Bags can be SCARY!
Since I haven’t been able to ride Arrow, I have been working on desensitizing him. Fly spray is really not an issue anymore. He takes a step or two to the side and then lets me spray him all over. I still do not keep him tied just in case he pulls back but I am close to trying it.
Last weekend we worked with the scary scary plastic bag! A plastic bag coming at a horse can make them LOSE THEIR MIND! Because of Arrow’s history I was going to take my time with him. I have been watching training videos from Carson James. He covers every issue you can imagine will come up with your horse and so far his techniques I tried have worked. Things he teaches and talks about match up with what Chloe teaches and talks about so I am very comfortable trying his methods. This is where I learned to train using a bag on the end of a dressage whip. The dressage whip is almost 4 ft long. I tied a grocery bag to the tip of it. The whip never touches Arrow. It is just used to hold the bag. I brought him to a catch pen to keep him from taking off. I expected him to go crazy and he surprised me. He is such a brave boy! I positioned myself about 3 feet in front of him off to the side. I didn’t face him and didn’t look at him. I slowly raised and lowered the bag to the right of me bringing it closer to him every 15 seconds or so until it was almost touching him. This only took about 1 minute. He took a few steps to the side when I started and that was that. No drama. This was really all I planned on doing for the day because I didn’t want to stress him out. Since this went so well I touched the bag to his left shoulder, then his neck, then his belly, his butt and finally around his feet. He just stood there. I switched to the left side and there was a little more reaction at first so I spent more time waving the bag away from him but within a few minutes I was able to brush the bag all over him. Success!!! Arrow even let out a deep sigh so I knew he was ok. We will do this several more times over the next few weeks. The desensitizing is getting him ready for the trails. You never know what you will encounter out there! We finished the day with a good bath and carrots!
His training with Chloe is coming along very nicely! Work has been crazy and will continue to be, so I haven’t been able to watch as much as I would like. There are very significant changes every time I am able to catch a session. I’m ready to ride him next week. Very excited!! It will be a little while before I ride him without Chloe there and I think that is a wise choice. I was hoping to ride this week but we had rain (finally) and Chloe has a Show this coming weekend in Central Coast so it didn’t work out. Good Luck Chloe! Tyler has become a big fan of Chloe and wants to ride like her. (Sigh) $$$$$$$$$$$$. I’ve been telling people how Tyler has finally taken an interest in the horse world and have gotten several “That’s fantastic! I’m sorry for your checkbook.” They are not lying.