Since I want Fiera to be a trail horse it seemed that it would a good idea to go outdoors to work. Originally we thought we'd work in 3 groups of 3 and all go outside but several people surprised us by not wanting to go outside. So, Betsy, Mauri and I went out to the back field to work in the back field with jumps set up as obstacles to work around. Mauri is a barrel racer so worked on barrels slowly with relaxation. Betsy worked on getting April to be with her when she would rather go her own way. I worked not being terrified of riding in the open on a windy day with the other horses doing their own things. This will be hard to believe, but I was initially scored for not paying attention to my horse's wandering thoughts because I was talking (someone wanted to know where I got my tights). But I know Harry allow me to get in those pickles and scolds me to get my attention.
Mounted she did great. We walked in a few straight lines today. Then she got bored and I had trouble keeping her attention. Harry is having trouble convincing me to turn loose of the reins and let her move out on a loose rein. We notice she is chewing on the bit and I'm to interrupt that by scratching her withers, pulling her hair or something to make her stop. I'm to make her go somewhere with purpose. When I have ridden her out with other horses so far she has been very concerned about where the other horses are and what they are doing. It was great to work at our own thing and keep her attention. I also practiced my rein technique and it's getting better. We spent a lot of time practicing turns and keeping her thoughts with me.
When the ride was over, and a bit before we started, we had the 'afraidofthewoodsrodeo' and the trailer again. She came back to me much quicker than either of the last two days, but she is really worried by that spot on the property. Harry said it was no wonder...there are no horses over there. Any that went must have gotten eaten since there aren't any there. After my lesson she really had a meltdown though. She started snorting and carrying on in a big, dramatic way. I put onto practice all the things Harry had told me and was able to send her into the scary spots without driving her but I never really got her calm. She would go in and then trot out. The big thing we accomplished here was that she is no longer running over me when she's scared. To or row, if it's. It raining, we are going to start over there. Then I will work on turning her loose and letting her trot some so that I know we can stop without me clutching her or pulling on her.
I'm finding it interesting that she shies at things behind her just like her mom, and she goes to bucking just like her sisters. I'm a little worried that she is not going to be a good trail horse. I worry that she has unmanageable fears I won't be able to fix. I know I can keep doing the things I'm doing but I may be ready for a professional.
I figured out over the last couple days why Liberty hates the bit. I have always kept contact. In the beginning I let him go on and only used his reins of necessary. Then over time I got more and more contact but he was unhappy so I switched to the s hack. Now I'm going to go back to a snaffle and start over with many of these exercises and see if I can get the tension out. I will compete in my hack for the foreseeable future but I think that I can help his wither soreness and some of the stuff the chiro works on with more relaxation through the top line.
I'm loving the photos of me on her. I don't feel like I look too large on her and I often feel too big on Liberty.
More later. Tomorrow is the last day. I'm sad to see it end, but ready for the real world.