Re: ODGs and FT video
Up to point this video was taken, I'd spent hundreds of hours on Combustion's back in his pasture, (bareback/no tack) for two reasons.
One was simple relational habituation and what some might call bonding or 'quality time,' (simply sharing his world with him on his back while asking nothing of him).
The other was a combination of modeling and loading. That is, telling his skeletal structure that it would be carrying additional weight in the future.
A few of many/countless references:http://jas.fass.org/cgi/reprint/79/5/1142.pdf
According to Wolffâ€™s Law, bone adapts to the forces placed on it by altering its architecture and mass (Woo
et al., 1981). Thus, as habitual loading increases, such as with exercise, so does bone mass. Likewise, as loading decreases, bone mass also decreases. Numerous studies have demonstrated that depriving animals of exercise is detrimental to bone strength. http://www.ansi.okstate.edu/research/2002rr/26/
Exercise is particularly important during skeletal maturation so that after this process is complete the bone
can withstand increases in strain associated with training and competition.
Training is influenced by a number of factors, one of which is the physical environment. Inadequate environmental conditions may compromise behavioural development, and thus affect the welfare of horses and the efficiency of training. Horses housed in stalls are deprived of opportunities for social interaction and performance of natural behaviors (Houpt, 1998).
I had expected several friends stop by and witness what I considered our 'first ride' that morning. That is, I would mount up as usual, but this would be the first time I would ask him to respond to my requests. In short, it was, 'The Stallion's First Ride.'
Two things deviated from our normal mounted 'sharing time routine.'
One was the number of people that showed up that morning. Instead of three or four I expected, a crowd of nearly forty gathered, (obviously to watch me getting catapulted high into the air). All our previous 'mounted/sharing time' had been experienced in the privacy of his pasture with only an occasional passing observer.
I have never in my life seen any horse, (or any animal for that matter) 'play to the crowd' as Combustion did that morning. It was as though the 'spotlight was on him' and he wanted to make every person watching understand that HE was a 'great stallion.'
It may also have contributed to his incessant invitations to 'play' and challenging antics throughout nearly his entire 'performance.'
Our 'play' is a bit different from most accepted connotations of human/equine 'play' as it more closely resembles the 'bachelor herd relationship.'
The other change was the evening before when we shared out last minute 'sharing time.' For some reason near the end of that session, he impulsively thought it would be great fun to bite the toe of my boot!
In what equates to 'human goals over relationship,' I took the short 'popper' with me when I mounted up in an attempt to distract him from unceremoniously jerked off on the ground.
This was ENTIRELY my fault!
I SHOULD have made a few calls that night to postpone the 'great event' and taken the time to alter that particular behavior. It was late, I was tired that night, and instead, I resorted to the proverbial 'temporary quick fix.'
In my defense, I DID throw it away before initiating the actual 'riding test' segment.
Chuck & Kids
Lady, Able, Sundance, Boss & Combustion
( And Rebel & Nikki )