Thursday, November 5, 2009

The Blu Ball

In the past few months, Blu has been developing an extremely high play drive with the other horses. He really likes to start stuff with his two pasture buddies and becomes very theatrical and animated. It is a entertaining just to watch, but when he is tied to the end of a rope--a rope that is in my hand--it is even better!

I have been very busy with life, but I am good about making time to work with the horses. Misty is on a 6 week no riding treatment for hill therapy, so I been perfecting ideas on the ground with her as far as my end of the deal goes, then applying them to Blu. The Parelli falling leaf pattern has become an invaluable maneuver for me because it really puts the pressure on to move and quick! He has really sped up his cutting, too. I can ask him to run, trot, or walk to me, as well as to stop and back up at any point in that journey. He floats sideways away from me at all gaits, but I am still in the process of teaching him to halfpass toward me (Misty can). I did a lot of experimenting with variations in gait today: I tested out his ability to mirror an elevated trot, an extended trot, and an elevated canter. He was so full of energy, that these first experiences came out pretty well. I imagine it won't be long before he can piaff and passage on the ground. I can hardly sit still just writing about it; that is how much I enjoy horseplaying with Blu.

Even though I only spent an hour and a half with him this afternoon, I worked on a wide variety of things today because I was moving through them so fast. He was just on fire!

We covered the weaving pattern (in the english saddle with natural hackamore) the walk and trot. I recall his left turns being of less quality at first. I will look for the carrot stick to become used less in the next session, but for the most part, he was responsive to my leg and weight aids.

I transfered to the figure eight at the canter. He was so light and responsive in my hand, that I had him making nice patterns in a matter of several minutes.

I am working toward finding Blu's talents and improving his non-talents. I have definitely found one of those non-talents of his 4 year old self: jumping. I spent the summer teaching to pick his feet up over ground poles rather than trip over them. So, today I had him work with a raised cavaletti pattern. First, I had him circle around me as a walked the circumference closer to the pattern. He became curious and I used reverse psychology to keep him interested in it. I drew him away from the pattern whenever he looked at it. Then I had him go right next to it so he could see how the last one was higher than the others and get a feel for the distances between each. The first go over, was caught off guard by that last, higher step and kicked it with his first hoof before correcting. The second time was flawless and he had a very attentive look on his face, so I moved on.

I mounted back up and worked on bending his body with shoulder-ins and hind-ins. It was his first experience with that concept, but he did remarkably well. His butt doesn't go in as well as his shoulders do, but it was a good start. I worked on collecting the slack as he shortened his frame and then releasing after I got to the hover craft feeling. He was really happy to stretch his neck out and relax in between collections.

Those are just the highlights from today: we did more. I was so pleased today with those results. As always, the moment I get out of the show ring, my horses and I relax and learn. After such an afternoon of learning, I massaged Blu while he grazed for 5 minutes.

When I let him go, I released him in the back pasture where his pasture mates had been grazing all day--and where the good grass is. Did he race out to go find them? No, he followed me back to the barn! I was so humbled by that. It was a real compliment.

No comments:

Post a Comment

About Me

My photo
I am a young horsewoman with a million things on my mind. I have been a student of the horse all my life. As a little girl, I had a desire to understand horses on deeper levels. I believed that there was no such thing as a bad horse, and I believed that all horses were beautiful. One might say that I was a naive child, but I guess I don't have an excuse anymore, because I still believe all of that, and Parelli Natural Horsemanship is helping expand on this perspective.

What We Are Currently Playing With

  • Moving Close Circles at Liberty
  • Soft, Balanced Canter on 45' Line
  • Zone 5 Driving