Friday, January 28, 2011

Picking up kids with Gem

The weather was amazing and I cut out of work early to spend some time with Gem. I decided to tack him up and take him to the bus stop to pick up my kids. I worked on driving him from zone 5 to get to the stop, about 3/4 of a mile away. He did great. I wondered if he would call or get nervous and it wasn't until we got to the bus stop that he started to think about his safety. He was grazing and fairly calm, but I could tell that he was just slightly unnerved. When KK arrived on the bus, she got on and I did a little ground work to keep him with me. D's bus was another 10 mins out, so we just did some nice quiet games while we waited. KK hung her backpack off the saddle horn and I think they worried him for a moment. When D arrived, we started to head back. Heading back got Gem thinking about home and after a few minutes, I had KK hop off so I could get him thinking about me as his leader again. About 5 mins later, he was calm and ready for his next kid mount. I loved seeing Gem handle this new ask. He hasn't been away from home alone much and he never called once. Although he had some nervous moments, he wasn't worried enough to call or get overly concerned. I was proud of him and each positive session like this builds our partnership.

When we got home, D rode him over some barrels (very cool!) with me asking Gem to squeeze over from the ground. Then I rode him in the arena, playing with FTR. We practiced opening the gate a bit and he's pushing it open himself. We need to continue building mounted sideways so the gate opening goes more smoothly. Doing well with this horse of mine!

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