Sunday, February 8, 2009

Expanding my horse's comfort zone: Part 1

Today I was able to spend some time with my horse. One of the things we worked on was expanding his comfort zone.

Panama was in a pretty good mood today, but I didn't feel like riding, so we worked on some other things. I started out by brushing him, and then I turned him out to run a bit. He kept going back to the fence, at first because the owner was around and Panama was hoping for food, so I kept having to chase him (Panama, not the owner!) away. Once when he turned around at one end of the fence, I jumped toward the fence to prevent him running back along the same path, and stamped my foot. Panama jumped straight up in the air and ran off in the other direction, bucking three or four times in a row! It was hilarious!

Then a group adults and kids came to the fence along the edge of the front pasture, and all the horses clustered around the fence, hoping for treats. Panama stood at the fence in the back pasture, looking very forlorn, so I gave up chasing him and tried lunging him instead. He kept trying to move our circle toward the fence, but otherwise he was good.

Panama worked up quite a sweat between turnout and lunging, so after I rubbed him down with a towel and brushed him, I decided to walk him around in the field while he cooled down a bit.

This post is getting a bit long, so I'll finish the story later tonight in part 2. Stay tuned!

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