Saturday, February 27, 2010

Catching up

Trying to catch up some horse training after a busy week of travel. The weather was pretty good, so I made the most of it. The ground is soft and mushy, so I had to do things slow and keep the horses at a walk or at most, a trot.

Gem - we practiced COD with a huge improvement on his hard side (left to right). I know he was struggling with footing, so I cut him slack. He did notice my draw and begin to make the change with me in his left eye, so a win in my book.

Z - we did a lot of trailer loading and I closed her in, closed the panel, and gave her alfalfa. I left her in there for a while (45 mins?). She was calm, eating, and seemed prepared to take our upcoming road trip. We also practiced zone 5 driving, spanish walk, and the spin.

Tina - Friendly game! With the tarp and the obstacles. We worked on the circle game, asking her to stay on the circle until I asked her in. Her sideways was very, very nice and I'm being much more subtle in my ask. She's extremely sensitive and I want to respect and reward that. I also took her into the front pasture and we played with hill therapy - using the circle over terrain. She was quite calm and thoughtful! I slowed my asks way down from where I've been and gave her more time than usual. It was an experiment to see how a slightly different approach would be received and she was very responsive. I'll start slowing my asks down until she seems more clear on the language before stepping things back up again. Her draw was better than ever - a good indicator that slower is the right thing for now. She was really eager to catch me when I first went out to get her - another good indicator that things are going well in her mind.

Nina - An interesting time with Nina! She was full of energy again today and did some amazing leaps through the air! I swear, she's the biggest, brownest Lipizzaner-impersonator I've ever seen. I stuck with her and we did some falling leaf until some of the play drive was expended. Then we got to work. Sideways, circle, back, back, back, driving the hind and fore... After she settled, I got some very nice, calm responses from her. It was a good lesson and I feel pretty sure that the next lesson will start off much more calm. We just got some good things done and left the arena on the right note.

All in all, a great and productive day with the equines. I spent 10 hours with the horses! Thanks to my family and my husband for letting me catch up some time.

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