Tuesday, May 31, 2011

You Want to Go There, Me Too!

Today was a different story with Giz. I decided to stay out of the arena because Gizmo is more extroverted in the field. I set up my cones for the weave and saddled him up. I didn't do much in the warm up because I didn't want to use up the little energy that he has stored. He was great and stood still. Then I had to talk myself into " you want to go that way, me too" Oh bother!!!!!!! So, I mounted up and we were off. He did well with the lateral flexion and I tried to guide him a little. Refusal! I then said where are we going Gizmo? You lead the way. He visited everything in the barn area, and discovered his reflection in the barn windows. Funny! We went to all of the farm equipment and I just let him guide me. Then he suprised me and took me into the 10 acre pasture that none of the other horses would dare step foot in. I have tried so hard in the past with the others and they just don't want to go there. He was all over that place, looking here then going over here. The grass in some places was up to his belly so I couldn't believe he was tromping through it. He went all the way to the back and then back towards the barn. I loved it. Well, when we got to a fork in the road that leads to a trail that Gizmo had never been on, I tried to see if he would go..... and he did. We were discovering new ground and all on his idea. I felt like he was having as much fun as me. I did have to keep him going forward some of the time, but it was never hard to do. We even did some indirect and direct turns around trees. We were on!!!!! He did beautifully, but now what do I do about the arena? I'd love to ride him out everyday, that is why I have horses, I love to trail ride. But I want more. I want finess and all the fancy stuff. For now, I will keep doing what he wants and gradually ask for little things every now and then. We'll see how that goes. Also, he has been letting me jump on his back. He used to try and bite me everytime I started bouncing on the side of him. I tried it from a tool box and then graduated down to a bucket. I haven't tried the ground yet but I will soon. He is so darn tall!

Friday, May 6, 2011

Eight laps and First Canter

Got eight laps online with 22’ line so that is definately an improvement. Before that, he went a little nuts playing the circling game. All I did was ask him for the canter and I got all kinds of bucking and body positions. The back legs were going all over the place. I really think he was just blowing off some steam and enjoying the cool front that had passed through. He was far enough away from me that I didn’t feel like it was directed at me. I just laughed an went along with him like it didn’t bother me. It was fun because he mostly so introverted. I think I like extroverted horses better. He also jumped only 3 barrels lined up instead of four. My goal is, of course, one barrel. He had trouble going to the left, but after 3 attempts, he jumped it and then looked at me with that "can I stop now" look.
    I think all day about how the session went and have come to the conclusion that Gizmo is just being a left brained thug when it comes to riding. By this time he should know what is expected of him and I only get 75% from him. I sometimes think it is because I don’t know what I’m doing, but maybe he does know what I want. He must have had trouble turning to the left yesterday because the inside of my right leg is so sore. Maybe I went more than four oz. of pressure with that leg. i wasn’t kicking, just putting pressure. I think I’m going back with Linda’s savvy DVD that says don’t argue, just go along with it and shape it into something you want. Even though I watched it, I thought it was at a more advanced stage than I was. I did canter with Giz for the first time on purpose. His canter is so much better than his choppy trot. It was very controlled and I liked it. We only did one lap in both directions. He stopped with my seat the best at that gate, hmmmm how interesting. I’ll start cantering every time I ride now. I was always worried about cantering because it always makes the trot so fast and out of control (in my past anyway). It was easy to get him to go into it also. I was impressed. It was like he was saying, "thank you for asking me to canter".

Thursday, May 5, 2011

All In A Days Work!

 Got 6 laps on the circle with the 22’ rope with one correction one way and two corrections the other way. We also played with stick to me when I hop over the piling and just stop. It was wishy-washy with him, but it was just day one. We also did light as feather. This is where I see his improvement from when I first started. He was such a dud! Gizmo did well with riding yesterday. He was pretty willing and I just felt like he is understanding my requests. I’ve been concentrating on my riding position and getting him more confident with trotting. His old training came out when I was trotting the rail and asking for direct turns at the end of the arena. He kept coming off of the rail on the short end of the arena so we hung out there for a while. Soon his trot hot fast and his turns different. Same thing when I tried trotting the weave. Its kind of like they were training him to run barrels. Also, he speeds up when I touch him with my heel as a phase two of the turn. He is getting better on that one though.