Yesterday was "well drilling day" at the barn
(our old pump destroyed by lightening,
the old well walls collapsed).
Because of the noise, the horses spent the day out in the pasture...
a little longer than usual.
I had been wanting to work with my tiny mini, Ollie, in the arena.
With jumps set up, I thought it a perfect time for his
Ollie is my 2 year old orphan mini. We have had him since he was 3 weeks old.
By the time he was a month old, he had jumped a bale of hay to escape his stall,
so I had an idea he might make a great jumper.
Upon arriving at the arena, we surveyed the jumps....
I took Ollie by the lead rope and led him around to look at all the scary things.
Then I took off his lead and let him kick up his heels a bit.
Round and round he ran, avoiding all of the jumps.
After he got that out of his system it was time to work.
Back on the lead, I led him to the cavaletti poles on the ground.
At a slow jog, I jumped over the poles and Ollie followed behind me.
"Jump", I said, and as Ollie neared each pole, he jumped to avoid them.
Each time he jumped the little poles, he received a treat.
Now it was time to try a real jump.
We have a chute set up on one side of the arena with cavaletti poles in an X formation.
Ollie stared down the chute at those poles.
I could almost hear the wheels turning in his head!
With Ollie on lead, I took off running.... him following on my heels.
Over the poles I jumped.
"Jump!" I said.
Ollie put on the breaks.
We tried it again.
Again he stopped at the poles as I jumped over.
Finally, I showed him a treat from the other side of the poles.
From a dead standstill he jumped...and cleared the poles.
"Good boy!" I sang...and handed him the treat.
Next time down the chute, he hesitated, but jumped.
The third time....no hesitation.
Each jump was rewarded with treats.
Now it was time to try it without the lead rope.
Together we ran down the chute, me jumping first,
Ollie following close after....no hesitation.
Ollie was so proud, he was beaming!
Over and over we practiced.
Over and over Ollie jumped...
following me over the poles and around the arena.
Well, almost every time.
At one point he figured out that there was an easier way!
Sam was our audience...
but too tired to try jumping.
"OK, I get it....if I jump, I get the treat!"
I am sure that Ollie had just as much fun as I had!
What an amazing time we had.
For that short lesson period I felt like we were on the same page.
This little mini who misses no opportunity to nip or kick at me
may just end up being my best buddy.
(Orphans have a tendancy towards bad behavior because they have