Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Reading Horses

After watching a savvy club dvd at our camp this weekend about patterns, I've decided to actually log (like they tell us to do) how many days in a row that we do it. And really stick to it (like they tell us to do)! I'm guilty of starting and never completing this. I am very scatterbrained but i'm working on it. Today I helped Can Do with fig. 8. I used concepts from Mickey and think I may have made points with her. We did both sides and I got tons of licking and chewing. I tried to keep my body calm and to give a phase 1 of a phase 1, as sometimes that is all she needs. Very sensitive sometimes! Her ears are what really needs work. She lays them back frequently then pops them up as fast as they went back. Hard to read for me because before I can correct her they are up again. I will continue with this schedule and see what happens. We also worked on not changing gait and look where you are going. She is very clumsy. I laid down some pilings about 6 in in diameter and sent her in a circle. At first she went down to a walk and made it through. She did this a couple of times. I tried to be non reactive with her but kept my "you need to keep going" posture and look. Low and behold, she started to walk the first couple of poles and trot coming out on the last couple of poles. Not long after that she really tried hard to keep the trot. She did it! I stopped her and gave her scratches and rest. Then we did the other side. Same experiences. Feelin very savvy! We then went to freestyle.

Passenger Lessons on CanDo

After a very successful online session, Can Do and I played with passenger lesson. I never really did it with her because she doesn't have impulsion issues. But, I decided to give it a go to become the partner she needs and I blew her mind. She could not figure out what in the hell was going on. Mostly at first, she stopped and I had to get her going again by going all the way with flapping my rope around my shoulders and then on her hip. She kept trying to stop and eat grass. Slowly we made it to a steady walk but she only stayed on the arena side close to the pasture horses. How interesting! I then tried to pick up the trot by trotting in my body. She didn't understand. It took a while, but her walk from a stop improved to just phase 1. I ended up getting her trotting to where she understood she had to keep going. This was just day 1 with this game so I'm expecting better results soon. We then did 4 corners and follow the rail. She didn't do bad, but it wasn't great either. Like I said, this was day 1. We backed and turned on the haunches then turn on front end. Score of 6 with those.

One Funny Horse!

Gizmo is a riot! Today when I went to get him (he was at the gate) the phone rang and it was my son's school. So as I talked to his math teacher (who had bad news), Gizmo proceded to do a spin in front of me for a treat. It was hilarious.Gotta love them LBI's. After that we played sideways on a log and the circling game. His circling game was a bit boring (my fault of course) so then we moved to fig. of 8. It was so so. He would not maintain gait. We then saddled up and moved on to the arena. We started with a passenger lesson at a walk, which he has done lots of times. It went well even to the degree of trotting and our first canter passenger lesson. Hardly took anything for it to happen. We didn't do much because I didn't want to make it work for him.We did lots of transitions and he respected me entirely. Then we moved on to follow the rail and 4 corners. Gizmo did not stop great in the corners at first. It took a little repositioning and then I let him relax when he was lined up with the fence. I did feel like he was trying for me and we ended on a good note of moving around the haunches for a half circle in both directions. I have noticed that when he does not understand me he shuts down. I have to keep that in mind sometimes when I feel him not responding. Is he being a LBI or is it unconfidence in what I'm trying to ask him to do. It is definately me and my actions and I know this!

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Make it Burn

Can Do and I worked on some of the tasks I learned at Maurice's clinic with Gizmo and yep, she did them right on. I knew she would know what to do, she was only waiting for me to learn how to ride. I'm not there yet, but I'm on the way. I need for Maurice Thibault to move to south Louisiana so he can be my personal coach. Lessons 3 or 4 times a week would do the trick, lol! I really just need more time with a PP. We trotted around the property just getting her to burn some calories and get her body moving. Wish I had a couple of more hours a day to work with my chubbies!!!!

Sunday, November 6, 2011

One Fast Horse

Rode Gizmo all day yesterday. I had a couple of friends over and we rode in the arena before lunch and in the woods after lunch. As I was thinking how great Gizmo was on the trail, he quickly made me realize that he needs a lot of work. What makes him a good trail horse is the fact that he is left brained most of the time and very curious. He feels comfortable in the lead, in the middle, or in the back of the line. He is very friendly and has never shown aggression to any other horse that I have experienced, even when they are very aggressive to him. The two problems I encountered yesterday was the adrenaline rush he picked up from the others and his need to gallop instead of canter. On the way back to the barn all of the horses started picking up a little speed. Some more than others. Well, so did Gizmo! I would bring him to a walk again using the partial disengagement and it worked 100% of the time. However, after slowing to the walk, he would pick up the trot again almost immediately. I kept at it because I felt it was right. One of my friends lost her cell phone on the trail so me and another friend decided we would ride and look for it. We decided to go at a slow canter to cover more ground so off we went. There was no canter for Gizmo. It was a race to the finish. He would hardly slow when I tried to use one rein. He was completely ignoring me. He never bucked or did anything to unseat me, he was just super fast. In the arena, he is an introvert and once in a canter, he is so ready for me to que him to slow. He does it 95% of the time with just me breathing out, but in the real world I'm dealing with a different animal. I will have to practice more in the arena before asking him to do it in the pasture, and then bringing him on the trail. Wow, it was a wake up call!

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Brushy Creek again!

Went horse camping again with a group of ladies and had the very best time. We rode, ate, laughed, and sat by the campfire all weekend long. The temps were pretty cold in the mornings, but warmed up to tolerable during the day. One of my friends had major breakthroughs with her confidence. Gizmo did great and had no hesitation going into the creeks this time. I think he might be part bloodhound because he feels the need to smell everything we pass on the trail. Its kind of funny, but how much poop can you smell in one day. He also likes to check out all of the surroundings. He looks around constantly as if he may miss something. It doesn't seem to be a problem for him, but it makes him go all over the place. Probably a rider issue! I am focused but could be doing something else wrong.

Horse is out of shape

Well, not riding Can Do for so long has caused her to gain weight. Her weight gain is causing problems for her feet. She is always lame! This past week I have decided to do something about it. She and her friend will be getting a grazing muzzle. At first I thought they were cruel, but now I do not have a choice. I have started to work with her again and today we played the circling game. She was so LBE that I had to laugh at her. She would stop on the circle and rear and change direction on me. I matched her energy and soon I had her behaving. It was so interesting to watch her throw the tantrum. She is the best. I only wish she were younger!