My goals for this week are to load Cole’ into the tiny two-horse trailer in the Parelli playground and to learn to own her hindquarters.
In preparation for the trailer I have been backing her off a little ledge. The smart horse she is, she quickly realized she could reach the little grass in the area by backing her back feet off the ledge and the best grass is available when she backs off with her front feet. I don’t think she will have too much of a problem with the trailer with proper preparation.
We also played with the ‘carwash’. The carwash is a frame tall enough for a mounted rider on a tall horse to comfortably ride through with strips of thick, clear plastic hanging down. The horse learns to push the strips out of the way and walk through.
Cole’ didn’t like the look of the hanging strips moving in the breeze. I asked her to go up and smell them. She stood with as much of her as far away as she could and sniffed it. I took that and we left it for the moment. When we came back later she shoved one of the strips aside with her nose confidently. Tomorrow I expect her to be even more confident with it because we left it on a good note.
Owning the hindquarters means you can steer by asking the horse to move their hindquarters like you would use the rudder of a boat. The tail goes left, the nose has to go right and visa-versa. We practiced hindquarter yields at a halt until she could do them softly, then we tried the walk I got one good one and left it at that.
I am feeling better and better about riding. I still don’t love it yet, but I no longer go into a cold sweat when I go to saddle her either.