Thursday, September 3, 2009

Guest Post! by Lisa, member of our savvy team "The Aspiring Horsemen"

..........on to the progress report. minnie is doing really good with the carwash. i can send her through and drive her through, that was last tues.

friday we had an awesome session. worked on L2 online stuff. our figure 8 is pretty darn good at the walk and trot. most of the time i just looked and pointed, moving my feet minimally. we started really working on the weave. that was rough at first but it got pretty good when i'm on the near side but was still a bit rocky when i was on the off side (confidence issue). but we were gettin it! and most of the time i was just looking and pointing.

i'm getting 4 canter laps consistently now with just an occasional correction. woohoo!! i rode bridleless again. in the round pen of course but we did more stuff. we trotted quite a bit and did a couple figure 8's and change of direction (i told my mom it would be way cool if some day i can take minnie to a play day and do the events bridleless. not at a competitive speed of course. hehe).

the funny part is that jake is better at the weave than figure 8's & minnie is the opposite. i didnt everything that jim and jake did but i know that he's getting better canter laps!! a big deal for jake!!

oh ya, here's a jake funny..........jim & jake were just standing, jim suddenly realized that jake was standing there holding a foot up............probably waiting for a treat!!! and yes, he DID GET A TREAT!! he's such a goof!

sunday we took the horses to the show but i did not compete first off, minnie marched right into the trailer & took her position! i was soooooooo excited!! i threw the rope over her back & in she went!!

i played with minnie online during morning break, down at the scary end of the arena. she did finally relax and offered to WALK between me & the fence instead of shooting through. i only got to ride her in there for a few min but was able to walk calmly at that end of the arena.

after that i rode her in the warm up area. her & jake did really well with being separated. minnie only called a couple times & jim said the same about jake. minnie was a bit highheaded and impulsive at the trot though so we circled and circled and circled some more & did trot/stop/back transitions until she finally relaxed, stretched her neck down & blew out a couple times. it was like someone flipped a switch! one second i was doing circles with a supporting rein & the next we were following the rail on a casual rein.

everyone got to rest for bit after that, including me. it was nice to just sit & watch a few classes. it was jakes turn during lunch break. we had 45 min & i rode jake in the show ring the whole time!! he did really, really good! of course, he had the opposite problem with the arena. he wanted to be at the "scary" end because thats where we were parked. so, i created a sweet spot at the opposite end using cookies. follow the rail to the far end, stop, get cookie, move off at jakes choosing, REPEAT, REPEAT, REPEAT. took about 3 times & he caught on. after that he offered to trot, canter, whatever. i took whichever gate he chose as long as he went where i wanted to go.

he did spook 3 times at the office, bleachers, people, papers?????? who knows for sure. of course his flight distance is like 5 ft BUT he's alot of horse to have jumping sideways!! i finally got off & had him observe things & squeeze through a few times. after that he was fine. so, i got my passenger lesson for the day. LOL.

when lunch time ended i let everyone else leave first & he just stood there quietly. he was much more relaxed this time. no high head, never even thought of bucking. and there were quite a few horses out there all doing different things. it was a good day for jakey!!

when we loaded up, minnie marched right in again! its amazing! she's even unloading better. it just took that one day and 10 min of her standing in there checking things out. makes me chuckle!!!

monday..........another awesome play session! minnie & i did figure 8's & weave online again. i even asked her to do 8's while standing on top of a barrel. hehe. work on the weave.....much better than friday, especially when i was on the off side (alot more confident). work on sideways without a fence. decided it was mark offable!!! which means...........everything is marked off for L2 online!!!

THEN we started working on Freestyle!! we did freestyle figure 8's & weave for the first time!! aaaaaaaaaah! figure 8's went awesomely!! at the walk of course. not ready to trot them yet. the weave wasn't quite as good but it wasn't bad either!!

worked on follow the rail. she had several good moments & several moments of impulsiveness. so, whenever she broke gait we circled, circled, circled until she slowed herself down. i tried really hard to circle with just the carrot stick but that wasn't always possible, especially if she cantered. the good part was that the canter wasn't scary fast so i felt like i could ride it out & try to use the carrot stick.

she did run into the rail once & tried switching directions on me once (just another passenger lesson. lol). she finally started to relax & we did have a few good laps at the walk with a stretched neck & some blowing. i felt totally successful for our first real time doing freestyle.

jim didnt really do much with jake........gave him a day off. BUT he did have jake haltered for a bit & duke (our dog) was out there (of course) & jim tied jakes rope to duke and duke was leading jake all over the arena. jim got them to do figure 8's & tried a weave. duke weaved but jake cheated!!

i suggested that it would safer if duke learned how to hold the rope in his mouth took maybe 5 MINUTES to teach this to duke!! that dang dog picked up the rope on command & led jake around the arena. jim tried to get jake to trot for duke but of course jake thought that was the silliest thing ever!!! we will certainly need a video!!! duke has also learned how to pick apples from the tree. yep......all of our pets are THINKERS!!

One more funny about minnie. we put them in the small pasture yesterday for lunch. jake came in first so jim got him out. minnie was on her way from the big pasture. when she realized jake was already out, she made a mad dash across the arena straight for her stall! i put my hand up FROM THE AISLEWAY and she slid to a stop right outside her stall & hesitated. i quickly invited her in. i thought that was pretty amazing! she could have easily blasted right in..........she's done it before.........right through the chain no less!!

WHEW! so there it is! :)

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