Salt Wells, Wyoming Mustang Mare

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Maintain Gait and Direction and New Strategies!

 I played online with America tonight and our figure 8's at the walk are going well; America really understands the pattern now. At the trot, she is still having a bit of trouble with the draw around the cone but it's getting better. I think I need to look up a couple of videos to help me get a better idea of how to help her with this! Circles are going really well at the walk and trot; America has found relaxation on the the canter, she is still a bit impulsive but is finding relaxation much quicker now. Got a couple of trot steps during sideways on the fence tonight. Sideways over a log is good a close range (12-15 feet) but beyond that and America seems a bit lost. I need to think about that for a while.

After the online warm up we headed to the round pen for a bit of stick to me at liberty to test our connection before freestyle riding. I also played with leading by the mane I set it up like Linda showed in the video on the Savvy Club site. America did great! We took it slow so she had time to respond and we did forward, a couple of turns and even a back up. The back up started with her just leaning back a bit which I rewarded and the second attempt, she actually took a step back. She got lovin for that one. I should add most of this was done at phase 2 or less with the exception of the first attempt at each...I had to touch her with the cs to cause her to move off. The second attempt just took the phase two. Will play with it again tomorrow night.

My friend also came over tonight for lesson #2 and we started with walk to the left which went really well...nice relaxed walk. When asked for the trot, America again tried to turn to go in the opposite direction; America REALLY prefers to go to the right. We saw a pattern developing where each time Sheree went through her phases and had to spank with the ss, America used that moment to do her turn which would cause Sheree to stop the spank to pick up the reins. Instead of using the reins to try to "steer" her, I went to the center of the round pen and sent her to the left at a trot. It worked beautifully...America went into a trot with just me bringing up my life and pointing. She maintained gait and direction and was on the rail and Sheree didn't have to use the reins! I began looking for the slightest sign of relaxation so I could ask her in. America went six laps before she began to relax and look for me, asking questions. I invited her in and we all rested in the center while America licked and chewed. I think this worked so well because America and I have played this game at liberty several times and it was familiar to her...she understood. I also really liked the fact it wasn't necessary to use the reins.

After a good, long rest, I left the round pen and Sheree asked her to walk and then trot going to the right. America had no problem in this direction. Sheree allowed her to go two laps then sat down and said whoa and America stopped without having to pick up the reins! SESSION OVER!! Lots of lovin and a couple of cookies while America stood relaxed with her left hind cocked.

After the rest, I unsaddled her and she nibbled a bit of grass then decided to roll while Sheree and I were talking. I think that says alot about how the session went.

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