Sunday, March 14, 2010

Day 6 - Dave Ellis

Hard, hard day. We finished the day with a rodier. The 5 of us huddled around the cattle and held them while one of us at a time would go in and sort a cow. Each time I got a turn, I had to do more. First was just separating a cow out of the herd. Then separating a smaller, more agile cow. Next, separating a smaller more agile cow and getting them to be 100 yards or more from the herd. Whooo - the small ones are fast!

Dave wanted Z and I to do a better job of tracking the cow by staying light in front and rocking back on the hind. Z's fore was heavy though and she wanted to turn her whole body, not just the fore. I was struggling with helping her do the task correctly. She then resorted to backing really fast. It was avoidance, I know. She was confused and decided to try something that's pleased me in the past. She also stopped moving the hind for me. It was a mess at the end and I got flustered as Dave was barking at me to get it together. I felt defeated and tried to finish the task but in all honesty, I needed a break to gather myself and try again. Our first two attempts went beautifully. It all fell apart on the third attempt.

I also spent some good time with Tina and she got a 2nd ride by Dave's ranch manager. It was slightly better than the first - meaning she was slightly more comfortable with the idea of a rider on her back while she cantered around.

I started off the day with Dave's young Freisian. Dave wanted me to feel the draft horse and see what I thought. What a kept thinking was, wow - this horse moves slowly. Everything was slow motion. I missed my Anglo-arab right away. We played with collected, precise riding and patterns in the large arena. It was interesting, but I definitely felt that I wouldn't want a horse like this of my own. In the beginning of our ride, he bucked when I asked for a canter. It tickled me that his buck was so slow and easy to sit! He bucked a few times and it was very easy to ride. Perhaps he would be a safe horse for newer riders with his slow movement. He also could easily develop brace, though.

Main points of the day:

The promise of pressure is often greater than the pressure itself

Rhythmic motion vs rhythmic pressure. Friendly game vs Driving game.

Phase 1 should always be getting lighter!

Set it up for Zarah to find the answer, work hard on not always spoon-feeding her the answer

Fix disengagement with Z - she got confused during the rodier

Inside rein and cow side rein always higher

Buy colt starting saddle - to give me a better edge

First rides with brace and rigidity, develop softness over time

Develop bend in Z's hock! Hill work, lots of backing, etc... Help her find the strength behind.

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