Friday, July 23, 2010

Following the Rail in the Invisible Arena

Official Records Information:
1 hour

I woke up and it was still cool, but SO humid! We have major thunderstorms forecasted for today, though, so I fed our cats and dogs, got my sister up, popped myself into the Barnkat, and chugged off to the farm.

There was torrential down pour yesterday, so I did not want to jump or canter too much, if at all (the pasture was a mess). Since I am SUPPOSED to have a lesson with Misty tonight (!), I decided to do some freestyle stuff with Blu.

Ginger and Hoosier were in Hoosier's run in stall eating hay, so I opened the door and called Blu. He came around the corner from the watering area and ambled on in. I let him into the aisle and put his halter on, a 12' line, and a neck ring. I also played a bit of friendly game with the plastic bag-on-a-stick to make sure we were all set to do a session with it. "No problem," he said.

On the way to the North Pasture where I would play, we grazed, with me picking the grassy spots to stop.

After another quick friendly game with the P.B.O.A.S., Blu did a perfect phase one yoyo, in and out. I let him stand with his head in my arm for a bit before moving on to the circling game.

After a very obedient, quiet send, Blu went off on the circle at a jog to the left. I noticed that he was very tight and that there was no slack in the rope. After he completed 10 circles without trying to go into a walk, I resent him to the right. Huh, slack in the rope, swinging jog. . . looked to me like he was having difficulty bending his body into a counter-clockwise shape. So, I had him change directions. He brodke to a walk to do so, so as soon as he broke to a walk going left, I had him change again. Going to the right, he could maintain just fine, so I used a barrel as a terget to change directions around. I continued that pattern until he would maintain his pulling-on-the-rope, struggling jog to the left. After about 4 laps, his body relaxed, he put slack in the rope, and he bent his body properly. I stopped passing the rope behind my back and let him wind himself down to me in a bullseye pattern. Viola! He got to stand with me for a long time while I pet his face and snuggled him (he is a big snuggler).

Next, I sent him on a circle again, but this time, I did not go into neutral. I had him mirror me. I did the must suttle canter that I could in my body, and he saw and cantered right away. He slipped a few times, and each time he slipped he would ring his head and buck. I would just keep on cantering, let him regain balance and off we would go. I did a short cow cutting game with him and then we stood together for another long while. Actually, I squatted at his head and he followed my example and put his head down by me. This is good!

I put the 12' line into reins and led him to a barrel. First I got right up on the barrel (which I had to balance on because it was on its side!), but Blu told me he did not want me to get on by moving away. So I sat on the barrel for a few minutes and rubbed him. When I got back on, he did not move away, but he got tense in his body. I waited for a few minutes there (BALANCING ON A ROLLY BARREL--this was no small feat, this wait) until he sighed. Then, up I went. Blu there was a collapsed jump in front of him, so I am sure that had something to do with his not going forward, but I definitely believe that waiting for him to relax had a lot to do with his not walking as soon as I was on.

We rode over to the Northwestern corner of the pasture. The tire jump I had used with Blu the other night was torn apart (that would the the work of Connor and Misty). I used the two existing fence lines as rails and then used the invisble line going perpindicular from the fence lines to the jump as my other rails. I walked for a bit and made the few corrections I needed to. Then we transitioned to a jog. I noticed that on the invisible, shorter rail, Blu was not going straight. Rather, he was puting a curved cap on the end of his three sides. So, I began to stop at the jump in between the tight squeeze of a tire and the ground poles/log. When he would lick and chew, off we would go again. Soon enough, that curve went away and he would go deep into his corners and straight to the invisible corner. Then I stopped stopping: we went through that tight squeeze/corner, turned, and were off on the long invisible line. The neighbor's dog came out and I felt Blu tense up when he noticed Elwood. So, instead of not stopping at the corner, I did stop him so Blu could relax. After two more beautiful laps, I called it a day and hopped off.

We spent 5 minutes grazing and I sprayed him off with the hose. Then I put him into the pasture and called him into his run-in stall where I gave him some yummy hay.

Natural Horsewoman Out.

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