Wednesday, September 26, 2012
Well, I had one of the moments today. When I was right. I got Star out first and saddled him, worked on the ground with him. Ok. Then got in the saddle and things were fine, normal, you might say. I rode about ten minutes and because things were going pretty good I decided to take him to the outdoor arena. Now this is where I was right. I have been told and come to believe that the response I get in the indoor arena, round pen, etc might be 100% right response to what I ask of the horse once they learn it. However, that drops exponentially when you put them in another environment that they have not been in during the training process, like an outdoor arena or trail, or outside the round pen into an arena. I have been told if I get 80% indoors I will only get about 50% or so in the outdoor arena. That was true of Star. When I took him outside he started to get really nervous. I did some c pattern exercises with him and he was freaking out. Slipped and almost fell on the way to the arena. The grass was wet from dew. When we got in the arena I moved him all around it lunging him and changing directions alot etc. When he seemed to me to be somewhat calm I got on him. I flexed him once and he started to move so, knowing that he was scared, I let him move his feet. Well twenty minutes later he was still moving his feet. I was glad I had such a good start on flexing and collection cause he responded to that. I kept him bent the entire time. I let him straighten out a few times. It wasn't long though, cause I had started right in on the bending. He was doing so well indoors. Outdoors he basically had a meltdown and if I hadn't put a pretty good handle on him indoors it could have been disastrous. Anyway, after he calmed down some and wanted to stop I didn't let him. I kept him going and started doing figure 8's and even had him cantering some. He did offer an attempt at a buck or two, but that was all. He just kept moving around and we did lots of circles. Finally, he started to respond to the rein and started giving and so when we got to the end we walked a little bit and I had him bending laterally and vertically then I asked for a stop and he did. I flexed him a few times and got off. I suspect, as he did indoors, he will get better with each time. Robbie, didn't go outside at all today. I want to make sure I have him as close to 100% responding with softness to the rein before I take him out. But he is not as flighty as Star so maybe he would have been fine. Anyway, I did a little ground work with him, got him saddled, more gw and then I got on him. I flexed him and YH YF and off we went. I immediately started where we left off yesterday with bending at the walk and when he was giving me several steps with that then ask him for vertical. Then we moved up to trot. I think we trotted for a good 15 minutes maybe more just working on bending and collection at the trot. We interspersed that with trotting around the arena on a loose rein and doing figure 8's. He got real good at almost needing no direction from the rein, just my seat and legs as he could feel me switch my posting pattern to the other lead and so on. I almost got him neck reining. Now when I go outside with him I don't expect it will be that good. After that good long trot I let him rest a couple minutes and then we went back to work. I want him following his nose with no resistance before I take him outside. Because I know that I will lose some of that control. He did well all in all. We finished up with walking and bending and vertical, stopping and backup etc. Tomorrows another day.