In case there are readers that are unfamiliar with the sport of Mounted Shooting, I will try to give a brief explanation. The horses run a track in a series of patterns striving for the fastest time. As the horse runs, the rider is to shoot the pattern of colored balloons with either a 6 shooter, a rifle, or in some events the shooter uses both. Needless to say the horse must not fear the sound or fire from the guns; nor can the horse be afraid of the motion, or sound of the balloon breaking.
When Matthew trained Lady, he first began by training her to become familiar with the sight of the balloon, the sound of the gun's hammer being cocked and the sound of the balloon breaking. Matt wisely saved the blast from the black powder until last. Lady took to all of it like she had been doing it her whole life; and even more, like she was born for the race. I know deep in my heart it is solely because Lady would do anything for Matthew. She trusted him in a way, I have never seen before. Even our neighbor whose entire life has been all about horses, commented on the bond she saw between Matt and Lady. It was awesome.
But anyway, because of the success Matt had with Lady, Matt is beginning to train Skeeter in the same manner. He started with showing the balloon to Skeeter and letting him sniff it. Matt tied it to the fence and let Skeeter see how it would blow in the wind. I don't remember this being so comical with Lady. She just looked and accepted, but Skeeter is a different story. Skeeter is inquisitive. He had to sniff, check, and sniff again. He first showed curiosity, and then next, he displayed what seemed to be joy at having a new toy. He eventually would not leave the spot where the balloon was tied. Matthew walked away and Skeeter-Bug stayed right next to that balloon like he had a new friend. When Matt came momentarily into the house, to tell me about it, (he didn't know I was watching from the window) I warned him that he had better not leave Skeeter alone, because if that balloon accidentally popped while Skeeter was admiring it, it might get Skeeter off to a bad start in becoming accustomed to the noise by unnecessarily scaring him.
|A Pair to Draw To ;-)|