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.