Friday, February 4, 2011

Lead Change Ladder Day One

On the 45’ line:
I had a goal of getting as little tail swishing as possible. I was first very particular about where and how he stepped through the gate. That got him very interested. Then we worked on going sideways to the end of the line while I stood still. I had it set up so that he would go sideways on the fence and end up at the gate at the end of the line. He was worried, at first, but he found relaxation and got himself straightened. Still need a more consistent sideways-together motion of HQ and FQ. I had a hand-in-the-mouth moment during that. He was feeling nibbly so I played with his tongue and rubbed his gums.

Then we went out and played the circling game. My goal was to get 10 laps 6 feet away at the trot without breaking gait. It took a while, but we did it. Also, SO much less tail swishing today.

(Freestyle, 30 mins) First time riding in a bridle in a LONG time. I bridled him from my knees and he was SO good. I went through the first 2 steps of the lead change ladder to see what I need to be focusing on with him (relaxation, canter/walk transitions). The depth of the snow varied from 8 inches to 3 feet, so it was a work out. Our step one (relaxation) was going sideways on a circle with his head pointing toward the center of the circle. It was easier for him to go sideways to the left. Then I did the fluid rein until he blew. We did canter/walk transitions until he was staying "up" when we went to the walk and getting light on the canter transition. When it felt good, I pushed him into a faster canter and he did a 10 foot slide stop—that is an improvement from the 4’ stops he has been doing. We were both pretty tired and I walked him out on the ground for 5 minutes.

(Liberty, 15 mins) While Blu cleaned up Ginger’s stall, I groomed him. I also cleaned out his peepee. Yuck. I climbed on the wall and looked at his back from head to tail. It looks like his left ribs were out further than the right ones. That would explain why he was better at going sideways to the left than the right.

In reflection, I feel like today I had a good start, but that the field of varying depths of snow is not a good place to work on cantering. He needs somewhere with structure. I found that we were just flitting about in the open without much direction. This would be good in an arena, but Blu seemed more distracted by how many places he could go than concentrated on the transitions.

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