I just realised I have written 159 posts between the two blogs! This is post #160 (total). Anyways, I feel like someone has sucked the life out of me, so we're going to make this another short one ;)
Gypsy was my first trainee of the day and she was great! I found her in the alleyways today and so quietly herded her down into the "roundpen". I only ran her a little bit (say 5 minutes?) before she was willing to walk right up to me. It took another few tries though before she allowed me to put a rope on her (we'll work on putting a halter on over time, but she allowed me to put a rope over her neck). I used the rope just to gently guide her here and there - little bumps, little corrections, but mostly I just acted like she was still at liberty. If she wanted to take off, she was free to do so, but I'd use the rope to ask her to come back in again - which she always did. We did the yo-yo game, the porcupine game, some friendly game, the circling game, even some driving game. All a little improvised to accommodate the lasso in place of a halter, but it worked! I had to catch her again later and once again just used a rope (though this time I used the 12' soft rope) looped around her neck to lead her into the barn and into her new stall where she's to stay from now on, during training. It was pretty sweet, as she had never been in the barn before yet she followed me in with little hesitation! Tons of progress today!!
Sunny was great, though he gave me a little attitude under-saddle. We just did a couple of games on the ground before I rode him, once again in the Happy Mouth. He really likes a lot of rein, which I gave him, but he still kept headshaking :S When I asked him to trot, clockwise he got pretty reactive, but we eventually got in several strides. Counter-clockwise (left rein), he actually gave a little buck, though not with much effort. I pushed him through it (in this situation I felt it appropriate) and we trotted a few more strides before I told him he could rest. All in all, he did great though and I look forward to trotting him relaxedly for long periods of time by the end of the week.
Silver was a doll today - we did some curb work prior to some liberty work, all of which he did fab at. We worked on flying lead changes and threw in a little counter-canter work for kicks. Still lots of work to do in those areas but he was great. His gaits were slower and more relaxed as well, almost real WP-like (while maintaining correct-ness, haha) ;) Near the end of the liberty work he got a little grumpy (what's with all this work!?? - I am sure was what was running through his little head) and ignored me a bit, but a couple of corrections with the carrot stick (just holding it out to the side, blocking him) and he was back to humouring me. Afterwards, I had him cart around my uncle, whose horse experience is rather limited - I was pretty proud of Silver when he didn't hesitate to take my uncle about the arena for awhile, despite all the work he had already done. What a partner!
I only rode Koolaid for a few minutes, western and in the Happy Mouth - he did well though at w/t/c with even a little work towards collection thrown in. Later he packed about my uncle's girlfriend - he took great care of her, for which I was grateful :)
We moved Missy to a facility with an indoor arena (where Link and Sonny are at, actually), for a number of reasons. 1. it lends a more professional look 2. she's in a dirt pen and on a diet!! 3. the indoor arena allows for no distractions and for us to work in all weather!!! She was quite grumpy to be ridden today (at the new facility; she was boarded there last year as well), however she did humour me in the indoor arena after a bit. In the outdoor ring she was a mess - she had no intention of doing what I asked. At all. Indoors, she had nowhere she really wanted to go, so she was willing to go where I wanted her to go! She was even relaxing and engaging a bit. I was a little frustrated with her, however I was pretty pleased to see that she was already working better now that she had no distractions. If we work hard and consistently indoors, then we will later have no problem working outdoors either (especially since thus far all our work has been done outdoors) ;) We recorded some of Missy's indoor session on camera today and will do more over the next few days, especially as she settles in!
Today I spoke with Twist's owner to find that he did very well in the mountains - one very happy owner, which is very nice! Sunny's owners are also very pleased with his progress and are greatly anticipating being able to ride him - soon!
That's it! What a long day though, I am wiped. And burnt!! Haha. Tomorrow it's the three as usual, plus likely Link and perhaps Sonny. I will probably have to at least check in on Koolaid and Silver, as Koolaid wasn't so pleased when I took his in-heat mare away. I felt pretty bad, as he started searching all the pastures/paddocks when she left! Poor guy :S Anyways. So horses plus all my other errands, lol. Oh, and sitting in construction for half an hour each direction (no alternate routes). Sweet. Such is life. No rest for the wicked!