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Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Jack "Joins Up" - Jill is Still Working on It

After a brief break from the training due to snow the training has continued.  Jackie has had more time than Kyle so I have been worked in the round  pen four times since the last post.  The round pen work has gone well but there have been a few problems getting to the round pen.  The next time we went to work in the round pen after a few days off we had to go through the paddock where the the big boys were eating hay & they all came over to visit.  I decided that I wanted to stay with the guys and planted all fours and when Jackie put pressure on my nose for me to get a move on I stood and my back legs to show her I didn't appreciate it.  Well I forgot that was against the rules and I got a reprimand and when I refused to go forward again I was made to go backwards.  I finally realized that it is better to just do what is expected of me and I walked down the rest of the way without further incident although I did call to the horses a few times.  After working in the round pen for a little while I 'got it'; I did what they call 'joining up'.  I wanted to join Jackie and I would follower her wherever she went.  When she stopped I stopped, when she turned I turned,  when she backed up I backed up;  I just wanted to be with her.  I'm not exactly sure why, but it was pretty cool. When we were done we went for a walk in the pasture and it was nice just hanging out together. So the session ended on a really good note, so I thought.

When we got back to the barn Jackie said if I wanted to hang out with the big boys so badly then she would give me my wish and she turned me out with the guys while all of my regular pasture mates were in the barn.  Whoa baby, I really didn't mean that I wanted turned loose with them and asked to go in the barn.  Jackie laughed and said 'you asked for it, you got it' and left me out with the big boys for a couple of hours.  She kept checking on me and I kept asking to come in because the boys weren't being very nice to me, especially that Jethro who kept reminding me that he was boss.  Finally I got to go back in the barn with my friends. Whew, glad that was over.

The next morning we were going to have another training session but this time I wouldn't even leave the barn because Jethro was right outside the door and I didn't want to get near him.  Jackie couldn't believe that I hadn't learned my lesson yet and was more than just a little annoyed.  She decided that I was going to have to figure it our for myself this time.  She went out the door and wrapped the lunge line around a post and put a steady pressure on my nose.  I thought of going up but I could have hit my head on the ceiling.  Once Jackie chased Jethro away I decided that it was safe to come out of the barn & I better move it along.  I stalled a couple of times when I had to pass closely by the other guys but I 'm learning the rules and walked the rest on the way down the hill with no incident until I saw something sitting on top of a round pen panel.  It kind of spooked me but curiosity got the better of me and I walked right up to it to check it out.  It turns out that it was the saddle that had been put on me a few weeks ago in my stall.  Every time I went past it I  wanted to check it out.  I 'joined up' quicker that day and then Jackie decided to put the saddle on me.  She let me sniff the pad before she put it on me and then the saddle; it wasn't too bad.  Then she sent me out to trot around again and OMG it felt funny and all I could think of was getting rid of it.  Jackie laughed and sent me forward and made some comment about me looking like a rodeo horse.  I got use to it and settled down & we called it a day.  We finished up with a walk around the pasture.  It all ended up pretty good and Jackie praised me and said how pleased she was that I didn't even whinny once!

The next day Walt (the farrier) was here to do the other horses feet so all of the horses were in the barn.  I went out right past Walt's equipment and truck without a problem.  I did let out one little whinny because I felt all alone with everyone in the barn.  Jackie reassured me that I wasn't alone because she was with me & she was right.  A good day in the round pen, only a few bucks with the saddle, spent a little time on the lunge line for the first time and an extra long walk in the pasture and I followed her right over a log.  A good day ;)

That bring us to today.  A little out of the routine to see what I have learned and to give me a new experience.  I didn't like the sounds of that, but so far Jackie hasn't steered me wrong.  Jackie came out to the pasture and put a halter on me and went down to the round pen while my pasture mates were still turned out.  I was walking very willingly and Jackie was pleased.  Jill followed me most of the way down and then ran back to the others.  That got me a little excited and I was firmly told that I needed to listen and then she talked to me in a reassuring tone of voice and helped me to relax and I was a good boy and got my face rubbed (my favorite).  Good work in the round pen, I wanted to start our all 'joined up' but Jackie insisted that I practice learning my voice commands for trot and canter.  I'm getting pretty good at that and no bucking with the saddle today.  Since the horses were in the pasture, Jackie decided to take me for a walk outside the pasture.  I walked right through a big puddle, stood politely while Jackie opened the fence and then closed it again.  Then it hit me,  I wasn't in the safety of the pasture anymore.  I started calling for my friends but I did NOT stop, I kept marching right along next to Jackie.  Jackie kept complaining about me getting in her space and screaming in her ear.  Sorry, I couldn't help myself, there was too much to look at and I was nervous. We finally got to a trail that was just on the other side of the pasture fence so I began to relax and enjoy the walk a little more until the ducks flew out of the pond.  Jackie laughed and reassured me that was normal and I settled right back down.  When I got to the top of the hill where I could see the other horses they gave me a little whinny to welcome me back, even Margee ;)  I had to go through the back yard and I walked right past the mini excavator without even talking a look. Whew, back to the barn safe and sound.

I was turned back out with my buds while Jackie cleaned the stalls then we all were brought in and Kyle took Jill right back out to work with her and Jackie turned out all the big boys.  For some reason that really bothered me today (hasn't bothered me before) and I made a big fuss.  I guess I was a little stressed out from the walk outside the pasture today.  Finally Jill came back, I got fresh bedding, took a good roll and everything was quiet again. I think I heard Jackie say that I needed a day off tomorrow so I would have time to think about everything that has happened that last few days.  Sounds good to me, but I hope I still get my grooming.


Well I haven't been nearly as busy as Jack; I have only been worked in the round pen twice.  I don't have any problems walking down to the round pen although I do have to be reminded to be polite and not get in too much of a hurry and get in Kyle's space.  The saddle was no big deal, no rodeo bucks here just a few kicks.  I must say I don't quite get this 'joining up' thing and when Kyle acts like he's part of my herd I act like I do with any horse who is trying to herd me around and I pin my ears and open my mouth.  Well that boy has some spunk, he came right back at me.  I have to respect him for that.  When he was visiting me at the feeder last night I reminded him to stay away from MY hay and pinned my ears and came at him with my mouth open and he put his arms up and accidentally whacked me in the face.  Whoa baby, that was a wake up call, he's a human not a horse; he's not going to take me food.  Boy am I embarrassed ... sorry Kyle; it won't happen again.

After working in the round pen today we walked back up to the barn a different way and we went into the water jump.  No big deal, I just followed Kyle in.  He tells me that I'm going to be a good event horse because I'm pretty brave.  Well I think I would have been a pretty good race horse too.  I just found out that my big brother Heisman Star, won a race the other day.  Way to go bro!

That's it for today.


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