~Official Records Information: Blu/7-3-10/45 minutes
On the ground, I started with just a simple y0-yo on the 23' line. He was unconfident about it, thinking it meant that he had to circle and also being reluctant to come back to me. So, I played with that for a bit until he was backing straight all the way to the end of the rope and coming back with a simple beckoning gesture.
During the circling game that followed, I moved the circle around so that a barrel was in our way. I started with reverse psychology, pulling him away from it when he got close. After 5 laps of that, I let him stay on track with the barrel. He avoided it at the last moment and I wiggled him to a stop and changed directions. I repeated until he was more focused on the barrel. This time, he stopped at the barrel and asked a question. I rewarded him by asking him to come back in where he stood and got scratches and relaxation. When he came to the barrel the next time and asked a question, I pointed him on to go over it. He pawed it, looked at me, put a leg over, looked at me, then scrambled gracelessly over the thing. It was a lot of honest try in that feat, even if he looked ridiculous.
Next was to put the circle onto the cavalettis. Just like in the morning, he floated right over beautifully. I got on, though. . . and he was scrambling like he did this morning. He was still straight, not swerving, etc, but his coordination was gone. "He can't squeeze that big stride into those cavalettis," my mom shouted. (!) How exciting! Blu's stride got bigger when I got on! So we set the cavalettis further apart, and voila, presto, shazam, call it what you will, Blu floated over the cavalettis with me on his back. It was SO much better than when he was just going around in circles, hitting the cavalettis over and over again with no rest.
I did a few more dry cavalettis then added a 12’’ then 18’’ jump, and that was our evening. Absolutely . . . AWESOME.
Natural Horsewoman Out.