Sunday, October 2, 2011

17 Months

Time to get my camera out again as Danny hit 17 months yesterday. I also need to start taking lots of photos again so that I'll have something to look at (and cry) while Danny is in Missouri with Huston this Winter. Fifteen hours away, I don't know if I can take it even though I know he'll be in the best of hands.

He's growing up, already as tall as his brother Django who's 14.2 and showing signs (long legs) of being at least a hand taller if not a little more. He's sweet as can be but I'll admit since I'm the one who's done it, a tiny bit spoiled....rotten. Still, he isn't a bad boy and not at all aggressive but I do know that keeping this blog isn't the only thing I've been remiss about.

Huston has asked me not to attempt to do any training with him but there are a few essentials that I feel we do need to work on before he makes his trek West. The first thing is lead training. Although Dan was trained to a halter from the day he was born and we did do a bit of lead training when he was young and following his mom, he still needs lots of work on a lead line. I've really come to realize that over the last two days when I attempted to lead him and was met with either him jerking his head or standing stock still. I've been doing some research and reading today and I've got a plan of action. I also know what I've been doing wrong. For one, I've been choking up on the lead line out of my own nervousness which really doesn't establish me as a leader. Also, I get him to walk forward by pulling on him until he moves and then releasing pressure. I've learned that is the wrong way to do it because it doesn't establish me as boss and puts me in the wrong position. I also allow him to crowd me out of his own nervousness and I need to work to keep a proper distance between us. The forecast is for beautiful weather for the next week. We will be trying to put hay up but I'm sure that I can save 10 or 15 minutes out of my day to work with Dan on leading.

The second thing that I need to work with Dan on before our trip to Missouri is actually essential to the trip......trailer loading and transport. Steve hasn't had the time for several months to help me get the trailer out and set up so that I can start loading and unloading Dan and we can start taking him on short trips in preparation for that one very long one. It isn't completely to blame on Steve's busy schedule however; I know that I've been dragging my feet, too, because I'm so afraid that he'll panic and hurt himself. I should have listened to Huston and left him locked in a stall when he was younger. I'm such a pushover when he's scared or upset. I don't know if I'm really cut out for horse training.

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