Monday, July 1, 2013

Of Tarps & Tiny Bandits

When I bought Sunny he was too young to ride, so we did a lot of groundwork.  One of my favorite things to play with was the tarp.  The other day I was trying to think of things to work on with all of them, and it dawned on me that I hadn't run through the tarp with Sunny in ages - probably just as long for Thunder, and not as extensively. I couldn't remember ever trying with Amyra, and I know for sure never at all with Rufus.

Initially, Thunder was the only one who'd come over.  Sunny was sure I was going to catch him and ride him, and hovered suspiciously behind the other three.

But once he realized that I wasn't going to put his halter on and ride him, he waded right in, walked across and presented himself to be clicked and treated.

After a brief inspection, Thunder was happy enough to stand on the tarp, but preferred pawing and poking at it with his nose to walking across it.  He didn't catch on to the "follow me" game Sunny and I were playing. 

I can actually stop Sunny in the middle, then ask him to turn 360' in place without stepping off the tarp.  Good practice for trail class, if we ever actually make it to a show

He'll also wear it.  And monkey-see, monkey-do, Thunder was willing to let me drape it across his back, as well, since the blue flappy thing didn't eat Sunny.  Although he did a bit more eye-rolling.

Rufus wasn't worried about walking on the tarp so much as he was worried about getting in Sunny's way.  He certainly came right up and checked it out readily enough.  I think he would have walked across, too - but he wasn't willing to push in where Sunny was.  And he wasn't excited about the tarp leaving the ground.  Amyra, pretty much like-wise.  She experimented with putting her front feet on, but once I picked it up she backed off to a safe 10 foot distance and watched.

Next time I'll tie them up and work with them one at a time.  Especially Sunny.  He's a good example monkey, but once he figures out there's food and very little effort involved, he ends up being more of a deterrent than a help.

In any case, something fun and low-key after the trailer ride the night before. 


Later in the evening, I went out to bring in my clothes off the line and sent a small something scurrying into the underbrush at the edge of the yard and up a tree.  

These are too small to be the ones we've seen trying to raid the cat food can, although I'm sure that's very likely what I interrupted when I opened the door - no mom in sight, although they're pretty young yet. I'm guessing maybe the harvesting surrounding us currently moved the family in to the tree grove around the house. Very cute, and hopefully the whole family will move back out into the fields once the harvesters finish!


Cindy D. said...

Good training exercise, one I need to work on as well.
Those little guys in the tree are so cute.

Kellie said...

Great training for all horses! We've been goofing with water/mud holes here since both have been readily available.

That Sunny, he sure is a ham lol

Are they harvesting the wheat already there? Hope your guests move right back out when all the comotion is over.

SunnySD said...

Tarps are cheap :) Which is a good thing, because one night of being walked on kind of did that one in.

Wheat harvesting started around here last week, which seems super early to me, but was actually a week or two behind, believe it or not.