Since Mom was using the warmblood halter on Connor (that size fits Blu better than the regular), I decided to play with Misty. I had the 45’ line out, but I just played at liberty. She took a while to hook on to me—or at least longer than her usual instantaneous deal. I did very little and just kind of waited for her.
I practiced zone 5 driving at liberty at the trot. I aimed her at the gate because I knew she would cooperate very well and get the idea a lot faster. Then I turned her around and aimed her for the middle of two cones that were about 10’ apart. She got it! I was really impressed with how good she was at it. She was a bit confused at times about whether she should back up, go forward, or turn and face, but she did not really put a lot of effort into the "wrong" choices because she was paying attention to my gentle corrections.I was going to do more, but with so much harmony achieved, I decided to hop on.
I started by violently swinging the strung carrot sticks like pinwheels on both sides of her. At first, she was responding like it was a directive pressure, but she was not worried. She quickly understood it was a friendly game :D
I had the 10’ figure eight set up. We did some looser 8’s to get her warmed up. I was not particular about shape or size, just gait. She did some simple and some flying lead changes. I will note that she was very tight and carrying herself in a bad banana shape. I am used to Blu, who has lately become very good at carrying himself up.
I should have done transitions, but instead I spent a really long time working on my neutral while she responsibly followed a circle path (half of the figure eight) at all three gaits. She got much better at not needing any correction.
Then I had some fun and asked her to canter around. All I had was a savvy string in my hand for in case of an emergency (I can lean down and sling it around her neck if I feel the need to). She was backing up with just my seat, so I felt very safe. She did some galloping and it felt so good to not have to be afraid of being run away with by a completely bridleless Arabian. I don’t have too much to worry about because this Arab doesn’t have a desire to keep running and will get sucked to a gate if I even look at it. She seemed to like it too once she realized that I was just being a passenger and asking her to keep cantering. Misty is very surefooted and with all the flying around she did, she only slipped once.
When I was ready to move on, I simply stopped and backed up in my body and she slowed down to a halt. I was still holding the back up in my core. She licked and chewed, blew, then backed up. It was really great.
My mom and I went on a ride around the property. She had done the first 4 games with Connor at liberty then rode him around the pasture. We had fun on the ride outside and Misty was very good.As for the evening:
WOOO! Session #2 of toboggan pulling went fab! I showed Momma how to man (or woman, as it were) the flip video. We took it to the next step by adding more stop spots, as opposed to just one, and we also TROTTED!! Session 2!
I also revamped equipment: I have two flat driving lines that I attached to the halter and I used a feather line to attach the saddle to the toboggan. Working out the kinks on how to lace the driving lines through the saddle.
Once, I left him at a stop to get the mail. He cleaned the stop up (there are pellets) and left it. For a moment, an image of Blu careening down through the country side with wood chunking off and flying away behind him as the beautiful toboggan was crashed to pieces. . . Blu ambled off to the next stop, cleaned it up, and ambled off the next step. He showed not the least bit of concern that something was trailing him without me there. Phew! It’s a good thing he is an excellent point to point horse!
I let my mom go in long before I finished. We drove around from point to point and I was finally able to get him to stop at a particular bucket he kept passing by. On the video, you can see where he had problems going in a straight line when we were establishing his new stop points. Once he knows where the stop points were, I just had to point and shoot. That also became a problem, though. That is where that secret bucket came in. I stayed very soft and asked him to slow down before we got too close to it. Now he suspected something and was much more willing. Another kink out of our toboggan skills.
Now that we have trotted and all around the front yard, I really can see us making our way around the entire property on lovely toboggan adventures.
I am going to put all of my video clips together once I have them and make one big movie out of it, so Toboggan video abound! For now, my blog will be updated by tomorrow with a link to the video if you are interested.
I sat in Ginger’s stall with Blu and his new kitten Pico while Blu cleaned up Ginger’s left over hay. It was relaxing and nice to not be sitting in snow anymore—my bum is still freezing!
Natural Horsewoman Out.