I bought five rubberish buckets to use with the horses. When I got them I wasn’t exactly sure what I’d be doing with them. They had two outstanding qualities. They are light-weight and brightly coloured.
Recently I’ve been placing them on the centreline so we could slalom through them. Last week Bill decided to pick them up when we were done…on horseback. He fetched an umbrella with a hooked handle and tried to snag the bucket’s handle. He dropped the bucket, again and again. Zelador was watching all of this. Two days ago I gave him an opportunity to perform the bucket clean-up. He knew instantly what game we were about to play. We approached the first bucket. I asked him to “push” and he did. The bucket had been upside down which made hooking the handle impossible. Now it was on its side (sometimes it rolled a wee bit extra and landed on its bottom in perfect position!). He stood patiently while I leaned WAY over to hook the handle. He was a statue while I arranged my reins, the bucket and the umbrella. He walked directly to the east wall of the arena and lined up beside the chair I’d designated for holding the buckets. He waited till I asked him to take me to the next one. As we were travelling to it I called out the colour, knowing that in a very short period of time he’d have those colours memorized and we’d be playing another version of the game.
As we were heading for the fourth and the fifth buckets he suggested that he could pick each one up. However, he wasn’t able to carry the bucket easily with the Bitless Bridle. In one of these bucket round-ups I’ll see if he can do it with just a halter on him. Then, if we’re successful, we can try the game with nothing on his head. Now THAT should be interesting!