Boon’s Family

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Just looking around the internet tonight, and found some fun info on Boon’s family:

Here is a half brother, and information on several of his ‘ancestors’: http://tbstable.weebly.com/boon.html

And his son and daughter are doing well : Trendy (Stallions) and Color Me Ms Royal Boon (Future Brood Mare) http://www.spottedfawnpaints.com

 

 

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Boon 2012-13

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Two Youngsters on a Trail Ride

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Cindy on Boon

 

Lovely little trail ride with Monica and her 2 year old tonight in Dimple Dell.  Her horse has had 60 days professional training, several rides, and it shows.  Mine is a juvenile by comparison!  Both horses walked out really nicely trotted some, and went up and down hills, over  a bridge (Boon would follow but was not about to lead), and through the tunnel.

Monica on ‘yet to be named’

 

Ok, so can you tell we need to work on holding still =  )  Thank you, Monica for a fun ride!  Monica’s little horse is darling, and did awesome.  The ONLY bucks we saw had antlers!  We were totally happy NOT to see horse bucks!  hmmm … the only thing was it took 45 minutes to get him settled down and into the trailer.  He hollared and cried when Monica’s horse drove away, and then when I almost had him settled down again, someone else came with two horses and was running them around the parking lot.  That did NOT settle him down, wow, he was hyped about that.  I was thinking … well, I could always leave him here, walk over to Smith’s and get some vittles, and sleep in the back of my car …. but then the moon came up, the night got peaceful, and the shadow of my running horse was stunning … I was almost sad when he did finally give it up and leapt with relief and a huge horse sigh into the trailer.  Why he didn’t do that 45 minutes earlier, well he didn’t.

Fred Leslie mentioned something a couple weeks back… break the loading into little pieces.  Step 0 is to get settled enough to pay attention … THAT is harder than one would think, it seems.  Still working on that ‘away’ and ‘with horses’.

Now supposing that eventually after enough ground working, Boon settles down enough to concentrate on the job at hand …

Getting in the trailer… Step 1, as I figure, is to approach the trailer.  Boon does respond pretty well to ‘step’ with a tap on his hip.  At home he will get right in.  But not ‘away’.  He gets stuck at the trailer edge with his pasterns up against the edge.  If he picks up his feet, he touches his pasterns or even bonks them and won’t get in.  So today, we have been working on the command ‘step up’ and have ‘stepped up’ on everything in my yard that can be stepped up onto … tree stumps, feed buckets (inside and out), rocks banks mounting blocks, and yes THE TRAILER.  Piece by little piece, we will get there.  With the whip, I tap the thing I want him to step onto, make sure he sees and hears it.  Then I tap the back of the leg I want him to step up with (and I am being specific at this point… left or right … my choice, not his) and tell him ‘step up’.  At first, I gave him a treat (a little tiny bit of grain) for just picking up that foot.  Then, for touching the thing I wanted.  Now for putting his foot flat on that thing.  I also tried picking the foot up with a soft rope, to place it where I wanted it and that also helped at first.  Plus, it made him give to rope pressure on his feet which may eventually save him from rope or wire cuts if he becomes tangled.  And it helps towards hobbling too.  But it wasn’t long and I didn’t need the rope, only the tap.  I can also bring him into the trailer by touching the second foot and bringing it up too.  Then the rest of the horse follows along.  He clearly likes this game, as it involves food treats.  I will work on this some more this week, and hopefully have yet another tool to help get him in the trailer the next time we go ‘away’.

Watching Boon Learn

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Had a breakthrough tonight, two in fact.

Legs:

I’ve been working on helping Boon learn to work off my legs, so I don’t have to use much if any bit.  Sue showed me / reminded me to work on the turn on the haunches/turn on the forehand exercise.  And also turning into the fence, starting it with the bridle but finishing it with the legs.  Also, riding on the trail, been working on (my) leg pressure to move Boon’s hips.  This is important, because in places our trail is narrow enough to fall off of if you aren’t keeping your feet on the trail.  This is NOT the best place to practice, because at first, Boon was moving TOWARD the pressure, which would mean off the trail.  Um, no.  So, using the sage brush as my obstacles to turn all around, I’ve been trying to move him around them in long lines, weaving, tight circles, whatever.  He has to pay attention around them, as they footing is all over the place, and he does of course.  He’s been doing better on the left than the right. But, all of a sudden, he got it.  Then he lost it, then got it again.  Amazing to see him learn, you can just see the ‘ah ha’. I have to remember to ‘open the gate’ with my turn-in hand, plus leg, but mostly, it just feels like ‘picking him up’ with my hips and legs, and moving him wherever I want to go.  Yay!  So … we are getting THERE. And then going down the narrow trail going home … he HAD it, moved right over where I wanted him, no rein at all.

The Trailer:

Then at home, I put him in the trailer, since it is hooked up to take Friday for a ride tomorrow.  Boon went right in following me for grain.  Ok, so I do believe in bribes =) Totally relaxed in the trailer with the divider closed. Ate his grain. Came out nicely.  Then, instead of rubbing him and thanking him with his butt to the trailer, as I have in the past, I turned him around put his head right back in and rubbed him there.  I didn’t ask him to get in, but I made the trailer place nice and cozy.  He knew I had some treats in my pocket, which he was negotiating to get.  I don’t him be too rude about this, but it is clear he is pointing at them in every way a horse can point … neck, head, ears, body.  Suddenly, and you could see this, it occurred to him … he just stepped into the trailer as neat as you please, all by himself ( I was outside the trailer .. I’ve ‘driven’ him in before, but he has never gotten in totally of his own volition before) and turned around looking at me … treat?  Treat?  I gave him a treat right away, and he was clearly very pleased with himself, or maybe with me … Good girl!  She has finally figured out how to give me a treat!  He stayed in the trailer, negotiating for another treat, for quite a while.  Before he could get frustrated or lose interest, I brought him out, and again turned his head to the trailer, rubbing him, but not giving him the treat he was clearly pointing at with his face and ears.  He wanted a treat, clearly … and was negotiating to get one … basically he was trying to figure out how to make me give him a treat.  He was trying to train me!  When I just glanced into the trailer, he jumped right in, again turned around, and pointed very clearly to the pocket with the treats  … treat?  Treat?  Yep!  There was his treat.  He again stayed in the trailer a good long time, asking for more.  I brought him out, turned him to look at the trailer, and he stepped in without even waiting around outside the trailer, since clearly that girl has not figured out that horses outside of trailers need treats too. Inside the trailer … And another treat!  Amazing how those treats show up inside the trailer.  It was really cool to watch him very obviously figure this out.

Wow!  Way cool!

First (Little) Trail Ride!

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The past few weeks, we have been walking and ground driving up and down the road, getting used to all of the sights and sounds of our area.  Cats are no longer the horse eating monsters they originally seemed.  Bikes, cars, dogs (even barking dogs), people, garbage cans, the wooden bridge, tarps, concrete, and small flags are all OK.  Puddles and the creek are still suspicious.  We have taken a few trips to Sue’s to use the round pen, the arenas, and the field.

We have spent a lot of evenings getting in and out of the trailer (and are getting better, still not perfect).  So far, the thing that seems to work best is to circle and then ‘squeeze game’ in front of the trailer, and THEN when he is settled, and paying more attention to me and the trailer than other nearby distractions, THEN Boon can be bribed into the trailer.  I’d like it to be better than this, but ‘if you aren’t cheating, you aren’t trying.’  We will keep feeding, graining, and playing in the trailer.  Usually it takes 3-5 minutes to get in the first time, and then almost nothing for repeat performances. But sometimes … one night it was an hour at Sue’s.  Seems like if you get too aggressive about getting in now, it makes it take longer …  hmmm … where have I heard that in horse land before?

Boon is paying good attention to my seat and hands, and getting better about the legs, the left leg anyway.  The right one still is mighty tough.

Tonight was our first little trail ride at home.  He was so good!  We have a new soft headstall and narrow snaffle bit, much improved over the heavier, wider one for Friday.  The saddle seems to be fitting comfortably, and not slipping, though I do need to fit him with a breast collar soon. He doesn’t seem to mind the bridle, nor the saddle, and acts curious and a little playful as we get ready.

We walked and ground drove down the road.  Then at the trail head, I let him eat a little grass (to encourage future trips), and then got on.  He now stands nicely, and balanced, as I get on. Very good, Boon!  We followed Larry and the dogs down the trail, stopping to eat and let them get ahead of us in several places.  Boon has a nice walk, sometimes really gets it swinging, and I want to encourage that.  He is a little suspicious every time we come around a corner, what might be there.  He was almost perfect, and is starting to work off leg, going around the sagebrush at the top of the hill.  The only time he got a little distracted was when the dogs took off at a run for home, and he reared a little and wanted to run away too.  But he didn’t, and settled right back down with a one rein stop, didn’t even make one circle before stopping.  He would have liked to trot out, but I’m not for that quite yet, as he is barefoot and the trail is rough enough he might hurt his feet.  I hope to get him shoes next week.    So, it was a lovely evening, a lovely ride, and I am so proud of him!  What a sweet boy, easy to train.

We seem to be almost totally past the buddy issues.  Both horses can leave and be left, even for extended periods of time, without getting particularly upset.  They both call when we leave and return, but it is without the angst it used to have, more like just a greeting.  They both eat out of sight of the other without feeling like they have to check on each other constantly, in fact rarely now.  Boon still bites Friday in greeting and play (horse play, geeze), but Friday sticks his head through the fence and stands close enough to be bitten, so I guess he doesn’t mind much or he would stand back.

Riding, Just the Start

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July 7:

Had a WONDERFUL ride #3 on Boon tonight, totally calm, balanced, attentive,curious, confident, wonderful. We started in the round pen, quickly progressed to the small arena where we circled barrels, trotted, backed, and crossed small logs. Then we went to the medium sized arena, where we worked on getting balance and smoothness trotting (lovely, Boon, lovely), andstarting to get the working off leg. He responds really nicely to my body and hip, less to the calf and heel. Guess that is a hint. Then on to the big pasture, with hills, trees, logs, barrels, rock maze, dumpsters, dogs, other horses, ditches. He did awesome, leading except over one log, touching the scary stuff with his nose, lovely leggy walk, and we even trotted just a little. Still hesitating getting back in the trailer at the end of the ride, about 15 minutes this time. Still need to work on that. But hey! We are making it! Good job, baby Boon!

July 3:

Riding Boon! Thursday was our first ride, quiet in the round pen (a total non-event!). YEsterday was our second ride, quiet in the round pen, quiet in the small arena, quiet in the bigger arena, little spook when all the other horses spooked (another nearby horse knocked over a fence he was jumping over), but came down quickly and settled back down. Awesome! Then today, sigh, he would NOT get in the trailer, and he was being pretty rude. So, back to more basics. After 2 hours he was his old pleasant well behaved self, and he DID get in the trailer.

Week 4: Trailers, Dogs, Water

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I sure like this little horse.  Boon is doing just awesome this week.

Boon standing calmly at the trailer, as the dogs rough house nearby.  He no longer seems bothered by them at all, even the neighbor dog barking at him.  He is off on the right track with dog experiences. Now if we can just keep them positive….

We’ve been working on the trailer game, every evening and a lot of mornings.  Grain bribe still necessary.  But he will now go in without me leading him in, move right over next to the wall, let me close the divider gently, and calmly munch from the hay bag.

Going in … =)  ALL BY HIMSELF!  Just a little tap on the hip.

Standing nicely, hip over, ready to go.  Grain bribe has his complete  attention.  This training is best done hungry!

And, he turns around and steps out so nicely and calmly.

And we are working towards riding… Boon doesn’t seem to care when I stand on the mounting block or a fence and lean my weight on him, rub him all over on both sides with the stick, and hang things over both sides.  he is starting to get the hang of moving his hip over to the fence or mounting block.  Now just waiting for Boon-sized girths to arrive… I’m planning on another non-event.  Several pre-riding steps yet to go…

And, last but definitely not least, I am introducing Boon to water in every possible form this week.  He is clearly disturbed by the creek when we are near it, very unsure of it. And he doesn’t like sprinklers or hoses.  So … guess what, Boon ?  It’s a horsey water park around here!  Today was the hose … he still had dried on crud on his legs from the gelding healing, and it has not been coming off with brushing.  So, I trooped around the yard, squirting ahead and around us as Boon followed the water hose. Let him check it all out with his mouth, he liked lapping the water from the hose.  He was very adverse to having it get him wet, though, so I just worked slowly getting it closer and closer to him, spray across just his toes, under him, and all around.  Took a while, but finally did get the back legs sprayed down without drama., and all cleaned up.  nice!  Tomorrow I’ll bet the hose will be a non-issue. Seems to go that way with him. First time, an hour.  Second time, 5 minutes.   I don’t have an easy creek crossing to work on nearby … I may have to make one in the back yard somehow… let’s see what we can do…. hmm ….

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