Thursday, August 6, 2009

and Lil decided to have a nap.

She layed down in the sand at my feet and started snoring. So I sat down next to her and put in some undemanding time. It was nice.

And as luck would have it I have another horse that it was time to ride again anyway!

Nigel and I had a few big changes last night. First he put his nose in the halter and marched down the aisle with me. He very positively headed over to the stump and stood up on it. I felt like he put waaaay more mental and physical effort than he has been into that. It cracks me up how he makes those lipizzan poses. What a goof. One foot in the air like a retriever.

He tried to head past the roundpen door again but I felt like I needed to be a bit more assertive on that one so instead of following him I gave him a big smack on the bum and then turned quickly and marched into the roundpen with him following. We'll see next time if that was a better strategy.

I still don't know quite the best transition from going into the play pen to actually doing something....should start right off? Should I hang out a bit? He seems so bored if I wait....and he'll follow me everywhere now....our catching game is great....but maybe I should be checking it each time...I really don't know.

Anyway, we fiddled with the barrels. He went through them again squeeze game style. They really just won't stay still for jumping. Our sideways was tons better. Change of direction Online* at the trot, very good.

I set the two barrels up on end about 3 feet apart and put a treat on the blue one. My idea was to do that back up to the end of the 22ft line and through the barrels pattern for the second time. Brilliant! Straight back. And at phase one. Very good effort I thought. He is a smart horsey for sure.

Our canter circle Online was much better but only to the left. To the right we got one decent lap. Then I pushed him to do it again...and we just had a bunch of disharmony about it.

I stuck with it because I wanted to follow through...but then I felt like he was putting in an effort.....he kept picking up the counter canter...I wasn't we stopped and tried again to the left. No problem. One lap perfectly. I decided that to the right was a balance issue and that we'll chip away at it a little at a time. Seems like practice and exercise and probably some turn on the forehand stepping under with his right hind should help.

The last time I used my thereaflex pad was on Lil so I had a different shim pattern going on than I had previously used with Nigel. I haven't really been satisfied with just the one thick shim in the front for him anyway. So I pulled out the thin shim in the back and left the thick and thin in the front.

Stand still for mounting......I almost felt like I could get on bridleless and bridle from the saddle. ...but didn't. . . nice lateral flexion without moving...nice forequarter and hindquarter yields...excellent yoyo! best so far really from the saddle.

Off to try for 4 laps each way at the walk and trot. Wow! I had so much more go. He was giving me this lofty little energetic trot. I really think the shims were way better for him. Gave him more room to lift his back. Clearly.

So I figured while my friend Nigel had so much go we would put the blue barrel on the rail and do point to point to get some canters. At first he was diving off the rail to get straight back to it. But a few corrections (had to be quick) later he had cantered each way to get the treat. Cool.

We rested on the rail again. He totally remembered that change. Amazing. And then we did 4 laps each way at the trot and then the walk with NO corrections. Super. Lifted the reins to stop on the rail. Perfect. Hopped down. Done.

I felt really good about that whole thing. It really did feel more connected overall and more partnered. Satisfying.

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