Sam: Day 5

Day 5 was a little rough. Good news though: I believe we have the cross ties down pat. This time, I finally got to use the long lines.

To start, he was a little confused, but he did fairly well once he finally understood how steering worked and that I wanted him to walk in front of me. I decided it would be nice to go down the driveway instead of the endless circles in the ring. This was my first mistake: taking him out of his comfort zone.

He was a little hesitant to go down the driveway, but everything seemed fine until he encountered a puddle at the bottom. He stopped and sniffed it, which didn’t concern me. I’m alright with curious horses. This was the excuse he used to lose his mind. He started bucking like something I’d never seen (like a bull in a rodeo) and ended up all tangled in the long lines. Fortunately, once he calmed down, he allowed me to help free him and we continued up the driveway again.

Not wanting him to think that if he freaks out, he can be done working and go home, once we got to the top, we turned around and went back down. This time, we only got half way down before he did the same thing as before. Again, he let me free him, but I wasn’t about to let him go up the driveway this time, so we argued about it for a little, just standing there, trying to out stubborn each other until I won.

During this time, it’s starting to get dark, which brings me to my second mistake: starting too late in the day. Finally I got him down the driveway again. I made him pass the puddle before turning around and finally heading back up the driveway in the dark.

So, all in all, we worked through our issues to finish with a somewhat successful experience, but it was not an easy day. I have no idea why he bucks whenever he gets frustrated, but so far he’s been a fast learner, so I’m optimistic for our next try.

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