Tuesday, September 13, 2011


Played online and at liberty tonight with the circling game and transitions with changes of direction. Online went VERY well and Renegade OFFERED the canter straight away the first time I sent him out on the circle. I decided to take what he offered and he did 5 circles to the right before he looked like he might break gait. I asked him in before he could do that. To the left, Renegade offered 2 canter circles but he also offered a couple of FLC's so I opted to reward that instead of asking him to continue on the circle because someday I'll be asking for those FLC's and I'd like him to offer them at that point when I ask!! I think we call that playing for tomorrow!!

After the canter circles, I slowed everything WAY down to work on our changes of direction with softness and no brace. I slide my hand down the rope, close my fingers slowly, and WAIT for Renegade to seek the release and turn towards me. The more I play with this the less time it takes for him to turn in to me and ask the question "what do you want now?". Sometimes I have him come in to me, sometimes I send him out in the other direction...it all depends on how long it takes him to turn towards me, and the expression on his face when he does turn in. Softness and lightness gets to come in to me for a rest, any brace or resistance gets sent out in the other direction until I get a change!!

Also played a bit with speeding up sideways. To make it easier, I do it on the rail so it takes away having to worry about Renegade leaking forward...easier to be particular but not critical!! Sideways to the right and Renegade offered a trotting sideways although his hind end lags a bit but we'll work on that after we get a bit more consistent and he develops the athleticism. To the left the sideways was speeded up, not to the point of trotting but almost and enough effort to earn the reward of stopping. To the left is his "harder" side so we'll need more time to develop this.

After our online play and warm-up, we tried a bit of liberty and we had a pretty good connection for about 10" then lost it for a bit. I just kept trying to be provocative and interesting until I got Renegade's attention again and when I had it, he offered to jump a single barrel (it was perpendicular to the rail) and turned, faced, and waited. When I sent him back the other way, he jumped half way over and stopped. I don't think I asked for that but maybe I did or maybe Renegade just offered it. Either way, I let him rest there as someday I'll want to ask him to do this. After he had rested there and licked his lips, I asked him to sideways off the barrel towards me and he was only to happy to do that. He earned another rest, a cookie, and it was the perfect place to stop for the night.

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