I have some exciting news to share….
This summer and fall, a friend and I did some volunteer work at a local horse rescue. At the end of November, I adopted one of the horses from the rescue.
Apollo is a middle-aged Arabian gelding. He’s been at the rescue since this past spring. Other than that, I don’t know a whole lot about his past.
He is a sweet, laid-back boy and obviously had quite a bit of handling and riding in the past. This means he knows quite a bit, but also has plenty of poisoned cues and negative associations with particular tasks.
My friend Jessica and I had done some training with Apollo at the rescue, but not a whole lot. He knows how to touch a target and go to a target. We were also working on a few other behaviors to help make him more adoptable, such as standing at the mounting block.
I have plans to ride him eventually. However, at this point, we need to re-train many of his behaviors and cues. We plan to spend the winter working on foundation lessons, ground work, tricks, and lots of other fun things.
For example, this week we have been working on Alexandra Kurland’s “Grown-ups” exercise. We are also working on the very beginnings of “fetch.” Apollo is learning to hold a dog toy in his mouth, and we’ve been adding a little bit of duration. So far, I have enough duration to very quickly snap a photo, but not enough duration to take a decent photo!
I have a lovely barn where I am keeping him. The barn is about 10-15 minutes from our house, which is great. Apollo is out in a herd environment 24/7 with around 10 other horses on about 15-20 acres. So far, he seems to be adjusting well to the move.
I’ll post more updates over the coming weeks about our training progress.