Went to the Parelli Games at the Florida ISC yesterday and came away with lots to work on and think about!
First thing, Renegade decided this was the morning he didn't want to be caught so we played the catching game. Thank goodness it didn't take long for him to catch me! Trailer loading went very well, I only had to point and in he went. That's a change as it usually takes 6-7 attempts to get him loaded. He'll try to duck out right or left, not because he's afraid but because he is a LBE and is ALWAYS trying to change the game and my focus!!
When we got to the ISC, I unloaded Renegade and he came off the trailer easily, waiting until I asked him off...HOORAY!! I think the mistake I made was letting him start grazing right off the trailer because that became an issue for the rest of the day!!?? Hummm...how interesting.
Renegade was extremely distracted by the grass, activity, other horses, etc. It was not in a RB way but a VERY interested way. He wanted to meet Thunder and Lightening pulling the manure spreader so we played the friendly game and followed them to the pasture where they spread the manure. Renegade thought this was great fun!!
I attempted to gain his attention by playing the games, circling, squeeze over obstacles, sideways, changes of gait and direction, etc. He was doing what I asked but I didn't have his mind. I probably should have increased my expectations and asked for more until I got his attention but the games were getting ready to start so we headed over to the online station.
Online went o.k., I still didn't have Renegade's full attention and he seemed to have sticky feet, so I had to use phase 4 more than normal. We did complete 5 of the 5 challenges: yo-yo back between two barrels, bring back and rub forehead, 4 feet on tarp for 7 seconds, and yield FQ 360 degrees. The porcupine sideways did not go well and we ran out of time to send over the barrels and bring back over then turn, face, and wait. At home, Renegade does sideways when I use my focus and porcupine him with my energy only, I couldn't even get him to move today by touching him!! Hummm...time to get our porcupine better!!!!!
Liberty was interesting and a mess. As soon as we entered the honeycomb and I took the halter off, Renegade was off to eat grass. I have to admit, I didn't set it up very well and probably should have left the halter tied around his neck as a safety net but I was pushing the envelope. I played the catching game with Renegade and finally got his interest enough to make it into one of the honeycombs and did the yo-yo back between two obstacles, have him wait, then bring back and rub his forehead. Just that one challenge took up all of our alotted time but I'm glad I stuck with it because it helped focus us both!!
I took Renegade back to the trailer so I could tack him up since I wanted to try the freestyle challenges. I had never done them before so I thought it would be very interesting. Renegade was very good for saddling, engaged, quiet, and accepting. This is a change for him...he will generally dance around a bit during the process. So, maybe sticking with the one challenge during the liberty challenge paid off?!!
We walked together back to the playground while I moved him around a bit and tightened the cinch three times. When we got back to the play ground I bridled Renegade in his Cradle Bridle and he was VERY accepting of the bit, he took it readily!! When I stepped up on a log to mount, Renegade walked right up and positioned himself for me to mount, stood quietly while mounting, was light during lateral flexion and hq yields, both sides. I decided I would try NOT to use the reins and do cs riding instead and it went really well. For the most part Renegade was riding off my feel, focus, and energy!! I did have to reinforce/support with the cs a few times as we headed over to the freestyle station. They were getting ready to close the station but Mira was kind enough to let me have a go and I'm so glad she did. We did great!! We did the barrel pattern and the weave at the walk using feel, focus, and energy with the cs as support. I did have to use the cs to reinforce/support a few times. I had to go to phase 4 once when the horses pulling the cart went by on the road and Renegade wanted to turn around and follow them. I just kept my focus and on we went, I didn't let him change the game and he's a master at that!! I did lose my focus at one point in the barrel pattern, I looked at the barrel rather than where we were going and of course, Renegade went to the barrel LOL!! Changed my focus and off we went to complete the pattern.
After we finished the challenges we just rode around the property a bit and I played with toes in toes out and had fun with that. Of course, this was still using just the cs, look ma no hands!!
I decided to let Renegade be my transportation back to the trailer rather than walking him and opted to cross the small creek rather than go over the bridge (which would not have been a problem). I decided to challenge us again with the water crossing. Renegade was a bit concerned, more with the mud than the water, and we did a bit of approach and retreat. "J" and Britches were most helpful in giving Renegade confidence to cross. Britches went across, came back, went across again, then "J" backed her into the water and waited while Renegade and I made a couple of tentative steps. Once Renegade did that, he was fine to cross and did so calmly. I had thought he might rush across or try to jump but he stayed relaxed. It was wonderful!!!
When we got out to the area where the trailers were parked I spied a pedestal so I rode Renegade over to it and asked him to step up. No problem...it took all of about 2 seconds for him to step up!! He loves being up on stuff. I think since he's so small, it gives him a different perspective to his world!!
All in all, a very nice day with lots of discoveries, challenges, growth, and most importantly SUCCESSES!!!
I can't wait to go back next Saturday!!