Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Teaching Reka to lead

I love my mare Z. She and I are so partnered and I value that tremendously. So, I started by putting the ropes back on Reka. Then, I used Z and her strength to hold Reka by looping an end on the saddle horn. Reka kicked up dust and fought, like any baby would. She didn't do that long though and I could see her look to Z and I as if to say, "Ok, you got me, now what?".

I worked my way down the line towards her, played friendly by stroking and rubbing with the halter, then calmly and gently haltered her up. Phew! Z was so perfect. She stayed at my shoulder at liberty and helped me drive the filly's hind around until she would stand calm enough for the haltering.

Once we had her haltered, Z and I went to teaching her to lead. When she got stuck feet, we'd move toward the hind, holding the tension in the line. That would unstick her, she'd find the release and we'd move on. After about 20 mins of leading, she was getting less and less stuck. Z was right with me every step and I loved that I could ask Z for things with little to no feel on the reins.

We found a good place to quit and called it a day. I left the halter on for the night so we could pick it back up tomorrow and get it done.

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