Tuesday, August 04, 2009

Let's see if we can make this quick, cuz I'm starved.

Today, I played with four horses. All had major breakthroughs. All are two years old or under. Details follow after the jump.

And here's the jump.

My mission today: get Mona and Kat over their herd sweetness and thresholds going from pasture to round pen. If I could get one into the round pen calmly, great! If all we did was play halfway there, great. I also wanted to take Magic the opposite way—from the round pen where he's living to the arena/pasture to give him room to stretch his legs and see if he's truly catchable yet. Once he is, he can live with the rest of the herd.

Note: Mona and Kat are pastured together. Everyone else is on the big pasture. Except Magic, who lives in the round pen for now.

Mona was more catchable. Played with her a bit in the pasture. Made sure she was listening. Did the threshold thing. Took the time. Let her graze along the way. Approach, retreat. Kat was more bothered being left behind than Mona was. Made it all the way to the round pen, and in. (Yes Magic was in there. He just drifted over to the opposite side.)

Returned. Switched horses. (Mona took about 45-60 minutes). Kat wasn't so easy. Played catching game with both in pasture as BM was preparing boarder's horse in next paddock. Very interesting playing at Liberty with both Mona and Kat. They knew when I was talking to one and not the other.

Finally Kat hooked on. Haltered, played games. Did not get to thresholds. For her, because she was too "up", I sent her sideways first. Whoo! Got her thinking. Then games. Huh. Fuzzy now. Oh. Food aggression. BM put Mona in adjacent paddock after lesson was finished. Then she fed their hay and grain. Worked on having Kat listen to me as leader instead of diving for food. Went pretty well, actually. She has a tendency to rear when asked to back. Is that LBE? Must look that up.

That was another hour done.

Next up: Magic the Mustang. He's easy to catch now. Did not do pasture because of feeding time. Will do tomorrow. Reinforced Seven Games in round pen. He is ONE SMART COOKIE and a fast learner. Had a little bit of a blowup when he got confused when I increased pressure, but it was over and done with and forgotten quickly.

One more hour down.

Collected Aries from the big pasture. Games along the way in. He's more like Cheerios—LBI. Had to get ahold of him, disengage firmly to get his attention. After that, he listened. He needs to learn to maintain responsibility for circling and not stop behind me. Saddled, rode for about 15 minutes, just walk trot. Has NO lateral flexion on right side—stiff as a board. Worked on that. Worked on Direct/Indirect Rein. He is very good at lifting into the trot off of energy, and he follows focus pretty well. A little confused about bend to a stop. But he stood still for mounting this time.

All in all, a great session. Five hours—4:00 PM to 9:20 PM—of just horse play. Sigh. I really COULD do this for a living.

According to Pat, on the SC DVD Sept 06, Colt Starting is just Level One with Excellence. Whew! That means I should be able to do this.

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