Friday, September 21, 2007

Level one assessment filmed

We finished filming my assessment today! It was a nice fine day and I taped off the gate to the arena and off we went. Well we started with saddling without being tied up (loose rope), and then went on to mounting from both sides, dismounting from both sides, and then the 21 minutes Pushing Passenger lesson at trot. Garbo kept doing the same route it was hilarious, down to the dandelions then back to the gate. Everything they say about LB horses needing incentives and being food orientated is so Garbo (and seeing the arena as pointless)!

Well I think it was 20 minutes in the end - but we made it without too many stops in between. He even went into canter a few times (at the same spot each time). That was a first for me - in the rope halter and one rope.

Then we did follow the rail for 2 laps each way and then the emergency dismounts from both sides.

Hopefully I'll pass.

Garbo was pretty knackered after that.

Saturday, September 8, 2007

Liberty - 1st try

Today *big grin*

Did our first games at Liberty today - we had done sideways and driving from Zone 3 in the jumping arena at Royal Oak - to get to know the paddock then I did some PPL (building up to 21 mins at trot for L1 assessment!!)... I don't think Garbo has ever trotted for 21 minutes in a row - let alone me!

Anyway- PPL - there were two hills of piled up sand in the paddock and he kept going up onto the top and looking around like he was thinking - "I'm the King of The Castle" - it was so funny.... coming down was interesting!

So - we then went into the round pen and I took the rope off... did some driving game, then tried Yo yo - he kind went sideways, but the come back was FAB! (ears forward looking very pleased) so then I asked for a circle and he circled and then I asked him over a jump - he went over and turned and faced - I asked him back the other way and he hesitated - once he started chewing the pole on the jump *rolleyes* ..... I asked again and he lifted up one foot (I nearly cried - this was from 20ft away and no rope).... I backed him up and asked him again and he circled over the jump - then he just kept jumping over the jump and turning and facing the jump again!

He looked very pleased with himself. I was extremely pleased!

I asked him into the middle and he came trotting over, didn't crowd me....

I think he was relieved to have the rope off! Yay.... fantastic progress today.

Friday, September 7, 2007

Worming - solving problems

Ok - so next challenge on the Solving Problems lesson was worming. ANd today he had a whole syringe of apple sauce - and I was crouching on the ground - yay!!

So happy.

Sideways without a fence

Sideways was always an issue for Garbo and I - and I knew it would be a major breakthrough when we could do sideways from both sides.... I was actually really surprised how quickly he got sideways with a fence from one side so quickly. When I saw in L2 it was sideways without a fence I though holy moley - I better get practising with a fence! Couldn't ignore it anymore.

The circle game had sort of come undone on the 22ft line also lately and I had to think about being more subtle as he really only seems to need subtle aids - any more than Phase 1 he gets unconfident and takes it personally....

Well -here's what I tried today..... and it worked!

1. Friendly in between circles but I did lots like rubbing all over, finding itchy spots - so kind of rewards... and stayed away from Zone One (didn't just pat his head) - I stood back by his wither and he seemed to relax heaps quicker - even snorted heaps

2. I added a jump on one side of the circle (yeehaa)... he had lots of fun

3. I upped to phase 2 after a long phase one for the send and added more energy

4. I looked out of the corner of my eye and listened while looking down for him to come in behind me on the circle and I just waved the savvy string in his direction and he kept going - AND he didn't come in on top of me on the bring in

5. added some poles in a line on the ground for the sideways without a fence and every time he made a few good steps I took him over to the side of the arena for some dandelions - he loved that - and OMG - sideways without a fence - we did it today!!!

Oh - Garbo figured out what happens before what happens happens, some more today - I was yo-yoing him back to start the circle game and he just started circling!

I love my pony!!

Saturday, September 1, 2007


Well today we did loads.....

Started off in the paddock - on a slope redoing the short range circle game to the left to try and build up his confidence again on the left. Then slowly let him drift out. I tried not to let him come in too much. He seems to be worried about me using >phase one while he is circling (maybe since we started transitions) so comes in before I get a chance to do anything. Anyway - we made some small improvements.

Then I did some driving from zone 3 on both sides - towards this big cow - which came running at us! and Garbo didn't freak out.

Then we did some sideways down the outside of the fence paddock - up and down the hill plus round the corner also - lots of fun...

Then some circle game up and down a bank, with some grass stops (to the left to build confidence) on the circle...

Back at the stable we worked on Solving Problems injections.... with my trusty toothpick I simulated the injection and he was shaking then turning his head towards me and then down... but while I was working on getting rid of the shaking he shook his head and turned towards me real fast and bonked me on the head - now I have a lump on my head.!

I carried on after some ice and the shaking appears to have stopped! He kind of looked at me like OOOPs... when it happened.... the instinct was to slap him for hitting me - but I didn't.... just went OUCH!

So a good day all in all....