First of all, you’ll notice that some parts are sped up. We are not, not speeding up the process, just the video — he was so relaxed, he was on natural slow motion.
Secondly, you’ll see that on part of our date we have continued building trust with a few added elements; flag and tires.
One of the most important things in getting your horse ready for whatever job they’re going to have in the future, is getting them good about their feet. Some will be “touchier” than others and like I said before, Siouxperman is one of them. There are million ways to get a horse good about their feet and confident with foreign object around them, and as long as you have something working for you- that’s great!
What we find to be useful, and what I have learned from Jenn the past couple of days is getting your horse to follow the flag (in the sped up part) and not just “chasing” him with it. Why follow the flag? Having the horse, every-horse, not just the spooky ones, follow the flag, helps them gain confidence and encourages their curiosity around it, which might help us later – when we work cows- for example.
The other exercise is the Tire Path.
Coming from training horses for Extreme Cowboy, I love using everything I can find on the ranch as an obstacle. Tires have a few advantages when getting a horse gentler regarding their feet.
First foremost they are a weird thing that’s laying right there on the ground and I need to dare myself and go around, in, through it- what’s up lady? (just sharing some horse’s perspective).
Other pros of using tires are; it makes noise when you hit it, and when the horse steps on it the tire will move and create unstable ground- for example walking into the trailer. When the horse walks through it they’ll have their foot in the center – just as if you’d walk into a rope/ barb wire/ or a hole in the ground- we want our horse to be confident enough about all those things so when riding in “real life” they will have the tools and confidence- and so will we.
How to use the tires?
A few safety notes and exercise ideas:
1. If your horse has shoes on be careful about getting them in the tire as the shoe can get caught in the edges, and might cause more harm than good.
2. Make sure you have enough room and space in case the horse jumps across- this is also an exercise but we’ll get there in a few more sessions.
3. Always start with the easiest one- have the tires spread around walk around and by them to make sure you introduce your horse to the object and not force them through (takes 2 minutes).
4. Gradually close the gap between and have your horse walk through, you can also make shapes and add tires as you wish and as suitable for the horse.
5. Reward the try- a show of interest, feet move or a full on walk through legs on and inside the tires.