Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Voice Commands and Trim Prep

Good day with the fillies! I spent some time with Reka working on picking her feet up. She understands to lift her feet now and she even managed to balance for a long time while I held up a front as if trimming. She's unwinding beautifully now, as well.

She spent the night in my large arena last night with M. I was wondering how both of them would be to halter up this morning and wow! They both came to me and haltered up like pros. I was impressed.

I also played a bunch with Tina today. I started with voice commands while lunging. She has pretty much got the commands down now. "Walk" needs a little more work when coming from the trot, but another session and we'll have it. I had the surcingle on by itself tonight and it's the first time she's worn that in months. She bucked and bucked! Oh, Tina... really? She was done after a few canter circles in each direction, but it just goes to show how sensitive she can be about her girth area and back.

I also worked on driving her from behind in the arena. I wanted to continue building her feeling contact with the bit and with the rain, it was easier to do this from the ground than to get out a saddle and try to keep it dry. It was very interesting to see that she followed the figure 8 pattern we normally start riding in the arena. She's learned that pattern well.

Driving her really helps her to learn to feel of the bit and it allows me the ability to release when necessary. It's also a great way to ride her with actually "riding" her. Perfect for those times when time is tight and saddling her will take too long.

Tina was very confident and easy tonight. At one point, all the horses ran off to the west pasture while we were in the arena and Tina looked but never felt any pull to the herd. She wasn't bothered by their running off and happy to be with me building skills. That lack of herd sour behavior is so nice to see. She doesn't get her confidence from the herd and she's fine if they leave.

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