Tuesday, May 5, 2015

The Little Things

It's funny how quickly you forget how much goes into teaching a horse the details of good horse citizenship. I just went through it with Dickie and I already blocked out how much time was spent on the little stuff. Pippin is much further a long than Dickie was. He's also much more receptive to rules. There are still a million things he needs to learn. Leading from the offside won't kill you, mounting blocks don't eat horses, horses don't run from blankets, when people trot horses trot, and humans are allowed to touch horses anywhere. 

Dickie was a hard horse to train because he couldn't stand still (still struggles with this). If you poked him to move over he would protest with pawing front legs and bucking tantrums. But he was pretty fearless and could care less if you put a tarp over his head. Pippin will move away from you with just a touch and is happy to stand with you all day. For the most part he's not spooky. He doesn't care about hoses or mud puddles. However, if there is a human attached to the hose he thinks it might eat him. 

He was already started under saddle but we are treating him like a blank slate to make sure he trusts us. Last week my friend came out to play with him since I don't have as much stamina. She took him into the outdoor and worked on leading from the offside and trotting in hand. He let it be known that there is only one side to lead horses from and attempted to teach her. He also thought for sure she lost her mind when she asked him to trot in hand.  Normally you can just swing the lead role behind you and give the horse a smack to get a horse trotting. Pippin is super sensitive so swinging anything his direction means he side stepped away, at a walk. 

By the end of the session he figured out if the human goes fast it's ok to go fast with her. He still looked at her like she was insane but he went along with her. He thrives off of "good boy" and will try anything as long as he gets praise. 

She came back Sunday and couldn't resist having Pippin time. I had already worked with him but he seemed happy to come out with the people again. He's one of those horses who picks up better than you left off. He acted like leading from the off side was no big deal and trotted in hand like an old pro. We love us some Pippin!! He's so fun. Can't wait to see what he does this week. 


  1. what a clever horse he is! He is going to be a fantastic mount

  2. I love a horse who comes out better than where you left off! He's such a good boy!

    I love that picture of the pony trying to sneak into his stall hehe.