Thursday, September 18, 2008

My RBE horse on the trail

Yesterday, I had scheduled to coach someone with their horse in my neighborhood. I decided to use Z as transportation to the lesson. I had plenty of time and was committed to get off of her if she hit too big of a threshold leaving the property. Sometimes, she leaves fine and confidently and other times, her feet get stuck and she shows her LBI side. I've been playing a new game when her feet get stuck, where I let her eat grass whenever she starts to move freely. It's working well and we have lots of nice green grass available.

It's typically the first 1/4 - 1/2 mile where she's hesitant to leave and I used to just push her through it. Now, I ease her through it and always check in with her and get her opinion on things. I'm just much better at handling it than I used to be and subsequently, Z is almost always happy to see me these days.

We made it to the lesson in great time and worked on canter-walk transitions on the way once we got through the initial hesitancy. I took off her tack and left the 22' on her so she could mosey and graze while I played with my neighbors horse. That went fine. I tried putting her into the arena alone at first and she wasn't too thrilled about that. So, she got to mosey and that gave her confidence. When it was time to go, I played with her for a quick 2 mins, then tacked her up and off we went. For some reason, she went completely RBE.

I'm not sure if she wanted to simply race home or what exactly was worrying her, but I rode her for about 1/4 mile before I concluded that she needed me on the ground and making her feel safe. I got down, snapped the 22' back on her and we got moving. Lots of falling leaf, sideways, circle over obstacles (gotta love those yuccas!) and backing. She blew and blew the whole time. She seemed to be back on the planet and feeling ok again, so I hopped back on and asked her to walk home on a loose rein. She obliged and blew some more.

We had a nice, quiet walk home and it was getting dark. We stopped at a place where the nicest grass in the county grows and she got to chomp for a while. She was back with me and we calmly walked up to the barn and prepared to go our separate ways until morning.

Today, when I went to feed, she trotted up to me. Then a bit later, when I was in a run scooping and she was standing with me, she moved behind me when Gemini showed up. She was looking to me for protection. I chased him off and she sighed. This Parelli stuff really works!

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