Early this week, I found some boat bumpers at Bomgaars that I thought would come in handy with Hickory & another client horse that I'm working with now & thought Hero could also benefit. Tuesday, he was introduced to those along with the stuffed bear & they couldn't have served their purpose any better. Hero really didn't have much of an issue with them aside from a little side-eye at the start. We progressed with having both on the left & then the right side & he was eventually at ease with having one on each side while we pulled the sled around. The bear was a bit novel when I first carried it towards him, but with some approach & retreat, he wasn't bothered having him tossed aboard. We made it back in the saddle on Wednesday. Because of the ground conditions, we focused on Flexing, Yielding the HQ, & following his nose at the walk. He had a few tense moments early in the ride, but overall, did well. One of the biggest things that I've noticed after spending time around the jumping logs/barrels, dragging the sled, & playing with the boat bumpers is that we've almost completely eliminated his little startles.
Randy & I were both under the weather towards the end of the week, so the horses had a few days off. But Hero saddled up with minimal pre-ride groundwork today & only had one little tense moment early in the ride.
Next week's plans are a bit up in the air. I hope after the snow blows through tomorrow, we can get a couple of rides in before the colder temps arrive. Otherwise, I'll do some trimming & introduce Hero to hobbles.
- Lexy Nuesch
Next week's update will be posted on Friday.