The best part of day, though, was picking up Washoe from pasture. Now he has been out there for three months, but he saw the trailer coming from half a mile away and came running all the way across that 60 acres to the gate, waiting for us! What a great boy.
I did have a good time; found lots of holes in Washoe's training, but knew I would. He is 17 and I have never taken him to anything like this before. The only other arena work he has done is being one of the 'schooling horses' for guest riders. No obstacles, etc., thrown in with other horses being crazy.
|Ignoring the blow-ups.|
Considering his little pea-brain and lack of socialization, I have no complaints with his behavior. He did not buck or try to run away or any such thing. He did try to hide behind Skeeter often, when things started getting too much for him. After about one and a half hours, I climbed off and called it quits because it was plain it had gotten too much for him; he was pinning his ears flat at any horse that came anywhere near him and I didn't want him threatening to kick at them (the next step) - which is a terrible habit to overcome. The things he was a star about, were standing rock solid with racing motorcycles, crazy animal sounds blasting loudly from speakers, live goats in the arena, fireworks and gunshots - but then I knew those things would not bother him. What did bother him were lots of strange horses doing lots of strange things all around him, all at one time. He couldn't seem to focus on any one thing.
I never took him to clinics and when I did go, it was with Jesse. He has been with lots of strange horses, but only on trail rides. He is a wonderful trail horse, so ... I will work on some of this other stuff, but mostly getting him to focus on ME when things get weird. He totally lost that focus, so that is top priority. It was a lot of fun and Autobot and Skeeter did an awesome job! Most of us left the arena when the wind got bad enough to blow all the standing up things down, mostly all at once.
I called the clinic chaotic, but it was very organized and well-run and it did what it was intended to do, which was getting horses acclimated to what mounted posse horses have to deal with. In that, Skeeter (GunDiva’s horse) did shine. She handled the chaos like it was an everyday thing, and Washoe was like a dog hollering, “Squirrel!” I would love to attend more of these.
Bionic Cowgirl (who hasn’t posted in way too long.)