Saturday, July 11, 2009

Trail ride prep for Gem and Liberty with Z

Another great horse day. Getting a lot of those lately. So happy to be getting all the horse time I'm getting. I started with Gemini. I want to start getting him confident enough for the trail. So, today the plan was to simply see what he thought of the idea of hitting the trail. We started with a little warm-up on the ground, and then tacked up followed by a little more warm-up before I mounted.

He's just so doing so well! We're working on transitions on line and getting some great up and down transitions. His change of direction is better all the time, also. When I mounted, I checked lateral flexion - it was light and nice. Then, I checked disengagement - not that soft, fixed it up a little and moved on. I made a mental note to work on improving his disengagement. His movement on the hind is nice - he's nice and light in front and I ask him to yield his fore.

Anyway, then, I asked him to walk to the front pasture with my thoughts on the trail. He was willing for a few strides, then began to turn back to the barn. His thoughts were on the barn. We were not together. I decided to try tit-for-tat. Don't know if we've played that before, but this was a good time for him to understand. His idea to go back to the barn lessened over the 20-25 mins that we played, but I admit that I was surprised how strong his desire was. He comes across as so brave and willing and inside, he's terrified of leaving his comfort zone. I plan to nurture that and develop him slowly so that he can trust that I won't throw him into the deep end. It was a good realization for me - he needs time.

I also spent time with Z. We went into the round pen and practiced liberty. We also continued to develop backwards on the circle. She was feeling energetic and at first I had a hard time asking her to transition down to the backup. She got better but we probably should have gone back on line. I'll do that next time. We also practiced change of direction at the canter, as she struggles changing from right to left. We did go back on line to fix that one up. She was playful today and having fun. Her lead by the tail is amazing!

After, I wanted to spend some UDT with her, so I put her in at stall and run, put a chair in the stall and chilled out. I actually fell asleep. LOL! Me, the dogs and the horse were napping in the stall. Funny.

I'm spending a lot of time now putting my ideas together for my application to the instructor course. We'll see what happens, but I've got to get going on all the things I need to gather.

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