Saturday, February 2, 2013


Every single day I spend with Shyloh, she just amazes me more. She has a confidence about her now that I never would have thought she could have when I brought her home. The difference is so mind blowing. Sometimes it is hard to appreciate through each day, but when I look back it is just wow. And sometimes just a single event makes me realize just how truly amazing this horse is.

The snow fell through the night, so what a perfect day to go horse sledding. Plus, it is much easier to work on my contact when I am not walking behind Shy. I got everything out and took her to the outdoor arena. Eek, it was pretty icy under the snow, so I decided to stick to the roadways on the property. I did a few minutes of line driving then hopped in my sled. Whoa! Something got Shy going and she took off. But I kept myself together and got Shy to stop. Then we continued on. I let Shy pick the path she took, as long as was going where I wanted her to go. She seems to have the ability to sense ice under the snow and can avoid it. 

She was listening really well. Until we got to the gate. The gate to the herd and pasture. The gate we always have trouble with. We will conquer this gate! 

On a good note, Shy can tangle herself all up in long lines and traces and not care a bit. With Shy's growing confidence comes a new set of problems. Nothing that consistency and firmness won't fix, but problems none the less. We have the gate sour problem, the won't move problem (fixed that with the whip), and the won't stop problem (new and kinda scary).

With the gate, the whip does help to keep her moving, but on the sled I can't really reach her with the whip. I just have to keep working on it. The won't move problem was not a problem today. Shy was actually trucking along at a nice pace and I was really happy with that. The won't stop problem. . .eh. . .After our gate issue, I did some line driving behind her to reiterate her cues. When I asked her to whoa, she kept going. Usually Shy is really light in the mouth, but as I pulled back, she was pulling forward. I had to put a lot of pressure on her mouth to get her to stop. We did walk whoa, walk whoa until she stopped without issue. And we worked on stand, which is finally starting to sink back in. But I am not happy with her trying to blow through the whoa. Any ideas what I should do?

And I continued to prove just what a klutz I am . We were still doing the line driving. Shy had straightened herself out and was doing really well, so we were walking back to be done. And I fell on a rut. Ouch. There were some ruts in the roads from the tractors when it was rainy and muddy earlier in the week. Took a few steps forward then just stopped, looked back, and waited for me to compose myself. 

Cart time! Shy is so curious about the cart. I put the cart on some rails in the indoor and sat on it. Shy came up to me. I walked the cart around the indoor arena. Shy followed. I put the cart down and walked Shy in the shafts. This time, she went all on her own. . .with the help of a peppermint. But still, a big improvement from yesterday when I had to attach her lead rope, line her up, and coax her between the shafts. This is where the confidence is really showing. She is not leery of the cart. There is no excessive thinking noises or running way from the cart. There is no difficulty in getting her near the cart. Tomorrow, I hope to have help to hook her up!


  1. Oooooooo, those mints sound very tasty! Sure would like some mints please

  2. It sounds like everything is going pretty well so far! I'm cheering for you guys!

  3. Just keep doing the whoa cues and if she doesn't whoa halt her immediately. It will take a lot of repetition but she will get it. Just be sure when you ask for something that she does it. Never change your mind and think oh well we wi just keep going. Consistent clear aids are vital!

    You guys are really doing great.

    1. Yes! We usually go through about five minutes each time right when we work of Shy testing me. After that, she is generally good as gold.


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