Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Horse driving equipment

Hooray, one step closer to driving Bonnie!  Her new horse collar just arrived...

It's a 24"-26" adjustable collar and boy was it expensive.  It's one of those things that I could have  probably found at an auction given enough time but I'm ready to go now.  I measured Bonnie out at 26" so this collar gives me a little leeway if she leans out from work or if I decide to use a pad.
  I've been using Lynn Miller's "Training Workhorses, Training Teamsters" as my guide and having good results.  For the last four days we've been working in the arena instead of the round pen because of all the rain (blech!).  I've been "roping her out".  This involves asking her to walk around me in about a 20' circle and stopping and standing on the whoa command.  After a few successful times, I put a lariat (to all my friends, yes I have a lariat) loosely around her neck and repeat the exercise.  Whenever I stop her, I throw the rope over her back and wiggle it and run it along from her rump to her neck.  This trains her to stand still and accept whatever you're doing behind her where she can't see, which is really important for when you put the harness on with all of its straps and jingly buckles.  At first, Bonnie was really spooky about this but she has learned very quickly.  It's almost become boring so I think we're about ready to move on to doing round pen work with the harness on.
  I've only been riding Bonnie up to this point and she's turning into a really nice trail horse...

She's still a little spooky around water but she's getting better.  It's quite an experience riding her at a gallop...kinda like sitting on a charging Wooly Mammoth!

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