14.05.20: A Test

Keith was on the schedule for the day to trim Storm's hooves, which was needed! Spring grass does wonders for the growth of everything. Since Keith wasn't going to get there until 10:30, I decided to work Storm before hand to help him find some calm while he had to stand around with Keith. He was quite agreeable coming out of the pasture, but the fact that Abigail was working with Ri and the vet in the parking area had Storm a little unsettled. He calmed down nicely though, and was managing himself pretty well. We set to work starting with hand walking until he settled in and really began to drop his head and breath a little easier. I didn't have too long to work with him, so I made sure that we used our time wisely and switched directions after about 15 minutes and some really nice changes. We had to start over a little bit when we reversed our direction, but he remained fairly calm. As he settled in with this direction, I began to work inward and maintain enough pressure to encourage him to stay out on the circle moving from hand walking to lunging. He handled the adjustment and resettled himself again.
Ri was moving around still in the parking lot being jogged checking for lameness and that stirred Storm up as Ri moved around a little faster. I encouraged him to remain calm and continue to do exactly what we were doing. He returned to the work and stayed calm which was a nice change and test of his level of self control. Keith finally arrived and the rumbling diesel parking close to the round pen along with the Vet's truck leaving worried him. Keith came over and chatted and we moved out of the round pen and back into the barn yard. Storm became worried about Keith's barking dogs which were locked in the truck, and had a minor melt down as we moved through the gate back into the barn yard. It was the smaller people sized gate, not the wide vehicle sized gate, and Storm tried to rush through the space. I asked him to stay behind me and now crowd me, but as soon as he had enough room to suck it in and squeeze through he zipped through like a greased pig. When he spun to face me in the gate I backed him across the barn yard in a hurry to get him to refocus on me and he quickly stood paying closer attention to me than to the rest of the environment. I turned to lead him into the barn and he was quiet again, though still a little worried.
He did very well for Keith, despite other horses coming and going out of the barn while he worked. I was proud of how far he has come, we still have a long way to go, but he is improving. I turned him out when Keith was done, expecting him to bolt away in a hurry, but he stood still, which was nice. I praised him and then headed back in to clean up the barn.
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