Saturday, May 29, 2010

Good day of riding!

Tina - had a great session with Tina today. I had Steve supporting me with the line. I warmed her up, played with the mounting block and teaching her to sidle over to it, played with my boot in the stirrup, then mounted. She was quite calm and even cocked a leg after a sat there a moment. I asked for lateral flexion and she gave it easily. Then we walked off. Something caused her to scoot out at one point and Steve handled it well. It can be scary with a big animal deciding to move it's feet and you on the other end of the line. I remained calm and it ended soon enough. She was fine and we walked on. I was on her back about 20 minutes and felt that it was the right time to get off. She was relaxed and happy and it was the perfect quitting spot. We can build from here. What a great deal we've got going.

Before we got started, Steve was coming into the round pen and decided to climb the panel rather than go through the gate. Tina saw him get high up on that panel and became extremely worried! So we played with that for about 30 minutes before I mounted. I had Steve stand up, sit down, reach out to touch her while I asked her to "touch it", played squeeze and circle game around him. It was interesting to see the emotion his height created but by the end she was fine with him dancing and wiggling high on the panel and we moved on. Nice to find those holes and get them fixed so that maybe someone doesn't have to ride through that sort of thing. She'll see judges sitting high up in the dressage ring some day.

Then, Jen came over so that we could ride the trail together. I rode Lynx, Jen on Rain. Jen is working through some trust issues with her horse and she wanted to see how I would handle her horse's behaviors on the trail. It was a great ride and we found a place to hang around and focus on fundamentals. We worked on backing up a hill, scooting down a hill, going up and down embankments, cantering and the dreaded separation! Rain is fine with separation but Lynx is not. She's actually ok with leaving Rain, but cannot handle Rain leaving her. I rode her through a few panic attacks, asking her to partner up by giving her lots to do. She became quite nervous and I continued to reassure her that paying attention to what I was asking was the right deal. When I'd get her calm, we'd go back to Rain. She got better each time and it was quite fun to help her through this. It gave Jen food for thought and allowed me to practice my skills. Her horse can be quite energetic and she likes to rear, but it never got that out of control. She did well and she was challenged.

When we returned, Chrissy was all ready to go and wanted some help working through her fears. Jen helped while I went inside to prep for company. Chrissy and Jen decided to use Rain and Jen helped her find her seat. It was short but I think Chrissy got someone else's perspective besides mine, which is a great thing.

It was great day!

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