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August 12, 2017: Big and Small Horse Day

It was raining lightly when we got up. I thought it might clear up. Thought wrong. It abated a little when my friend Heather got here at 11 a.m. She was glum, said that her horse Rio had resisted this morning when she went to get him in the trailer.

I told her I had a plan, and we followed through with it. I gave her a book, the Neil Davies book I picked up at the CTR silent auction. Then we looked at digital photos of the CTR that Fran sent. There were not many of Rio, but lots of photos of the northern breed horses.

We next went outside and went over taking vitals, using Tinni and Rio. And after, we went over to the Playground of Higher

Learning, where I first had Heather do the obstacles, focusing on breathing, soft eyes, centering, alignment, and clear intent. Then she did the same with Rio. It was interesting, he was concerned about the tarp and curtain combo and the fun noodles attached to the jump stand. This was a sign that he is cautious about going through, or perhaps into things.

Then it came time to get into the trailer – beforehand, I’d had him walk over tarps and rug squares. He was fine with this until it was connected with getting into the trailer. Then it was no way Jose. He just would not go into the trailer. I tried using a target, a yellow supplement container lid, but this did not work well because he wasn’t trained to it.

What to do? We worked on getting him into the trailer way too long. We even put Tinni in one side and then went for a loop around When, finally, his patience and Heather’s began wearing thin, I more than suggested we take a break. After lunch we resumed working with Rio. Heather finally got really firm with him, and he hopped in. It was the perfect instance of clear intent.

By now it was raining harder. I knew that I could act on one of two options. I could either take a nap or I could get horses out. I opted to get horses out because I am a disciplined person. That is all there is to it.

I saddled up Raudi and ponied Tinni, first around the loop and then into the woods. We went up Jim’s Road, over to Siggi’s Loop, and home via Raudi’s Runway. It was the perfect ride – Raudi maintained a nice, steady pace. We got home and I opted to pony Tyra off of Raudi. Raudi’s patience for such things is actually quite minimal. She repeatedly let Tyra know that her antics were not appreciated by putting her ears back and reaching out to bite her. At the same time, when Tyra stopped, Raudi backed, creating a release in the line. I was so proud of Raudi – she is now such a good steady eddy horse.

I was going to get Hrimmi out but Pete talked me out of it. He was right, it was supposed to be her day off. But tomorrow she will resume work.

Next: 220. 7/13/17: A Conversation with Raudi

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