Thursday, September 30, 2010

Blu Lecture

I forgot about a lecture from a painter visiting my university--no worries, it was not required--so I came home after my last class and had a session with Blu. I wanted to focus on the million transitions pattern on the rail, today. I was also planning on doing a vigorous ground session beforehand after his antics from the morning!

I did a sort of million transitions on the circle, then when I asked him to maintain gait at the canter, he was happy to just be left alone. However, I noticed that he was not as full of himself as I had supposed he would be. I was expecting bucking and flying through the air.

Since Blu seemed to be so quiet, I decided to play with the pedestal, specifically backing up onto it. In the process, we found out that Blu was not really wanting to stand up there with four. I just want to note this as strange because he usually is fine with standing up there with four feet. I wonder if his back was sore and squeezing himself up there was a little painful (?). Anyway, we accomplished success on the first level toward the backing up onto something pyramid: he finally began to think about the possibility of solving the puzzle, which I set up for him, by stepping onto the pedestal. He did not succeed in lifting his foot high enough, but he was lifting it rather than moving his haunches over so he could back up next to the pedestal. That is where we ended that.

When I saddled Blu, he was quite unhappy about it. I recalled the pedestal and decided to just ride bareback. I had to work through him swinging his head back. When he stopped swinging his face at me, I swung on.

I rode a lap in each direction at the walk to see where we were with plain old follow the rail responsibility. He was solid, so I stopped on the fence and took off his bridle. We rode the walk and trot, and Blu did very well. I noticed when we were changing directions from the stop (so it was a pivot), Blu did not get it. He was backing up, but he did not read "move your forequarters away" from the neck ring pulling to the right. That obviously is something I need to clear up next session. I did not canter because I had not cantered in the bridle and the canter is very difficult for Blu, physically.

When we were ready, I stopped by the bridle to put it back on while mounted. Blu was not being extremely uncooperative, if at all. I was leaning forward and putting it on, and he did not seem to know what he should be doing. He was just standing there quietly with a confused look. He does not like people leaning forward on him (possible back issue? Having the chiropractor out), so I think he was seeking relief when he put his head down. When his knees began to buckle, he put his head back up, and all of a sudden, he turned his head toward me. I sat up (and caught my breath, as my lungs were being CRUSHED by me leaning on Blu's withers). When I leaned back down, he put his head toward me and was very cooperative as I put the cavesson, bit, crown piece, and throat latch into place. Phew! Principle to purpose.

I did the transitions for my million transitions every time we passed one of the cones in the figure eight set up on the inside. I did only walk-trot transitions for a while before adding the canter in. I think it would be a good thing to move my arena elsewhere because of the irregularity of the ditch and the nutshells. At least to begin with. The canter was very difficult for Blu to get into. It seemed like he couldn't think himself into it, though, not that he didn't want to. I just stayed patient, let him learn where to expect a change, and he got much better.

At the end of the session, he had a much floatier gait and the canter was easier. It was not as easy as I would like it to be, but I will look for it to improve as we continue this exercise.

Natural Horsewoman Out.

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About Me

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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