Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Day 11

I am learning this horse. We had the best session yet, though it didn't start that way. I went through his carrot exercise, which he always does well. Then tried to saddle him and he wouldn't stand still so off the saddle slid and away we went. I made him move something fierce. By the time we were done He stood for me to put the saddle on. I moved him a little more, He didn't buck at all. I did some flexing and disengagements with him and then got on. The first 13 minutes were tough because he made them tough with the saddling and all, but after I got on him he moved off good. My goal here was to ride about 30 minutes and get some good forward movement. He moves real good when I am not on his back, but then it is like he is moving through concrete. It is like he has sticky feet. I have been letting him get away with it for a time because I want to make sure I have softness and flexion and a good one rein stop. However, it is time to put the gas on now. So today we got the gas working. Like I said, he didn't want to go into a trot and stay there, so I had to get after him a time or two. When I got a good trot all the way around I would let him rest for a couple minutes. I didn't want to just keep driving him. So we repeated this several times and gradually increased the distance until he would just keep at the trot til I let him stop. Now mind you, I didn't just keep him going. I only had him trot around 2 or 3 times then let him stop. He was good going to the left, but he really didn't like going to the right, probably because of his shoulder, but he moves fine without me on his back. All it really took was to drive him through his little temper tantrum, 2 x and then he didn't do it again. I rewarded him with rest of course.
In addition, when we were resting I would flex him. Some times he thought he would move off. My response was to either disengage him to a stop and continue flexing or to make him move even faster around he pen. Then ask him to stop and let him rest. He needs to learn patience.
A great benefit to all of this is that he is really soft. He will collect up nicely, with shape. He will stop with my seat and no rein and even give me a collected backup. He is going to be a joy to ride once we get him through his personality disorder of wanting his own way. He thinks he should stop when he wants to. Not a chance.
One other thing I am learning about him is that there is a time to be soft and he responds well. But there is a time when soft doesn't work and He needs to big stick, but once he realizes it, you won't have to go back there again.
I can't wait to ride him tomorrow and see how he is.
Anyway, Good day!

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