Obstacle Play Day at Home

June 25, 2019

A couple Rogue team members are doing a JPR next weekend and I want to take Possum to give him a change in environment and job.  In preparation I set up some scary things at home to school through on Saturday. I started on the ground, introducing him, and then mounted up.  

I put down a smallish tarp which he was a bit apprehensive of. Tarps are not something he is comfortable with. But after looking at it and sniffing it he lead over it nicely.  Later we rode over it several times nicely ae well.  Score.  

 

I also have a tractor tire that he has walked through previously. He didn’t blink and eye at it and walked through both lead and mounted without batting an eye.  He is a smart pony and doesn’t usually take much to get accustomed to new things.  And once he has accepted something he is generally solid with it.

I drug out and set up a baby pool. I didn’t have anything simple and non messy to put in it and wasn’t too sure what I planned to do with it. So I led Possum over to it with no real expectations and let him check it out. He was nervous but also curious. He pushed it with his nose and pawed at it with his hoof. I stepped into it, making lots of noise, he tended but then moved back in and stepped into it with his front hooves. When I stepped out he stepped all the way in and sniffed all around it. I allowed him to step around in it a bit on his own. He spooked himself stepping back out but was happy to turn back around and investigate it some more.

I initially did not intend to walk him into the pool so I had no intention of riding him through it.

Pool noodles proved to be a challenge at the Obstacle fun day I took Possum to a few weeks back with Heather and Joan. He seemed to process and generally accept them after some time but he never fully relaxed with them. This is the first he has seen them since then and although he smelled them and pushed one with his nose he then marched on through them. When I rode through them, he actually stopped in the middle and stood quietly on his own for s moment and then reached back for a treat. This pony can be reached through his belly.

I set up a gate using a rope and two jump standards. We rode through this smoothly, using one hand on the rope and one on the rein like Possum knew what he was doing.

Finally I set up a flashy version of three pole mug shuffle. On the first pole I taped aluminum chafing pans. There was a minor breeze and lots of sun so they wiggled and reflected light. Possum gave these a healthy inspection but not showing any fear, just interest. On the second pole I taped four pin wheels. These also reflected some light and of course spin with the breeze. Just like with the first pole, Possum checked them out, liberally nosing them but other than interest he showed no care. At the third pole I attached a string and ran it to a super tall cone. The string had pompon like streamers hanging from it. Possum was interested, but just like the previous two poles he was simply curious.

I mounted up and shuffled a mug back and forth and around the three poles. Possum did want to push the trinkets around with his nose, such a curious pony, but we shuffled like professionals.

He was such a brave boy

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