Wednesday, October 27, 2010

10-26-10 Harley Quietly

I saddled Harley, wrapped legs, and walked him to the pasture. I prepared to lunge him just a few minutes, gauge his mood. He walked off from me, and as R latched the big gate, and turned around to watch, pOOf! Harley's spook button went off. He spun a scared 180, looked at me with terrified eyes. It took a few minutes lunging and calming him away from trotting down to a walk before he settled. Lots of soothing words, quiet body language, and oh! telling R to "stand still, and don't make any goofy crazy noises, eh?" I think the gate latching combined with some deer rustling in CRN's yard startled Harley all at once.

With Harley settled, relaxed, and ears/mind on me, I put his bridle on, and hopped aboard. With absolutely zero extra motivation, I squeezed my calves, and he walked off. We walked for about ten minutes, quietly, calmly, with very few halts. I patted his neck, talked sweet to him, with abundant praise for his quiet way of going.

We also rode a few minutes of light trot. R observed a few things for me:
He moves UP, but is NOT tracking under himself at trot - things to work on
He DOES track up plus at the walk - steady and evenly
He halts square, almost every time. If he doesn't halt square, he's backing to square up.
His eyes wrinkle and his ears point to a sound before he reacts in any other way.

Total ride was about 15 minutes. I unsaddled, praised with cookies and love, and turned him back out. A second great ride, even with the brief spooking.

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