Harley is starting to try new tricks to get out of work and to test my authority… none of which he won of course!

Today we did some simple walking around, over logs and around obstacles then moved to start some work on the 7 games… this was where his testing started!

For some background, every morning and night I visit the horses to feed and check they are sound and happy. During each visit I make sure that Harley is moving out of my space and that he is comfortable with being touched and handled (the friendly game). I have rugged Harley and thrown lead ropes over him to get him a little desensitized.

So, we started with moving Harley back and forward (Yo-Yo game), he’s very clever at this game. Then we moved onto the ‘Porcupine game’, making him move away from my hands with gradual increases in pressure and when he responds I release. We need some more practice at this, it takes him a while to get into the ‘groove’ of moving away!

Then we did the ‘circle game’ for Harley’s first time, what a pro, a few swings of the lead and with my hand up to keep him moving forward rather than facing me and he was off! After a few practices, Harley decided to test the waters and went to run off… one quick shake of the rope and spin of the lead to make Harley face me was all he needed to get back on track.

The last game we practiced was the ‘squeeze’ game… as we were working in the arena rather than the round yard we were using the ringlock fence as a barrier, not very scary but at least Harley got the idea and managed to move between the fence and I as I asked.

(Note… at least the halter fits this time! Still not ideal for ground work, though I have a rope halter on it’s way!)