Tuesday, April 19, 2011
I can see so much improvement since Maurice's clinic. It was exactly what I needed at the time. I wish I could have him in my pocket when I'm out there with the horses. I have completely gotten rid of my sissy hands and I try to concentrate on not leaning too far back. My direct turns that have been so wishy-washy are improving so much. Yesterday, his DT at the walk were there for the most part. It is when we do them at the trot that he gets (what feels like to me) unconfident. He goes into a tight circle to the right and it is hard to get him out of it. It is funny that he never did this in the clinic! Anyway, I just hold my position with my eyes, shoulders, belly button, leg, and rein facing to the left and eventually he comes out of it and I release instantly. I think whoever trained him previously must have turned him like this and it has become familiar to him. Not sure, but it is weird. We worked on some turning on haunches against the rail, back up, and sideways. He is very slow with this stuff, but I'm not sure if he completely understands it yet. I'm going slow so that I can be correct in my requests and i think he will get it. I had to resort to the end of my lead rope for the backup a couple of times, Funny how he backs so well when we are going out of the gate, lol. His backup is amazingly effortless and fast. He is such a shit! He is definately a "what's in it for me" horse. I quess I'm just happy he puts up with my inexperience and he doesn't try and buck me off. He is very tolerant of me. I have to give credit when it is due. FTR is improving. Only one and two correction a lap. Got that baseline Maurice! Funny how I never thought about counting my corrections even though I hear it from the savvy club vault regularly. Maurice talked about it a couple of times and I filed it in my brain. I hope I'm able to pull out all that I learned when I'm riding.
Thursday, April 14, 2011
Today was the test to see how much I learned from the clinic this past weekend and I passed. I could feel the effort in Gizmo's backing and direct turns. He walked and trotted with little effort on my part and was just more willing. I am so happy. Now I need to bring it on and be progressive. I need to be aware when he is being a punk. I really enjoy playing and riding him even though he isn't mine. He was put in my life for a reason and he is making my dreams come true. He is just not what I want. First of all, he is way too tall, and I don't like paints (at least ones with a lot of white). I love his personality and he is very entertaining. Just trying to figure it all out!!!! What about the other 3 horses that I love so much? I sometimes feel like I am ignoring them although they are probably happy I'm not riding them. What's a girl to do? Too many horses and so little time!
This weekend I was lucky enough to go to Mississippi for a clinic with Maurice. I was quite nervous because I had to pull the 4 horse trailer for 3-4 hours and go through New Orleans with it. Everything worked out perfectly. I only brought Gizmo this time because he needed it the most. We got started on Saturday morning with online. We learned about COD and when to ask for the change by partial disengagement, then driving zone 2 then 4. Worked like a charm. Maurice set up obstacles everywhere and we rotated as needed. I think Giz did a great job. It is amazing what focusing can do. After lunch we rode. Giz was in full mode "I don't want to backup, I don't want to do change of direction, I do not want to stand still, etc." Most importantly, he got all of that by the end of the weekend. He sure did backup when Maurice started heading for us. That cowboy means business! All in all, we learned a great deal and I'm hoping I can replicate it when I get home. I almost forgot, Gizmo goes sideways along a fence! So proud! My butt hurt at the end of the second day. I have never stayed that long in the saddle. Gizmo fell asleep with me on his back and he did a Stop, Drop, and Roll while we were traveling down the arena. He is so funny and entertaining. I had all of my questions answered by the end of the weekend plus more, and I made some great new friends. Awesome weekend!!!!!
Saturday, April 2, 2011
Gizmo and were on the same page today. We practiced in the arena for an hour then when it was flowing pretty good, we headed out onto the trail. I had to keep him straight when first starting out because he wanted to turn back to go to the herd. He finally got the picture and then he started to speed up a little. At that point we practiced transitions back to the walk. We got lots of practice on that. A couple of times I had to bring him to a halt because of impulsion issues. Never got out of control though! We even caught some trespassers 4-wheeling on our property. They were stuck in the ditch. I slowly approached them and he stood quietly while I fussed the kids. I enjoyed our ride tremendously!