Monday, May 9, 2016

Harry day 2 part 2

A's amazing what a horse won't do if you don't let them. 

This has been his response to me many times. How do I stop my horse from doing (blank)...don't let them. Wow, if it were only this easy. 

Fran and her horse Shiloh. 

I had a fantastic lesson with Cass today. I started out bringing him up early to play with the obstacles. He did pretty well. I backed him through the L. I Walked him over cavellti and walked him over a bridge. When it was time for my lesson we started by walking him through the round pen gate 1 step at a time.  We started out letting him around the round pen. I had meant to let him stretch his legs but I made the mistake of not leaving the pen so I ended up making him work before I truly intended to. I learned that he is very easy to get to be with me. I learned that for Charlie/cass (Val, Ivan Valentino, etc--would someone please help me name this horse lol) he needs very little reminder most of the time to follow me around. I had him with me quickly and he was following, stopping and not crowding me quickly. 

Then we put him on the line and worked on getting him to move around me on the line. We had him walking and trotting and staying with me very quickly so much of our early work has paid off. The big focus for me was to not drive him him but instead to out feel in the line and change his gait according to the energy in my body and slapping my body. I also noticed that he has started to stretch his neck and relax. 

Next we picked up a flag. I have done flag work before but it has been awhile. When I moved in with the flag at first he was ready to stomp it like he used to, but he stopped very quickly. Within a few minutes I was touching him all over with the flag. Then we used tapping the flag on his withers to move him off and then pet him with the flag to get him to keep going. He is such a smart boy. He figured this all out very quickly. 

In all of these things he was mostly attentive but sometimes I had to get his attention back. To do this I had to make an impression on him but not drive him or pull on him or let him step into me. What I discovered that when I'm consciously working on something I'm good at maintaining his attention but that when I'm just hanging out with my horse I have a problem keeping enough focus on my horse so that I don't lose him or that he takes advantage of me.  

Then I asked if maybe we could saddle him. Harry said we could but I might want to use the ring rope on him first. While waiting for Betsy to bring me her rope I worked on getting him to line up next to the mounting block. I discovered the tapping to move forward at the wither came in handy here since I could tap him just to move up a step at s time. He did very well with coming to the mounting block. I lay in him on the near side but not the off side. I'll have to work on getting him to line up on the off side but it will happen pretty easily. 

The ring rope was very interesting and I definitely got a work out. We started with the ring up at his withers. I was to bump him to get him to move off and then let him walk off. To stop I pulled stead in the ring. He didn't care about the withers at  all. Then I moved the rope to his mid section. He didn't like it but he still followed the cue of moving from the bump and stopping from a pull. He did start to paw when left to stand still showing me his displeasure. Over the course of this bumping and pulling the rope slid back to his flank area. Then we had a bit of a rodeo. He bucked very expressively when bumped and stopped. However after about 10 minutes he became good at stopping from the rope and relaxing. 

Tomorrow we will do the rope again and then I'll get a saddle on him. My goal is to then be able to start teaching him to ground drive a little and to understand what steps I need to be ready for mounting. 

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