Friday, April 11, 2014

Tarp Work

Most, if not all, of the competing trainers used a tarp in one way or another to help with desensitizing their project horses.  Matthew did an interesting exercise by encouraging the horse to go under a tarp that was flapping in the wind.  First, the horse stuck its nose in there...

Matthew raised his arms and stick like a maestro directing an orchestra, and his horse continued to push all the way through under the tarp, coming out on the other side...


Eventually, he stopped lunging the horse under the tarp, and just asked it to rest under it, while he backed off and took a seat at the far end of the pen on the barrels.

Then he did an even more amazing thing.  He sidepassed the horse across the front of the tarp, letting its hooves rip the tarp into two pieces.

He then used the portion of tarp that was no longer attached to the fence to drive the horse around.  I thought it was a creative way to make your horse useful in its own training.

Many of the trainers rubbed tarps all over their horses, covered their bodies, and even their heads with it...

Many used the wind to their advantage, knowing that the tarp is scarier to the horse when it seems to take on a life of its own.

Things got a little crazy once the tarp was attached to the saddle and the horse was lunged with a whole new set of sounds and sensations going on back there...







But all the horses and trainers survived.  Once each horse made up its mind that the tarp was nothing to fear, it was much more accepting of other things, like having a rider on its back.

1 comment:

achieve1dream said...

I never thought about tying a tarp to the saddle... I bet they will never be afraid of a windbreaker lol. I like how the one guy sent the horse under it. Good, safe way to teach them to accept things above their heads. Very cool. Again I love the pictures. After seeing some of those impressive bucks you couldn't have paid me to get on lol!