Wednesday, June 29, 2011

What Being Provocative Can Get You!!

Played online tonight because it kept threatening to rain. When I went to the pasture Renegade wasn't interested in coming to me so I waited and said hello to Bert, Captain, and America, giving them scratches until Renegade couldn't stand it anymore and came over to see what was going on. I just happened to have a cookie in my pocket (broken in small pieces) so I greeted him, gave him a rub on the forehead and offered the cookie piece. Then, with his permission, I haltered him and we went together to the other pasture to play.

We started with some touch it with me sending him to different trees and playing with putting/touching different zones on the tree...first the nose, then the shoulder, then zone 3. When that was going well I tried yo-yo'ing him back to touch the tree with zone 5. He kept moving off to the right or left, and not putting his zone five on the tree. I'm not sure why...I have maybe played too much with backing him around corners or he may have a zone 5 issue and be a bit unconfident. I just kept bringing him back in then yo-yo'ing him back until he could finally back straight up. We got to the point where he could back up with his zone 5 about 2 feet from the tree without veering off so I quit at that point...I felt he'd put significant effort into getting to that point.

Next was splitting him in half over the log so I sent him sideways over to the log and he lined up in "our spot"...a nice lower, narrower spot on the log that's easy for him to step over and he doesn't have to "split" too wide. It took maybe 30 seconds for him to put his RF then RR over the log and he licked and chewed pretty quickly. Gave him a rub and a piece of cookie and played with the weave next. I had some step in posts set up but the rope kept getting caught or I'd confuse Renegade when I'd lift the rope to keep it from getting caught so decided to try this on another night and use cones instead.

I had read the article in the May Savvy Times about setting 4 poles on the ground with space between then and asking your horse to sideways down 1 pole then turn 180 degrees in the space then sideways down the next pole, do another 180 and so on. RENEGADE LOVED THIS GAME!! He caught on really quickly and was tuned in to me, kept asking questions, and when I thought we'd done enough, he offered to do more!! He was also licking and chewing like crazy...unusual for him as a generally takes a while for him to digest but not for this game.

Next was circles and change of direction. I'd been having a problem with Renegade pushing through the pressure of the wiggling rope no matter how hard I wiggled it, added in the carrot stick and string...he ran through that too...very typical LB dominance so...I became more provocative. I dropped the cs, slowed everything WWWAAAYYY down, sent him at a snails pace walk and when I asked for the change of direction I made sure to use lots of feel on the rope doing it gradually, closing one finger at a time. the time I got to closing the second finger Renegade was bringing his nose inside the circle and preparing to change direction AND looking to me for direction...come in or keep going. I brought him in to reward him following my pulling or bracing, just a nice soft feel. After such nice feel, I decided to stop and spend some undemanding time with Renegade letting him graze.

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