Saturday, February 21, 2009

Progress and lost pictures

I spent a fantastic afternoon with my horse today. I had some pretty good pictures, too, but unfortunately my SD card became corrupted when I tried downloading them, and I lost everything on it.

It had been a week since I was out there last, and Panama definitely seemed happy to see me. I groomed him and turned him out to run in the back pasture, but he apparently had no interest in it. I then lunged him, and we worked a bit on keeping the circle even, rather than working his way toward home as he often does. I didn't canter him on the lunge line at all today, because I didn't want to get him all fired up.

Once I felt we'd accomplished a decent session, I took Panama out into the field and lunged him a little more out there. He did just fine — his only hangup was wanting to graze. As soon as I fed him some line, he put his head down to start grazing. I gave the line a jerk and hollered and clucked at him to "walk on." He did, but he kept trying to sneak a bit in here and there — "drive thru" for horses, I guess!

Every time he tried to snack, I made scolding sounds at him, and he got it pretty quickly. He got to the point where I just had to make that sound when he dropped his head to get him to stop, and then to where he didn't even try at all.

When I finished lunging him, I did let him graze for a few minutes, which probably undid all of the work I'd just done. But I suppose he needs to get to the point where he understands the difference between me letting him and me not letting him, right?

After our practice in the field, I took Panama back and released him in the pasture. I spent a little time with him there, and at one point he rested his nose in the curve of my neck. I love it when he does that, but lately I've been nervous about him biting because of how mouthy he has been since people have been feeding him treats at the fence. But he didn't mouth, and we had several special snuggly moments before he went back to looking for leftover hay on the ground.

I think I should be able to try riding Panama out in the field very soon. If I have a chance tomorrow, I'll ride him first in the pasture — and if he seems to be in a good mood for it, I'll take him out into the field, too!

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