I really love this little guy Smokey. He continues to surprise me and Dennis. I wanted to catch you all up on his progress for week 4-12. A lot of it is review with some new things thrown in, but it is always good to go back and see where he is at with the things we have already worked on. Horses have a really good memory. You can teach them something and when done right they never forget.
First I will say he is growing like a weed and getting more and more grey hairs, so I guess it will be interesting to see what color he becomes as he ages. Dennis and I worked on trailer loading and he is loading right up, when asked from a distance.
We have been fine tuning his work at liberty and asking for movement. Turning, backing, side passing, moving around and over obstacles, passing through a narrow opening at ease, all without a halter or lead.
With a halter and lead on we have been getting Smokey used to the lead being thrown and touching all parts of his body as well as jump rope, turn on the haunches, leading without hesitation, giving to pressure, turn on the forehand, flexion, following a soft feel.
He is accepting the rope around all 4 feet and is now lifting all of them when asked. Dennis even trimmed his front hooves for the first time, a huge success!
My farrier, Blaine, stopped by to trim the big boys and Smokey watched with interest. Blaine walked over to Smokey picked up all 4 feet willingly with no halter or lead, and he says Smokey has really good balanced hooves. He was impressed with the work we have done so far with him.
Dennis got Smokey to play a little soccer with the big ball and introduced the parachute, which Smokey now walks over without hesitation.
My favorite part was when we gave him his first bath. At first Smokey was unsure of the whole water coming out of the hose thing, unlike the familiar watering holes in the wild. Eventually he kind of liked it and started to play a little with his muzzle up to the water. During the bath he accepted being tied to the hitch rack, all the giving to pressure training paid off.
If you get a chance to watch the new video, I hope you enjoy it!