Thursday, October 29, 2009

Domino 18

Well we had a great session today. I did the rd pen work without the pen as we did the other day. The transitions went real good he even stayed in the canter longer for me which is great. He stood quiet when I sacked him out with the tarp, umbrella and whip again. A few times he got distracted by a student of mine who was watching, but each time he wandered her direction I got him back until finally he just payed attention to me and stayed on the circle. We did this both directions and he did good. Then while the tarp laid on the ground he was distracted by that a bit and I had to get him over that but again he got his attention on me. This is fun stuff. I saddled him and took him in the yard and rode him around we did some backups with light pressure of seat, leg and rein, some disengagements and tried to get good forward motion and transitions there. He is making improvements everyday. His lateral flexion is better and his leg yield and half pass is catching on too. I need to transfer those two to the saddle yet, but we have plenty of time for that. This was his 13th ride and he is getting better and better. Tomorrow, weather permitting I hope to have an even better session. See ya!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Domino 17

Had a good workout with Domino. I wanted to see what he would do if I just rd penned him without a round pen. So I got my sticks and went to work. First he came right up to me when I went into his pen. So I rubbed on him a bunch. Then we went to work. I moved him in one direction in a circle. Remember I didn't have a circle to keep him in. This would be just body language and trust in me. He got out of it at first but I went after him and got him back on the circle. I just had to keep my body position in the right place. My hip lined up with his and my feet pointed in the same direction as his, just like I was riding him. Once I got that I then started to ask for transitions to walk, cause he was trotting at this time. Then back up to trot. He did that a few times then gave the signs of submission so I pulled his eye and pushed is rear over. He looked at me and I stopped and rubbed him on that side. We then did it again and I wanted to move up to trot and canter. He did it but would only hold the canter for a few strides, but I took it. Then back to walk and pulled his eye and pushed his butt and then rubbed him. Then we did the other side with the same results. I then cracked the whip, he stood, no lead on him at all. Then the flag, same thing. Then the umbrella. He let me do it a little, but then I moved around with it open and he started following me. Then the tarp, same good results. I am surprised though that things out on the road and trail bother him so much. One good thing though, he has been taught to spook in place when something scares him. If he would have ran yesterday when he did a 180 I probably would have come off, but he just turned about and stood while I got reseated. Anyway, we got saddled and went out in the yard and worked on backup, shoulders, disengagement, leg yields which he is making improvements on. The lateral flexion he still braces some, but he is not throwing his head much at all now, which is good. He braces when we are moving forward under saddle, but he is getting softer there. We worked on the one rein stop and disengaging from saddle, moving up and down the road. He is getting used to it, but is certainly not ready for the main thoroughfare yet. I don't know if he will be after his time is up. It will just take time and lots of rides. Anyway the day was good, we ended with a good stop and lateral flexion. End softly is the best way to end anything don't you think?

Monday, October 26, 2009

Domino 16

Had a good ride today. My paddock is so muddy right now when I went out to get him I decided I would work him in the front yard. He caught me right away and put the halter on did some flexing right there. He still throws his head a little but is getting lots better. I saddled him and took him in the front yard. Then I sacked him out with the tarp and umbrella, lunged him a few minutes then got on him. We started down the road just asking for some flexion both directions. I am trying to get him to follow his nose. He is a bit spooky at things. A squirrel made him jump and then later something must have moved in the woods because he did a 180 and almost lost me but I was thrown forward and grabbed around his neck. I took him about a 1/2 mile down the road and then caught a powerline to a place I call the circle where I take the other horses to work with them. I just wanted to ride to that and walk around the circle a few times in each direction then walk back. We did circle esses all the way out. The best way to keep a horse from being scared that I know is to keep their feet busy and the circle esses works their lateral flexion and softness and teaches them to follow their nose which is a huge aid if you get into trouble. Anyway, he decided he wanted to head back home and just kept fighting me and really bracing so I was running out of time anyway, hence we started back. He wantet to go fast so I would let him as long he followed his nose and would go in circles on the way back down the powerline. We got to the road and he settled down. However, I did make him disengage both directions a few times so that he knows I can control his feet. This is the problem with a lot of domesticated horses they don't get out into the world and see that things don't have to scare them. THe only world they know is their back yard. So going down the road or out on a trail can be a big deal if you don't introduce it slowly and not over load them. I think I had him out there too long and that is why he was acting up. On the road again we did several stops and back ups, some circle esses, even some leg yields which I think he is going to pick up rather quickly. He still needs a lot of work on softness though and stop bracing on lateral flexion. We got back and I made him work a little bit so as to show him that getting back doesn't necessarily mean rest. Flexed him some more and got off and put him up.
Little by little I think he will improve.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

domino 15

Half way there. Yep! only 15 more sessions with him and he will be solid gold for the owner. Not!!! He came to me quick today. I didn't work with him yesterday because I wasn't feeling too good. I still am not the best, but I can't get too far behind on this guy. As it is it looks like around Nov. 15th when he will be going home. Anyway, I got him saddled no problem and moved him on the lunge line. He moved out freely. Did some transitions of speed and direction then I worked on some leg yields on the rail and slightly off the rail. He did pretty good. Then took him out and worked him out in the yard, the pen is too muddy, worked him a little and flexed him. He likes to throw his head up when I flex him on the left. I am not sure what that is all about, but he is telling me he doesn't like it. So I am working on being real clear and soft and release on the slightest give. He is getting better. Then for 45 min. I rode him around working on lat flexion and transitions. We went down the road without too much hastle. I just used his own energy to make him move. For example, if he wanted to turn to the right towards home I just asked him to keep on turning with real light pressure on the rein and did a 360 and kept going in the original direction. So whichever direction he turned I just overcorrected him and kept moving. We did this for about a half mile down the road. Then a friend stopped to talk to me about the death of his son, which he wants me to do the funeral this week. (he was killed last night while working on his car. He was underneath it and the jack failed, he was 30 years old.) So I got off and chatted with him and his wife and prayed with them. Shawn Pensinger is the man's name, so say a prayer for the family.
It was also good training for Domino to stand patient. After that was done I remounted and we did the same thing back, just trying to get softness laterally and transitions to trot and then walk. We went through some big puddles of water which make for good obstacles. He is learning to trust me. I flexed him when we got back that was it. He did real good. I have noticed that he can be a bit jumpy, but he didn't act like he needed to get back home any time soon and he didnt' whinny as he has before when Raven or Jake did. Otherwise I would put him to work. So it was a good ride ending on a good note.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Domino 14

He bucked!
Yeah, not at first but at the end when I wanted to quit him. Here is how it went. I went out to put halter on him. He hardly moved off at all, so he came to me pretty soon. We got the saddle in place and I moved him around on the lunge wanting to have him arc his body on the circle. He has yet to do that lateral softness yet. We did probably 8 or 10 circles each direction then I put the bit on him and got on and moved him around doing the same thing but he didn't really want to move so I took him out in the road. There we worked on lateral flexion at the walk doing lots of circles in the road and going up and down the road in front of my place. Then I trotted him and walked him and just worked on transitions for a while. I have yet to have him in a good canter. Anyway, we worked on various exercises trying to get the lateral softness I want, and he is doing pretty good now then I started to desensitize him to various noises, feeling the leather saddle strings on his side and flank, me slapping my chaps. Well he would just take off at this so I decided to take him in the rd pen and try it so I could just let him go without having to pull too much on the rein. Anyway when we got in there and I got back on, we walked off and I slapped my chaps. Thats when he tried to buck. He did put his butt in the air, but I just kept him moving and wouldn't let him get his head down, I kept it bent a little and kept slapping and such. Then he just settled down and kept moving. He doesn't like to go to the left and stay on the rail so I have to work on that a lot more. All in all, he has made some progress. We got down the road farther than we have yet. I am staying off my hands unless I have to use them to direct him. He is getting softer laterally and is starting to get a backup with my seat and legs and a little bit of hand. Can't wait to ride him tomorrow, rain or shine and see what he does and where we can get too.
I want to make too much progress too fast, this is only probably his 9 or 10th ride so I have to keep that in mind.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Domino 13

Maybe its the curse of the 13 I don't know, but today's session didn't go that well. He is hooking on to me really good now. Every now and then I have to get him back but it doesn't take much but a shift of my body language when he is looking at me. I worked him on leg yields, he does them pretty good and just reviewed the others. I rode him in the pen for just a few minutes then took him on the road. He didn't want to leave, which is pretty much a given for any horse. But I wanted to get him moving out better on the trot. Haven't had him in a canter yet. But I probably rode him for an hour at the trot working on lateral softness and following his nose. But he got really stiff and when we were trotting back to the home grounds, we were just in front and down the road a couple hundred feet or so, I could turn his head but his body wouldn't follow. So I had to really work on that a lot just doing circle esses. When I did let him get back to the yard I made him work a lot and then took him back down the road and let him rest, and repeated that a couple times. Then he didn't have such a hard time leaving his friends. He does like to balk alot so I just made him disengage and go in small circles then let him out of it. At the end of the session he was going down the road better. However, I can see that I have alot to do with him yet. It is a good thing I have 17 more sessions with him before he goes home. The weather is supposed to get colder and rainier over the next couple days so that will make things interesting.
I also did alot of lateral flexion on him because he seems to be getting bracier. So we will see what happens.
Til next time.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Domino 12

Hey, what a day. It was so nice to work outside this afternoon with him. His owner Lou wanted to see the progress so he came over and I put Domino through everything that I have taught him. He didn't want to be caught but it didn't take long at all and he walked up to me. He still protects his right side, but we will work on that. I saddled him and started working on the different components, backup, shoulders over, disengagement, leg yield (which he is doing pretty good at), stop. I flagged him out and tarped him out and had him walk over the tarp. He is getting calm. I cracked the whip and he did real good. Then I rode him around asking for trot, softness laterally and so on. Then I took him out on the road and for the first time rode him out there. He did good. I can see that he doesn't want to go too far from the others though. I will need to work on that. I did several exercises out there. We had some cars go by and a semi came up to us and put his air brakes on. Domino handled all that pretty good. I will be working him a little in the round pen and the rest out on the road from here on out. For having about 14 hours of work on him he is doing real good. But he does have a long way to go before he goes home.
Well gotta go get ready for the rest of my day.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Domino 11

Today was a good day to work with Domino. It was sunny and cool. Nevertheless, Domino didn't think so. I got out there about 4pm and had everything set. He didn't really want to work so before I even had the halter on him we had to play a little bit in his pen. I just did the same thing I would have in the rd pen. Finally, I walked up to him. I did this a few times before I actually put the halter on him and went in the rd pen. However, when I started to saddle him he wanted no part of it and walked off. So we had to play some more. Finally, I got him saddled and decided I have to make him realize that it is a place of rest to be with me and hard work to be away from me so I had to round pen him. My pen is not so muddy now so I really worked him, for almost an hour. I really did not want to get him all sweaty, but he gave me no choice. During that time I tried several times to turn him into me and give me both eyes but he didn't want to cooperate. I trotted and cantered him most of the time. He never did carry his head to the inside, but did lower his head and lick his lips so I would let him rest. Then during one of those times I started to desensitize him more to the whip cracking. He wanted to move off so we worked some more. In the end he was huffing and puffing and standing next to me and following me better than he has yet. I put the bit on him, flexed him and then got on. We rode about a 1/2 hour transitions from walk to trot, flexing, one rein stops, disengaging, etc. I also worked on circle esses to get softness vertically. Then after more flexing I got off. I got the tarp out and sacked him out with that some more and then my weedeater. Finally we were done. I had intended to take him down the road, but just didn't have the time. I think I worked with him about 2 hours today. I had fun and didn't want to quit. He will have tomorrow off and then I will see if there are any changes come Monday.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Domino 10

Things went good today. I worked with him earlier at lunch 'cause I wanted to brush his mane. He wouldn't let me so I just kept moving him and finally he decided he would let me. Well when I went to get him for class he didn't cause me any trouble really. I saddled him and moved him in the round pen with my whip popper while my body was turned off. After about 10 laps he finally stopped and faced me. I quit popping. Then started this again. He moved but with each time he stopped sooner. After about 3-4 tries I could pop the whip all around him and he would just keep facing me and stand there. I worked on the basic exercises for a few minutes then took him out on the road, even down by the church at the busy highway and did the c pattern, leg yield, lunge, etc. I went through them all. He did pretty good and was quite relaxed when we got back in the pen. Then I put the bit on him and let him wear that for a few minutes, flexed him and got on. I rode about 20 minutes going through the transitions and that worked out real good. He is getting better and better. He seems to be pretty quiet. Probably in the next two rides I will be riding him on the road during each session.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Domino 9

I had a little trouble catching him in the pen to begin with. He still had not really hooked on to me yet. So when I did get him haltered and in the round pen, I got him saddled. This time I used the rear cinch, which sometimes makes a horse buck. But this didn't seem to bother him. Then I worked him a little with lunging and backup, etc. to see what he would do. After he didn't explode I took the halter off and let him go. Then we got to work on transitions walk trot canter and back down. He did pretty good and is getting better. I looked for the signs of submission in him and when he began to show some, like lowering his head, an ear toward me then I pushed his butt away and drew his eye toward me and let him rest. I worked on changing directions with inside and outside turns then again pushed his butt and drew his eye toward me and let him rest. I then began to draw him towards me and lo and behold his front end broke loose and he followed me. I did this one more time to make sure he was following.
Next I backed him out of the arena and we went for a walk down the road while I did the c pattern exercise, backup, leg yields and just plain stood and rested. I wanted to see how he reacts to traffic and new things on the road. He did a good job. We probably worked on that for 15 minutes then went back in the round pen. This time I rode him for most of the rest of the time we had. I got him going into his gait, and boy does he have a smooth one. I can see why people like a TW. My own TW doesn't have this smooth of a gait. Anyway, I worked on one rein stop and disengagement. He is a bit stiff on lateral flexion from the saddle. From the ground he is soft, but it is different for the horse from the saddle. So we worked on that every chance I got. Then after about 20 minutes or so, I got off and worked more on desensitizing. I popped the whip and he stood fine, also the flagging stick no problem. I even got my blue tarp out and he handled that good. Finally, I worked on sending him over it and in short order he was doing that. In the next session I plan to introduce the bit and ride a lot more even go on the road and do some exercises from the ground. We will see what he does.
That's all for yesterdays workout.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Domino 8

I worked with him over lunch today. I got him in the rd. pen and saddled him. He stands good for that. Then I worked on the backup, disengaging, shoulders, lateral flexion etc. like usual. He is steadily improving. Then I sent him around the pen without halter and worked on the transitions. He does real good at upwards and downwards transitions. He doesn't like the wet muddy spots but he still goes through. I wanted him to hook on and he did. Whenever he stops and faces me he likes to protect his right side by always giving me he left eye. But I let him rest with me on his right. I sacked him out a bit more with whip cracking and stick and string. He stood real quiet. I can't do enough desensitizing. Then I put the halter back on and mounted him. He gave me forward motion real easy, walking pretty fast. He didn't like to give me a trot though. I think because of the mud, he slipped once today without me on his back, he didn't really want to go through that. He would give me a few steps though. It could also be saddle fit or the fact that he is not used to carrying someone. But he did real good. I ran out of time so got off and worked on squeeze game and leg yields. Again, he is getting lots better. He is almost ready to be taken out on the road. Maybe by Friday or Monday of next week we will be going down the road. Before I do it horseback though I will be doing all these exercises out on the road from the ground in the areas we will be going. Nothing wrong with making as sure as possible about safety. Mine and His.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Domino 7

Had to good workout with him today before the funeral I had. I worked him on all the foundational components as before then saddled him. He stands good for that. Then moved him around the rd. pen in order to check transitions walk trot canter and back down. He did good. I was trying to get him to hook on to me and really buy into my leadership. He hadn't done that yet. So I really worked at with him. Finally his front end broke free when I would let him stop and face me. When I moved off side to side from him I wanted his eyes on me but also to start moving his front feet toward me following me. Finally after several tries he began to follow. I let him stop and I got on him from both sides. Then my farrier arrived to trim Jake so Domino got a 1/2 hour break or so. Then I we got back to work but he didn't want to let me put the halter back on him. So I moved him around the pen a few times and finally he hooked back on and I haltered him. I really wanted to do more sacking out with items. I used my whip that pops, flagged him out more and then had a plastic feed bag I shook and rubbed all over him. He stands pretty good and is getting alot better. My time was up so I flexed him laterally a few more times, unsaddled brushed him and backed him through the gate and quit. He did fine.
The weather held for the funeral too. I hope it doesn't rain for a while so I can really get some use out the round pen. From here on out I will be riding Domino every time I work with him.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Domino 6

Sorry about that. Hey, does anyone read this blog. Just wondering cuz I never get any responses to let me know if there is life out there. Anyway per chance there is life out there here is the latest on Domino.
This occured yesterday about 3pm.
My rd pen is basically all mud and water, but we worked anyway. Just more of the same working on lateral flexion, disengaging, moving his shoulders over, backup, downward pressure. He is making improvements everyday. He is getting sharper and quicker on his responses. I am working hard on desensitizing him so I got the flag out and did that until he relaxed. Then I got my whip out that pops when I crack it just right. He didn't like that so I just kept at it until he stood relaxed when I did it from either side. I did the Jeffries method again, no problem. Then I got the saddle out and he stood to let me put that on him. He is so fat that when I cinched him up he had rolls of fat on both sides of the girth. I worked on the c-pattern exercise and the squeeze exercise and he does that smoothly. He didn't like it when I flapped the stirrups so I kept at it on the one side until he relaxed then did it some more until he was ok with it. On the other side he was not nearly as touchy. Then I went ahead and got part way on and petted him all over flapping the offside stirrup. I did this from both sides making sure he was relaxed with that. Then I swung my leg over and moved all over him. Finally, I asked him to move off disengaging the hindquarters and then got off. I did this from both sides and by that time my hour was up so I flexed him and desensitized him and quit.
We are making progress here. I plan to ride him more with forward movement tomorrow and see how he does.
Well that is all for today.

Domino 6

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Domino 5

Had a smooth training session with Domino. I worked with him on the backup, disengaging and lateral flexion which he is real soft at. I then used the Jeffries method from both sides which he stood real calm for. Then I decided to flag him out with the stick and string and stick and plastic bag. He stood pretty good for the stick and string. He is making improvement there. The bag is another story. He moved quite bit. I found his ticklish spot right behind is elbow where the girth goes. I also found out that he will leg yield in a circle really good. By the time I was done with the flagging out he was standing calm. I then worked on the c pattern exercise changing directions several times until that was almost to the point of being feather lite. Then while lunging him I was paying attention to his carrying his head to the inside and calm, not high. He is so responsive that I could raise and lower his head to the position I wanted just by raising my driving arm. Another thing I noticed is that he already carries his head with some collection depending on the speed and my body position. That is real good. I didn't put a saddle on him. That will be tomorrow and I didn't rd pen him, just didn't have time. I did do what is called the squeeze game where he goes between me and the fence at a distance then with every pass back and forth where he has to go forward, disengage the hind quarters and move his shoulders over then goes back between me and the fence the space gets narrower with each time. He did real good. Then I also worked on leg yields with him and he does pretty good at that. Tomorrow will be more tests for him. more flaggin out and desensitizing. Then I mght get on him. He seems calm with the Jeffries method. So we will see.
If you think of it pray for the Dean Arnold family (they come to our church off and on) as they lost a 3 year old boy in a house fire last night. His five yr old sister has severe burns on parts of her body and is in the Hospital at this time. Fortunately the family as more family right next door so they have a place to stay, but their home is a total loss.
Sharon said it is time to eat so gotta go.
God bless

Domino 4

This was yesterdays result, but didn't have time to record it with Church last night.
Anyway, my rd pen is all wet in one section under water, but decided to work him in the pen anyway. He walks trots and trots walks no problem with must asking with body language. I worked on trying to get him to hook on to me. When I asked him he would give me both eyes and follow me, but wouldn't quite unlock his front end and follow me as much as I want. He protects his right side, giving me his left eye almost all the time. I worked on all the other components: lateral flexion, disengaging, backup, forward movement, shoulders, downward give to pressure at the poll. He is getting better and better each time. He is real soft on lateral flexion. I also worked on the Jeffries method of getting on his back bareback and just laying along his spine and rubbing him all over. He stood real good for that. I also am working hard on desensitizing him to the lead rope and stick and string. I want to flag him out real good and work on leg yields. I have done this a little bit a couple days ago. He didn't do too bad. He seems to be working out real good. I will introduce the saddle today and see how he takes accepts that. I also need to work on some other exercises like the c pattern exercise where I lunge him and then ask him to change directions a whole lot, making him turn on the hind quarters. It will be interesting to see how he turns out.
It was a nice day to work with him too. I worked with Raven for about 30 minutes as well. We worked on backing with my seat and legs and also stopping with my seat. She is getting better. We also worked on roll backs and what I call a counterbend backup on a circle.
The harmony that I want between me and my horses is such that I want it to almost be my thinking about what to do and the horse yields and accepts my leadership. That is the way I want it between me and the Lord too. But that cannot come if I don't spend time on the relationship with Him by reading and studying, praying, making sure I have a relationship with Him in the first place through faith in Jesus Christ.
I learned last night at prayer meeting there is a young man, mid 20's who just found out that he doesn't have long to live and the docs are amazed that he is still alive, and surgery is not possible. So what do you think he did? He went home and is working on his relationship with the Lord. Nothing like news like that to get your priorities straight. Truth is we all have an expiration date. He just has benefit of knowing more acutely when his is. What about us? Where are our priorities?

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Domino 3

I decided to beat the rain today and work with Domino this morning before I went to the jail. The footing was good in the round pen. So thats what we did for an hour. Now when working in the round pen the idea is not get the horse all sweated up and tired. I wanted to show him that I could move his feet in any direction and work on getting him to walk trot canter by my body position etc. It didn't take all that long to get him to move up and down into these gaits. But then I wanted him to face up to me/give me both eyes. That took a tad longer but when I was done with him he was hooked on to me and following me around. You know what? that made his other moves that much softer. He is feather soft on lateral flexion and disengaging, even his shoulders seemed to unlock better and his back up got better. It is amazing what a little moving of the feet will do to get a horses mind on you instead of other things. Worked on a hour with him on all these things and quit. IT was good. he has a long ways to go, but he is making progress. Now my problem is going to be all this rain. The footing in my paddock and round pen is all mud and slippery. I am praying that it will let up so that I can work with him tomorrow.
Well have a good day and stay dry.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Domino 2

Hello all,

I had a good session with Domino today. We worked an hour, after I worked catching him and haltering him. For a horse that has supposedly been ridden and taught to dance (somewhat to music), whatever that means, this is a horse that is not soft. He was real stiff on the right side. I worked a bunch on lateral flexion and got him pretty soft on both sides. I had to lunge him and switch directions for about 10 min. though because he didn't want to stand while I flexed him. A horse will move when you first teach lateral flexion because he is trying to figure out what I want, but on the right side he moved all over. So after I lunged him he settled down. Part of his movement might have been I wasn't real clear what I was asking of him. On the left side he did real good. I also worked on desensitizing him to the lead rope and the stick. We worked on downward pressure and back up. I also got him disengaging real good. He needs to get a lot better before I get on him but it is progressing. I got his shoulders to move over, yet I need to work on getting him to plant his hind foot and just move his shoulder so we will keep working on that. As a last exercise I cleaned out his feet. He did ok at that too. Before I knew it my hour was up. I am going to restrict myself to only an hour in order to see how far I can get this horse in just 30 hours of training. So far he is making progress. My goal is to be riding him by Monday of next week.
As a side note, just two praises. I went up to Cannonsburg for a horsemanship class on Saturday. Raven did excellent and I learned much.
Praise #1 - A couple weekends ago I went to a Dennis Reis clinic. My instructor has all but one of his endorsements. I would have liked to have bought his tape series, but Jaime has taught me much of that so I decided not to. Well Christine, the lady who owns the riding stable in Cannonsburg had his entire course and loaned them to me for as long as I need them. She thinks I will come back and say thanks for saving me a thousand bucks, because she and Jaime think I know most of what is on the tapes. We will see.
Praise #2- If any of you know what it is like to jacknife a trailer going to down the freeway you know my relief. I was on my way back from Cannonsburg pulling at 12' stock trailer with Raven in it. We were on I-196 coming out of GR going west up the hill and around the curves after you cross the river at 131, when I think Raven shifted her weight. That pushed the back end of my truck to my right, I took my foot off the gas ( I was only going about 40-45mph, because the road was wet) and steered into the left lane hoping the car I saw in my rear view a second before this was not beside me. I had to go into that lane or would have completely lost it. Anyway, after that split second scare I checked my rear view and saw a line of cars in both lanes waiting for what I will do next. I then checked my pants, everything was ok there. Whew! I pulled over into the right lane and continued on, slow and easy the rest of the way home. I'm sure the other cars were glad to get my me. I am also sure that my angel was watching out for me. I am just glad to be able to celebrate Sharon's birthday with her today.
God is in control!

Friday, October 2, 2009

New horse

Well for those of you who are following this, today (friday) was the first day of working with Domino a Tennessee Walker. He's 7 years old and black and white. He has had training before and been ridden. The owner just wants me to get him road safe for him. That can be a huge task. My round pen is pretty much a mud hole right now so I have to work off the lead line in his section of ground. I need to get him soft to feel so I worked on him putting his head down. I was told by his owner that he was trained last year and that he saw the horse and rider dancing to music like the spanish do. But I am inclined that if that is true he wasn't soft. He was very stiff and rigid in the neck today, but we got that worked out. He didn't know how to back off of me either. So we worked on that. At first it took a lot of energy to get him going back, but after we were done he will back as I move towards him. We will continue to refine that. We also worked on moving his shoulders and disengaging his hindquarters. He does both when I ask him. Of course none of this is flawless. There are many rough edges and we just have to keep smoothing them out. I desensitized him to the lead rope, jumping around and making quick moves towards him. I discovered I can't do enough of the desensitizing. Another practice I have is that I will work on an exercise til the horse is getting it then walk him around or let him stand without being bothered for a few minutes then move on to something else or to the other side. I keep changing it up for the horse and me. I need to work on lateral flexion next and refine the others then move on to lungeing and more desensitization.
I am going to Cannonsburg today to work with Jaime and Raven. Pleasantly, it is in an nice big indoor arena. So I am looking forward to that.
Until next time.