The Week of Linus

May 7, 2013

Linus ended up getting about 3 weeks off while I got the vet out to sort his teeth, while he was healing up from the extraction and while I was getting Simon ready for MA1.  But last week was re-start Linus week. 

I started each day by tying him up and giving him a good grooming, hoof picking, etc.  He is already good at being tied and groomed, but I wanted to reinforce this and start off on a good note with each session.  Next I tacked him up, which he is also comfortable with.  Even if I am not going to mount up, I feel that tacking up makes it clear that this is work time.  I took him to a different area of the field each day and lunged him. 

His lunging is rather rough.  I suspect at one time it is possible he was just chased into gates in a roiund pen.  I do not think the person I got him from was working him in this manner, but she only had him briefly and reworking this practice takes some time and consistancy.  I want to develop a proper controlled and comfortable lunge foundation for Linus in addition to developing voice commands and hand signals.  So basics up.  We are in no rush. 

I took him back to lunging from the ground up.  I led him on a long line, and let some distance grow between us.  I rotated my body towards him, slowly moving into a facing him position, continuing to let the gap between us grow.  While doing this I continued to walk in a circle, moving myself more and more into a lunge position and holding my back arm up, almost in a whip like position, towards his flank.  He quickly began a moving in a small lunge circle around me, and after a few nervous attempts to “bust off” he relaxed and began to walk properly around me.

The first day we primarily worked on walk and halt commands, and developing a calm demeaner where he could feel relaxed enough to learn.  The second day we continued walk and halt and added in trot, with a lot of transitions up and down.  Linus was much more relaxed and trusting and quickly started where we had left off the day before.  The third and forth days we continued to work on his paces through trot, and he continued to improve. 

He is such a pleasant pony.  He is eager to please and happy to learn. But he does have some fear, and he gets nervous so it is important to me to develop a strong level of trust between the two of us.  He is particularly fearful of whips, so I have been working without a whip at this point.  I will add a whip slowly, because I feel it is important for horses to have respect for whips, but not fear them.  Plus I’ll hopefully be starting him on games in the future, which involves whip like flags!  But for now I want to work on his basics and trust. 

This week it is rainy, and I have not worked him in a few days.  But it will clear up eventially and we will get his studies back underway!

2013-05-01 17.16.30

2013-05-01 17.17.07

2013-05-02 16.54.12

 

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