Thursday, March 3, 2011

Beginning a program

I started out with the idea of just playing with Gem online. I had a little time and I've been missing the horses. I'm shaking off the cobwebs of winter and the weather is not too bad, so I'm finding times to steal away and develop my horses in short spurts.

We goofed off a little, but moved quickly into circle game. Gem decided, when I asked him to transition into the canter, to try to gallop and then take the line with him to the barn. I have watched this pattern develop and I decided in the last session that I needed to go back to the 22' so I could be better prepared to break this cycle.

He tried pretty quickly to get away, but I was ready and let him hit the end of the line. I'd quickly ask him to change direction and try again. It became a game of galloping on the circle in each direction and then he would slam on the brakes and try to win the game by getting the line loose. He got away once, but the rest of his attempts resulted in a hurried change of direction (my decision) and a canter/gallop off.

I waited for the change.

Finally, he was quite sweaty and frothy, but he made a full circle at a working canter and I praised him, gave him a cookie and took him to the barn. I could see his wheels turning in his head. He was trying to figure out what his next move should be and he got it. It was easier to do the right thing. The right thing was to maintain gait and direction. It was a pivotal moment for our circle game development and I felt like we'd made a positive change together.

Only way to know for sure? See what happens tomorrow... We'll follow through for 7 sessions to make a program.

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