Forward and whip acclimation

I brought him in and groomed him and he stood quite well with only one exception where I reminded him that my space is to be respected – his hip is not allowed to barge into me.  He figured it out.  He had some small snowballs in his front feet.  With horses shod in winter, I recommend drilltek (a gripping aid) and snow poppers (that keep the snow from building up).

I got on and worked on getting him to let go in his poll, especially when counter bending to the right (so when going left).  At one point I switched the whip to the other side and then tapped him with it and he galloped off in fear.  It was pretty surprising, but didn’t feel like malice, so we did some whip acclimation, slowly and repeatedly switching it back and forth from side to side as we worked on stretching over the topline.  We got some  good “high chuffing” (the noise they make when they are loosening up) in both trot and canter.  Very nice.

At the walk warm down, I probably switched the whip side to side 50 times.  By the end he was largely ignoring the motion.  Excellent.