Sunday, March 29, 2009

Pulling Kids in the Snow, Part 2

With Zarah! I rode her around and acquainted her to the sled behind us, next to us (moving sideways) and in front of us (moving backwards). Amazing how much harder moving backwards was! This is actually a L3 task - or used to be, before the new format. We worked on transitions (trot/walk mainly) with the sled. She was slightly hesitant to leave the barn and I tried my hardest to not brace against her, but to turn with her and follow her idea before suggesting my idea again. It ends up looking like I'm moving the hind end every few steps. It was VERY effective and we barely ever braced against each other.

Eventually, I pulled Kendall on the sled at the canter (which Kendall LOVED). We also got some video of bridleless riding (thank you, Steve) so I can watch and see where I'm fumbling. We jumped 1 ft bridleless and today, I'd like to jump the barrel. That's one of the tasks for L3 and I'd like to film L3 in a month or so.

I also spent quite a bit of time just sitting on her back. There isn't much grass to eat with the ground covered in snow, but we would just stand. I loved hearing her do the big sigh and she even fell asleep at one point. I'm really, really trying to keep filling the bonding and love bucket. Zarah needs it more than my other horses.

I spent undemanding time with her in the barn and then with the herd. Gemini told me how he felt by coming and standing about 1 foot from me, facing me, cocking a leg and taking a nap. The other horses slowly creeped over, as close as Gemini would allow, and also took their naps. I realize they generally do see me as the herd leader and place of comfort. That was a great moment and a welcomed message from the herd. Rain and Cowboy were the cutest, taking slow baby steps to get as close as they could and both of them looking intently at me as if to say, I want to be closer to you! I realize that Zarah doesn't feel quite that way about me and I'll keep working on it.

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