Selma came over in the morning with her “bag o’goodies” (training equipment) to help with Tequila. She had to head out to work afterwards and could only be there for about an hour or so. Tequila seems to enjoy our bomb proofing equipment and really liked sinking her teeth into the twin mattress we set out for her. You could tell by the little bits of fabric and fluff around her pen. Selma proceeded to round pen her for several minutes to set Tequila’s mind that this is a training session and to keep her concentration focused on Selma. The surcingle went on and some neck bending and leg picking up exercises and now we are ready to put our own human crash dummy/stunt woman (better known as Ashley Stevenson) on the horse.
Ashley grabs a large bucket to step on and proceeds to hang over Tequila’s back much like a sack of potatoes. To be safe, Selma is leading Tequila and makes sure to have a good grip on the rope so she can stop any attempt to run off. After a minute or two of leading Tequila in this manner, Ashley decides it’s enough – that is her ribs can’t take the punishment anymore.
Selma then helps Ashley with a foot up onto Tequila and now she’s sitting on the horse properly. Tequila seemed kind of confused as to what had just happened, but she wasn’t scared or even concerned. Ashley started scratching her withers and Tequila enjoyed that immensely. That’s when Ashley realized that one of Tequila’s shoulders was much more muscular than the other one. That’ll probably even out with consistent exercises.
So far, so good. Tequila seems to accept Ashley’s weight and movement with ease. Selma leads Tequila a step or two, then stops and lots of petting and kind words. This goes on for about 3-4 minutes when they decide Tequila has done very well for the day and ends the riding session.
At this point, we unload the trailer with all the bomb proofing equipment and throw some more into Tequila’s pen. We have an upright with some fun noodles attached and a PVC pole with a large pink plastic tablecloth taped to it. This is to be used as a doorway, but Tequila didn’t like that door very much! That’s okay – we just leave it in the pen and let her get used to it.