Monday, April 6, 2009

It's been a week

Since I last posted, shame on me!

The week had mostly involved finding creative ways to exercise Cody as it had been wet and soggy for a good part of it, rendering my round pen (which I have yet to put footing in) unusable, ground was too wet to trot circles outside of the round pen either, so we practiced trotting in hand and I got exercise out of the deal too! Cody made a lot of progress being able to trot in hand this week too. He will now trot off nicely, instead of tossing his head and looking at me like I've lost mine when I break into a jog. He also stops as soon as I do which is just sort of fun to stop randomly to make sure he is paying attention.

Saturday (my birthday) was an absolutely gorgeous day! So of course I spent some time outside with Cody and what I decided to attempt again was ground driving. I hadn't really worked on it since he seemed a bit confused the last time I'd tried, although, thanks to Life at the Roughstring it sounds like he was getting it better than I was. So we had a moment of follow the pressure of the rope, oh wait, now there is pressure on the other side, and then I was able to get some forward motion and pretty soon he is trotting around with one rope going around his rump to my hand and the other straight from halter to hand (still don't have a surcingle or anything). We had some somewhat tangled moments when figuring out how to stop since he is so used to turning and facing me, but we got that mostly figured out. By the end, I could get him to make a few turns and trot off the other direction, all in all, a fun day!

The swelling has never gotten very bad from being gelded although the wound is still open and raw looking (but shrinking).

Yesterday, the ground was drier so on a bit of a whim (I was supposed to be doing something else outside but just sort of gravitated to Cody....) went to work with Cody for a moment. I had him trotting around the round pen this way and that, but he was just being a little skittish about me reaching out and petting him after I'd asked him to stop, which just seemed silly on his part, so off I'd send him again. This went on for a bit, and since it was actually above 60 degrees outside, he got sweaty! Hmm, my devious mind was plotting, what a perfect excuse to introduce him to the hose.... Luckily my mom was outside and kind of manned the water pressure as Cody tried to convince me he was just fine with being sweaty.

Hose with no water was okay, hose with a soft trickle of water, not so much. Okay then, take a look at it with your inquisitive nose.

"Oh, it's water? Well then, I want a drink!" (I so wish I had a picture of this but my hands were full!!) He was perfectly content to stand there drinking out of the hose for a moment but it took a bit longer to actually get the water on his shoulder, but by the end, success!


Linda said...

Fun. You'll have to tell me more about your ground driving with some pictures. I just set my roundpen back up yesterday--before that I lunged her lightly in her turnout but the footing was also BAD--puddles, etc--she'd jump them or balk. The weather is beautiful here finally!! So, maybe we can get the hoses out soon.

gtyyup said...

Happy belated Birthday wishes to you!!! I'm glad you've got some turns on the lines with Cody...well done!

I have to tell you about this horse that Todd had in for training. She is a mustang mare that had been gentled by a gal over in Central Oregon and had done a great job with the mare. Todd was to start her under saddle. So as Todd's assistant, I do a lot of the ground work. Todd had been doing some farming which left me at the barn by myself for 3 days. On that third day, I finally saw Todd and asked him if he had been working the mustang mare after I had worked her. He said no...well, that mare was incredible. I was teaching her to drive and she would struggle at getting something...would kind of get it and quit to move on to the next horse. Well, the next day when I went to work with the mare, she acted like she had done whatever she had been struggling with forever. I mean, she just thought about it overnight and the next day, she had it...I've never experienced a horse with that learning aptitude...totally cool.

But, what I watch for is little bits of getting it and give them a moment to think about what they had just done...let them process the information in their brain for a moment and then try again. They learn well that way.