Friday, January 22, 2021

Tarp training continued and a distraction

Moondance's round pen work continues. 
He gets rather exuberant when I take him out of the pen to go to work; he reminds me a lot of Nitro that way. Sometimes I just have to let him cavort and get it out of his system before he can settle down into learning mode.


Well all right then, lets see if you will wear it today! 

This is how we started: 


Willing but a little nervous at first. I don't really call that fearful, as his flight instinct got overruled by his curiosity. 
We did more tarp work, but got interrupted by a barnyard duet....

I was a little concerned that they would erupt into an all out fight and that it would set Moondance off at an inopportune moment, but they disappeared shortly thereafter.

Moondance is an interesting study for me. He is going through a phase where he has to stop and consider things... sometimes for waaaay too long (20 minutes to decide to go in the barn the other day!!!) He absolutely cannot be coerced or forced into doing anything and then once he decides that everything suits him, he does the asked for task. He doesn't do anything, just stands there and looks at me. Then, he will do it at his own pace. Going into the barn - which is where he gets his ration, which he loves- once he has decided to go in he slowly walks the length of the aisle, and inspects every. single. thing. on the way- stuff he has walked by dozens of times! However, I can also back him all the way out of the barn (about 20 ft.) including the step down at the entrance! 

When I started asking him to go around me on the long line, he got a little ramped up, and sassy, and ended up turning several times and getting himself all wrapped up in the line including getting it under his tail; I just dropped the line and let him sort it out himself- he circled a few times and I thought he was going to get dizzy and fall down, but he stopped moving his feet just short of that. 
After that, he was pretty easy to get along with, and we ended the session with a few little circles on about 10 ft. of line, and a nice session with the tarp, a big improvement from how we started.


aurora said...

Moondance is doing well, you've got a good sized crinkly tarp. 20 minutes, wow that is a long wait to go in the barn. You've got way more patience than I do, but he is more than worth it. I think Moondance will process faster the older he gets, or slower if he is anything like me ;) I saw four plastic bags tied to legs for desensitizing (online) the other day. A mini, but still...thought that was a pretty unfair. Interesting how you have the white lead looped around his neck in the last video, assuming more desensitizing (similar to reins) or ?

Shirley said...

Aurora- the leadrope is around his neck because it doesn't have a clip to remove it. I don't like to have hardware on my halters so I tie the lead on with either a bowline knot or a modified half hitch. My long line has a clip. So I tie the leadrope up like a set of reins instead of removing it for training. In a perfect world I would just make a separate halter without a lead for attaching the long line, but I don't have any rope to make one at the moment. I use the 1/4 inch rope for baby halters and the only way to get decent rope is online at the moment now that the border is closed. I used to go to Idaho, to a store only 30 minutes away, for my rope.
I guess I could order some more online, as I have a new halter design to play around with. Watch for a future post on that!

Shirley said...

Also the 4 plastic bags you mentioned- totally unfair to that poor mini. The whole idea with training is to release the pressure when they get the right answer, or even to make a try at the right answer- tying them on is teaching learned numbness- there is another term for it but I don't remember what it is, maybe another reader can help me out with that?
I think Moondance is at that stage akin to the terrible two's in children where they automatically say NO! and then change their mind. He should outgrow it soon.

aurora said...

Makes sense. So interesting how you work with Moondance!! Hopefully the borders open back up sooner than later. Yes, no release is like torture if you ask me. Calls herself a trainer, sold the first poor "trained" horse, bought a couple more. Added mini's, including a stud for breeding to "see how that goes", dabbling in trimming words. I am just glad we moved our horses when we did. Thank god for people like you that understand how a horse mind works.

Far Side of Fifty said...

He is testing you a bit...I suspect. That is a great crinkly sounding tarp:)

Linda said...

Whoa! That’s some great work! I need a tarp like that. Horses are funny with their stages, especially the young ones! You have such patience with them.

Kurious Kim said...

Very cool Shirley. The tarp is definitely noisy. Found an old quote book of mine the other day and thought you all might appreciate this one: "When a horse gets into trouble, if you listen, he's saying "I wasn't sure what I was supposed to do, and besides that, I was scared." - Buster McLaury

Shirley said...

Great quote, Kim!