Today I am at Mum’s place out in the Australian country. It is very peaceful here, surrounded by beautiful native trees and birds. Most of the noises are from the wildlife, my favorite is the very loud singing Kookaburra.
Meet Danté, Mum’s 2 year old Azteca (Andalusian x Quarter Horse). Mum purchased Danté in May and began gently handling him in June once he was settled in in his new home.
Her main goal was to teach Danté to wear blankets for the upcoming winter.
Overtime she taught him about chaff bags. Having them brush up against him and touch his legs allowed him to safely get used to different touches which will help on the windy days when she will need to blanket him and the blanket may move around before she manages to get all the buckets done up.
Since Danté is so young, he is not in training. He gets 20 minutes handling once a week in the roundyard - including the time it takes to put on his gear and take it all off again - or he is taken on walks down the road and around the property wearing his cavesson.
This is the simplest form of handling, allowing him to learn in baby steps and developed a relationship with mum as well as learn to wear his cavesson so he is safe when he occasionally goes out to a breed show.
Putting boots, a loose roller and saddle pad on Danté is all just for practice right now so that when it is time for him to be started, the transition won’t feel much different to him at all.
His time in the roundyard will one day include a couple circles of trot and overtime as he gains fitness he will work a little more and a little more.