Luckily I called his name and he came cantering from down the hill. The other horses came with him, but they know the “carrot trick” – I didn’t even have to pull the carrots out. Robby came to the gate. I opened it and he walked through and stopped (he’s afraid to walk to the barn by himself). Perfect!
There were horses in the outdoor arena so we had to get ready (quickly since there wasn’t anyone else in the barn) and move our way to the big scary indoor.
For being by himself in the barn, he did a pretty good job tacking-up. This is except for bitting. He was really throwing his head. He’s been doing this the past few times. I work with him in the stall with putting (and keeping) his head down for the halter. I think it spurs from the barn staff putting on his halter in the morning while he’s anxious to go out, as he didn’t do this in before. Anyway, this is something that will need to be corrected soon. Just not today when he’s alone in the barn in cross-ties.
We made our way through the flooded little-indoor to the large one. I thought he might want to just check the place out and let him loose to free-lunge. I pulled out some poles and laid them on the “safe-side” of the indoor so he would inevitably meet them.
He always likes to explore to see if he can find any left-over hay and smell the poop. He’s a super poop smeller. Whatever floats his boat. He was over by a couple of bales covered by blue tarps and wasn’t scared at all. He moved over to the doorway into the second barn – YIKES – ROBBY! The door wasn’t shut and the only thing keeping him from entering the barn was the 2x4 that was placed just for that purpose. Well when the poop sniffer came to the opening he figured the barn looked safer than the giant indoor. NO ROB! He didn’t realize his withers are higher than his lowered. I guess I should have seen this coming.
There was no need for me do anything that might scare him forward, he moved forward on his own. But luckily he’s pretty good when frightened. He scares like a Saddlebred and sucks in, throws his head up and you can see the white of his eyes. He walked forward and his neck fit under the board but his withers did not. He raised his head, knocked the board out of its holders and stood there waiting for me to fix it.
I then connected him to the long lunge line and he walked, trotted and cantered in both directions.
He was really funny the first few times he came up to the poles on the ground. The first time he went over well. The second time he stopped and leaped over them. The third time he plowed through them. Arghhh. Eventually he realized he would have to plan the “over” part. He did well.
We ended on a good note and he was great by himself untacking before he got to go out with his buddies.