Such a smart horse. Now if the bucket could just get in line.
Started the day trying on two purple rope halters. The old soft one was a bit small and the new one slightly large, so I went with the new one. Parelli lead line with goofy twist quick-release snap and leather popper end. Gave him a peppermint and his rabies vaccination, then a quick brushing, better on the feet all around today, and fly spray.
Played with the rope a bit rubbing him with it, touching his legs and belly, then asked him to walk forward while I stayed back at his shoulder. It only took a moment for him to get it, practiced around the corral then switched sides. Not as easy going to the right, but he got it and was lunging both directions at the walk very well in just a few minutes. My whip was in the car and I didn't need it, he did great both sides with just the rope end touching him.
Headed out to the arena for introduction to arena stuff. A bit anxious on the far side when he heard the neighbor's music but settled well. First the white barrel, kicking dirt against it while he sniffed it and then standing it up so it rattled. He pushed it back down. That'll teach it.
Next, the metal barrel. He was not even interested. Checked out the table umbrella and walked over the railroad tie without being asked. Then the lawn chairs. No problem until I stood on it. What are humans thinking? My human wants to put this next to my shoulder and then stand on it and scratch my back. On both sides. Actually, that feels pretty good.
More walking and we faced the poles- these are traffic pylons with a small pole inside for attaching balloons to for Mounted Shooting. I tried to set it up on his good eye side but he walked right over it. Luckily they are light and it didn't scare him. Blue barrels are also not interesting. Clearly barrels have been taught a lesson and are no longer a challenge.
Tarp. Why this black tarp is tied to the fence I do not know, almost no horses go over there due to its occasional random flap. Stood on it and then used it for squeeze game, where I drive him between me at the tarp and then turn him back like half-a-circle of lunging and then a reverse. He is super good at this, esp.turning left, bringing me back under his blind spot.
Reinforced full circles both directions down in the corner, and then I tried some names out, doing best with "Fox" which had some first-day reaction too. Then gave him a mint and headed quietly back to the gate. He hurried towards home but did some good whoa/back combos. Giving voice and mild cue then harder hand on the next step. By the time we got to the corral he stopped on voice alone.
I opened the corral gate up wide again, expecting a driving from behind lesson to come, but he walked right in. Interesting. No audience, no drama. He did hurry me some to take the halter off, I need to remember to do head downs tomorrow for both on and off.
The aqua bucket which has been such a shameful embarassment, being full of water instead of something tasty, acquitted itself well today by being full of bran mash. At the very least it did not earn a flinging across the corral today. Brushed him again while he ate, and he came to hold onto my sleeve a minute over the gate when I left. Nice easy day, no battles, learned a lot about each other, and not as brutally hot as yesterday.