Take the Lead

04Jan13

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Never attempt to try and tackle training a horse by yourself. Especially if you’re new to horse ownership.

My first day with Summit started out a little frustrating. I started out leading him from his stall to the arena. I kept him on a lead and went about 6 laps. He did ok, but Summit is a left brain extravert. He’s a little pushy and likes to invade your personal space. I knew by my first few rounds with him, that he was going to test me. I fed him and then went back to the house. When I returned, I fetched him and put him on a lead. I brought him into the barn and tried to groom him, but he started to push me against the barn door. I wasn’t letting him get away with it, but I didn’t have a technique to work with this issue. My trainer was due out at 11 that morning and I was really looking forward to her helping me out.

I decided I would let him loose and I walk around his area and ignore him. I had sweet feed in my pocket and decided only if he came to me would I reward him. I stood for awhile looking at the cows in my neighor’s pasture. He came over to me. I rewarded him. I did this a few times, but when he started to invade my personal space by nudging me, I put my hand up for him to stop and he did stop. I tried paying attention to the other animals in the arena; rent-a-dog Tank, my dog Daisy and Smokey the barn cat. He came over after he saw me petting Daisy. Those few little tricks did work.

When my trainer, Jessica showed up, she put Summit through a series of little tests. She reminded me that he is still getting used to a new home. She identified his manner problem right away and confirmed that he just needs some ground work and consistently working with him would change this.

Jessica walked him around on a lead in the arena. When he wanted to lead, she backed him up by jerking on the lead rope toward his neck. Then, everytime he did that she would repeat. She’d wave her arms to get him to back off when he got too close. After a couple of laps he started to improve. Then she let me try. It worked really well and I was starting to see results. Jessica then tried this in the barn. He tested her again. She repeated the jerks on the lead. He started to improve. He started to get a little calmer after both Jessica and I worked with him. I think he even started to enjoy it.

In the barn, Jessica walked into the washroom with Summit following. The washroom is slightly higher than the barn floor and made of concrete. Summit wanted to go and tried to put his front feet on it, but wasn’t sure about it. He stamped out his feet and Jessica waited until he was confident and eventually came in. She led him in and out until he became confident. After that, she asked him to stay for bit and check it out and he complied. She was impressed with how he did with this exercise.

Jessica says Summit’s a good horse and that I will be very happy with him.

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2 Responses to “Take the Lead”

  1. 1 lavi

    Good boy summit. He is beautiful.

  2. 2 lavi

    Raelynn said ” oh he is really really beautiful. Wow what a big back yard. I want to go to grandpa Eric’s house when I save my money. I really want to see the horse”


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