Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Fun things to do with your horse when you´re pregnant!

Trigger walking down the stairs
 in the middle of our back porch
Through the years I´ve heard so many people say things like: “I´m pregnant I can´t do anything with my horse”, “I´m pregnant I´ll let my horse out on the pasture for a year”, “I´m pregnant I don´t feel like spending time with my horse”, “I´m pregnant I don´t have time for my horse” or “I´m going to have a baby soon I´ll have to sell my horse”. I always believed that there must be other options. I´m not suggesting doing anything dangerous. Safety is always number one; you have to consider what kind of horse you have and your own horsemanship skills.

Trigger walking up the stairs on the side of our back porch.

Trigger walking down the stairs
 on the side of our back porch.

                    When I found out was pregnant I decided to:
1.   Ride as long as my doctor said it was ok (I did ride until I was 6½ months pregnant.)
2.   Do things with my horse every day.
3.   Learn about trick training.
4.   Spend a lot of time observing my horse interact with other horses on the pasture.
5.   Try to learn more about his personality and how he reacts in different situations.
6.   Let my horse conquer new situations.
7.   Work on ground manners.
8.   Help my horse to be braver overall and particularly on the trail.

Trigger standing on our porch looking down towards the stairs in the middle of the porch.

While doing this we´re having a lot of fun! We´ve also learned to trust each other more. Today I´m two weeks from my due date and we´re still doing all the things on the list except the riding part. We´re taking at least one long walk every day, often two times a day. Trigger loves challenges and I´ll try to give him some kind of challenge every day.

One of the things we worked on during my pregnancy is how to load up on a trailer in the shortest amount of time, while staying relaxed. Trigger now loads under five seconds most of the times. You can walk him in or ask him to load himself while you´re just watching.
We´ve also spent time training how to safely cross bridges and rivers. We´ve been climbing up on things, walking under things, walking over different kinds of tarps, walked into narrow spaces, climbed stairs and on hot days we´ve gone swimming together.

Walking over a plastic tarp.

Earlier in my pregnancy we were also riding across the tarp.
Even my son (he was six at the time) rode Trigger over the tarp (in a bitless bridle on long reins).

When I still was riding him we met a bear once, another time we was chased by two large dogs that was biting him on his legs, we also had the company of coyotes more than once. He managed to stay calm under these potentially dangerous situations.

Walking calmly under the water sprinkler.
Trigger hated water when we first met.

The first time you do this with your horse it´s a good idea to place yourself
 closest to the sprinkler (otherwise your horse might jump right into you.)

We´ve been taking walks on roads with heavy traffic and met all kinds of vehicles. I´ve learned that Trigger sometimes reacts the first time he faces a something new, he do so by taking one or two jumps sideways. It´s very rare that he reacts the second time he faces the same “danger”. This knowledge makes it easier for me two trust him. I´m more relaxed, which makes our time together more fun for the both of us. I would say that these (almost) nine months have meant a lot for our relationship. Trigger is a more confident and brave horse. He is my best friend and he taught me a lot.

We´ve been taking at least one long walk every day,
during the entire pregnancy.

Trigger´s become very good at keeping the right distance, pay attention to me and the surroundings. He walks behind me, besides me or in front of me. It´s very easy to take a horse like Trigger with you to do anything you want. His good manners (which improveds remarkably these past months) makes it possible for me to give him more freedom and we have even more fun together.

I asked my husband to document some of the things Trigger and I did today (all the pictures in today’s post). Trigger is a rescue horse and if you want to get to know him better please follow the links underneath.





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I´d love to hear what you think about todays post. Did you relate to the topic?