Fun and Games with Winnie

Cantering Zelador Campaign

Marcus was introduced to the mailbox today. I had the door open a

By: Fun and Games with Winnie |

Marcus was introduced to the mailbox today. I had the door open and placed a piece of carrot in the mailbox. He thought that was a good trick! Of course, he would have liked to play with the red flag at the back of the box and chewing on every inch of the mailbox was also a goal of his. As time goes on I’ll decide when to teach him to open the mailbox door. The second carrot I put in kept rolling away from him…further into the box. I had to fetch it several times…refetch…finally he got it. Right now I’m pretty sure he’d grab the knob and topple the huge mailbox. Zelador and Zeloso really enjoy outsmarting me and sending the box to the ground.

I took three stud muffins to the gang on the hill. I crumbled it up into little bits so that the horses didn’t overdose. I started showing them “yes” yesterday. Teddy is pretty close to figuring it out. I demonstrate “yes” by standing in front of the horse and moving my head up and down. I hope to teach the concept so that the horse will use his knowledge of “yes” to help humans do what the horse wants. Jim Key supposedly could do this. So I figure, give it a try.

Soon I’ll be asking, “Would you like a treat?” I’m hoping for a “yes”.

To say that the gang liked the stud muffins would be a huge understatement!

I’m really enjoying this warm weather. With the lack of ice on the driveway (due to no precipitation in the last week) I’m able to walk to and from the arena with my regular (not winter) riding boots on. During this “heat wave” I’m actually able to feel my fingers and toes when I ride. Today is day seven of my cantering Zelador campaign. He will be eight-years-old in March and since this September has exhibited a bit more maturity than I’ve seen in his first seven and a half years. His usual approach to the canter is: “Time to morph into an out-of-control freight train”. It’s not the most pleasant experience in this world.

I’m very happy to report that the right lead canter is exhibiting signs of speed control. Yesterday the left lead canter did the same thing…for the first time, ever! He’s able to listen to half-halts (actually they’re almost HALTS) which I use when I feel him shouting “I’m taking over!!!!!” A Working Equitation instructor rode him at the canter when he was four. She cantered for a really long time and announced afterwards, “I thought he’d never stop!!!” Christi noticed last week that he was almost controllable. If things keep progressing she’ll be amazed this week!

Zeloso’s canter is and always has been a relaxing gait to ride. Talk about two extremely different, closely related horses.