I have owned Manny for just over a week now and have been out to see him 3 times! I still can’t believe I own my own horse! Much less Manny, it’s pretty incredible! Anyways, over those 3 visits we have figured out and done all sorts of things. It amazes me how he picks up on everything so fast and he’s so patient with me and doesn’t freak out over anything… yet!
First thing was I had to figure out how to take off his blanket with one arm. There are SO many Velcro straps and they are tough! Thank goodness that they are just Velcro though. It took some time to figure out that they un-Velcro one way, then the other way, then out the ring. The cool thing is that when I do all these new things with Manny, he doesn’t move! Or if he does, I just say “whoa” and it’s almost like he says “fine!” and quits moving! When I un-do the Velcro strap that is on his chest, he thinks it’s cuddle time and try’s to wrap his big head around me!
Since I am sitting in my chair when I do everything with him, I wasn’t sure how he would react to me pulling his blanket off from the side. So after I made sure all of the straps were undone, I went to the left side of him, told my friend helping me to back up, and I pulled his blanket off and he just stood there! Such a good boy I have! I haven’t figured out how to put his blanket on yet on my own… I need a stand up chair maybe (I wonder what he’d think of that!).
Now when Manny was at PARDS, we found out that he just followed me in my chair without a lead rope. He stays right behind me, breathing on my neck the whole time! But for walking him from his paddock to the arena, we need one. He’s not very good with walking beside me on a lead rope. I need him to stay on the left side of me and not go to the right. He likes the right! But without a lead rope, he’s behind me or to the left side! It’s crazy! We figured out that if we tie the lead rope in half so it’s shorter, it works better! Then if somebody walks behind me and it he does go ahead or to the right of me, they just bump him over. We are going to get a short rod with a flag on it and attach it to my chair so that when he drifts or rushes, it bumps him to keep him where I need him!
I’ve always wanted to free lunge Manny. I did it once when he were at PARDS but not much. So, I tried it on Friday with just a dressage whip. I think at first he thought I was crazy! But it didn’t take long before he figured out that I wanted him to trot and we were on our way! We did this in the outdoor arena because he wasn’t a fan of the indoor. First we used the whole arena but my chair can only go so fast and he figured out if he trotted to the far end, he could eat grass and it would be at least a few minutes before I got down there. Sneaky guy! But I was smarter! I got my friend to stand in the middle to cut him off! She just pointed in the direction he was going and he went! I figured out it was easier to do free lunge him with just the lead rope instead of the dressage whip. It’s even easier with a whip that had long tassels on it! But that will be another story!
I saw a picture a while ago of my cousin sitting in the field and her horses surrounded her. So I wanted to try it with Manny! And let me tell you! It did not take him long to smell his cookies!