Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Sundance Goes for a Ride

Over the weekend I pulled Sundance, the former ranch/trail horse out for more desensitizing.  I haven't done too much with him lately, due to the cold weather and the barn being busier.  Saturday he got lunged then I used clippers on him for the first time.  He snorted a pulled back a bit, but was actually ok with them on his muzzle, as long as I was on his left side.  As soon as I switched to the off side, he'd pull back again.  We went pretty slow, and he got lots of cookie, and he let me clip his muzzle and part of the long hairs under his chin and head.
I hate you so much right now

Sunday was the big day.  My BO and I turned him out then rubbed him down all over with towels.  He wasn't so sure about them around his head, but put up with our shenanigans. We then tacked him up with BO's western saddle and a plain snaffle.  His owner TN has either ridden him in a hackamore or curb bit and said he can be fussy with his mouth. 

I guess he kinda liked it?
BO wanted to lunge him in the side reins (we're guessing his first time in them) so we put them on super loose.  He's way out of shape so she just did maybe 10 minutes of walk trot, switching directions a lot.  He's not really sure about lunging on a line, and changing directions was a hard concept to grasp. But he didn't protest about the side reins, and you could tell his issues were from not understanding what we were asking.  He really, really, really wants to please and be a good boy. It's obvious no one has taken time with him to let him understand and figure out he's not going to be hurt.

Once he seemed fine lunging, I hopped aboard for his first ride since July or August. There was no way I could get on him from the ground so BO held him while I used the mounting block.  He was a bit reactive to my seat and leg at first but settled in as we went along.  He goes really well off voice command, so all I had to do was cluck to get him to trot. Again, because he's so out of shape, I only did 10mins of walk with a few trot circles each direction.  I played around with trying to get him on the bit at the walk, and he actually started looking for the contact.  He got stuffed with cookies and was told he was the bestest pony.

OMG tiny human!

His torture wasn't over yet.  My BO's boss brought out his kids and grandkids for pony rides about an hour later.  Once the pony rides were over the kids went up and down the aisle petting the ponies. Poor Sundance had to suffer through having a two year old try and pet him.  He loves getting his head rubbed, but only if you move slow and by people he knows. The tiny human trying smack pet his nose was just too much.

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