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.