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. On Tuesday, he was introduced to those along with the stuffed bear. Aside from a little side-eye, Hickory had almost no problem with them. We progressed with having both on the left & then the right side & then 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. After that, he wasn't the least bit bothered.
Randy & I were both under the weather towards the end of the week, so the horses had a few days off. Today, I had intentions of at least swinging a leg over & Yielding his Hindquarters a bit. Whether he picked up on those intentions or was fresh with the weather change coming, I'm not sure. Today was the first day that he was a little cold-backed with the saddle, throwing in a few crow hops when I first sent him off around me - not the same easy-going horse from earlier in the week. Aside from the first day with the surcingle, he hadn't offered to buck/crowhop during our groundwork under saddle. He remained a bit wide-eyed throughout our session & it was apparent he wasn't going to tolerate me climbing aboard, so we did a bit more work with the boat bumpers instead.
Next week's plans are a bit up in the air. Once the snow blows through tomorrow, I hope we have a couple of decent days before the colder temps arrive on Thursday. The plan will likely be to do some trimming & introduce Hickory to hobbles.
***** Hickory's progress, while challenging at times, continues to show promise. However, his training journey is unique, and it's clear that his training timeline doesn't quite match up to what might be considered "normal." I understand that the financial aspect of training is an important consideration & want to be respectful of that. Could a "cowboy" hop on him, ride him through whatever he offers, & get along with him? Potentially. However, riding bucking horses is not my specialty, so I go about things a bit more measured & patient. If this aligns with your expectations, I am happy to continue working with him. Alternatively, if you'd prefer to take a different route, I am open to discussing arrangements for his pickup.
There's also a third option to consider. I have a contact who could potentially assist with a saddle horse or even handle Hickory's first ride, should it be necessary. As a previous bareback rider, he may be more equipped & willing to put that first ride on. This isn't a route I've had to take before, and it would depend on his availability, which is limited to Sundays and has currently been constrained by the holiday season.
I want to ensure we're on the same page regarding Hickory's progress and the approach taken. Your feedback is always welcome, and I'm here to discuss any of these options or any other thoughts you might have.
- Lexy Nuesch
Next week's update will be posted on Friday.