Thursday and Friday we worked in the round pen. I wanted to teach Monty a verbal command for canter, before I attempted to try it from the saddle on the trail. I actually was able to get Monty to canter, both under saddle and not. It is a challenge to keep him going at a steady pace, but he is definitely trying. I just don't think he sees the point. After all, "There are no cougars chasing us, Mom!!! "
Saturday, we trailered over to the Taylor Mountain Watershed. My friend, Beth, came along for moral support, riding one of my other horses. We set off down the trail. Monty was intrigued but not tense. I have yet to teach him to give to the bit (he just "carries" it), so I am using the halter to guide him. We weren't but 10 minutes into the ride and Monty was leading! Curious to find out what was around each corner. He spooked a bit at a few man made objects, but took right to following the trail and setting a good pace. Many times he lead through scary water crossings. Beth kept commenting how the mustang with 4 rides was leading the 6 year old horse! LOL Different personalities. She (the horse) is insecure. Monty is not. Good for Monty. Good for me!
We came upon a logging road where a lake had formed. What a fortunate thing! Looks like a prime opportunity to try out deeper water! A few timid attempts were made until it became obvious to Monty that it was WATER! Drinking water! Yay! After he tasted the water, he walked right in. "Hey, I know about water! You drink this stuff. Preferably when you are up to your knees!" LOL
We then had to spend about 10 minutes working with the "older horse" to get her arse in the water. Finally, after many failed attempts on her own, we asked Monty to pony her into the water. She followed and Monty got his first pony horse experience. It was great and amazing at the same time. I just love him!
Oh, and we got lope!!! Actually, it was more like bolt and run, but hey, it was faster than a trot!! We had been ambling along in relative peace and quiet, when we were suddenly bombarded by 2 off road motorcycles!! Ugh! I found something that gets Monty going!! And fast!! "Hey, hun, can you fire up the ATV? I want to lope today!" LOL
Monty bolted and ran about 25 feet before stopping and facing up to the situation. He then carefully started to return. This time, the "older horse" was not on his tail. She IS accustomed to ATV's and has ALOT more spook in place work than the new guy. She spooked but was easier to turn and face. Beth, my ever vigilant Backcountry Horsewoman friend, proceeded to go back to the rumbling machines, and politely "educated" the young men on proper off road machine / horse etiquette. They saw my horse take off like a shot and immediately apologized!
I just held on, knowing full well, that Monty would stop shortly (we know he won't gallop that long!) and that he might be having "helicopter" flashbacks. They use helicopter's to round up the wild ones. He behaved as I would have expected, however, I did not expect to encounter off road vehicles. They are not a usual occurrence for that riding area. Neither were the two huge yearling elk we encountered!
Sunday rained most of the day. We did get a chance to work on tying, grooming and a little advanced moving the shoulder from the ground. We continue to work on giving to pressure so that he will be more comfortable with tying in spooky situations.
All in all, a great weekend. I am more than happy with our progress and look forward to the week ahead. Monday, Dr. Vetter of Performance Equine Dentistry, will be here to work on Monty's teeth. He's four, so it is certain that he needs a few waves and the two wolfe teeth I have found removed.