Monday, September 6, 2010

Play day with horses

Had a great day today! Planned for a play day with friends and their horses. It's always such a great boost to get together with like-minded people to study the same things and grow and help each other. We had the whole day to do this - what a treat.

We started with Reka and catching game. Jen was curious what that looked like, so she watched and commented while I was in the round pen with the filly. Reka understands the game, but her wary nature makes it hard for her to let loose. That's ok, we'll get there.

Then, we played "Can You?". In this game, we take turns following each other. So, Jen will come up with a "can you", perform it, and then I will try. I chose Tina for this day and she did great! After a while on the ground, we tacked up for riding. We worked on the cloverleaf pattern and transitions. Tina was right with me and I was proud of her! I used the confidence snaffle and then after a while went to the rope hack. Tina was learning to be soft in the turns and follow my leadership. She was fidgety with the bit at times, but overall she's learning how to use that larger bit.

After a few hours, I decided to give Tina a break and pull Gem out into the action. Gem and I warmed up briefly then got back into the pattern with Jen. We worked on leads and canter departs after a while, too. Gem and I struggle with the left lead, so this was a good day to work on that and figure out how to set him up better. Jen was working on feeling the leads and asking for the canter as softly and nicely as possible. They've made huge progress with this summer!

It was far too windy for a trail ride, so we played in the front pasture - circling each other and being each other's "eye" on the canter leads and departures. Gem was pulling to the herd a bit, but we were able to get some nice things accomplished. I'm working on really feeling the lead from behind and not cheating by looking at the shoulder. I want to get consistent with feeling the lead after a stride or two from the hind end. Jen focused on the departs and getting Lynx to leave nicely and without a hop or an over-reaction.

We did another catching game session with Reka in the afternoon and again, it was better, but not good enough to put on a halter.

It was a great day!!

a couple of gentle catching game sessions with Reka.

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