Tuesday, June 12, 2012

first ride

Day 21
I got DarkStar out and he was so calm and relaxed while I groomed him, etc. I put my saddle on him with no problem and just started to go through several of the exerises with him to see how he would react to the saddle. It is different than the other one. For instance, mine is heavier and bulkier. It smells different, it has tie strings hanging long on the sides. Nothing seemed to bother him though. So I started to flex him and to YH from his flank. Then I started getting on and off, both sides. Then I just sat on him and moved all over, banging and acting kind a like a drunk. I would get on and off banging his sides and his hips. He just remained nice and calm. So then I asked for a YH and got off. Did that a few times each side. Then asked to move more of his feet. He has to get used to carrying my weight so he has to learn to balance himself. If I was in a round pen and some one who knew what they were doing I would just sit on the horse and be along for the ride and let the one on the ground direct his feet. But such is not the case. So I have to get the forward motion as well as directing his feet. That is alot to ask him to process. But we took several steps in each direction and he was pretty good with it. He was calm and did not offer to buck. That was a good session.

Robbie, on the other hand, is a totally different horse. Today, I could tell he was a little standoffish. But he willingly followed me into the arena. I groomed him and took the halter off him. I could sense that he really didn't want to be next to me so I gave him a chance to stay of his own accord. He chose not to. So we played the catch ME game. Not me catch him. This is played by me getting his feet to move as fast as possible, preferably a canter, and then when he starts to change his mind give him and opportunity to catch me. It took about 15 minutes of direction changes and cantering for him to decide he would like to stand next to me. So when he quickly walked to my side I let him stand for literally ten minutes. He was nuzzling my back, liking my shirt. I started to move and kept right with me. I didn't try to put the halter on at all. Then I just rubbed him with the halter and lead. I YH YF a few times to keep him focused on me. Then I went to put the halter on him with his head tilted toward me and somewhat lower and he left me again. So we went through the process again, only this time it took about 4 laps and a direction change and he was right next to me. This time I again didn't try to put the halter on immediately. But when I did I let it rest on him and then took it off. I did this several times as if it was the first time he was wearing a halter. The rest of the session was putting the halter on and taking it off with some leading and YH YF in between. I figured that was a good session with him. He is a challenge to me. I don't mind going back to the beginning with him because this is something that has been missed or not dealt with enough in the beginning. He is just telling me he is not ready to move on to another level just yet. And he has the courtesy to let me know this before I am on his back and we have a wreck. So I am good with this. No sense in being in a hurry when training a horse, even if you are trying to do it in a certain amount of time. We can come back at it again tomorrow and pick up where we left off.

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