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Monday, March 8, 2010

A bit of a fight and much progress.

Echo and I made big progress Sunday and it was fun. First of all I have to go back to the day before. I'd been working with Echo all week on standing still and letting me touch him. I finally stopped him from trying to hold me off with his nose. Saturday I wanted to show off to Brad. We did our routine where he stands still (not held) as I go from one side to the other rubbing his neck and Echo stands staring straight ahead. Brad thought it was impressed that every time he started to look at me I'd say, "Eyes front"! and he'd snap back to attention. Then Brad asked why he was looking so weird and he did look weird. His neck was vertical and his nose was up. I remembered where I'd seen that face was his fighting face.

Silly boy thought he couldn't go wrong if he kept his nose higher than mine. I fixed him though. I'd rub his neck and withers then walk backwards away from him which threw him off guard. He'd perk his ears forwards and follow me then I'd go back to touching him. After awhile he forgot about putting his fighting face on and started to relax and enjoy himself.

Sunday I asked Brad to help me get Echo over his refusal to be lead through gates problem.

Here they are eagerly awaiting orders.

I had him lead Echo through the gates as I walked behind. Echo is great as long as someone is somewhere behind him.



After we did it lots of times I took over leading him and Brad walked behind. He was doing so well I asked Brad to go outside the corrals and when I tried to lead Echo alone through the gate he put his brakes on and I got mad. Every time I get mad we make huge progress. I made him back up fast and the lead rope touched him...yes, it just touched him and he spun around and took off. I hung on as long as I could and I was catapulted into the boards. I went after him with my fighting face on and he knew he was in trouble. I picked up his lead rope and tossed it at his legs and boy it was like he was getting the beating of his life the way he acted. I tossed the rope at him several times and he became unglued. He ran out of the corral as fast as he could and skidded sideways into the boards. Good job they are sturdy and flat. In the big corral I tried to make him move around dragging the rope. He's scared of the rope and kept coming to me wanting me to take control of it. He was so scared that I cuddled him and calmed him down. We had a long talk and then attempted the dreaded gateways again.

This time we did it different. I led Echo through the gates I held him very close with my arm under his head and we had no refusals. Clear round every time!

After we'd been though lots of times he got lots of praise and I put my arm over his back for the first time and touched him beyond his hips. He was loving the attention and praise after our big fight. One day soon he's going to be a very solid little horse.


Linda said...

He's a gorgeous horse, that's for sure. The build on him is incredible!!!! Perfect.

Andrea -Mustang Saga said...

Wow, Echo looks huge in those pictures! Glad he's making good progress.