Today was the 15th day I have worked with Robbie and Darkstar. They both did pretty good and are coming along slowly but surely.
Darkstar- had a good workout going through all the exercises. He is responding nicely and though still guarded he is sticking with me. I can groom him and pick out his feet with no bridle. I can lunge him with no lead even do many of the other exercises with no connection other than his wanting to stay with me. He still doesn't follow like I would like though. Today I upped the anty with him, but flanking him out. He did pretty good, kept moving forward and put all my weight on the line. Did all three spots, girth, belly and flank. No bucking, but would start to yeild to the pressure. I would like to get him so that I could lead him from the flanks. I also put the saddle on and off him several times with slapping the seat and flopping the stirrups around, without cinching up though. I was on and off him a few times too. I took him to the other end and removed the halter, he followed me part way to the other end. Its getting better.
Robbie, really didn't want to play today. He wanted to go his own way so I stood in the middle next to saddle and pad while he lunged around me and after 9 or 10 laps I YH and he gave me two eyes. We did both directions then I asked him to come in to me and he did. I put the halter on and went through the exercises for about 5 minutes then put saddle on and off him then when he was nice and calm I cinched him up and walked him off. I had him go through YH YF backup change directions at the walk and then when he went to trot he broke in two again, this time almost flipping over. I quickly shut him down and then really made him move his feet fast, lunging at a trot, changing directions up and down the arena. Then let him rest. I did some flexion with him, YH Yf and asked him to move off again. This time he trotted our real nice, we did some circle exercises and with me tapping the saddle and such. He did ok. Then I tried a new exercise where I put the lead over his rump and turn his nose to the outside and he is supposed to follow his nose (turn and go) well he had never done this and with the saddle it was too much for him. He came around but was scared and bucked again and I quickly shut him down and made him move alot again then let him rest when he calmed down. I didn't try that again. I am going to do that without the saddle next time and then again with the saddle. Anyway, he wore that saddle for a good half hour and then it was time to quit. I groomed him and picked his feet out with a halter on him. He stood real good.
Joey - got a good ride today too. I worked him on the way back to the field and then saddled him. He didn't want that so moved quite a bit and I had to discuss with him why it would be better for him to stand still while I saddled him. Then we went to work with gw in the field. He has some rough edges that with a little work will trim out nicely. He is one fat horse though. I bet I can push my finger into his side up to my first knuckle. When I saddle him the cinch almost disappears. And when I ride him I almost think the saddle could rotate half way and spring back when it was let loose. I noticed too when I trotted and he wanted to canter he could only canter so far and have to slow down, not because he is lazy, but he is overweight. However, this guy has a cadillac trot and canter. He just needs work on direction and yielding to the will of the rider. Again it is just going to take some rides to change his thinking. He stood to be unsaddled and taken back to the barn.