Horsey friends are the best! I went over to a friend's house last night to get some info and some pictures to update her farm's website. It's been awhile so we had to talk about horses and training, and more horses and, well, you get the idea. What started out to be a quick visit turned into more like a three hour visit. And in exchange for working on the website she is going to haul Cody to her farm for a week next month! This is a very cool thing because she has a round pen, an outdoor arena, a covered arena, poles, cones, a bridge, all kinds of stuff to play with. And it will also be a week when the farrier is going to be there so Cody can get his feet trimmed for the first time!
Yesterday morning before work we went out to play in the nippy weather. Cody and I went for a walk all over the backyard and nearly out to the road. This time we went around the big fir tree and got somewhere between 15 and 20 feet from the road. We stood there while at least one car went by and he didn't mind a bit. Unfortunately didn't have time to hang out there longer as I needed to get inside and get ready for work. So we turned around to head back and I'm not sure what popped into his head, but he reared up and tried to spin away but the ground was slick with a layer of frost and he slipped and landed flat on his side. Silly boy, hopefully he learned to not try that again! He scrambled right up and shook himself off. He seemed fine so we headed back to his pen.
You can see the road behind him. We went around to the other side of this big fir tree, this was just where we'd stopped to take some pictures.
After my horsey friend visit last night I had some new direction in things to work on.
So tonight we stayed in his pen and worked on moving his shoulders away and I made sure to release the pressure as soon as one leg crossed over the other. Taking it slow so right now am just looking for one good step. He got a few very nice cross over steps in there. He'll be doing a turn on the haunches in no time.
Then we also worked on after disengaging the hindquarters backing up a few steps. I need to get myself more coordinated to get that to flow better. We had one really good disengage and then back 3 or 4 steps and some so-so ones which I think were due to me not being a hundred percent sure what I was doing.
I was able to pick all four feet again and hold them for a bit and I stretched both front legs forward and then back and he took it all in stride.
Spent some time just standing there and petting his face and his muzzle and sticking my fingers in his mouth and rubbing his gums and at one point he just relaxed and rested his head on my shoulder. He's such a good pony :)
Just for the heck of it, when it came time to put his blanket on, I tossed it up on his back and then just pulled the whole thing forward and over and off his head. He raised his head some and took a step or two back, but it was more of a "what in the world are you doing?" than being scared and trying to get away. Even when I was trying to put it on him with the front buckles done up and it got stuck on his nose, all he did was calmly back up until he bumped into the panels and then stopped while I got it unstuck.
One other thing, took the stick, with string attached, and swung it back and forth slapping the ground. Just something else to get used to. I started it a bit away from him, not sure what he'd think and since he was just standing there I got closer and closer with it until if I got any closer I'd risk hitting him with it and he never even flinched. Even when I was swinging it above his head and letting it land between his ears.