around a little..good desensitization, right!
hehe look what I got for ya Joey
Huh, okay, something on my back..
Girthing up, no big deal..
Added the pad for a somewhat better fit:
Realizing he can still move with this stuff strapped on..
Just being beautiful, like he does:
B worked on lateral flexion for a few minutes and he circled and circled and circled as she patiently moved with him until he finally stopped, heaved a sigh, and touched his nose to his side.
Hmm, really? Not sure I want to says Joey
Well shoot, I guess you win, human...
Yielding on the forehand...
She returned to the leg and hoof handling briefly at the end. I think the steady flow from one thing to another really kept Joey interested and inquisitive, he never checked out or had a chance to check out, and did really well.
Ropes around the legs..
Then B did the darndest thing. She stepped back about 10 feet from Joey, let out some line and said, "yeah, watch this." I had no idea what to expect, when she suddenly started bunny hopping up and down, just a few inches. It totally blew Joey's mind! He startled and spooked away and kept trying to flee from the Crazy Hopping Human. B said his was the strongest reaction she had seen but that it spooked most green horses. What a GOOD thing to discover and work on before ever trying to ride him! And you never would have guessed it would spark such a reaction from the way he was behaving. Fascinating!
Joey says, "WHAT IS YOUR PROBLEM LADY?!?!?!"
Checking each other out after the hopping incident..Joey just isn't sure what to make of it
More hoof handling:
Touching those touchy hinds:
His "precious," the right hind Leg That SHall Not Be Handled. Except, B is. A little more today than last time! Good stuff all around.
Ended with a nice bath....