PostHeaderIcon What a Great Evening with Cisco and Lucky!

The weather changed to “have fun with horses” instead of “try not to die”.

I arrived at the barn determined to do everything.  Firstly, I decided it was Cisco who was to be the first ride.  I piled my backpack, 22′ rope and halter, and bridle around the saddle horn.  I decided to put on his driving bridle and drive him up to the arena – a half a football field away.  Lucky is in the pasture.  Cisco is a right brain extrovert.  He worries and gets anxious.  He has been really happy to be stabled with Lucky and gets upset when he separates from Lucky.  So, I’m trying to drive him away from Lucky.  Our driving is in the beginning stage.  He has not learned the value of a straight line, especially when he is traveling AWAY from Lucky.  So we had quite a time leaving the barn.  He kept trying to turn back and I kept turning him towards the arena.  Finally, he was convinced to go forward in a weave pattern and away we went.  That took a while.

When we got to the arena, I took off the driving bridle and his halter.  He was anxious.  I knew a liberty game would turn into something exciting and it did.  He ran about a 45 foot circle around me at a canter.  He was still anxious about Lucky not being with him.  I just enjoyed it.  Cisco was warming himself up.  He looks stunning. He is using his hind end. There is no trace of him dragging his toes which is part of the lameness issue. I examined his canter.  He is short-strided, but looks solid.  I asked him to change directions and he spun and kicked.  Whooowee.  I did worry about his stifle tendon, but he still was solid on his canter.  He came into me a couple of times and went back out anxious at a canter.  Finally, he walked a circle around me.  Success!  Then I left him.  He became anxious again.  I asked him if he was going to jump the arena fence and he screamed at me, “No way I’m jumping!  Just hurry and bring Lucky up here!”

I had Lucky working on his cantering at liberty in the round pen.  We worked on my draw too, which is coming to me when I lean over a bit and look at his hindquarters.  I was ignored for a while, but after cantering a good deal, he suddenly understood the signal to come to me.  I looked at the sun.  Good Golly, I didn’t have a whole lot of sun left!  I only had time to ride Cisco!

Oh what a great time i had.  Better and better he gets.  The driving helps his “rooting and chewing the bit”. Soon we had a quiet mouth. We worked on flexing the head while going straight. We were working on transitions and gaiting around the short ends of the arena.

We were at the potentially scary end of the arena when we saw something moving far away. It was a human. Cisco immediately went on head straight up alert. I tried moving us backwards and forwards and doing some sidepassing. The human kept moving. We went to the other side of the arena where he leaped up about 2″ and came down bracing his front legs. What the Heck? We weren’t even facing the scary human thing. Turns out, Cisco is leary of a strange shape in the sand. It is the shape of the bottom of a barrel. What! “You are afraid of a barrel impression in the sand”? Cisco replies, “I’m nervous about that human thing and anything strange just sets me off! I think an alien ship landed here and the aliens want to eat a horse!” I replied, “Oh Good Lordy”, as I had him walk over the alien space ship impression. He erased it and his worry went away.

We turned back to see if the scary human had disappeared yet, but it appeared the human was headed our way. A little doggie was on a leash. Awwww. The human came close enough that she could hear me yelling “Hi”! She said “Hi” back. I explained that my horse was afraid of her. She said her doggie was afraid of us. She held up a beagle puppy. Oh how cute. I yelled at the puppy in puppy language while I was rubbing Cisco’s neck. Cisco was still on alert, but the bolting tension had gone away. Human beagle owner and I chatted a while and she left. Soon she had disappeared and Cisco was back to calm

I thought I might try for a canter. On the second ask for a canter, it happened. I asked and he cantered. We cantered a very short distance to the short scary end of the arena and broke gait. I praised and praised him. The sun was ready to set and it was time to head back to the barn. Lucky was on the scary far side of the arena. I decided to get the stick and string to help Cisco drive Lucky to the barn side of the arena. Dang! It worked great! I had the string swirling thru the air with a calm Cisco and we got to drive the dominate horse. Cisco herded Lucky! What a night!

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