Today Bill worked with Zeloso free-jumping (this might be his second time) and I had Zelador.

You would have enjoyed watching the boys going over the two jumps (one at “A”, the other at “X”). One horse stood on the pedestal (resting, almost sleeping) and one jumped. The person not working the horse stood between “X” and “C” with a whip and provided a “barrier” designed to keep the horse at the jumping end of the arena.

When I tried to finish the second turn for Zelador and lead him back to the pedestal, he wouldn’t listen to me. He went back to jumping!!!

The key to keeping the horse “with me” when fetching him from the pedestal is to engage him in some activity, especially Zeloso. He’s been resting and he’s not listening to Bill. So, Bill needs to have Zeloso raise a leg, do a big smile or turn on the pedestal before he asks him to step off and go to the jumps. If Bill doesn’t do something to get Zeloso’s attention then Zeloso will leap about, play and possibly try to get Zelador off of his pedestal.

Both boys got into the routine of resting on the pedestal while the handler stepped away and became the invisible “wall” for the other horse. I was quite surprised that the resting horse stayed put! I figured the sweetie would leave the pedestal the second the handler’s back was turned. But no, each Lusitano stood patiently.

Bill and I were careful to keep repeating the same routine. When Zeloso was led (at liberty) back to his pedestal Zelador and I waited till Zeloso was standing quietly, then I took Zelador to the jumping area. When we were done with the jumping and both boys were on their respective pedestals we decided to lead them back to their stalls, then return to the arena to remove the poles and bloks supporting them. If we had let Z and Z walk around while we were cleaning up that would have muddled the pattern we’d established in the free-jumping. Also, I’m pretty sure we would not be able to keep them on the pedestal for the length of time it would take to put the apparatus away.

Looks like the boys are maturing!