Monday, March 1st. Weather is drab, and cold. I’m confident I’ll warm up quite quickly once I get my colt lose in the round pen, and start teaching him the rules for his brand new life. I run across the farm’s owner, my friend Christel, who gushes about how handsome Dandy is. Always smiling and with a great positive attitude, she tells me how he saw him rearing straight up in his stall the previous evening. I swallow painfully and head towards the barn.I can hear Dandy calling and snorting from the parking lot. He settles down when I appear behind the bars. Some more battling about getting him to respect my space in the stall, but haltering him is not too much of a chore. Getting to the round pen is another story, with a lot of rearing up, snorting, wooshing at the end of the rope, etc. Once I get him in and I take the lead off the halter, I let a sigh of relief and shoo him away. He trots off rather arrogantly, very much the stallion. A close friend of mine, and convinced horse lover, had agreed to meet me, and showed up as I was starting to get Dandy’s feet moving. She recorded a little part of the session
The whole session must have lasted slightly over an hour. I had more or less expected Dandy to want to run away a lot, but the opposite happened. He was reluctant to move his feet, and I had to get really firm, very consistently, before he accepted the new rules I was laying for him. I also made clear outside turns were not accepted, as shown above, and he soon learned to turn to the inside.
By the end of the session we had made significant progress, and he actually followed me back to the barn very quiet looking and low headed… for about 20 yards, after which the head went up, the snorting resumed, the fire breathing dragon was back, and the flag was very much needed again. I led him back to his stall and took the halter off. His behavior in there was still a little chaotic but some hints of respect were starting to show, and I was hopeful the next day would bring more improvements. A photographer friend of mine had agreed to drive over and document the whole thing, so expect a picture heavy post next 😉