Sirocco’s training schedule

My goal with Siroocco sirocco.jpegthis month is to practice Pat Perelli games with him and trailer loading. Also working on deworming him. He drank molasses from the syringe and let me put my fingers in his mouth yesterday. He was also quite freaked when I stood on the mounting block and was suddenly taller than him. I’m also working on picking up his feet from one side (all 4) he started kicking at the ferrier so it’s back to practice on the feet again. we also have been walking over the blue plastic tarp. I am just starting on Greyson this week so we’re grooming, leading and circling until he calms down.

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14 responses to “Sirocco’s training schedule

  1. Friday…
    I worked on friendly game with the lead rope, saddle pad and blue show sheet. still pulling head up so we worked on giving to pressure a lot. We also worked on circling both ways at the walk and the porcupine game on his sides. I’ve got the hind quarters moving nicely with very light pressure but the forehand he turns and faces me. (moves back feet instead of front) more work needed. we also worked on the yo-yo game and he’s backing straighter. he drank molassis from the syringe and i should be able to de-worm him next time. he’s kicking when i try to pick up back feet so i got him to lift slightly and stopped for today.

  2. sat….
    Today we went over the first 3 games. his backing on the yo-yo is getting a little lighter and straighter, still much easier moving hind quarters than forehand although he’ll cross over if i hold the halter. circling is improving and he completed 4 full circles in either direction at the walk and trot. he know voice commands for both. The big success was he was de-wormed today! That took about a week with molassis and also touching his face and lips with the wormer. today i was able to insert it in his mouth and push the plunger all the way before he even raised his head. i gave him an apple and spent some time afterwards grooming and cutting his mane to 3 inch.

  3. rckevlin

    It’s fun to watch Val go through the training with Sirocco, since I’m trying to train my 3-yr-old pinto Journey at the same time. I’m staying one step ahead of Journey on the learning curve, so it’s not QUITE like the blind leading the blind. 🙂

    I don’t think Val has worked much with Sirocco for the last year, but it seems as though he’s picked up right where he left off. Not only is he pretty, but he’s smart!

  4. well with horses as with everything else…life happens. I had this great plan and now it is on hold for at least the rest of this week. We had two horses in the past week with cuts and Robyn & I walked the pasture and discovered old barb wire. I just came up from the valley and my 2 hour search uncovered enough that I can’t do anything else until I search the entire horse pasture for more. I have about 60 acres fenced in that the horses can get to and the barb wire was nailed to trees in the woods years ago. I pulled out buckets full of it when I first fenced (7 loads) but trees have come down since then exposing more wire.
    I use tipper tie electric fence 1/4″ braided nylon rope with small copper wires for the electricity to go through. It’s charged via solar power as we have no electricity in the valley. It has 900lb breaking strength and I had a horse go through it once and he just had a small rope burn on his chest.

    Barb wire on the hand can cripple a horse for life if it cuts deep enough in a tendon. Nasty stuff and not so easy to find when it gets covered up in the woods after 30 years.

    So, today’s lesson is a reminder about safety. When you’re working around horses it MUST always come first. John Lyon’s #1 rule is The Horse can’t get hurt…the rider can’t get hurt. (He also says the horse should be calmer at the end of the lesson than when he/she started but that’s another discussion) So I must take care of any more barb wire before we resume horse training…it is a good time of year to look for morrel mushrooms though since i’ll be spending so much time in the woods…see you soon!

  5. Yesterday I started playing the squeeze game with Sirocco and really pissed him off. Happy to report he completed the circle near the horse trailer and didn’t die. I knew he wouldn’t but he didn’t. I have to constantly remind myself to think like a horse…a prey animal. Safe and comfortable are his two priorities. He’s not like a dog that thrives on verbal praise and pats. He’s a flight animal. If he doesn’t feel safe he will run. I was asking him to “step outside his comfort zone” by stepping closer and closer toward the trailer and making him “squeeze” between it and me. If he just couldn’t stand it I let him run…around me. I had him on a long line and we were playing the circle game. I stand perfectly still in the center and get him to walk and then trot (both directions) around me. Not mindlessly…just enough 2-4 circles at a time. The problem was it was different today because I kept moving closer & closer to the horse trailer parked in the Arena. Each pass brought him closer & closer to that big scary thing.

    After several bucks, kicks, stops and snorts he finally did it at a calm trot without trying to run over me. I kept him off me with a “carrot stick” similer in length to a dressage whip with a small rope on the end. I use it as an extention of my arm to touch and rub when we play the friendly game. I use it to urge forward motion when we play the driving game. I use it to keep him out on the circle when we play the squeeze game.

    I called it quits when I knew he was comfortable with that. Sometimes it’s good to quit early when things are going good. He was pretty hyped up from the start and i pushed him passed where he’d been before. He did it right so I stopped right then.

    Lesson today…he did something REALLY scary today with me and he didn’t die or even get hurt. Building block 1 in trust. Trust me boy and you’ll be just fine. 😉

  6. Today was a good day and it felt good to be back in the routine with him. The weather has been rainy and cold for days and before that I hunted for old barb wire for 3 days instead of “horseing around.” There’s a lot of gardening to start too but from here on out at least an hour is for training!…(i hope)
    We need to work on hide the butt (move hindquarters) and go back to square one with the driving game. Actually, I can blame him because I don’t think I did it right the first time. That’s tomorrow’s lesson.
    Today we did 4 circles at the walk to the left and only 1/2 to the right with several sends. The other problem was not yeilding hindquarters and stopping. When I cued him he thought I wanted more and sped up coming toward me. The front end didn’t yeild well either. We completed another 4 to the left and quit.

  7. correction: Can’t blame him 🙂

  8. We went through the first 3 games yesterday and today and I worked on his feet. He is offering the front nicely but not enough confidence to lift back (he has a history of kicking at the ferrier) but he is cocking the hind foot when i squeeze the hock. He will not go to the right in the circle game so we need to go back to the perelli dvds and watch it again with a young horse. he’s not getting it and i don’t want to scare him with the carrot stick until i know more what’s effective and how much to pressure to give. To the left he’s fine and I got 4 full circles and a turn and face at the end. (first time for that.)

  9. Today we had improvement circling to the right. Not a full circle yet (more like 1/4 then turn and face) but the turn and face is new so i guess he was eager to show it off 🙂
    He’s doing good trotting on lead and fast stop. A few steps back after stopping but I think he’s starting to figure out what I’m asking. We also did a 360 degree turn both directions moving the hindquarters. Backing too now with a finger wag and barely shaking the rope…very cool…progress!

  10. Today we worked on his left side a lot. I figured out that’s why I having trouble with circling to the right. I didn’t practice the driving & pocupine games enough on that side. He’s great on the other side. I also think next time I’ll try it with him up against the rail so he can’t move forward but has to step aside to move away from my pressure. I also did a lot of friendly game on that side. When I started today he didn’t even want me walking on that side. I felt good about my understanding of the program in that I uncovered a problem, isolated the area to work on and came up with a plan to solve it. we also reviewed the yo-yo game and driving the front end in both directions. He circled to the left on the short circle game but stopped when i put the stick on his back. i got him to take a few more steps with that an quit as he doesn’t understand the tapping cue on his butt. i could have really drove it home but wasn’t ready for that today so as soon as he moved out on cue i found a stopping place and quit for the day. Both horses came right up to me in the pasture to be haltered.

  11. catching up on my posts here…
    yesterday was a milestone. he circled BOTH directions 3 times! by george i think he’s got it!
    What i finally did was yo-yo him out away from me each time he refused the right. he’s go left, i’d stop then make him back out…cue him to the right and repeat this process until he finally went to the right. it didn’t take very long this time. working half circles on the fence really helped.

  12. i’m just amazed at how fast he’s coming along. he’s soft and supple in the neck on both sides and very light touches move him forward, back sideways etc. i know there’s an excite gene in there somewhere i want to keep looking before i get on him but i have a feeling that will be soon. he’s walking and backing between two cones that are close together and in and out of the gate. yesterday i cued him forward over a jump made out of plastic buckets. today’s session he was calm and compliant throughout.

  13. 9/23/07 update
    I haven’t been too good at keeping up my training note…sorry. I’ll try to do better in case anybody is keeping up with progress.
    here’s where we’re at with Sirocco:
    Both Emily and I have been on him this week. Practiced alot of standing in the stirrup and getting off first from both sides. He did kick at emily once but the second time she worked alot at the approach before putting her foot in the stirrup. I worked him for about 1/2 hour beforehand running him through all the perelli games including having him go over a tarp spread out on the ground in the arena. he did the circle game which became the squeeze game and finally he went over it calmly after a few times. I also had him yeild to pressure along the fence line by cue the head then the hind quarters back and forth repeating until he was doing that smoothly. Finally, I tightened the girth one more time, practiced approaching with the mounting block since we’re not spring chickens anymore and asked him to give the head from both sides (a good easy bend in the neck) he’s stiff on the left side so we worked on that more. my emergency dismount should i ever need it will be on the right side since i know i can easily bend him to the right. hope i don’t need that but it’s good to know. so this week he’s had a total of 3 sessions with a rider and the person lead him around at the walk. we did that for about 5-10 minutes each time and he was calm and accepting. we had the one incident when he kicked at emily and she barely escaped a painful blow so we need to take it more slowely. I had already ridden him so maybe we should have quit while we were ahead…anyway we stayed with it another 20 minutes or so until she could stand in the stirrup and then called it quits. we’ll do more of it when she gets off work this week.

  14. i was alone at the barn today so worked him from the ground. i brought him into the arena, played the games with him and then picked up the fly spray bottle. i left a loose lead because i knew he’d react to it. all three of my young horses are scared of the spray bottle.

    If they have something they’re spooked from that i’m holding i walk forward and lead them “into” it instead of coming toward them with it. i just hold it in front and walk having them walk toward it. if they want to sniff it that’s great. we rest and i let them check it out for as long as they want. I encourage curiousity. as martha would say “it’s a good thing.”

    we did a lot of that and then i increased the pressure by swinging the bottle slowly back and forth, side to side, a little closer backing off as he raised the head. finally i was able to rub his shoulder with the bottle, then up the neck etc.

    the whole thing took maybe 10-15 minutes. i gave him a biscuit and sprayed a little on his chest and lower leg. he raised his head i backed off then i repeated everything.

    When I felt he was accepting the spray on his leg/shoulder i started moving the spray area out on his body…inches at a time and retreating to the shoulder if his head came up. Today I was able to spray his entire body for the first time!

    We circled at the walk and trot both directions and dried him off before saddling him. I tightened the girth 3 different times each time circling him a few time first. (one hole at a time) I secured the stirrups with the leathers so they wouldn’t flop and hit his sides scaring him. (this time using my dressage saddle instead of the western i started with)

    I introduced him to polo wraps sacking him out a little and pretending to wrap the front legs. i’ll wait awhile before we add that to the workout. i made him go down the fence line cueing front then back, head the hind quarters as he zigged and zagged.

    i circled him over the tarp which is no big deal and he’s now walking and trotting over it. i circled him to the rr tie and had him trot over it. he tried jumping clumsily at first but the second time he cleared it by 8-10 inches in a rather refined looking little jump.

    The last thing we did is I got the mounting block next to him, pulled the stirrups loose, slapped the leathers by yanking on the irons and grabbed on to the saddle rocking him a little back and forth. i kept my eye on the head staying lowered and the hind foot staying planted on the ground. I climbed the steps of the mounting block and put my arm and then some of my weight in the saddle using my arm. i rubbed his neck praising him. i pushed down hard on the stirrup with my hand. i praised him some more and led him over to the rail.

    we quit for the day after that and i removed the saddle, sacked him out with a towel in the sweaty areas and walked him back to the pasture.

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