Monday, February 2, 2009

Equine carousel Feb 2

A brief overview of playing with all four horses today!!

Feb 2

On-line (12' for most, 22' for the last game)
7 Games - breezed through, including side-pass towards me (still picking that one up somewhat).
Figure-8 (improvised: no barrels/cones/etc, L1) - he wasn't quite sure what I was asking; his circles around snow patches were actually turns on the hind haha, but he performed the pattern perfectly several times first shot!
Circles #6 (L2) - he figures a raised stick means changed direction rather than slow, so I'll have to keep working at communicating to him otherwise. His direction changes are perfect though!
Circles #7 (L2) - no problemo, as we have done this one before.
Circles #15 (trot/22'/L3) - kept checking in on me ("what do you want from me, woman!") but held a continuous trot spiraling in and out by the end

On-line (12' for most, 22' for the last game)
7 Games - Koolaid was actually lighter than Silver at his 7 games! Silver was phase 1/2 but Koolaid was (except for turn on the hind) phase 1, brushing hair!
Figure-8 (improvised/L1)- same as Silver...apparently neither horse really knew which snow patch I was referring to lol....still performed perfect drive/draw/pattern though!
Circles #6 (L2) - same as Silver
Circles #7 (L2) - aaand, same as Silver!
Circles #15 (trot/22'/L3) - wasn't quite sure what I wanted and so kept checking in on me, but I he seemed to understand the request by the end.

On-line (12' lead)
7 Games - entirely phase 1 or 2
Touch-It (L1) - it was hard work touching that horse-eating tarp, but we did it! Figure-8 (L1) - stayed very left-brained throughout several cycles of the pattern!
Figure-8 (L1) - performed it perfectly multiple times from either side!!
Weave (walk/L2) - very cool and collected
Circles # 6 (L2) - no changes in direction, but we practised slowing from trot to walk, which he did well!
Circles #7 (L2) - maintained a trot very nicely!
Obstacles - We walked over that same tarp (roughly 25' long), trotted over it, and even managed to quietly back onto it and down all those 25'!

Overall Sonny did amazing! He remained left-brained 100 percent of the time and performed all his patterns while very in tune with me. At the end I threw him on the 22' and asked him to maintain a canter until I asked him to disengage - all he did with ease, even at the longer distance!

After our session together, I turned Sonny loose to meander about while I played with Link. What was hilarious was that three people entered the arena, startling Sonny. Sonny jumps up and races over to stand behind me to watch the newcomers with bugged-out eyes. As the people prepare to enter the arena though, he dances over to greet the (horse-less) newcomers...after they pass his "non-horse-eating" test, of course.
"Is this horse hot?" one of them asks. "He looks hot!" Of course it was said in that negative, must-be-a-Thoroughbred tones of voices.
"No, not really..." I reply, confused at what was the point of what she was asking. He naturally has a lot of energy and of course he's a RBE, but at the time, though excited, he was very calm and left-brained.
Apparently she thought Sonny was going to run them over. I tied him up anyways of course so that he'd stay out of their way, but Sonny's the last horse you have to worry about running you over!

On-line (12' lead)
7 Games - we breezed through them quickly and without really working too much on driving or porcupining those hindquarters. He did well though, moving his front end around nicely with just body language and no stick to extend my arm. Sonny joined us at the Yo-Yo game, backing as nicely as Link, and at liberty! (this was prior to the other people on foot entering the arena, of course)
Touch-It - well, being left-brained, it is sort of difficult to find things that intimidate Link! I think the tarp intrigued him more than it did scare him (as usual, haha.
Figure-8 (L1) - remained left-brained 90% of the time...only had to dodge a couple of times when I thought he'd kick, but he never did. A couple of times he took off on me so I just worked quietly with him and he instantly calmed down so that we could continue again, even when Sonny kept annoying him (I had turned him loose after our session) and when others joined us us in the arena (on foot measuring barrel patterns) afterwards!
Weave (walk/L2) - did very well!
Circles #6 (L2) - same as Sonny, no changes in direction, though we did do some w/t transitions! Link slowed down to a walk easily, despite being that GOGOGO horse he is!
Obstacles - Link walked all over that tarp, the loose Sonny following close behind. Afterwards I threw the tarp over him and had him carry it a few steps (which meant also dragging it), which he did so, completely laid back.

The last three games Link and I played with people walking all over the arena, and although he was distracted at times, he continued to remain calm. I also noticed during some of the games that his right side is definitely his harder side, the side he tends to stiffen up and block me out on. Overall though he still did extremely well!! I never threw him on the 22' as I felt he was not quite ready for it - maybe next time!

At the end of Link and Sonny's session, I turned the two horses loose while I cleaned up. Link was content to follow me about (and roll) but Sonny was intent on forcing Link to play. The next 15 minutes or so both horses burst around the arena, Sonny kicking up his heels, bucking, and enticing Link to play. Later I came in to pick them up and Sonny bolted up to me, steering clear at the last second and turning back around to see me, Link close on his heels.

A great session!! Link walked away when I first went out to bring him in, but this time not as far and he turned around and walked a few steps up to me when I ignored him to halter Sonny. I was really really happy with how Link was working so well in partnership with me today!! At the end of our session he rolled multiple times (always a good sign he is relaxed) and even followed me about for a bit (at least until Sonny stole him from me for play lol). A few times I was nervous he would try to kick, particularly when he had right-brain moments where he was quick with his hinds and reactive, but he worked extremely well with me!!!

1 comment:

Deb and Style said...

I didn't know you were a follower of our blog!!! Yay! Since when? How are you? I went horse riding here in South Africa for the second time of my life and that was pretty cool but you are so lucky cuz horses are so cool. :D This is Style btw.