Monday, June 6, 2011

Change of Plans but Fun Just the Same!!

I had planned on riding Renegade tonight but I kept hearing thunder and the weather report said some thunder storms were moving in to our area. I really wanted to play with the horses so I decided to play online instead and America volunteered by meeting me at the gate and practically sticking her head in the halter when offered. I also thought it might blow Renegade's mind if I DIDN'T pick him tonight.

We started out with a bit of driving from zone 2 and 3 and she did great even though this was the first time we'd done this. We went about 30 feet with two corrections...YEAH!! Next up was splitting her in half over the log. It took about 5 minutes for her to get it figured out...she's a smarty girl!! Next up was circling game to the left; first at walk, then trot, then 2 circles at the walk, 4 at the trot, and 1 at the canter. Walk and trot were soft and rhythmic, canter was a bit impulsive for the first 1/2 circle but then she gave me a full, relaxed, and rhythmic circle at the canter. After a rest and some scratches we did circling to the right. America was a bit more impulsive in this direction and took off at a trot even though I asked for a walk. I stuck with it until she softened and slowed down to a walk then stopped her and brought her in for a rub. When I sent her back out I got a nice walk for one lap then asked for the trot with a lift and lead and she went right into the trot softly. Let her do 1 lap then brought her in. Then back out at trot softly, asked for canter and got a nice, soft canter for 1/2 lap. I decided to bring her in after 1/2 lap because she was so soft and didn't want to take a chance she'd stop on her own!!

Played trying to really pay attention to quality, not quantity and hanging in there long enough to make a change. It was a fun play session and I think America enjoyed herself. She didn't leave me when I took the halter off. Tomorrow will tell the real story...will she meet me at the gate?

Played with Bert tonight and some was good, some was great, and some was not so great. I'm having a hard time deciding if he's RBE or LBE! He is a very sensitive horse and can be reactive but then in the middle of everything, he'll stop and take a bite or two of grass.

Started out with some friendly game with the cs and string and he was fine with that. Then lead him out following me while I played a bit more of an extreme friendly game with the stick and string. Again, he was fine with this. Went to the log to try sideways over it...he offers this game at liberty occassionally but he seemed like he needed to move his feet and couldn't stand still let alone go sideways so I used the log in the circling game. The objective was for him to move his feet but watch where he was going. I sent him to the left asking for a walk but he went into an impulsive trot, I let him stay out there a bit until he softened and came down to a walk then brought him in. When I sent him back out to the right he was REALLY impulsive and went off at a canter even though I'd asked for a walk. I brought him back to me and tried the send again but with ALOT less energy from me (I barely brought my life up) and he left at a walk. I immediately went into neutral and he made 1/4 lap then turned in to me to ask a question. I asked him in...HE ASKED A QUESTION and he wasn't emotional or impulsive and that was what I was aiming for. After a rest, I sent him again at the walk and he gave me another 1/4 lap and came in to me and that was o.k. too...he'd left at a walk!! Then I decided to send him out again at the walk I'd ask for a change of direction. I kept everything slow and precise. As expected, he gave me 1/4 lap at the walk but this time when he looked in to me I asked for the change of direction. He did it beautifully and at a walk!! We did a few of these paying attention to him leaving at a walk in a relaxed way, if he stopped, he got to change direction. This worked well for him and after 4 repetitions he was making a full circle at a walk, relaxed and rhythmic!! Had to quit for the night after that.

I think my strategy of blowing Renegade's mind worked because when I took Bert back to the pasture Renegade whinnied and came cantering to me from across the pasture. it when a plan works!!

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