Sunday, February 8, 2009

Day Two

Here we are, day two. I oiled up the crupper and Kasper doesn't seem to mind it at all. Here he's eyeing up the pile of moldy hay, hoping that's where we're headed. His mind is run by his belly most of the time!

I start by leading him around, asking for halts and back-ups. He's more interested in the surroundings at this point than in doing what I ask. He's away from his buddies now and a little on edge.

Asking for a halt. This is a good view of the harness. Does it look like it's sitting right? I used some odd names for parts of the harness in my last post. I've come across different terminology depending on whether the driver is British or North American, but I think the names I was giving things yesterday didn't belong to either group! My favourite book is "Breaking a Horse to Harness" by Sallie Walrond. It has fabulously detailed photos of the harness. She calls the strap that goes behind the butt the breeching, and the straps that adjust the height of the breeching, she calls the breeching tugs. The straps that I have attached from the breeching to the shaft loops, she calls the breeching straps. It's all very confusing.

The important thing is the fit. It looks like I could lower the breeching and perhaps shorten the strap that runs along his topline (hell if I know what that's called!) so that the breeching isn't sagging.

He's starting to relax.

Time to sort out the lunge line so I don't get strangled.
Here we are lunging. I work him at a walk and trot. I don't have enough room here to ask him for a canter, but apparently it's quite important to make sure the horse is happy with the crupper at the canter. I'll have to dig out that trailer and take him to the arena...
I kept him on the lunge today and didn't progress to the reins because he wasn't totally relaxed. He had two little crow-hopping bouts. I'll work him on the lunge line for as many sessions as it takes for him to be happy. At this point, I think he's reacting more to being removed from his buddies than from wearing the harness.
Next session, I'll be cameramanless, so I'll see if I can set up the videocamera on a fence post. Now if I could just figure out where I stashed that remote control...

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