Petey showed me today that our work together is really building a solid foundation that we can already begin to build on. I feel that the level of trust we have together is increasing and deepening. Working together in the round pen outside helped me see this.
Yesterday we went out to the round pen for the first time. Petey was a bit high headed, which was certainly understandable. Not only had we not been out the back of the arena before, but we had to go though the ponies’ lot to get to the outdoor arena and round pen. There was also the added excitement of being able to see Sunshine’s herd much closer. There was so much to see and smell and hear!
We focused on getting into the round pen without losing our connection. A couple of times in and out of the arena gate helped us start out on a good note. It really only took gentle reminders to bring Petey’s attention and focus back on me. Sometimes, I only had to move a step, and I got him back with me.
In the round pen, I kept him on the halter rope, and we investigated the new surroundings together. I got up on the mounting block and asked him to move around so he could pick me up. Petey did a great job trying. I was very proud of him. Although, today, I got to be much prouder.
We were able to walk out of the arena and into the round pen without incident of losing attention. I was pretty impressed. The time we took yesterday was well worth it. I unhaltered him in the round pen and asked him to move around at a walk. It was a wonderful start.
Not unexpectedly, Sunshine’s herd came running up to the fence. There was also the sound of motor bikes back in the woods as well as some gunshots. Lots going on, for sure. With all of the excitement and distractions, Petey got pretty lively. And, he was still able to hold some amount of attention on me, as he played up and ran a bit around the pen. We were able to work together through all of the chaos and still end with him being peaceful and connected to me. I am willing to bet, he never worked like that in a round pen before, if he had ever been in one before yesterday. We ended the off lead part with him walking calmly again in each direction. Then, I haltered him and combed him. He stood not only like a champ, we were able to have some hang out and connect time. I thought he did well to be able to come back into such a peaceful state after his small demonstration of fireworks. Not bad at all for an OTTB. Well done, Petey. Onward!