It's the end of Big Al Dante's second week at summer camp and Derwin and I have come to visit and learn. Buddy starts groundwork with a halter and lead rope.
After some work on the lead, Big Al Dante gets a saddle and I move him in a circle. I'm not holding my hands correctly, and Big Al looks a bit stiff, but we're not doing too bad.
Buddy teaches Al how to get himself positioned by the mounting block. He is a BIG horse so he needs to know this.
Buddy sends him away from the mounting block so he can circle him around from a new position. Big Al needs to get used to humans working from different places, especially higher up.
Now I'll try the lead again. My right hand is dropped because I'm trying to drive Dante's rear, but this may not be necessary. Look how Buddy is holding his hands, more like he's holding reins.
Here Buddy pushes his fingers into the notch behind Big Al's jawline to bring his head around, making the bridling process easier on us height-challenged humans.
Ah, now this is a pretty picture... Buddy takes Al over a pole.
Buddy is teaching me how to manage the reins and my legs while helping us with his lead rope. This helps me know how the horse's movement should feel.
And it feels good!
See how Buddy holds the lead rope in the same way that he'd hold the reins? And look how straight and balanced he is, just like he'd sit in the saddle. Buddy and Mike say that what you do on the ground should be just like what you'll do on the horse's back.
Big Al Dante is looking real fine, don't you think?
5 years ago