Arrow had his 1st bath last week. I found that baths are not an issue at all. He is standing in the wash rack drying a bit in the picture. Not everything went as well on that day. I had started the day with a plan to lunge him in the enclosed round pen using side reins. It helps the horse get a feel for contact on the bit. Chloe gave this for me to do as one of my weekend trainings with him. To do this I tacked him up as if I were going to ride him and then attached reins to his bridle and saddle. These replace the rider. The round pen was in use so I decided to lunge him in the large open arena. I probably should not have done this since this was my 1st time doing it by myself. I’m not sure I had everything connected correctly. I still have to redo it for Chloe so she can see for herself. I was able to get him to lunge to the left but could never start him to the right. It seemed to give him a lot of anxiety and he would try to pull away and toss his head a lot so I decided to stop after about 10 minutes because I didn’t want him to have a disastrous experience. There was also a lot of activity around and that didn’t help. Next time I will definitely stick to the smaller quieter round pen. That is also where I will be riding when I start back for the 1st time. I can’t wait for my chiropractor to clear me!
I took him to the wash rack after taking all of his tack off and gave him a nice bath and some treats. There were no issues and he was fine when someone tied their horse in the next wash rack so all was good.J
My final task with him was to spray him with fly spray. That is still a little scary for him but he is doing so much better. I don’t even need to use water to start out with anymore. He shows a little bit of anxiety and pulls back for a few seconds as I start to spray but then stands still and lets me spray his whole body. Patience is all it takes with Arrow. He is quick to figure things out. I still do not have him tied when I spray him with fly spray. I bring him to an open area and hold on to his lead rope. I learned on that day that I should do this with all sprays for awhile. He can be a little confusing when it comes to the mean spray bottle. Show Sheen is a spray that is used to make working with the tail and mane more manageable. I do not know why, but this bottle never causes a problem. I can grab his tail and start spraying and all is fine. I’m starting to think the scent of the fly spray triggers it. He also allows me to touch his ears all I want UNTIL I try to use the roll on version of my fly spray and then he starts his head tossing. It would be nice if there was some decent smelling spray. Here was another mistake. Before I was going to do his fly spray I wanted to spray a small cut on his leg with Alushield. It is a spray on bandage and I used it a few days before while holding his lead rope and he didn’t even flinch. I assumed he would be fine this time and left him tied. As soon as I sprayed he pulled back hard enough to snap his lead rope. I have seen many horses at the farm break free and take off across the farm. Arrow did not do this. As soon as it broke he just stood there. My second mistake was not grabbing him 1st so while grabbing another rope he decided he was going back to his pasture to finish breakfast. He just turned around and started walking down the hill in that direction. He walked slowly so I was able to get him before he made it back and I took him back to put on his fly spray. That was successful so we ended on a good note. J
Chloe has been riding him 3 times a week and she said he is doing very well! Like I said, he is a quick learner and he wants to do the right thing, he just needs to be shown how. J I really try to watch his training sessions but this has become a very hectic time for work so I have missed a few. I love to watch him in school. He makes me so proud! It is amazing to watch him transform so quickly! It will take some time to figure out all of his quirks and the things he likes, but that is just part of his story. Hopefully I will be able to post a cute video I have of him following our Yorkie around the pasture. That will be for a future post. I really am starting to think he was a dog in his past life!!