Monday, March 11, 2013

Conquering the creek

I hadn't seen the horses in nearly a week due to my Colorado trip. When I arrived Thursday night and got out of the car Griffin whinnied from way across the field at me and started heading my way. Q whinnied, too, (wait, what?!) watched me for a few moments, then meandered slowly in the other direction. Clearly if she's going to holler hello she can't also make effort to come see me. That would be too much effort to care...but I'll win her over one day.

Crooked and blurry, but look how similar in size they are!

I brought them both in and fed them both grain and toyed with their manes and braiding for a bit, sipped a beer, and then turned Q out and took Griffin for a walk.

I had no great plans for this walk, but this is what ended up happening:

  • We walked to the lower barn that isn't finished. 
  • We walked through the covered cattle chute into and out of the barn.
  • We crossed the creek.
  • We walked up the creek (which is fuller than normal) for about 100 yards in the water.
  • We walked up and down and over and through four ditches.
  • We did some tight lunging circles when Griffin decided to be a snot and squeal at Kenai.
  • We approached the dreaded creek.
  • We crossed the dreaded creek!

Yes. That's right. The former Mr. Bratface crossed the dreaded creek. Pressure, forward movement, release and praise. The dressage whip was present as a pressure-tapping agitator (hehe, looks like alligator) on his side.

It took us about 45 seconds to cross it from the "going away from barn" direction. Hurrah! We turned around to cross it again in the "going home" direction. This is the direction with a slight step down due to a root. It took about another 45 seconds of pressure, forward, release and praise, and then he chose to play in the creek for a good few minutes. I praised and praised.

We led up the "home" side, turned, crossed again from the "away" side. Turn again, cross back to "home" side. No additional encouragement needed from the dressage whip this time through. Praise, praise, praise.

And because the first may have been folly and the second may have been luck, we did the whole routine a third time to prove it was skill. No pressure from dressage whip. No pressure from lead/halter. Just following me down and through, with slight pauses to play a little in the water. Praise. Praise. Praise. Thank you, Griffin, for being the good horse I knew you were and not a bratty idiot. Winner, winner chicken dinner.

No comments:

Post a Comment