I'm back...I fully intended to play with and ride Renegade and play a bit with Captain yesterday afternoon but there was such a lovely breeze blowing and I indulged my desire for a nap. I rarely nap and it felt like a guilty pleasure but it was oh so nice!! By the time I woke up, it was time to feed the horses and fix some dinner.
I played with Renegade tonight and yehawww...we had fantastic traveling circles both to the right and the left and at a trot (10) and a canter (5). Renegade also had the beginnings of a nice, soft bend in his body in both directions and was looking inside the circle 99% of the time. I'm absolutely thrilled with this as we've had so much trouble with this for a LONG time.
Falling leaf was a bit of a struggle tonight. Renegade kept wanting to come in too close to me even though he had nearly all the rope. I need to have a better plan for this tomorrow night - have some thinking to do between now and then!! I don't want to have to move MY feet, being a dominant LBE he needs to move HIS feet and stay out of my space. An important note though...he has a habit of blowing through the pressure when I ask him to change direction but I won the game tonight. It took a bit of doing, wiggling the stick and string and rope all at the same time until he was uncomfortable enough to stop and look at me. WHEW...three repeats of that and he was changing direction with a little feel on the rope. SCORE 1 for me lol!!
Drawing him over the log one foot at a time went great tonight; Renegade was engaged, waited and asked questions rather than assuming, and really thought down to his feet...one at a time lol!!
Circles with an obstacle (log) went well for about 4 laps then Renegade kept wanting to stop 1/2 way over and go sideways. I took advantage of his offer since it's something on the self assessment skills list. I'm aware it's his left brain way of changing the game but I allowed it this time for the above reason. I'll see what happens tomorrow. Also, just to note this, he may have been ready for more quiet activities since we had already done the traveling circles and falling leaf - he may have just been a wee bit tired!! I have been asking quite a bit more from him lately so wanted to give him the benefit of the doubt.
Sideways over the log was absolutely beautiful, both from zone 3 and zone 1. I might up the ante and try zones 4 and 5 - he may be ready. I'm also beginning to introduce cues when he goes to lay down and roll. He's laying down reliably now when we finish our play sessions and he does it right next to me so it's the perfect opportunity to teach the cues.
After Renegade rolled and got up, he grazed quietly nearby and my two other horses came over to say hello. It was a perfect way to end our play session. The only thing I enjoyed more was feeding them their wet hay cubes with a bit of feed in the bucket. I love sitting on the log and listening to them slurp their supper and occassionally lift their heads to look at me with wet, green noses!!