You may remember this:
I had a swimming pool this summer. Kind of. I only got in it twice and then it got dirty and I didn’t want to clean it so I let it sit and something (possibly the groundhog that scratches his nails on our doormat like a cat) popped the top ring. Womp womp. Well, before that happened, my sister in law, D, came over and sat in the pool with me one evening. So naturally she bought her own amazing (and impossible to keep clean) pool just like mine.
Well now that it is fall (and pretending to be winter) the pool lives in my barn. She doesn’t intend to use it anymore since they’re impossible to keep clean, and unlike mine, hers had no holes in it. Having seen this video, I thought Copper would enjoy having a pool since he keeps his feet in the water troughs all summer. D was planning on throwing the dirty pool away anyway, so I pulled it up the hill to the barn.
There’s something about having an inflatable pool laying in your barn until summer though…it is hard to ignore. So I’ve done the obvious and decided to utilize it for spook training.
As you can see, Paige just doesn’t care about the pool. She only moved her ears when I randomly pulled it up on her. She walked off without hesitation and had the same enthusiasm for life that she does when being lead without a swimming pool on her back. In case you don’t know Paige, that enthusiasm? It’s pretty non-existent.
So I thought I’d try with Copper. He watched me lead Paige around with it from the safety of the run in and I even led her up to him to let him sniff her. He had to make sure she was alive and not a dead zombie pony carrying a pool after all. I didn’t bring Copper in to torture him that same day. He’d already been in the barn for his listerine treatment and I didn’t feel like going back out for him, plus he tends to do well with new concepts once he’s had the opportunity to think about them. Seeing Paige carry the pool of doom around the barn and return from the experience unscathed may have been what contributed to his lack of fear of the pool a couple of days later. When I pulled it towards him he looked at it like it was a monster, so I bopped his front legs with it to see if I’d get a reaction. Nothing. I bopped him with it in a few more places before struggling to get it over his withers. He was over it.
I did spend more time lunging him with it draped over him than I did Paige. (There are videos on instagram. You can follow use the icon in the footer at the bottom of the page to find me.) He’s more sensitive
everywhere on the lunge line than Paige, so getting him to trot with it actually happened. It did come off of his butt and floated into Paige. She skittered sideways from her normal tie spot to get away from it. I think she was asleep and it startled her. So naturally I laughed at her and went on lunging Copper.
I’ve never shown costume class since it is generally for kids. Now I’m thinking that if we haul Paige to a show we can cut a hole in the pool and set L’s little boy on her in his swim trunks and floaties for the class. I think he should have a water gun along as well but we’d have to warn him not to shoot the judge.
Another interesting idea with the pool is this:
I’m going to be very tempted to go ahead and do this during the winter so that I’ll have something to do with the ponies. Especially since it is looking like I still won’t have footing this winter. Knowing Paige, she won’t care about it at all. I’m reluctant to do more than a little walk/jog work with Paige in the barn since she’s so sensitive to the hard floor in the barn, so obstacle training it will be. I had an umbrella along yesterday and Copper snorted at it quite a bit, so I see some umbrella training in his future this winter. I’d love to be able to open and close an umbrella from on top of both of them. I also want to practice dragging the tire while mounted as well. Paige may get put to work out on the farm dragging brush in the spring so we need to ready ourselves.
Of course Copper and Robin are run in hogs when it rains. Note the rest of the herd in the distance in the rain. Sorry mares. I guess if I’m really wanting to
die get back at Robin for being a run in hog I could pull her in and throw the pool on her. People who know Robin are laughing. The fight or flight instincts in the red mare are strong.
I’m really hoping that it will stop raining and be pretty this weekend so Jason and I can get some things done at the barn. So many projects so little time.