Now that the days are getting longer and the temperatures are creeping up, I’m feeling the itch to do more with Joey, who, like all my horses, has basically had all of winter off. I am struggling with thinking of things to teach him because I go through things so quickly with him since he’s such a fast learner. All throwback pictures for this post. 🙂
A summary of what we’ve already done:
- Halter broke- this is pretty much solid at this point…
- Picking up feet for farrier, stretching fronts forward onto stand- good for this.
- Stands tied- he does this well. I guess I should try it in other locations than just the cross tie area.
- Lunging- needs more work on lunging at the lope, but until the grounds firms up that’s on hold
- Trotting in hand- easy peasy, now we just need to try it with his head down like a fancy show pony instead of halter style.
- Sidepassing- progressing
- Pivots (forehand and hindquarter)- progressing
- Backing- he’s got that down
- Back an L- we need to do this more.
- Lowering head to be haltered/released- needs more work now that he’s grown some and there’s somewhere to lower it to #babyhorseproblems
- Leads by a rope around his neck- not a necessary skill, but one we’ve managed to pick up over a winter of laziness about haltering…mine not his…
- Trailering- as developed as it can be without a trailer to practice with. I’m going to copy Carly and teach him to “self load” into stalls, etc. now.
- Bridge- he goes over the bridge at liberty now, probably by himself when I’m not even there honestly.
- Trot poles- progressing…I need to set up some in the barn out of the mud.
- Saddling- this happened without fanfare. I didn’t cinch it up though, he just carried it around.
- Bathing/banding- does better than expected for someone of his age/experience and stood for both like a champ at the show in September.
- Clippers- desensitized and clipped prior to the show. A refresher couldn’t hurt.
Things he has been spook trained on so far:
- I half-ass showed him an umbrella. He didn’t care. I guess I’ll try that again.
- Inflatable cat
- Donkeys. lolz
- Entire construction crews with equipment thanks to the powerline project/access road through his pasture.
- Tarp type fabrics
- Rattling skylight material. My poor barn. RIP skylight.
- Creek/moving water
- Cows…he’s at least seen one. ha.
- Cats everywhere. Well, one cat, but he’s still somehow everywhere.
- Being blanketed with a sheet/cooler.
- Baby strollers…well, not formally but he didn’t spook at them at the show…honestly didn’t spook at anything…
Things we’ve yet to work on:
- Ponying, because I’m a chicken and often alone.
- Gate work, like this . This doesn’t worry me much.
- Long lining…I think I need a surcingle?
- Cross ties? I kind of hate them, but I guess I should attempt to teach him the concept.
- I probably need to introduce him to wild, loud, human children. Copper wasn’t around many when he was younger and still gives them side eye at his age. Me too, Copper, me too.
- Everything regarding riding. Obviously. We’ve got all the time.
Most of the time I forget that he’s a baby. He’s got great ground manners and is so easy that I’ve literally been treating him like a grown up since day 1 and luckily he’s just seemed to walk into that role effortlessly. Such a cute little weirdo…
What am I forgetting?! I haven’t done the typical “fill a bottle with rocks and shake it” thing because he seems beyond that in that noises don’t really startle him. So what baby horse knowledge does Joey need that I’ve forgotten to teach him? I’ve considered trying to teach him tricks like bow, smile, etc., but I don’t want to hand feed him treats. He’s started to mouth my clothes some when I’m handling him, but mostly because he’s SO bored and handled seldomly. I expect putting a halt on that to be one of the first things we work on tonight…he was mouthy when the farrier was trimming him the other night, but I wanted to save correcting him for when my farrier wasn’t underneath him.
I know a lot of people, both from western and english type backgrounds are of the “toss them out and ignore them” mindset but that we’re so past the point of that being an option…even if it were one I was fond of. 😉 So help me, what else should I be expecting Joey to master at this point in life?