I’ve had Dante a month now, and I am pleased with how he’s coming along! His previous owner trailered him up to my boyfriends house to start. Seeing as the place I was going to board him had some maintenance things to take care of, before they could have him there. He was at the house for 4.5 days, and then got moved again to the boarding place. He’s been there 3 weeks and settled in quite well after a week of being there. I go most days after work to work with him for 1.5-2 hours. This includes walking down to the pasture, walking him back up to the indoor arena, letting him run around the arena free, grooming, desensitizing, stretching… etc.
Here’s what our nightly routine looks like:
Once I get him up to the arena, I let him run around (this includes at least 2 good rolls, trotting, bucking, rearing, prancing and a quick canter and/or gallop around the arena).
After he settles down, I groom him and pick out his feet and tack him up. Following this, I lunge him for 10 min each way in a bridle with either a saddle or surcingle and side reins. We work on walking, trotting and cantering on command and do lots of transition work.
We next work on standing still at the mounting block, (he’s not to fond of the loud plastic, so I kick it and stomp on it while having him stand still. If he moves, we start over.) Once I’m happy with him standing still, I mount and ride for about 20 minutes. Right now this includes walking and some trotting. He is still fighting the bit, but every night he does better and better. He is a sensitive horse and has been doing well with yielding to leg pressure.
After I get him cooled down I’ve been desensitizing him to a big black plastic bag. He does not like loud or large things waved near him, we are working on this, and he calms down quicker each night. He knows the commands to stand (still) (even when I walk away and turn my back), whoa, and trot. The others, walk and canter are coming along nicely, he is a quick learner.
Next, I groom him again and have been using a spray to help support healthy skin and hair for some of his nicks and scrapes from his previous home where he was in a herd, cut his neck on the fence, and looks like he rubbed his tail a bit. Recipe is HERE!
Then I stretch him out. I have him reach laterally on each side 3 (reaching up for his back near his hindquarters, reaching straight to his flank, and then down towards his back leg. He’s starting to understand he has to stand still and stretch for the treats, can’t cheat and back up 🙂 After that, I have him stretch down between his front legs to stretch his top-line. Then, every once in a while, I’ll manually stretch his front and back legs.
He then gets walked back to his pasture for dinner!
Since having him up here, he’s made some good improvements! Here’s just what I notice so far; he’s put on weight, gained muscle, has more endurance for working (doesn’t get super sweaty after 5 minutes), doing better with contact and the bit, trying to get into a frame (slowly but surely), more responsive while lunging, learning to stand still on command (kind of ground tying), and learning to stretch.
1/25/2020 Dante getting his rolling out 🙂
Dante rolling and trotting 1/27/2020
Dante Lunging at a trot 1/27/2020
Dante prancing, bucking and cantering 2/6/2020
Lunging with surcingle and side reins 2/10/2020
Lunging, trotting and walking on command 2/17/2020
Riding 2/19/2020 ( the first couple times going over a set of poles after getting on him, he likes to act like he wasn’t just trotting over them on the lunge line 😛 )