Bill and Juanita, owners of Allenspark Lodge B&B, are living their dream...

running a successful business and riding as often as possible.

Saturday, October 11, 2014

'Grandparent' Training

We spent some time with the kid's horses this week; it's an ongoing process - but they are learning so much so fast.  We introduce some new ideas to the horses once a week and the kids reinforce that and add to it.

This week's goals were:  hard tie Copper for the 1st time; saddle Skeeter while tied (always had her at liberty or on a loose lead before), more Copper leading practice, put a bit in Skeeter's mouth; more ride time on Skeeter; ... and anything else we could come up with, depending on their mental  attitudes.

We arrived shortly after GunDiva and needed to get some hay off the truck.  After unloading her 30 bales, she thought the truck would be a really good practice 'patience post', as it has good steel side rails and would be pretty hard for the horses to get loose from. 

Since Copper had not had any tying practice, we opted to 'soft tie' him to the horse trailer inside the pen first.  However, on the way to the trailer, Bill decided a little trailer loading would also be good, so .....
Is this a chin scratcher?
Skeeter thought she knew how to do this.  She has been half in and out several times, but ...

... to everyone's surprise, she stepped all the way in!  Just like that!  Even AliBird was amazed.  Well, let's see if Copper was paying attention.
 Copper:  "So what is so interesting in here?"  Maybe not yet.

Well, if you won't go IN the trailer, we will just have to tie you TO it.

 He was pretty cute.  When he realized he couldn't just walk away when he wanted, he tried all kinds of evasive techniques to go away - everything short of panicking and yanking on the rope.  He never once got scared or snorty.  However, he did get in trouble for pawing at the wheelwells and the hitch.  Soon, he was standing still enough, we thought he could go to the truck.

Parking the truck in a central location close to the tack room, both horses were brought out.  They sure do like getting outside the pen.  After this day, they might not be quite so anxious - as it does involve work!
Copper doesn't think this is too bad; sometimes there is hay leftover to nibble on.  Skeeter isn't too sure about this not being able to move around.  Both of their ears tell the story.
Well, since you are just standing here, let's try this bareback pad on you.  Hey, this one has a belly strap!  What do you think, Copper?
Look, there's a breast collar that goes on here.  Well, the front strap is way too long; that will get taken care of this week.   Something else is missing.  Braids!
After they got all pretty, they each got to go for a walk - Skeeter discovering the breast collar was not going to eat her - and Copper learning that he could stand next to a tree, also.  Amazing the things you can get tied to.  Next came the bit.  Just for a minute to get the feel in Skeeter's mouth.  She wasn't quite sure what to think of it, pushing on her tongue.  This week she will be getting to wear it around for awhile.

In fact, the horses were having so much fun, they didn't want to go back in the pen.  I had laid my camera down on a concrete block near the corral alleyway, and Copper stepped on it when he objected to going back.  I know better than to put it down, but even we 'forget' the kinds of things that can happen around horses.  End of pictures for the day.

However, it was not the end of work.  The gear came off of Skeeter and GunDiva got on;  a little more bareback practice.  It just keeps getting better, with a short walk around the area and successful dismount.

After Skeeter's ride, Copper got introduced to clicker training.  He 'charged up' pretty quickly and had fun looking for a silly little wood block we were playing with.  I bet he spent plenty of time that night wondering why he wasn't getting a treat for touching it.
It was a great day with both horses.
Bionic Cowgirl


  1. Sorry about the camera but glad you make mistakes too. Impressed with their training. Way to go.

  2. Wonderful post! I have been following GunDiva's progress and both Skeeter and Copper seem to have the joyous life with the two of them. Love all the pics! On another note...have you been taking some scenic fall trail rides?


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