Wednesday, March 9, 2011

the little things

Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday, all three days together, not in training, but in recording this. I had a good ride all three days on Camina. She is coming along nicely and I am getting better as a horseman. Since I realized that in my circling of Camina that I needed to step towards her butt she has kept bent on the circle and responding to my feel wether to slow down or speed up to another gait. She has even given me better canters. It is amazing what just a little thing like body position and the slightest movement can speak volumes and get a lot more done in a shorter time.
I have been desenstizing her with different things, bags, noises, tarps, umbrella. I even carried my whip while on her back and cracked it several times. She will walk over the tarp no problem and even try to play with the bag of toys and push the ball.
Monday I pushed a little to hard trying to get her to canter and she bucked on me. I knew she was going to but I kept pushing trying to get a canter and she got mad and pitched a little, but I knew it and was ready and just bent her to the side and made her circle several times til she settled down then I worked her some more.
Tuesday I had company in the arena. Chris, one of my students brought Buddy in and worked with him while I worked with Camina. This was a good distraction for all of us as they wanted to visit each other. It is really a good test to see if the horse is following me or not. After a few attempts she settled down with me and we just kept working on things. She is starting to get soft in my hands so we worked on that most of the time at a walk then at a trot. I didn't even try for a canter.
Today was even better. We spent a short time warming up and desensitizing then I got on. She was real soft laterally. I wanted to work on the vertical softness and shape so as to get her in balance to do various movements. She was the softest ever. I got her to do several leg yields. We were able to get into a canter after some serious nudging on my part and just kept working on connecting a rein to her feet I worked real well and we made much progress today. We were able to get into a canter 3 times towards the end. So I went to asking for softness at a walk for the last 5 minutes and then we quit. She did real well today. She is butt high by 2 fingers so I think that is why she doesn't want to canter with me on her back. She probably has a hard time lifting her front end to move into a canter. So I used some wither pads to lift up the front of my saddle which would put me more over her center and not on her forehand as much. I hoped this would help her go into a canter. I am not sure it did though. We will try again on Friday.
It is the little things that make a difference in life, don't you think?

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