Thursday, September 27, 2012

More Training for the Trail Horse

I was recently asked to bring a horse to a park to support a Law Enforcement Agency picnic. Many of the agents and mission support personnel had young children so they thought horse back rides and the inevitable picture taking would be a good draw for the picnic.

I easily said yes as this would give me a good chance to sack one of my horses out on all sorts of fearful things.

So on a Sunday late morning I arrived with Junior and rode him around the park seeing all sorts of things new to him: a rappelling tower with a group of people climbing and rappelling; baby strollers; volleyball courts with flapping boundary tape; picnic tables and canopies; a jumping balloon shaped like a castle complete with some screaming curtain climbers jumping around like wild banshees,..and all was good until we encountered a large bag sticking out from a pile of saw dust that had yet to be spread.

That flapping bag was the only thing that bothered my horse but it only took a minute or two to get him to drop his head onto it and when it was all said and over with I had him backing into it with the bag getting wrapped around a leg and he was okay with it.

Then it was time to let the kids pet, rub on and sit in the saddle on Junior for short ground led rides. With their parents there to confirm it was their child and to give permission, I ended up putting about 50 kids on Junior back for short rides and pictures taking.

In between groups of kids petting on Junior and wanting to ride him, Junior grazed on the park grass which he has only seen a half dozen times in the last 5 or 6 years. At the end of day I think I had just a little bit better of a horse, and a bunch of happy kids and their parents had pictures to prove it.

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