Thursday, July 7, 2016

Day 5 of Our 10 Day Challenge

On day one (the inspiration for the challenge) I noticed how tense Oak was about his new saddle. I was feeling discouraged because I thought we had worked on it quite a bit already.  I thought it may be because he had so much time off since I had been traveling, but I also wondered if he would even let me put a saddle on at liberty.

On day two I tried to tack him up at liberty in the paddock. He spooked at the saddle and hid in the corner. So the answer is no. The paddock is big and has a run-in to hide behind so it is not the ideal place to work on advance and retreat work. I moved us into the roundpen slowly desensitized him to with the saddle until I could tack him up in the roundpen. I probably should have just started off this way, but I wanted to work on more interesting things other than saddling. Cutting corners never pays!

Day three I tried in the paddock again and he let me put the saddle on with little fuss. Day four he was waiting for me where I tacked him up last time and he was great again so I played with the mounting block too.

Here are some pictures from today (day five). I wish I had pictures of day one,but it has been amazing how much change I have observed when I let him make the decision to stay or leave and when we just work on a little bit more each day. I am excited to see what day ten brings!

Belly scratches

More belly scratches

Oak says "Oh no I can't look"

A little tense but he is staying and getting more relaxed each day

Cinching up!

Mounting block work. he still walks away or turns to face me a lot and I think that is OK. I just try again.

Relaxing together after a job well done
How are your challenges going?

Training Log July 5-7
Oak : 3 saddle training sessions, two mounting block sessions, and one lunge session in the yard. Even though it was the first time I lunged him in the yard he did really well!
Gray: 3 handling sessions, hung out in the yard, wore a saddle pad, and today lunged in the paddock. Adding clicker training to lunging has really helped him get over his resistance.