Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Joey day 24

Ok,I am typing this from a phone. Joey did real well
Today. We started with a warmup then went on to doing some liberty work which he handled pretty good. So I got mounted and worked on getting him real soft. Then I had him working on leg yields, shoulders over and roll backs.  I worked on transitions with him to, although technically any change in direction, gait, speed or balance is a transition. So just about everything we did was a transition. We did alot of cantering,changing directions/leads. He doesn't like to go in left lead so that is what we worked on the most. Then more shape and leg yields with softness. Our time was done. So we finished with flexing and backups. He sure is doing a great job of learning.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Joey Day 23

Had another great day with Joey. I wanted a 'no dust' day today. So my goal was to be as soft and easy as possible and still get the right result. And we did. I circled/lunged him, put the saddle on and then worked him at liberty, disengaging, moving his shoulders and even desensitizing him with the rope this time. He did real well. I got my lariat out and swung that over him, and even threw a loop over his butt. He took off, but I tried again and again and finally he would just stand there. Then I took him out in the yard and down the road. I wanted to just work on softness and yielding his barrel to me. He is making progress here too. We went down the road, which he has been down before, but this time I kept changing direction on him to make him pay more attention to the rein and my leg. He got a bit boogery at a certain point on the road where there are woods on both sides. It seems there must a boogey man somewhere in there because he sure was reluctant and wary to continue. But we did. This offered me a chance to have him do several counterturns or moving the shoulders over. he is getting real good at those. I even had a chance to work on some rollbacks because the edge of the road and ditch offered a natural fence. We made our way back to the home ground and closed with an easy work out. Needless to say, all went very well.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Joey Day 22

Yesterday afternoon we had what I think was the best ride yet. No dust flying, no arguments, just flowing free movement. I went through our exercises for warmup and it was going so good I tried moving into liberty to get him to do them. For example, disengaging his hindquarters, I had him following me and doing that without a lead line connection. Then I worked on desensitizing to the whip and rope again. Then I decided to ground drive him. He was real relaxed throughout the task. We did circles, figure 8's, even stopping with softness and a backup. I started to work on leg yields with him, didn't quite get some good ones, but we are moving in that direction. Then I got in the saddle, flexed him for softness. We started forward, working on following his nose, using my legs instead of rein. I also had him moving his shoulders over in a counterturn. I disengaged his hindquarters and then as he began to set back on his haunches I rolled his shoulders over. We worked on the fence developing his rollback. He certainly is making progress. Then I grabbed the whip and dragged that around, flipped in front of him and behind him. I twirled it over his head and let it drag on his legs, his butt and around his ears. This will help him tremendously to handle things he is fearful of. Then I cracked it over his head. The thing is if you do this when they are standing still and they stand still many think that is great. And it is, providing they are not just froze up. Some will do this, but then the horse blows up and bucks or rears. Whoa, trouble then. The key is to get their feet moving, by walking or trotting and swinging the rope or whip. I have to be sure I do it on both sides too. Once the horse is relaxed with this on both sides then you can stop. So that is what I did with Joey. He was a little troubled at first, but I let him move his feet and he got up to a canter, but then I let him relax and slow down. The result, I could put the whip's tail anywhere on him, swing it around his head like a rope and so on and he was relaxed with it. I put the whip up and then just asked him to transition from walk, to trot and lope and back down with my seat and little rein. We did this a few times in both directions and then I let him stop and we quit for the day. As I said earlier, I think this was the best ride yet. Hopefully, several more to come.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Joey Day 21

Today we went a little slower. I got him saddled, bug sprayed went over a few reminder lessons and then lunged him for transition work. He does well at them. I worked alot on desensitizing to the crack of a whip and rustling of a bad with cans in it. He took that well. We did some leg yielding and side passing on the rail. I flipped the 22' lead over his back and down around his legs so that I could turn him around, see if he has any problems with rope on his hocks. He didn't so then it was time to ground drive him. It was like he was an old pro. He was soft and not frazzled at all with me walking behind him as many horses are for the first time. He yielded softly to the rein and stopped soft, and backed up for me. He turned real nice so after several trips around the round pen we quit that exercise. I then got on and rode around abit working for softness and did some shoulders over and disengagements. Then I picked up my whip and began to desensitize him to something following him or rubbing against him while riding. He got a little scared and wanted to really move out, so I let him and just directed his feet and kept the whip with its long tail trailing us on the ground. When he relaxed a bit I was whirring it over head letting it slap the ground and rub on his hips and around his feet. Like I said, he was scared but he handled it and when we were done I was cracking it around him and swinging it like a rope.  By this time we were almost out of time so I wanted to let him relax with no pressure so I put the whip down and just loped him around and transitioned to trot and walk and stop, backup, turn the shoulders and move off. We did this a couple times and then I flexed him at a standstill several times and quit.
Then I got Raven out. I haven't worked with her but one time since Joey arrived so I was blessed with the opportunity to brush up on some things. I worked her about 45 minutes. She was a bit rusty, but nothing a little fine tuning can't take care of. I hope to ride her again tomorrow.

Paradise Ranch

First off, I got your comment Kathryn. Have fun at the Parelli clinic. Next week sounds good to meet and have a class with Joey. Just let me know what day works.

I got back yesterday from Twin Lakes, Saddle Notch Ranch, where I was teaching a group of teens from Paradise Ranch during their quest week. I was supposed to be Jaime's asst. but due to circumstances I ended up being the horsemanship teacher while Ed was the roping teacher. On Wednesday the kids split into two groups of five. I took the horsemanship class and taught disengagement of hindquarters, moving the shoulders over, and backup. After about an hour we switched groups. The horses were somewhat better than last week (same horses) so it shows the last class had worked with them some. Then after dinner we went into the arena and got horseback teaching the same three things. I had the blessing of being able to ride Chad's mustang cross, Duncan. Riding a horse with all the handles on him is like riding a breeze. It is so much fun. Anway, the kids transferred their groundwork to the saddle. It is easy to watch someone who knows do these things and say to yourself, 'I can do that.' But when you actually try to do it yourself, it taint so easy. There is so much that goes into these tasks, body position (yours and the horses), body language, movements, etc. The horse is expert at reading body language. That's why you can watch the nature channel and see zebra's or deer grazing near lions that are resting, stretched out in the shade, but let one of those lions stand up and display some kind of predatorial behavior and those zebras or deer are gone. It's the same with a horse. When you project some body language, he interprets it and moves accordingly. He is not a dumb animal, it is usually the dumb person who doesn't know horses and how they move and think. That is probably the hardest thing to teach a person-their position and energy they project is read by the horse. So he movesw in a way you didn't want him to. It isn't his fault, usually. It is your fault, or mine. So we worked on those three exercises on the ground then from the saddle. There is a little difference because you don't have the same tools or position. But both still count. They proved to be very good students and the horses very forgiving. The next day the ropers got to rope a couple heifers in the round pen from the ground and then later from horseback and their horsemanship skills came into play. We also had the opportunity to move cows around the arena. It was fun watching the kids work together, or not, to cull out a cow from the rest and drift along with him to the other end of the arena. I was able to get involved some too in between things.
I also got to do some ranch roping which is far different from team roping and much more fun, better for the horse and cow too. I roped a few, missed a bunch and was able to dally a few times.
Regarding, Joey, he had two days off. I was going to work with him Wednesday morning, but we got that bad storm. Then when I got back last night I was too exhausted to do any good with him. So today, we will be back at it. Stay tuned.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Joey Day20

Ok this started out well and ended well. I think. I just wanted to go slow and soft with him. So saddled him and lunged him to warm him up. We did the normal exercises and worked on yielding sideways, also transitions up and down. He did real well. I took him out in the yard and got on and worked on the softening exercises then took off down the road. We cantered and trotted. Did lots of circles. I got to the place where I want to cross a ditch with lots of water in it, but he didn't want to cross. So I worked him as I would to teach him to load, only I trotted down the road, did a half way roll back and then back past the spot, stopped, did another half way kinda roll back. We did this several times then let him stop in front of the water. Then we did some circles, disengaging, shoulders over, etc. then came back to that spot and let him rest. We did this probably a half dozen times. He would put his face down to the water, almost put a hoof in. But we did not get it done today. We ran out of time and I still had to ride 1/2 mile back. We crossed paths with a consumers power truck, which he handled real well and several other cars. When we got back I had him doing collected circles and backing up with softness. Then we quit. I hope to work him tomorrow in the a.m. before I go to the clinic again this week. We have accomplished all the goals we set out to do in my training setup. So now it is just refining everything. See ya next time.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Joey day 19

We got started today late. It all went really well though. I warmed him up and we went for a ride. I thought He did well. He gets real soft and responsive. He has a hard streak about him though. I did also notice that he is a scaredy cat. He flinches sideways at almost anything. So I know that I need to get him out. All my training has to occur outside the pen from here on out. We had a good ride and then we were on our way back, got in front of the other horses and Raven whinnied, then Joey whinnied. I took him across the road into the field and we had a workout in the last ten minutes. We cantered in circles in both directions. What is odd is that he will be soft on the circle until he gets to the placed where we are closest to the place where we go home and he then locks up and totally ignores my rein. It is only when I get him to swing his butt over that he then will follow my rein. I had him doings some serious disengaging in circles in both directions then let him relax. After that he was real soft and responsive. It seems to me then that I have to really demand that level of responsiveness earlier in the training session. I had him moving his butt and his shoulders real good and backing real good. Now it is refining things with him. It's kinda like when someone is sort of listening but just blowing you off. You wanna just slap them upside the head and wake em up. But you can't do that. So you improvise and with a horse it is moving their feet. That is what we did in the last ten minutes. Thus, we made more progress during that time then we did the rest of the session. We did refine other things we were working on and that was productive too, but not as intense as that last time. The result, a real softness and responsiveness and wishing I could keep going. I have learned, though, to quit when the going is good rather than push it farther and blow it. So we quit. Looking forward the next session.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Joey day 18

Ok, today we had the best ending of the training. Why, you ask? Let me tell you. As you know, I have been trying to get Joey to follow his nose and keep the arch of the circle and he would do fine on one part and not on the other. So, after doing some warmup ground work, I took him in the yard and we began our workout. He still would not go well so we worked and worked on it and I was asking myself why is he not turning correctly. I tried moving his shoulders, disengaging, both of which he does and still to no avail. I tried to sit to the inside of the circle just off center, still nothing. We went down the road at a canter with little on the rein. We even went down to the corner and rested. Walked all the way back and then went down to the church parking lot and did some circles there. Still not having the effect. Finally, it was getting late in the session and it was very hot, so when we got back I started to collect him up and get him really soft, massaging his tongue with the inside rein, and using my inside calf. I did this when he was picking up his inside hind foot and asked for some arch in his body and low and behold he did it. I stopped and rested. then asked again and he did it again. So I really had to put him to the test doing it several more times in both directions and we got it. Sometimes you wonder if the horse is just being a knot head when they don't do something. When really I was the knot head. My wife would probably tell you that at times.:} But now I know what I will how to ask him to do this. Now I just want to work on staying on the arch of the circle. But he has two days off now of much needed rest for him. We will pick up where we left off on Monday.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Joey Days 16,17

I finally have a chance to sit down and type this out. Yesterday, I worked with Joey in the early a.m., I'll tell you why in a minute. Anway, we briefly went through our warmup and then started working under saddle. My goal was to get him following his nose better in the yard and on the road. In the rd pen, it's round so it is kinda deceptive to work on it only there. So we went out in the yard and down the road. I'll tell you for 45 minutes or so we worked on this. He was a little better going to the right than he was but still has a long ways to go. But his backup, shoulders over, disengagement and forward are doing pretty good for day 16. As soon as I put him up and had the horses fed I had to take off for Twin Lakes to help My horsemanship instructor put on a horsemanship clinic for some 'Quest' kids from Paradise Ranch. It was ten teens whko are learning servant leadership in the horsemanship side of the camp. They had to plan everything out including the agenda and what times they wanted us to teach them. So from about 1pm to 5 we taught backup, disengagement and shoulders over in ground school. We had to split the kids up because they only had 5 horses to use so Jaime taught the first five and then while I took the second five he took the first group and taught them some roping tips. Then he did the same with the second group. After dinner until about 9pm we were under saddle putting the 3 ground school lessons to work horseback. Then this morning was review horseback from about 8:30 and then the cows were brought in and the kids had a chance to cut and sort cows in their two groups. It as a blast. I was in the saddle from 8:30 until noon this morning. After lunch there was some debriefing time for the kids and their leaders. I had the benefit of riding Joker yesterday, a cadillac of horses with all the bells and whistles, dead broke. Today I rode Barbie, a blonde tall qtr horse, 4 years old that is green, but has 45 days from Jaime and has only been ridden twice since February and one of those times was yesterday. She was quite hot at first, but settled right down. Jaime has put a nice handle on her. She will make a real nice horse.
Enough of that. When I got back and unloaded, my stuff, I had to get hay and get that unloaded. Then I tacked up Joey and rode him this evening. I worked him on the ground for about ten minutes and then we got under saddle. At first, he was real dull on going following his nose, but by the time we ended he was bridling up and getting better at following his nose. So how did we get there?
Well, the first thing I did was start moving him in a circle and when he didn't follow his nose I had to make him by disengaging and then moving his shoulders in the right direction and releasing when I felt the shoulders move over. We did a lot of serpentines up and down the road and between the trees. He gave me a great deal of trouble going down the road but we made it the 1/2 mile and rested at the intersection. Then we calmly walked back to the yard and then I worked his butt off making him canter on a circle, of which he didn't want to follow so we had to work through that in the same manner as above. Then I started down the road again with a loose rein and guess what? He was relaxed walking down the road. On the way back I went easy on him and then back in the yard we went to work again. I really had to get after him, sorry kathryn, on the disengaging 'cause he wasn't getting off my leg. I'll tell you what though, when I was done he was bridling up nice and doing much better at following his nose. If I can disengage him, move his shoulders over and back him up I can sure get him to be arched on a circle with the same bend as the circle. He is not there yet, but he will get there. And cantering doesn't seem to be a problem for him except in the left lead. I am not sure why. So there you have it. Two days in Joey's training. One more day this week and he will have two days off.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Joey Day 15

We went to work today. I wanted to make sure I got good riding in so I could work on him following his nose. Well all went well even in the round pen. I sent him over a blue tarp, no problem. We went through all the exercises just briefly to make sure he was paying attention. I rode him in the pen, then we went out. And if you are reading this Judy, he didn't try to get any grass either. We did, however, have the same problem of him not wanting to follow his nose to the right. He does fine to the left, but the right side is his bad side in everything I do with him. Anyway, we went down the road doing the circle esses/serpentine exercises and I pushed him through when he didn't want to go to the right. When we came back we really went to work. I really had to get after him around the yard. After about 5 minutes of going around in circles in various directions then we went down the road again doing the same thing. If someone goes down the road they are going to wonder of the horse was drunk 'cause it is all chewed up from hooves. We got a half mile away and then came back. By the time we got back he was not only getting softer but was responding better to the rein in following his nose to the right. We did a few more when we got back in the yard and I let him relax, flexed him and finished.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Joey Day 14

Well, the day went well. Kathryn and some friends came and watched all that Joey has learned over the last couple weeks. And as usual things didn't go as planned, which is actually a good thing iwth horses as far as I am concerned. Sure, it would have been great if everything would have went off without a hitch, but that rarely happens with horses expecially out on the trail. So I think this was a good thing because it gave me opportunities to show her what to do when the horse doesn't do what you want.
It all started when I started to saddle him. He didn't want to stand very well, so I moved him a little. He finally stood after a few tries and let me saddle him without being tied up. I moved him around like I normally do and went through the daily exercises. I flanked him out and had him get the rope under his tail. But I gotta say that it took a lot of pressure to get him to even think about bucking while flanking him out. And when the rope got caught under his tail, he learned to lift his tail instead of clamping it which is a huge thing. I had him move a liberty around the pen and then hook on to me and follow me around. Then it was time to get on him. Again he stood pretty good and we went through the exercises, backup, flexion, disengaging, one rein stop, etc. Then I got him to canter the best he has done yet. That was a blast.
The real test came in taking him out in the yard where all the grass is at. Judy thought he would want to eat, but no! He didn't. He didn't have time to eat. First off, he was a little antsy and then a biker went by and he lunged forward, which hyped him up a little more. Then he wouldn't stand to mount so I moved him around and had him change directions, leg yield, etc. He finally did stand, no problem and I got on. backed him, flexed him and then let him move out. The one thing that he doesn't do very well is to follow his nose, so I just began to turn that into leg yields. However, he really needs to follow his nose instead of thinking he go in whatever direction he wants when I want him to go another direction. So we have time to work on that. All in all, he did a good job and we had some good issues to work on. All of the issues just let me know the things that still need to be worked out.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Joey Day 13

Wow, I am impressed. That's right. I tried to make Joey buck by flanking him out with my rope and he barely hopped. I was pulling him sideways and he did a tiny bit of flick with his butt and that was all. Now for those who don't know what flanking a horse out is . . . . Have you seen a rodeo with bucking horses or bulls? That strap around their belly just in front of their rear hip and that is what makes them buck. Notice the animal quits bucking as soon as the flank rider takes it off. Well, that is what I did with Joey. It is just another safety check. The second thing I did was let the 22' line get caught up under his tail. This will usually make a horse buck, but he just clamped, hopped a bit and then when he relaxed his tail the line drops out. That teaches him that release from pressure comes when he relaxes. He did well at both of these exercises. So we just reviewed the main tasks. I flagged him out with the bag again and he was pretty relaxed with that too. The last thing I did before I started riding him was to send him sideways down the rail several times in each direction and then did it with his butt to the rail. He again is making improvements each time.
Finally, I got on him and worked him for softness and then we trotted and mainly cantered. When I felt it was time we went out on the road again. This time he was a lot better than yesterday. He still wanted to stay around the home, but we went farther and worked harder doing circles around trees, trotting, etc. Cantered up and down the road too. Then we worked also disengaging his hindquarters and moving that into moving his shoulders over. We even did some leg yields. I feel like he is going to make some good progress on this. And that's when it gets fun. When you can control all the zones of a horse when you want too, the ride gets safer and more fun. It is like going from a car without power steering to one with it. Or like going from a ford escort, to lincoln town car or Cadillac.
I don't know how far I will have him along, but we will make good progress I'm sure.
We did have a real good ride and workout, even as hot as it was. I just love how relaxed this horse seems to be.
til next time.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Joey Day 12

tonite we had a good ride. I put him in the rd. pen and worked on leg yields down the fence and also sacked him out using a plastic bag and also had my stick caught under his tail. He didn't like the tail thing. I have to do some work on that. He should be allow a rope under his tail without going nuts. Then I rode him in the pen and just wanted to work on getting a good canter out of him. We worked a good while on that. We did canter alot, but I determined to take him out on the road and see how he does.
He stood in the yard no problem after mounting. Then we went down the road doing several circles, some serpentines and one rein stops. He doesn't really have a good handle on following his nose when he doesn't want to. So we did alot of circles in the road and down the road. We did trot a bunch doing this, but I am going to really get a handle on him as far as paying attention to my rein. He didn't want to go far from home so I took him a ways down the road and then brought him back and really worked him, then took him down the road again on a loose rein then did some circles and stops and came back to the pen and did some more work then went back down the road. He really needs to be paying attention to me and following my lead on where we are going and what we are doing. I did several disengagements that turned into moving the shoulders over too. That was real nice. We have a couple weeks of riding yet so we are on track with where we should be.
We'll be at it again tomorrow.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Joey Day 11

Well today it is raining and we took a little field trip. You know if your gonna be serious about working with horses I guess you have to be a little daft in the head. But yes I was out there in the rain with Joey. He doesn't care if it is sunny or rainy. Anyway, I had to work him at liberty to begin with today. He wanted to play catch me if you can. So we did. And we didn't stop until he caught me. Haha! Really, though it didn't take him that long, only about 15 min. and he was ready to follow me anywhere. We did some disengagements and counterturns at liberty Then it was on the 14' line and down the road. I took him about 3/4 of mile down my road where there are all sorts of distractions, from cars splashing, to boogy men kind of plastic bags, logs laying alongside the road in ambush waiting to jump on his back. There are also dogs, but today they were not out. On the way we didn't just walk, but we worked on the sending game, I actually call it the c-exercise where I send him in front of me and then ask him to disengage his hips move his shoulders over and change directions all while I am continually walking forward. We did that a bunch, sometimes letting him go in a complete circle and then changing directions. We did several leg yields sideways down the road and lots of desensitizing to movement in front of his face. We played trot, back to walk, to stop and back up, the million dollar move which I have explained before. Then just walked off like we were going somewhere. I got to the place where I like to go on the power line and have to cross a ditch that is filled with water. He didn't want to go down in it so we played there a while and I would let him rest beside the water. He got his front feet down one side of the ditch and then we stopped and just turned around and went back home. Doing the same things on the way back. I must say he was real calm all the way. I do this especially now in my older age with horses I am not familiar with as to how they are on the road. I am sure he will be fine. Though I would have liked to see how he responds to more cars, trucks and busses. So we got back and I did some flexion with him and put him up. We didn't ride to today because we just didn't have time. Next time will be even better.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Joey Day 10

Ok, today's time was a little off. I could tell right away that Joey would need to some remedial work. He didn't want to stand when I saddled him and he nipped me or tried to when I was putting the saddle on. So I had to correct that right way. So with that attitude he was displaying I had to go back and correct that attitude by moving his feet. So I saddled and then moved him on the lunge line til he changed his mind about things. After going through his daily warmup exercises I worked on his leg yield down the fence in both directions. I also lunged him at liberty for some time. He decided that it was better to be near me and follow me around. Then the last 45 min or so I rode him trying to get him really soft and bridled up and then asking for trot. He did that pretty good. I tried to get some good canter out of him, to no avail. I decided that part of the problem is how I ask him, 'cause if I am not in position or am hindering his ability to canter he won't do it easily. But in the right lead he would go right into a canter for me. But to the left he wouldn't do it until I figured out that I have to help him go into it by getting in time with his foot falls. Then he did. But I had already been working at it for several minutes and I told him I would quit if he gave me a few good strides at the canter. When he did, I quit.
So we will pick it up tomorrow.

Saturday, June 5, 2010


sounds fine to me about coming over on Friday. When you get in just give me a call and we can set up a time. Come prepared to ride him if you would like.

Friday, June 4, 2010

Joey day 9

I got to Joey this morning because accoring to the weather and radar there was a storm coming for this afternoon. It sprinkled a few drops here while I was working with him but that was all.
I got him saddled and started with backup and disengagement. He is really making a lot progress. Getting melted butter kind of soft on flexion. I rode him for a a good 45 minutes today. I really wanted to work on getting forward motion out of him and do quite a bit of cantering. He went into it with some coaxing but it was rather smooth. We did a lot of transitions: direction changes and gait as well as working on collection with forward motion. I worked on one rein stop some as well as disengagement and backup. Like I said, he is doing good for the amount of time we have had thus far. We trotted and cantered so much today that he was again ready to stand still and be with me when I dismounted. He seems to look forward to doing something with me when I get him out and he is ready to be put up when we are done.

That's all for today's post.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Joey Day 8

Today was a good day to work with him. I got him saddled up and just had him work at liberty in the rd pen. It took a bit of work with him to stay with me, but he finally decided to yeild. Then we went to work on the refining of things. He is just making lots of improvement today, sharper on back up and moving his shoulders over. He is getting fast on moving his hindquarters over. I started sending him down the rail sideways doing side passes and some leg yields. Then it was time to get on and work on lateral and vertical softness at the standstill and then the walk. We also worked on one rein stops and vertical softness at the walk. We did a lot of trotting today as the footing was better. So we just worked on more of the same stuff today. By the time we were done he was relaxed with his hind leg cocked up and his head hanging down. By the way, yesterday I took his weight measurement around his girth again and he was down 100 pounds. I don't know how accurate that tape is or if I had it in exactly the same spot as before, but that is a good sign.

He is actually getting the same feed as my horses.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Joey Day 7

Ok, sometimes you have to change things up with a horse. In my case, I had to go to larger pen, his pen for work today because my rd pen is about ankle deep in mud. Not too safe for footing sake. Although, It is easier to land in if perchance there is some sort of an unintentional dismount. So today we worked in his playground. That created a little problem because when I was on his back he kept wanting to go back to his 'safe haven' the stall. I'll tell how I solved that a little later.
The first thing I did is get him saddled and then started working on a 14' line and had him lunge around me 5x in each direction. Then went through the tasks refreshing and refining them. He is definitely getting better. His lateral softness made a marked improvement and so did his disengagement. My intention was to work on the ground for about 30 min and then ride for 30 min. So I did some squeeze/sending game all around the pen and worked in balanced turns on center, Reis's million dollar move, where I change sides by asking for the disengagement and keep moving until he brings his head toward me and I let him pass and change sides. He is moving in these ways pretty good. Then I worked on leg yeilds and side passing against the fence.
Then I put the bridle on, did some flexing and got on. I did some more flexing and backing before we moved off. Then we just did about 15 min of disengaging, one rein stop and back up exercises. Then I started asking for lat softness by doing circle esses. Then worked on vertical softness at a standstill and some back up. He is getting pretty soft coming into the bridle while moving forward. However, today he had a problem with wanting to move forward. I only got him to trot a few times, but I wasn't really trying that much. I want to get these other exercises down with him real good at a walk. Then move up to a trot. We will probably try that more tomorrow. Oh, I was going to tell you how I handled him wanting to go stand by his stall. I simply made being there real difficult. I let him go over there then I really put him to work doing disengagements in both directions, we even did some shoulders over or counterturns then when I was ready I walked him on a loose rein to the middle of the pen and let him stand there for a minute or two without being pulled on. We went through this process about 3x and then it wasn't a problem. Anyway, we finished with bridling up exercises for softness then I stopped. Hopefully, tomorrow things will be a little drier.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Joey day 6

Well, I just got in from riding Joey. He is going to be prettttty goood, I think. I haven't worked him since Saturday so he has had 2 days off. I was expecting some possible resistance, but he was pretty good. I did my daily 7 as I call them. Flexion, disengagement, etc. Then I saddled him and adjusted the padding a litte different. When I unsaddled last time I noticed a dry spot right behind his shoulders so I beefed it up a little. That seemed to work better. When I unsaddled tonight there was no dry spot. I did alot of sending him between me and the fence from the ground. I also began to work on leg yields down the fence or side passes. I even began sending him and following him as if I was driving him with one rein and then asking for leg yields toward the fence. He can do it. I also constantly was reinforcing all of the tasks worked on earlier, trying to refine them more.
From the saddle I simply mounted and dismounted from both sides. He stood real good Kathryn. Then I did some lateral flexion and vertical flexion exercises at a stand still. Then I began to ask him to back up. I got a step and relaxed, then asked again. He is getting real responsive here even to my seat. It was only then that I asked him to move forward. It is real muddy in my pen right now so I didn't have him trotting alot. However, we did work on the disengagement and one rein stop and back up quit a bit. I worked him on what I call circle esses in order to get him to follow his nose and get soft for me. By the time we got to these though our time was almost up.
We will pick up tomorrow where we left off and try to make progress from there.