Calm, Forward, Straight

Calm, Forward, Straight

Monday, December 21, 2015

In the Arena #160 - Getting to know you...

We may not be the elegant dressage pair yet, but my poneh does keep me entertained. Here are some of his many talents and skills...

1. Will reliably poop in the manure bucket.

I can't count the number of times he's tapped me on the shoulder while I'm picking the paddock to let me know it was time. A small adjustment of the wheelbarrow, and he saves me a scoop.

2. Will lead alongside while I'm pushing the wheelbarrow, and occasionally can be lead at liberty from one pasture to the other across the property, using only a cookie.

3. Super good at learning tricks.

We've been working on clicker training for a while now - easy peasy for one as food motivated as Val is. Turns on the forehand and haunches, comes when he's called (in progress), gives a kiss, bows, walks, trots and halts by my side at liberty, and will softly back 20 steps on my hand signal.

I got confirmation that he really is understanding the training the other day. While I went to move him from the grazing paddock, he was performing airs above the ground, rearing, bucking - generally ripsnorting around. I leaned on the gate biding my time. After a few minutes he came over and I'm figuring smelled the cookie in my pocket. He then volunteered the entire repertoire - one after another, from least to most effort required. I nearly busted a gut laughing at him.

4. Expresses concern for my well being... or possibly thinks I have magic.

Occasionally someone naps or rolls a little too close to the electric fence. I'll see him freaking out and come to find insulators snapped and wire arcing. After cutting the power, I'll head in to replace the insulators. "Hell no!!!" says Val as I work on the fence. Standing a safe distance behind me - eyes bugging, nostrils flaring and snorting - I know he's thinking HOW THE HECK CAN SHE TOUCH THAT STUFF IT ALWAYS BURNS ME?!

A little mystery keeps the relationship fresh I guess. ;D



                                   ♬♪♫ On the Sixth Day of Christmas... ♬♪♫



  1. That Val is one entertaining horse (and gorgeous to boot).

  2. Val is as smart and handsome guy for sure. Love that he poops in the bucket, what a considerate horse he is. If I was him I wouldn't go near those electrics either. Once burned twice shy. Sounds like the clicker training is going well. I'll be interested to hear more about that in future posts.

  3. Oh wow, tail for days on your boy! So gorgeous!

  4. What a handsome guy! And yes, it's important to keep them guessing about the electric fence. Haffie has it all figured out. :(

  5. wow he is very pretty. And smart. He's got it all. :)

  6. Thank you so much for the secret Santa gifts! My husband is talking about stealing my hat and I nearly ate one of the horse cookies myself since they smelled so good. I love the backpack too. Merry Christmas!


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