Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Starry Stalls--Big Time

Starry Stalls--Big Time

We have been having some decent weather, lately.  The river even thawed out, so we could go on a real trail ride on the other side of the river for the first time in a few weeks.  Kevin and I decided to take Starry and Cole out for ride.

It was still very cold, so the river bank, rather than being muddy, was frozen.  Cole hates mud, so I thought this might be an improvement, but as we walked down it, I realized it wasn’t as it seemed.  The top inch was frozen, and it was soft underneath.  Cole got worried when it made a loud, hollow sound.  In some places, his hoof went through to the mud beneath.  I kept praising him and gave him a click and a treat at the bottom.

Starry followed us with no problem.  We had a nice, but very cold ride.

The next day, we were pleased that it was a little warmer.  As we approached the river bank, Cole remembered that he didn’t like it and hesitated.  Starry simply refused to go first, but that is not unusual for him.  I told Cole he had to lead, and he hesitantly stepped toward the frozen mud.  It was softer than the day before, so it didn’t sound as bad, but he broke through it even more.  I just kept praising and praising him--and  clicked him when we got through it.  

I have taught Cole that when I praise and praise, he will get a click at the end.  That way, he will keep doing what I ask--knowing that a reward will follow.  I find it a very handy way to get through situations where it may not be convenient to click.

When Cole took a step into the water, I clicked him again.  It was as that point that I realized Starry wasn’t following.  He also remembered what it was like walking on the horrible frozen mud, and he was having nothing to do with it.  In fact, rather than going forward, he was going backward.

Kevin told me to just go ahead, cross the river and enjoy my ride.  Reluctantly, I did.  We planned a short ride, so Kevin just rode Starry up and down the hill until we came back.

Kevin has some ideas on how to solve the problem, and I will keep you updated.  It is supposed to be warm all week, so if the rain doesn’t make the river too high, we will get another chance, soon.  Also, it will turn back into mud.

This shows the risk of riding with me.  You never know when you might end up in my blog when your horse does something you don’t want him to do.

No comments: