Friday, May 29, 2009
One of my goals this year is to ride my horse more. You would not think
this would be that tough-I mean he's right there in the yard and I like to ride. But my priorities now are getting the dogs ready for trials and taking care of the house and yard, doing stuff with Jerry, etc. And then you need decent weather and the ground to be dry and a little energy and so it just gets put off. But this week I finally did it. I worked him on a lunge (I never know if that's correct spelling) line yesterday in preparation and he was a little wild as expected but very out of shape and overweight. He was much better during lunging today except that even when going to the right he would only canter on the left lead. He's very left handed I guess. Except that when I tried to canter him under saddle we started to the left and of course he picked up the right lead-weirdo. But mostly he did pretty good for not working all winter. He only tried to buck once-when he tripped. That's his thing-he's lazy, so he trips, then he gets mad that he tripped and wants to buck. I don't think he will ever be a very well trained horse but he's ok for me. We even jumped a tiny branch down in the field. It was fun-for the little experience he's had Squirt is a good, brave jumper. He actually tries to rush to the jump too much.
The dogs worked a little tonight too. I started Zodiac with articles instead of doing them last. He seems to to well on the metal but then when he needs to retrieve the leather he keeps bringing me a metal instead. I guess we have worked so hard on the metal (since he does not like to hold metal) that he thinks it should always be the right choice. But when he does pick up the leather he's very confident about it-maybe it's easier for him to scent the leather, he just thinks it's wrong so he focuses on the metal. He anticipated signals a little but overall did pretty well. He was veering to the left in go-outs so I targeted one time and then we was much better. I did not do gloves outside today because the grass needs mowed and it's hard for him to see them!
I've been working with Legend on some discriminations with the tunnel and contacts. I"m trying to teach her to always default to the closer obstacle. Then if we need to take the far one I'm going to teach some kind of signal or command that will make it obvious she needs to take the far one. I'm not sure this if this is a good plan yet but she is really sucking to tunnels and tends to follow body language better than voice so I'm thinking if she just follows my path I can teach to automatically take whats closest by running parallel and then pushing her out with some sort of turn if the course requires taking the far obstacle. We also worked on some speed circles with distance.