Monday, July 11, 2011

Psychology and Canter Circles!!

Turned horses out again to graze for a couple of hours when I got home tonight. It rained most of the day and they were grateful for the grazing time and it's cooler when I go out later to play!

Played a mild form of the catching game as Renegade was more interested in grazing then coming to me; I was about 50' from him when I got his attention and drew him to me at a nice walk with some impulsion. Haltered him with his permission and played friendly game, both normal and extreme, and he did well so went on to FTR with me driving from zones 3, 4, and 5 in both directions. Renegade is really doing well with this at the walk and when I want to stop, I just breathe out like I do when in the saddle and he stops nice and straight against the rail!! A couple more times of this and we'll try the trot.

Next up was splitting him in half over the log and as usual he did great and did it in less than a minute. After a brief rest we played circling game with the log. Renegade was making assumptions and stopping at the log to line up parallel to it to "do the splits". I just resent him until he figured it out - took two times and he was circling at the trot and jumping the log twice in each circle. As expected, this is better going to the left then it is going to the right. Need to do more on that right side!!

Slowed it down after this and asked for 1/2 way over and sidepass off with me in zone 1...he did great. When he got to the end of the log he waited but moved forward a bit which put him out of line for the sidepass back to me. Rather than micro manage him, I asked him back and ...voila, he positioned himself correctly to make the sidepass over the log back to me. By George, I think he's got it lol!!

Next was touch it with different zones. He's got the trees down so I sent him to a utility pole. It took a few minutes for him to figure it out but he got it and touched it with his nose. Bingo...time to move on after giving him time to lick and chew.

On to circles and change of direction and I think slowing him way down the past two sessions has worked because he offered me 6 CANTER circles in each direction tonight with me in neutral!! I decided not to get greedy and after 6 canter circles, I slid my hand down the rope, closed my fingers slowly and waited until he looked at me and asked a question then I let him come in and stop. When he got to me he nickered and licked and chewed. When doing the change of direction, I'm going to wait to send him back out in the other direction until we've got the looking to me part more solid.

Next was put your foot on the frisbee. I set two frisbees out on the ground and would send him between the two allowing him time at each one to sniff it or put his foot on it. If he did neither, I sent him on until he began to put effort into it and TOUCHDOWN...he put his foot on it. We repeated it a few times until the last time he firmly planted both front feet on one of the frisbees and nickered. I let him rest there and gave him a cookie to suck on (he likes to make them last since I give them sparingly lol!!). He stayed there for about 4 minutes then came over to me where I was sitting on the mounting block. I gave him a few rubs and another cookie and he offered to sidepass a circle around me at liberty!! He then stuck to me while I gathered up all out toys and equipment and we called it a night. It was getting dark, time to put the horses up and give them their hay for the night. They all went through the gate from one pasture to the other when I asked (at liberty) and I gave each one a couple of cookies, their feed, and their hay and said good night.

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