Monday, December 21, 2009

Sacking out

One of the holes in Cibolo is a bit more spook than we thought at first.

Or maybe he just needs to be reminded.

While he's nowhere near as bad as some horses I've known (Canyon), he needs to get some help getting over a few things.

De-spooking is probably the one thing I feel pretty confident about. After all I spent a TON of time on that before. Because it's ground work I enjoy it even more.

I was having some trouble getting the right rythmn with Cibolo. Sometimes I can't read him very well, although I'm getting better. So I asked the trainer to watch what I was doing and give me some pointers.

We were doing "the attack of the plastic bag."

I guess my version of deadly bag was fairly unconvincing (despite all those years in improv in Chicago. go figure), because Cibolo was fairly comfortable. Then the trainer went in there and upped the pressure - she found spots he thought were definitely off limits and at one point pushed too hard and off he went, escaping the horse eating bag.

So we started up again ('cept can I tell you that when he came back in, he came to me? ). Back to the swishy, swishy, an arc from the ground to his neck, then ground to higher on the neck, and he improved and improved.

It's going to be a journey, and it gives us something to work on everyday. Next I'm tying bags to his stall and feeding him carrots out of bags.

After the sacking out was done, we went for a ride. I didn't go far because the girls were at the barn climbing all over the hay. There were other adults there feeding, but I didn't want to presume they could babysit.

We did a few tests with Cibolo. He had no issue having other horses disappear. He had no issue with trotting after, then being asked to walk while others continued.

He did have some barn sour issues, but actually we were at the point I wanted to turn around. Whether he sensed that and was ready to "aid me" in that decision or what, I don't know. I spent a few minutes bending and flexing, turning and making him wait until it was completely my decision.

Our friend Steph was riding Lily who did her multiple turn thing in an effort to get back to the barn with Cibolo. She was a pill, to quote Stephanie, but eventually it all worked out.

On the way back we had a relaxing ride. One little spook in place, but something was different.


I had no anxiety going back. At all. I didn't canter this trip (pretty muddy right now), but focused on my seat and my aids. Checked to see how soft I could go.

Pretty soft. Nice.

I hope to ride most of the week. We'll see...


Leah Fry said...

I can't wait until they're done building next door. Although neither of mine are particularly spooky, the unexpected crashing and banging gets them sometimes.

Anonymous said...

Sounds really good! It's fun to hear about what you're doing, and your progress!

Paint Girl said...

I am so happy to hear that things are going well. Keep it up!! Your doing great!

Laughing Orca Ranch said...

I just finished a week of 'bag therapy' with Baby Doll.
After he bolting when she saw me open a black garbage bag in the tack room, I chased her all over the paddock with the bag flapping and waving, until she finally stopped and allowed me to rub it all over her.

Then I went and tied plastic bags all around her stall/pen, and made a 'bag gate' that she had to walk through just to reach her food. The bags would rub and touch her as she walked through. At first she would rush through snorting and prancing, but after a week she just walked through no big deal.

I'm glad you had a good ride and hope you enjoy more this week.

Happy Holidays,

Michelle said...

Sounds good! Making progress.

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lytha said...

i remember when baasha was still dark grey (young), i wanted to get pics so i told a young boy to wear a black garbage bag over his entire body and approach my young arabian tied to the fence.

i thought this will make a great photo! he's so incredibly spooky out on the trails.

well baasha took one look at the bag covered boy and said, "oh, you want to get a picture of me, so you're trying to frighten me? TRYING to frighten me doesn't work." *YAWN*

he was so totally bored by that. and ever since, anything i use to try to get him to "look" for a photograph, it doesn't work.

he just hates cameras period, and doesn't want to pose, ever. he even turns his head away when i aim a camera at him. i think i know why: it's the flash. it bothers his eyes.

oh but a plastic bag out on a trail ride will get him to look, that's for sure!

what can you do.