Here I was feeling guilty because I hadn't been working on my canter goal I want to meet by the end of the year and I also hadn't been working on my liberty goal of having Renegade trot and canter 3-4 circles with a barrel as an obstacle and jumping it. Instead, we were playing with obstacles in prep for the obstacle challenge benefit last Saturday for Beauty's Haven Equine Rescue.
When I left off a couple of weeks ago, I could get 3 circles at trot and canter going left with him jumping the barrel but to the right that third circle was eluding us. Well, I went out tonight and Renegade met me at the gate and offered his nose for haltering...so nice and soft. We went to the "play pen" and I backed him in and unhaltered him, didn't even do an online warm-up. I thought I'd see what I would get. Renegade really suprised me; he volunteered canter circles both to the right and left and jumped the barrel each time. He did at least 6 circles in each direction!! I then tried asking for a change of direction but Renegade was blowing through my cues so I decided not to push it...we were having too much success with the canter circles which is what I've been trying for for sooooo long. I figured I better NOT ruin it by throwing too much at him at one time, especially since he was already offering me so much!!
After all those canter circles and jumps, I brought him in and we took a little break then did some rock slide which went well – he’s still dragging his hq a bit but doing better. We also did an awesome draw back to me…about 20 steps!! Then we played with putting different zones on or near things, being particular about it. It was a nice, low-key finish and Renegade was really engaged with me.
When we were done, we spent some undemanding time while Renegade grazed a bit. After a few minutes he came over to me (I was sitting on the ground) and I started scratching his chest and neck…well, I found a “spot” cause he stretched his neck out a bit and his lips started moving. When I stopped he put his nose on top of my head sort of like a “please, don’t stop” so I started scratching again and he stretched out his neck again and was really moving his lips. A nice finish to a nice session!!
I led him, at liberty, from the play pen and turned him loose on the lawn to graze while I fixed feed for all the horses. Renegade came over to check out what I was doing and he'll usually try to sneak a quick bite or two but I wiggled my finger at him and he backed up with real energy. I pointed to a spot he should go to graze and he went leaving me to finish preparing the feed. When I set out the feed, I invited him to his bowl and he politely went to eat!! YEEEEEHAAAWWWWW!!!!