Friday, March 23, 2012

Day 2 of CC

Just got in from working with C in the rain. I don't think he minded, I certainly didn't. It kept us both cooler. Although, he looked like he had been drenched when we finished. We scooted through all 13 GW exercises. He did well in some and not so good in others and I suspect it was mostly me that didn't do well. There is so much to reading a horse and paying attention to details. For example, I was doing the sending exercise where you point high in the direction you want him to go with one hand and with the other use the stick to the help him move. He is going between me and the fence, starting about 20 feet out and gradually getting closer as he gets calmer. When his tail passes in front of me, as I look at the fence, I ask for a disengagement switch hands and the when he gives me two eyes let him rest while I rub him with the end of the stick. Well he would race through in one direction and kind of walk in the other. Then I realized I was putting too much pressure on him with the stick. I had to get it to the point where I barely moved my stick arm and he would move. So that was good. But then he kept racing in the other direction which is another side to a horse. So I took him to another location of the fence and he started getting worse. So instead of stopping when he gave me two eyes I kept him changing directions and lo and behold, he started to settle down. Now what I was after was him hopping his shoulder over while planting his hindquarters and he started doing that I quit using the stick and just let him follow my feel of the lead to ask for a disengagement, shoulders over and go forward. In this way I was able to send him beween me and the fence and move to within 4 feet of it. He was relaxed at this so we went on to the next exercises.. Circle driving and leading beside went well. He improved over yesterdays exercises and so have I. I learned that he doesn't need alot of encouragement to move. He is backing well, flexing is a little stiff unless I use the poke method and then he bends nicely without a poke. The desensitizing is getting real good. I can swing the stick and string and lead all over him as well as around him and he stands pretty good. My plan is to go through all the exercises again tomorrow and then we move out to the big arena and power line to start using obstacles with the exercises. It ought to be real interesting.

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