August 21, 2015

Off to the Fair

It's that crazy time of the year again: fair week. Unfortunately, it will just be Jethro and I attending the fair this year. I would love to bring Ypke, but due to moving I can only stay for the first half of the week. Since Jethro is in the yearling category, he is allowed to leave earlier in the week, but Ypke would have to stay the entire time since she is not considered a green horse. It's a bummer, but there is always next year.

Last year's haul

Last week it finally hit me that fair was rapidly approaching. I really haven't done much with Jethro in terms of showmanship and groundwork this summer... Whoops! He has mainly just been learning new tricks, playing fetch, going on nature walks, and having spa days.

After realizing that all he really did was walk politely at my shoulder and halt when asked, I slightly panicked because trotting, backing, haunch turns, and the like are required in showmanship patterns.  I made it a priority to begin working with him on showmanship twice a day whenever I could — once in the morning and once in the evening.  

Showmanship last year
I am honestly amazed by how quickly he learns compared to Ypke. Don't get me wrong, Ypke is very bright and catches on quickly, but Jethro literally only takes 5 minutes to learn something. I'm not sure if it is just him being young or a donkey thing, but it is actually quite surprising. I had never really asked him to back before, so I just kept a gentle, steady pressure pulling back on the lead. He took one step, and I gave him a click and a treat. Literally 5 minutes later he was backing several steps and already weaned off of the clicker. 

As of today, he can correctly transition and stay at my shoulder in both the walk and the trot, halt the second I ask, back, and do a forehand turn. Now we have two days to pick up the haunch turn and sidepass. Haunch turn is my first priority!

This past week has pretty much just been cramming for the final test after not paying attention the entire semester. Not a recommended tactic!


  1. that pic of him from last year is too cute ! good luck!!

  2. Congratulates awards! Good luck:-)


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