Sunday, March 12, 2017

Bomb proof

Another day, another bombproofing clinic.

After our first two sessions, no one really expected Theo to react to anything.  He barely flinched at everything that had been brought out before.  But I saw the pool noodles going up and I saw the pole with streamers being propped up on the wall and knew that Theo wasn't going to have as easy of a day.

Sure enough, he wanted NOTHING to do with the cowboy curtain.  He was introduced to it in hand and was fine with the streamers.  Tried to eat them and everything.  But go underneath?  Um, no, he can just go around, thank you very much.  It took a lot of pressure and convincing and waving the lead rope at his butt.

Mistake on me:  Do not try to force Theo to step under something.  Just wait until he gets bored and does it on his own.  Driving him forward put him in ugly Theo mode and for most of the group, it was something they hadn't seen before.  He was biting the air and snapping at his lead rope he was so angry.  Once I finally managed to drive him underneath it, he bolted through and got loose.  He made it one half lap before the clinican stepped in front of him and he came to a very prompt halt.   Someone had been naughty.  I led him through a couple of times but he made it very dramatic and was pissed off.

But after I got on?  No big deal at all.  I'm pretty sure he just didn't think he could fit while I was leading him, it was a narrow opening.  His shoulder hit me each time he passed through.  It's the same thing I see horses do when loading on a trailer and they don't want to trample their human.  They won't get on if you're standing in their spot.  But once I was on his back?  Plenty of room, no need to bolt through it like a lunatic.

He's such a weird horse.  We also walked through the pool noodles touching his belly, worked around a popping open umbrella, and jumped a big pile of flowers.  Oh, and tried to steal the squeaky dog toy.

After our success over the three sessions, my group decided that we want to keep going and our clinician will be back to do an advanced series for us.  Empty water bottles!  Helium balloons!  Cap guns!  Because clearly, this is the kind of training every dressage horse needs.

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