Monday, February 2, 2015

Learning Patience

I think I shared this already, but over the last month I've been making a bigger effort to tie Emi more frequently. I don't do it every day but I'm shooting for 3 days a week. She gets a lot less grain than Roz so she finishes more quickly than he does. Once she's done I tie her up in the corner of the stall and go about my normal chores (cleaning up, filling hay nets, water etc.) I'll tie Roz when he's done with his grain, groom him, and then move to her.  She ties well in the sense that she doesn't challenge being tied, but she is not patient at all. She moves all around; looking one way and then the other. She will also paws, chew on the tie, and generally express her displeasure. I typically ignore her (unless she's being really obnoxious). Tonight she started off the same way as normal but she wasn't very far in to her time when I started noticing that she was spending more and more time standing like the photo below, and less and less time fussing. I think she's getting it!
 Tying=Pony Torture
Roz is very helpful because he stands quietly tied (although I do let him snack most nights)
Emi is approaching 20 months old. When she first came home I was trying to find a balance between not doing enough and/or asking too much. I'm formulating my plan for the next year and want to see what things I might not have thought of.  I'm curious what you would expect a 20 month old to do if you went to look at one? 

The happy girl when she was finally free

13 comments:

  1. Good girl!! She's figuring it out! Can she lower her head to wither height? I tie Chrome fairly loose and he goes to sleep when he's tied up. That's one of the best things I taught him as a youngster. :) Although he needs a refresher course haha.

    As for things to teach Emi... I'd have to go back and look at my blog to remember everything, but I did a lot of surcingle work with Chrome before I ever put a saddle on him. It got him used to having a girth done up so that it was a non issue once I put a saddle on him. I don't remember how old he was, but I did put his saddle on just to wear it while we went on our walks. I hand walked him on the roads a LOT. I didn't do any longeing until he was gelded because it's bad on their legs and I only did it then to keep the incision draining. He's almost six now and I still haven't done much longeing. I don't like doing a lot of circles. Ground driving is awesome though and if she's calm with lines being around her legs it's never too soon to work on that (in a halter, I didn't use a bit until Chrome was five I think because their teeth change so much when they are young). I also taught him all of the stuff on the ground like backing up, yielding his haunches, yielding his shoulders, etc. I never did get to the sidepass and now I'm going to have to teach that on the ground before I can teach it under saddle. I also taught him lateral flexion on the ground. Let's see... what else... that's all I can think of right now. Mostly I just worked on exposing him to as much as possible, spray bottles, water, tarps, blankets, ropes, surcingle, cavesson, hula hoop, umbrellas, pulling tires, breast collar, etc. You're doing a great job with her. There is no hurry, but I will admit that last year seems to go really fast so if you're going to back her at three you definitely will want to start the ground driving when the weather warms up. It makes all the difference for that first ride.

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    1. I want to say yes that the tie is long enough for her to lower her head but I'll double check that. I do hope to ground drive her this summer! It should be fun. I do think this next year will go by super fast so I want to be prepared.

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  2. Great lessons to learn that you'll appreciate as she's older!

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  3. poor tortured pony!! haha glad she's doing well tho - good luck getting her to be more patient!

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  4. Oh my, the same face Ginger makes when she's tied. Life is so unfair lol. I can't believe Emi is almost 2 years old already!

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    1. Right!? It feels like she was just born.

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  5. For a 20 month old, I would like her to tie quietly, be happy alone, load and unload quietly (possibly even self loading), be quiet for vet and farrier, and generally be a good citizen and easy horse to have around. From the looks of things, Emi is well on her way to being a good citizen!

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    1. Yes she is! We've got most of those down. Still working on the tie quietly, although she's great if you are working on her while she's tied. We are going to start working on self loading this spring/summer (when the days get longer).

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  6. In addition to the above I spent some time setting the saddle on my first baby horse project's back and removing it. I did this so many times that when I girthed it up he didn't even hump his back. It was so normal and he never felt like it was "stuck" to him so it was a complete none issue. Then when the baby I had got to be about two I spent a lot of time having him wear it. Of course I never even put weight in the stirrup at that point but I did let the stirrups flap around and ponied, led on trail rides etc. when I did eventually go to ride him, at 4, he was so completely used to things on his back that he walked right off like a well trained horse :)

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    1. Great idea! I have a saddle that I was considering letting her pack on the trails this summer.

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  7. I need to work on patience with Miles too... he's been quite ornery in the cross ties recently.

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