January 25, 2022 – EMM Day 8 (Video): In the first part of the video, I spent a few minutes rubbing both sides of him. This is significant improvement compared to the first few videos where I couldn’t get past his shoulder on either side nor go on his right side at all without quite a bit of snorting.
The second part is a short clip from his rope work. I had a few questions on how I got the rope on him so I thought this might explain it. As you can see, he runs around bucking for a minute but quickly comes back to me in the center looking for guidance. He did this a few times each direction then he was totally comfortable with it. We will keep doing this daily until he doesn’t react to it at all, then he will be ready for the saddle!
EMM Day 8 (Pictures): Today was a little more lively than the last few days!
He’s pretty athletic In preparation for wearing the saddle, I introduced the rope all over his belly, from where the front cinch will be all the way back to where the back cinch will be.
I tightened and loosened the pressure on the rope as he went around me, and he figured out pretty quickly that he didn’t have to buck.
I’ll do this exercise with the rope for a few days leading up to saddling as it gets him used to the sensation of the cinches without damaging my saddle or hurting himself. I can also release the pressure on the rope whenever I want, I cannot do that once he’s saddled. Being able to release the pressure now helps break this concept of something touching him in those areas down a bit where it’s not such a big scary deal when he’s saddled. When I saddle him for the first time I want him to be prepared as possible so it goes smoothly.
Using the rope to help him understand the concept of being cinched up and tarps to help him accept things moving behind his head/hanging off of him should make it a much easier thing to teach than just saddling him up.
While I did succeed in getting all the knots out of his mane the other day, this left his mane very fluffy and odd- looking so Des braided his mane this evening. I wasn’t sure how he would react to a new person so we went very slow and other than looking at her a little timidly he didn’t snort or do anything else fearful. Des was a great second human introduction for him as her energy level and mannerisms are much like mine so it wasn’t as scary for him as a complete stranger would have been. Don’t let his calm nature in the video fool you, with anyone other than myself or Des, he is super snorty and shy but at least he now trusts more than one person! The braids will also train his mane on the side away from his brand since they will need to see that clearly for the competition.