Thursday, September 23, 2010

Splitting Your Horse In Half!!!

The play group, Ocala Parelli Players, I belong to has been having challenges this summer to keep us all progressing during the long, hot summer. The object of the challenges is something that is low key, requires focus, and can be done in a short session. Members volunteer to provide a challenge and each challenge lasts for two weeks. The only requirement was the challenges had to involve something that was on the self assessment sheets but that could be done by any level student. I haven't blogged about each challenge but thought I'd blog about this last one because it's something I've been playing with for a while now.

The challenge is: have your horse put one front foot and one hind foot over a log or pole. One of our OPP members named this challenge "split your horse in half" lol!!

Well, I tried this tonight and didn't quite get the split in half but we did get close. I know, I know...close only counts in horseshoes and hand grenades lol!!

Renegade is good at putting one front foot over or one back foot but not both on the same side at the same time but tonight we did get the left front over the log and the left hind resting up on the log. It was a brief rest but it's closer than we've gotten before and I figured I'd better quit while I was ahead. Going to try again tomorrow and see what I get!!

I tried to pay particular attention to rewarding the slightest try and I think it worked because Renegade knew he “got it” tonight. I was tapping his hip to ask his foot to move closer to the log and I tried to notice when he first “thought” about moving that particular foot. Well, I must have gotten it right because he really put some effort into figuring out what I wanted after that!! And the look on his face when I rewarded him placing his foot on the log, well, his ears pricked forward, he arched his neck a little and nickered at me!!! Sounded so pleased with himself!!!!!!!!!

I'm usually guilty of getting greedy and trying for the whole enchilada but tonight I decided to stop while I was ahead and oh, is that hard for me to do lol!!! I'm really trying to work on myself and stop being so task oriented!! I hope tomorrow night we'll make more progress and get a longer rest of his hind leg on the log, maybe some friendly of his hind leg while it's up there will help. We'll see what happens.


Marion Princic said...

I´m greedy but i´m getting better at it.
see, i still don´t understand how you are supposed to put one frontleg and one backleg over the pole. like how is that supposed to work? unless you do it sideways? i have to look at the vault and see if i find something.

Marion Princic said...

oh i just left a message on your blog but it doesn´t show. let´s try this again.
i thought about that task for quiet a while now but can´t really picture it how it´s supposed to work? i can´t see how a horse would put one frontleg and one hintleg over a pole - what about the other two legs? or wait - unless you do it that how you do it??

craigeagle23 said...

Hi Marion, I see both of your posts appeared here!

It took me a while to figure out how to approach this task as well...and it took lots of playing with putting zones next to things because you're exactly right...the horse is sideways to the pole or log. For Renegade, the front end is easy but he wasn't comfortable with his zone 4/5 near or on things. He's getting more confident all the time and last night he was resting his rear foot up on the log while his front feet straddled the log. The really important thing for Renegade and I was allowing him enough time to "think down to his feet" and be really good with my releases. Hopefully a few more days of confidence building and we'll have it then if it's like everything else Renegade has learned/mastered, it will become his favorite/default "try"!!