Monday, March 21, 2011

Chrome had an off day, but we still had fun.

Okay, my plan today was to get video of the work I'm doing with Chrome because I don't know if I always explain things well. I figured it would be fun too. Unfortunately Chrome woke up on the wrong side of the bed (I woke him from a nap by accident) so he was in an impatient, snotty mood. He wasn't being ugly, just pesky. I won't have another day off until Sunday though, so I went ahead with my plans. Overall I think the day turned out really well. It took us a while but he did finally settle down and we had a good session and made progress. I took a TON of video that might take me a while to get edited, so it won't be posted today. I do, however, have a bunch of pictures. :D

When I was leading him up to the house he was acting weird and balky. I was concerned, but he was alert and playing with his rope as we walked so I didn't go into panic mode lol. Actually it's sort of funny because as we were walking to the house I asked him if he needed to pee because of the way he was stopping . . . and then after our long session I turned him loose and he walks to the barn and proceeds to pee. I guess I was right. I have no idea how I knew that though. :)

First I cleaned out his hooves, which he was being a total brat for, and then I groomed him, which I won't have much video of unfortunately because he was relaxed and decided to make my video X rated. After that I videotaped how I taught him to rest the toe of his rear hoof on the ground. I showed it on his left side because we haven't worked on that side, so I'm pretty excited to be able to share that. He picked it up really fast.

After the hooves I worked on back lifts. I showed how to do it on the video. I wanted to get video from behind so you could see how he arches his back unevenly (because he is very one sided), but I couldn't juggle everything in my hands. I'll try to get video of it sometime when my husband is here to help. I think you can see it from the side, so maybe it will work.

I love his expression. That Arab refinement shows in this picture.

Next I put the surcingle on. He was being very impatient, but didn't seem to mind it specifically. Like I said he woke up on the wrong side of the bed. When I had the surcingle tightened the whole way I was shocked it was actually pretty snug. It was loose last time. Later this evening when I was feeding I noticed a fat pad on his belly below his flanks . . . oops. So I'll be cutting the oats out of his ration. I should have cut back a couple of weeks ago when the grass first started sprouting because he's an easy keeper. Every day when I feed I run my hands along his side feeling for his ribs to gauge his weight and I'd noticed for a week or so that I couldn't feel his ribs. I kept telling myself it was his winter coat or the way he was standing or I didn't press hard enough or I wasn't paying attention. . . and now he's fat lol. It's no big deal, just not healthy on growing bones. That's also proof of how inaccurate the weight tape is as it showed him losing weight since last month.

I LOVE this picture. My favorite of the evening.
He was shaking his head, arching his neck and goofing off.

Anyway after putting the surcingle on I took him for a walk, hoping it would settle him down so he'd focus and stop fidgeting so much. The walk was a real eye opener. I don't think I've taken him on the road since I started consistently clicker training him and now I'm realizing all of the bad habits I'd been teaching him on previous walks. I like for my horse to walk fast because I can't stand poking along, but he was sort of rushing (or balking if we were leaving the neighbor's horses). He was also swinging his head toward me and unintentionally cutting me off since being young he can't walk a straight line to save his life. I've been letting him walk too far ahead of me (to take pictures) and haven't worked on whoa at all out there. So yeah we have a lot of work to do on the roads. However the good news is that he was totally paying attention to the clicker this time (last time he didn't even seem to hear it). I was able to work on some of the issues mentioned before, but it'll still be a lot of work. Something for us to work on. :)

Can you believe how silver he's getting?

Finally stepping under himself some.

When we got back I tied him up so he could learn some patience. I walked away and clicked whenever he stood still. He caught on pretty quick. At least he’s listening. I have to remember he’s young and it’ll just take time for him to learn patience.

So when he was standing still I got the hula hoop. I took it over to him and then untied him in case it scared him. I put the rope around his neck and then gave it to him. He had fun with it for a minute. Then I decided I wanted to get pictures so I went for the camera. He wandered off after grass and then wasn’t interested in the hoop anymore, so I decided to call it quits and let him play in the pasture with the hoop. He was hot and sweaty and just not very interested in playing. I guess it was just too hot and he was having an off day. All in all I would say it went well. It showed me a lot of holes in our training and he did really well considering he was having a bad day.

See how sweaty he got under the surcingle?

Here are some more pictures of the walk.

Normally I like to run with him, but with my injured toe I couldn't so
he hit the end of the rope because I couldn't keep up. Poor guy.

It looks like he's making scary eyes at the mailbox,
but I'm pretty sure it was the hay bales lol.

And some hula hoop fun . . .

He's so tolerant!

That's all for today. I'll try to get the video edited tomorrow. I'm probably going to make a long version and a short version because I did a lot of rambling and talking. We'll see. Well, I hope everyone had a great day and I'll be back tomorrow. :)


  1. Wow, you got some awesome pictures. He is looking so handsome. I love the trotting ones. It must take a lot of coordination to take a trotting picture wile you are holding the lead rope.

    I love watching his progress.

  2. YOU did capture some wonderful photos! He sure is looking like his daddy; he looks so handsome. He's going to be beautiful- a gray Friesian.


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