First, you will see how Taser has mostly mastered the command for picking me up at the fence. I only ask him once to come to me and he moves right up to the fence. Only a few more signals brought him to the perfect position to mount him.
When mounting Taser, it is done very softly and carefully so that he is not startled and takes off, which is my ultimate fear, since it has happened before and this is the first time riding him without any assistance.
I work with him one rein, one side at a time. Notice how I release the pressure as soon as he takes one step in the right direction. This gets him to walk forward.
Then I test his breaks by pulling back on the reins. As soon as he gives me the right answer, which is to stop moving, I release. The release is the reward for doing the right behavior. Taser understands the halt signal very well as calm as he is.
When I ask Taser to turn, the communication between us is almost identical to the way it is discussed on the ground during the “Porcupine Game,” where there are four phases. First phase is touch, second is pressure, third is lift rein, forth is pull rein. Eventually, we want Taser to respond to the first phase without moving all the way to the fourth.
However, for the sake that Taser is a somewhat flighty mustang, I am taking it very slow with him and making my signals very clear. This makes him appear very calm, just the way I like it.
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