The time has come for me to take Poster Boy for his first venture out of his corral. This is a big day for us. I feel like I have enough trust and communication for me to be able to safely lead him around the ranch without to much trouble. So for the first outing I take him just for a little walk not too far from the security of his corral and each and every new day I build on to the walks, exploring the ranch. We walk into the jumping arena and I send him over some Cavaletti poles. We walk in and out of all the jump fences. Next we walk into the big western arena where at the far end we have pigs and cows to look at. I take his halter off and let him have a good roll in the deep soft sand. I just sit in the sand and watch him enjoying himself rolling and rolling and I am confident that he is enjoying his new life with me. The trust that we have is amazing. I know that I will be able to catch him in this big arena because we have a clear language between us.
I was right. Catching him was no big deal. He was ready to go explore some more so we head out to our trail course where there is lots of new things to look at. We stop at each new object or obstacle that might worry him, have a look, and maybe a smell and go on to the next. I have a really long rope on him, about twenty feet long. It's climbing rope that I use. Back in the day my husband and I did a bit of climbing so we have lots of rope laying around. It could be a little hard on your hand if you tried to hold on if your horse bolted, but I think if you have enough rope to let slide through your hands he'll stop and turn around before he gets to the end of the rope. I take him down to our little creek and he's happy to sip fresh cold creek water. I send him up and down our sand hills to start to build some muscle and more trust doing some different things.
The time is getting close for my first ride. I will prepare him for the first ride the same way I have with everything else, its a slow steady building process hoping to never surprise him. He will tell me when the time is right for that first ride, and I will wait until the time is right for the first ride. I am having so much fun learning and growing with him.
Every horse is different and has a unique personality; as different and individual as a person. So I approach each horse as an individual and the training methods I use are specific to that horse. So is the time table for progress. That's what keeps me interested, the variety I experience with each new horse. The only aspect of training that is the same across the board is the release and reward I give the horse when he does the right thing. Now Poster Boy waits at the gate when he sees my car come into the ranch wondering what kind of fun we are going to have today. He wants to spend the day with me, I know that, 100 percent! I think the time is near for my first ride. Pray for a safe ride for this forty something year old kid.