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Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Echo is like a big toddler.

I haven't been posting because every time I start to write about Echo's progress he does something to throw me right off writing a progress report. He was leading so well but then decided he wasn't going to cooperate anymore.

Last week I was leading him into the other corral and he decided that for a horse to go through a gateway he has to be dragged...every time! He's like a toddler who can walk but wants to be picked up and carried. He puts the brakes on at gateways and yet he wants to go through! Like an enabler, I started to pull him again and he's all happy because I think it gives him some kind of weird confidence. He was like, "pull harder, I'm a big lad" and I thought 'what the hell am I doing'? I unclipped his lead rope and told him "lets not but pretend we did". I walked off down the alley into the big corral and stood the far side of it. He snorted his way through the gates, tossed his head happily and did a jaunty trot to me, bumped his nose on my shirt pocket for a baby carrot. We went on to have a perfect leading session around the big corral.

The next day he refused to go through the gate (three faults) and I refused to pull him. Once again I walked off and waited the far side of the corral. This time he cantered right to me and asked for a treat. The day after that I only got halfway before he caught up with me. OK, I figured if we keep this up we'll be going through the gate at the same time one day soon.

His leading lessons were going very well for a while. We pulled off a very tricky change of direction (lol) and Echo gave a huge sigh like he'd been really concentrating hard as we cut across the center of the corral and went in the other direction. I just rolled my eyes and thought that if he thinks that was hard wait till we tackle something really hard like backing up..ha ha. It was about then that Wildairo showed up and said something about if I spent as much time with him as I did that dope we'd be going third level dressage by now. And that was when Echo decided he didn't want to walk around anymore and put his brakes on and wouldn't move no matter what I did.

I do know one thing though, Echo loves to hang out with me in the big corral. I want to take him for a walk in the big pasture but I haven't got the nerve up get. If he was to bolt I know he'd run right back to the corrals and wouldn't do anything silly. Wildairo still hasn't been brave enough to explore further than about five or 10 acres. The silly boy probably thinks there's not even a fence out there.

I always try to add a picture, so here's a picture flash back. This is Echo on the day he came to live with us. He's saying hello to his old friend, Wildairo from the 'hood.

The first time he snorted at me.


Cheryl Ann said...

My gelding, Sunni, did that for about a year. He just REFUSED to go through a gate and I wasn't about to drag him! I tried everything...the good news is that he finally outgrew that attitude. Now he leads very well. In fact, of all my horses, he leads the best! He is always even with me, never gets ahead. I almost don't need a lead rope!

Kara said...

I was scared to death to lead the wild ones out of their pens too (not scared so much as my imagination was going overtime about all the things that could go wrong if they were to pull away from me). I was especially worried with Griffin, since he's bigger than Kachina and is not as comfortable with people. So, I just had Todd walk beside me with a second leadrope (also attached to the halter). So I was basically leading, but we had that backup rope just in case anything were to happen and we needed either both of us pulling, or if he pulled away from me. I never would have lead him out if he hadn't already been pretty good about facing me when I pulled on his halter inside his little pen. And surprisingly, he was great on his first time out. Kachina was the spooky one that came unglued a couple of times...but they can only go so far as long as you keep them facing you. Kachina freaked out and backed up for quite a bit before she worked the spook out and decided that continuing to back wasn't doing her any good.

arlene said...

I like hearing about how your horses got over their issues. Echo is slowly coming around. Everything is so slow with him.

I have thought about having Brad help with the leading when I do it. Echo is still really silly about letting Brad near him though. It's funny how Griffin turned out to be the calmer one. I thought when you first got him he was going to be trouble because of the remark the BLM guy much for that.