Friday, November 14, 2008

MiKael Meets Richard......Getting Started Part 4

Part 1

We finished working those Arabian horses sometime around 1 or 1:30. Then I went home for a quick lunch and reloaded with the 3 young geldings, Tag, Percy and Louie heading back for Richard's.

By this time all of a week has past but this procedure has become like old hat to Tag. He'd gotten over pooping at just the sight of the trailer, wasn't worried about the mud in front of the barn or standing in the cross ties. The horse was a "big boy" now.

The other two boys, however, were not quite so sure about what was happening. With only a couple of trailer rides under their belts, just that was stressful. Going to a new place to deal with new people, mud, a strange barn and arena were more than they bargained for. It was almost like you could hear them standing in the trailer, while Tag was being worked, conversing about what fate could possible have befallen them.....poor boys. They were stressed big time!

Before I begin posting on starting the the next two boys, I'm going to give a little history on each. Each horse's history definitely had an influence on what happened in their first days with Richard.

Both had spent some time over at the other barn near Colleen and Rachel. Each horse had been there long enough to get used to the changes but still wasn't totally comfortable with anything new being thrown his way. Rachel had taught Percy how to longe during his brief stay.

Louie had been there for a couple of months. While there I had been tacked up the horse and actually longed him with a saddle. He'd also worn a bridle with a snaffle bit. From the ground I'd taught the horse how to give his shoulder when asked and to give to pressure on the bit.

The horse is built with his neck set on very high. With the first sign of pressure the horse wanted to lift up even higher bracing against it. I didn't want to cause any problems so I had not tried my usual routine of bitting and longing. I had longed him with a little pressure on the inside rein but that was it. At no point had I increased that pressure or tried to get the horse to roll over.

I wasn't actually sure if the horse could roll over and come down like what it would take to be a western or hunter horse. I wasn't sure if he had enough trot to be a country english horse either. Part of working with Richard was going to be about finding that out. What was going to be the correct niche for this horse.

Then there's Percy who is a full brother to Storm. I wasn't worried about a what job for this horse. He'd be happy as either a hunter or a western horse and would do either well.

Since the first time that Richard saw Percy he has been enamored with this horse and really wanted to work with him. Something about Percy just spoke to him is what he said. Now he was finally going to be the opportunity to do just that.

Percy is one of Bey Aana's babies. Bey Aana's story started with Part 9 of the Legacy Continues This mare's unique history has definitely affected her foals. Her fear of people has caused her to teach her foals the same fear.

Each foal has been born friendly and coming right up to us. However, within just a few days, the mare has taught them to run and hide behind her whenever we come near. Despite all of our work with the foals they still end of leery and distrustful of people they do not know. It's been impossible to make headway with these foals until after they have been weaned from the mare. Even then it can take up to 3 years to win their trust.

Throwing Percy into a new situation and asking him to deal with new people was going to be full of challenges because of this early history. Talking to the horse and reassuring him with touch needed to play a big role if this horse was going to come around. I knew from the start that things with Percy would be different from the other two geldings. I also knew that once that barrier of fear was broken, he would become just like the others....a willing quick learner wanting to please. The question was what would it take to reach this point.

To be continued............

Getting Started.....Louie

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