There were other horses inside getting ready for a trail ride so he shouldn't have had an excuse to be naughty in the cross-ties. He was okay getting ready. He's too smart. He always "pretend paws" as soon as I get out of "whip distance." This means he lifts his leg threatening me that he might paw. Sometimes he strikes down, but never hard enough to hurt himself, just enough to cause a stern "ROBBY" from me. Today we tricked him and Louise stood by his side as I went to the tack room to get his pad and bridle. As soon as I walked away his hoof came up and crack (not hard) Louise got him across the chest with the dressage whip. Robby!
He was pretty good getting ready and GREAT getting to the indoor. It was uber windy today so I was hesitant to start "real" long lining. I actually forgot to bring the long ropes out with me. I set up a bunch of poles, the barrel and brought the mounting block into the center of the big-indoor. Rob ran around and checked everything out. I then went back to the main barn to grab the long lines.
He did pretty well by himself in the big arena while I was away. He trotted around and was standing by the back door looking out at the outside horses when I got back. We lunged and he did great. He only cantered to the right, but we'll get better at that. I don't care if he likes to only walk and trot...
I grabbed the long lines and attached them. I didn't have a whip at first and he wasn't too sure what I wanted him to do. Prior to this I would keep the lead hooked up to the Parelli halter and would attach those "in-hand" reins to his bit and walk him around and circle him. Having the Parelli lead on the halter allowed me to move his head and pull him ahead if he got confused.
Today was all bit. As mentioned at first he didn't know what I wanted him to do and I didn't know what I wanted him to do other than move forward. At first he was commanding direction. I steered him (kind-of) to the other end of the arena and picked up the Parelli stick. This was what I needed. I was able to tap him on the butt and keep him moving forward. It was great. By the end of the session he was walking like a little plow horse. We'll have to work on the Who/Stand. But moving forward and turning happened and without much fuss. He actually settled in and was walking with his head parallel to the ground and was licking and chewing. He's such a good boy. Well until...
Until we got back to the barn to untack. I hooked him to the cross-ties and as I was walking back from putting his pad/surcingle away I heard - SNAP. Little bugger. The past three times he's figured out how to snap free with the break-away cross tie. He knows just the proper amount of pull needed for the cross-tie to slip throw the break away part. Then he's FREE! Since he's such a wuss he typically just hangs out by his stall (which is where he's cross-tied), but he's Free! Jerk. Again Louise to the rescue. She unooked the cross-tie from the safety release (as seen in the image) and hooked it straight to the wall. That naughty (smart) horse continued to pull (just hard enough to feel it and enough to formerly set himself free) but this time he was still attached to the wall. He was getting so MAD. It was kind of cute.
He's smart enough to stop pulling when he knows he can't go any further. I'd like to be able to trust him, I think after a few more times with being attached to the wall (with only his left side - he hasn't figured out the right side was break away too ;p - he's not as smart as he thinks he is) I will hook it to the safety-release again so I feel better. He's keeping me on my toes that's for sure!