Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Training Experiments

As you might have noticed, I really enjoy training animals! One reason that having Andolu on stall rest is such a drag for me is that I was just starting to be able to really work with him - and he loved it, too. However, I have figured out various little things I can work on that do not required him to move a lot or get excited. The verbal and/or hand signal backup command is now installed on him. My main challenge with that now is to keep mixing things up so that he never knows whether food or another reward or just praise is waiting when he does it. Meanwhile, I am now working on getting him to move his hindquarters away from me with a hand signal. Eventually I think I should be able to stand in front of him (facing his head) and ask him to sidepass to right or left and have him do it smoothly and quickly and straight. That would be such a kick! I also want to train a come sideways towards me cue, also - so that if I give the cue, he will move his front or rear or both towards me as I stand facing his ribs. Anyway, it's a lot of fun and is helping me with the waiting. I can hardly wait until I can finally ride again! I got to ride in a carriage behind some adorable flaxen chestnut Belgians this weekend and even riding in a carriage I got that "horse high." It's weird, but I can get a high that lasts for days from something as simple as riding in a carriage or sitting on a horse for a few minutes. At least I have lots of company!

The farrier was here last week doing Andolu's feet again. He said that The Dude looks great in his movement and his feet look really good. He said he thought I'd be able to ride him again really soon. Of course, he tried not to contradict the vet's "four months" order, but I could tell the farrier was really happy with Anatolian's progress in this six weeks. And I was happy with how the farrier did change some things about the trim this time as I requested. :-D

So, we'll see how soon that "10 day truck" comes by again... Tee hee. For now I'll just enjoy things. My last brother now has chickenpox, so hopefully in a week or so we will all be done with that stupid disease!


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