Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Sonny's visit to Greenholme (13)

Jen's coming later today to teach a lesson so Sonny, officially, was having a day off. However, I thought if he'd been awkward about being harnessed and yoked up yesterday, it would be good for him if I did it today.

He stood nicely and accepted all the harness being put on. His mouth was open, splonk, for the bit well before I got it anywhere near his nose. He didn't make any fuss about the crupper, and he didn't fidget when I put the ex cart on. I untied him from the tree and he started to lean on me, so I tied him up again and got in and out of the cart, and sang, and bounced about, and rattled my feet on the boards, and he just... stood...there. I got out and in and out again, and untied him, and he just...stood...there. So I got in and asked him to come around and move on, and away we went. I drove him to Tom's "black plastic" gateway, then up to Bretherdale cattle grid and back, and up the brow towards home. Sonny trotted nicely each time I asked him, and although he wasn't very enthusiastic at starting, each time he got better.

I drove him past our gateway and he planted his feet and effectively said, "BUT you've passed it! Are you stupid? We go IN here, not PAST."

"Tough luck, Sonny, we are going to Greenholme whether you want to or not."

But he just....stood....there. He was willing to stand forever despite being smacked, but by turning him one way and then the other I got his planted feet to pick up and move. Quite suddenly he gave in and started walking again. Of course I relaxed the rein, stopped tapping him and gave him lots of praise the moment he shifted his weight forward. We walked down to Greenholme and walked a right-handed circle on the green, but he began to resist again when I suggested a left handed one, because it TURNED AWAY FROM HOME. Little banana-brain stood there planted once more. So I turned him right, until a left turn would be "homeward", and we did a left handed circle that way, and trotted home. I took him round the yard and up among the trees, and turned left, and behold, he could do it. He made no fuss about standing at the tree to be unyoked and unharnessed, so I smothered him in fly spray and turned him out with his mum in the little paddock. (She's horseing, and because there's a male pony in her company she is showing it, despite the fact that he's her son, and a gelding!)

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