Since I originally started this blog to have a place for myself to journal Diego's training, I'm very pleased that Bob has given me permission to post his daily updates that I'm getting with how things are going for Diego. Bob and Dovie currently have 4 mares of their own (3 they own and the other belongs to a little girl that Dovie was giving lessons to). This is from Friday 9/25, the same day I originally dropped him off:
Diego was getting along with Penny, so I turned Penny and Surprise out. The girls ignored him until they finished every scrap of hay we spilled this morning. Diego and Surprise did the squealing thing and settled down to grooming each other. Penny ignored him. After I cleaned stalls, I put the girls back in their stalls. Suddenly, I heard lots of squealing and commotion between Penny and Diego. I didn't see what started it. I turned around just in time to see Diego kicking at Penny. He hit the fence and missed Penny.
Me: This resulted in a superficial scrape to his left hind. Bob sent me a picture and we both agreed it was pretty minor and to just keep an eye on it.
I put some Wonder Dust on his scrape. I also very lightly filed/rounded the edges of his feet to reduce chipping. I gave him a nice brushing, cleaned his feet, and put his bridle on, all while he was loose in the yard. He's a good boy. :)
I rode him in the back yard for 20 minutes. It was very much like three weeks ago, only better. We're learning to communicate and understand each other. We trotted more than half the time. I learned that the sound of me searching for a treat in my pocket scares him. I also learned that he goes faster towards the mares than he goes away from them. We have to learn how to go from trot to walk instead of trot to stop. We're making progress and having fun.
Me: Trot to walk was something else I had been working on with him. Try saying "Easy" in a nice slow tone, or "Easy, walk". You may have to say it a few times. That's his verbal cue for slow down but don't stop. It works about 90% of the time but hasn't been transferred to under saddle yet. Like I mentioned last time, since we've been doing so much groundwork I had to install verbal cues since I didn't have the benefit of my legs and not always two reins.