Thursday, January 28, 2010

Fifth Road Walk - Third Time Alone

Okay, the day before yesterday we took Chrome on another walk, but this time we didn't go down the secluded gravel road, we went down a busier residential road. Before the walk I led him up to the house while I grabbed his brush and some sugar cubes. He followed me in!! He actually got his front hooves in my house before I realized what was happening. I backed him out, then used sugar to lure him close enough for this shot.

Sorry about the bad lighting. It was dark inside the house. Also please excuse the garbage. It was trash day so I was getting it ready to take to the road. :)

Then we set off down the road. He was a little hesitant about the new direction, but still happily walked on.

Sniffing the asphalt as he walks down a hill.

Checking out all of the new stuff. He could also hear the dogs up the road barking. We actually had five or six vehicles pass and he did fantastic! They all politely slowed down and I turned him to face them and he did so well. He also didn't seem in the least bit bothered by the dogs running loose.

I know it's crappy quality, but I just love how it turned out. The way his mane was blowing and the sun made weird patterns. Pretty cool.

This is my favorite picture. At the bottom of the hill he decided to just stop and take things in. I didn't push him. I gave him time to look, listen and think about things.

Here he saw the horses that live on the property behind us and trotted past me. As soon as he hit the end of the lead he stopped and neighed. I circled him back around and he walked politely on.

In this shot Chrome is looking at the other horses. If you look at the shadows you'll see me with the camera on his side. The other shadow is my husband and a neighbor's dog. The dog didn't bother Chrome at all. He sniffed noses with it and then went right back to worrying about the horses. Silly boy.

He was a bit obnoxious about the horses, but we have plenty of time to work on that. When he would start to trot or jig I would just circle him around and he would settle back into a calm walk. I didn't like making so many circle on the asphalt but it was a short walk and I'm sure next time it won't take so many for him to realize he gets to go forward if he walks calmly.

Chrome also met the school bus. He's used to seeing it go by his pasture, but he's never been out on the road when it passed. Because we were walking down a dead end road it passed twice. I moved him up into a neighbor's driveway and just let him trot circles around me. He was a bit nervous about the bus, but I think he was actually more wound up about the horses neighing to him. We continued our walk and he calmed back down. All in all I think he did great! He just continues to blow me away every time we go out. He's so level headed for a colt. I know we haven't hit the two year old stage where they lose their brains, but we'll get a bunch of experience under his belt before he hits that stage. He's such a good boy.

I think when the weather warms back up a little bit I'm going to take the video camera on a walk and video tape him. That way you guys can see how he acts instead of me trying to explain it in words. Besides, it will make a really great comparison tape for later on. :)


  1. Sounds like a totally successful walk! You are bring back so many memories of Mingo's youth. (He is 14, now.) I did so much walking with him, that when he turned 2, he didn't get worse, he got better.

    Mingo used to act up the most when he saw other horses, too. That is probably normal. Once you are really into clicker, you may be able to use it to re-focus him. Simply asking him to walk forward and clicking might do the trick.

    I am planning to start my next young horse with clicker, so I am interested in seeing how you do. Okay, you are a guinea pig.

  2. Chrome is doing great! I'm really impressed with his curiosity and level headedness. All the exposure is such good training for him.

  3. Love the photo's, especially the one of him at the house!:D

    Star can get very distracted where other horses are concerned, but she generally plants her feet and won't move. She can also get very jiggy about large things like tractors. We have very narrow lanes here to, so I've found the best thing is to turn her around so she can see it coming, then ask her to step on the verge. I've used clicker a lot out and about and it gives her a focus and chance to earn rewards. Sometimes I might ask for head lower or target, whatever seems most appropriate.


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