I'm doing good, I am!!! Knowing that it's coming time to saddle Smokey up again and knowing I'm nervous as hell about doing all those "important" things I've figured out I have to break it down for ME (lets face it Smokey was broken in already, he knows all this but I don't!)
A very dear lady in Auckland Christine sent me Fiona Camerons book Taking On A Youngster. It outlines all the stages you introduce things at. Knowing Smokey isn't scared of "things" is a bonus in all this, because I just say that to him over and over, "good thing you're not scared of THINGS Smokey!" "This is only a THING so you'll be fine" LOL.
So we started with the tarpaulin and yesterday we walked over that after catching him (he stood IN the tyre holding it on the ground! Lucky he's not scared of THINGS!) and then in preparation of the saddling thing I had an old feed sack with me. Showed him the sack and then proceeded to rub him down with it. A couple of flinches from him and within 20 secs he was just standing there relaxed and fine. Put it over him like a saddle cloth, over his bum and his least liked area over his neck. Then took it and did the face rub with it, he really didn't like that, but with his little bridling issue (which is resolving itself) I didn't expect him to just stand there and let me flop it all over his face LOL. But we got his face rubbed a couple of times and I got the "sigh" (Sola and Pepe will be proud of me LOL) and then he got his feed.
Have been filing his feet too, picturing for him how I want him to stretch the back legs out intstead of pulling them back under him first and him resting them on my knee. When I'm certain he is certain....
Mac is now getting jealous in the paddock but he knows better than to take it out on Smokey, he's taking it out on me instead! He won't stand for his cuddles (and believe me he LOVES his cuddles!) Old snodgrass! Smokey is going the opposite, he WILL come up for cuddles knowing I won't allow the others to chase him away, and he knew when I returned Mac to the tape after his ride last night that it was then his turn and I got a little knicker too :o)
I mean, I've always KNOWN that what we put out thought wise is what we manifest, and as a communicator I know that's true for animals of course, it's just that my older boys are used to me and forgive me a lot of head crap! Smokey is proving to be a very apt mirror and making me very aware of what I have in my head!