Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Follow the rail

Sussing out that green ball!

After a bath in the sun!

Today I out Garbo's saddle on because I wanted to do follow the rail in trot and canter and not quite ready to canter in the bareback pad.

We used the track as the rail and he went into trot and canter every time I asked him with only phase one - actually my phase one is 'energy up'. We can't canter right round the track at the moment as we have some areas of ruts and pogging at one end where it was quite wet over winter.

Our direct rein 180 degree turns still have a bit of opposition reflex so I will work on that more. Transitions were good and I was reflecting after my ride on how relaxed his head and emotions are when he trots and canters now compared to 12 months ago.

I am really pleased that all our hours of fun have paid off in other ways as well.

I can see now that freestyle (no rein contact) allows me and him to get our balance and then that leads naturally and easily to Finesse. I am along way from watching the Finesse DVD in the Patterns set but I can see how it all links together now. Online to Freestyle, Freestyle to Finesse.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Squeezed in some play

Rain is due tonight and tomorrow (not much though) so I got home early and played with the boys a bit. I tested 'don't change gait, don't change direction' with me relaxing in the middle, with Garbo - and that was pretty cool - it's actually improved since we started doing Figure 8's. As has our change of direction which are to die for!

We did Figure 8's round two piles of poo!

After that I took his halter off and we drove Maraschino together. It was quite funny, Garbo just stuck beside me.

I did some half circles against the fence with Maraschino and then a full circle in walk. I was surprised I thought he would trot or canter. You know what he did? He stopped every couple of steps and ate grass... hmm maybe he's a bit more Left Brain than originally thought! Maybe Garbo has been teaching him some tricks.

We played some approach and retreat with the hose, and then I gave him a sponge wash with lavender. Then I went and sponged Garbo too while he was grazing because he was a bit sweaty.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Lovely afternoon in the sun

That's what we had today! Finally the showers stopped and the cloud cleared a bit.

I got Garbo out after setting up this little obstacle course, and on the way past it from the paddock he started touching everything, and then headed straight for the tarp! So we postponed grooming for a bit and played the Touch It Game.

We briefly touched on figure 8 and even got a canter round one barrel on 22ft line... and then I decided to try out my new bareback pad, even though I only had a girth and not a cinch I made it work!

Doesn't he look handsome. He wasn't too sure about the cinch but I think he liked it once it was done up.

We headed off on a passenger lesson really and to my surprise he headed off towards the tarp and round the track?! I gave him some rewards of eating grass. We even did some successful sideways which we have not done Freestyle for a long time. It was such a lovely day for a ride. The neighbours dogs were running around chasing the other neighbours ride on mower and he froze for a bit but I patted him and kept talking to him about the grass, and also I talked to Maraschino who was in the middle following us casually.

This is me trotting bareback - hmmmm - bit of a gap there on that left leg!

After the ride I decided to try the 'mount from a fence' by getting him to come over beside me close, by using the carrot stick on the other side of him. I need to watch the DVD again because it wasn't very successful. He doesn't like the carrot stick making contact.

Then it was Maraschino's turn and in touch it he went straight onto the tarp!! I could not believe it because the breeze was blowing it up and everything.

Then Maraschino shared George's Krispie biscuits.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Day two patterns

I had to spray some of the buttercup in the track today and everytime I went out Garbo would look at me as if to say - are we going to do something? Mind you he thought I was some weird spacewoman with the sprayer on my back - plus it made a strange noise.

So we started with Touch It - Garbo loves this game and I added a bit of distance and moved my feet less today - and he was touching everything!

I am going to get the tarp out tomorrow as it was still a bit windy today.I really think this is one game Garbo could do all day. I took him into the middle paddock and we touched the tire.

Then we worked on some 'do what I do' ie walk, back, trot, stop, back, walk, trot, stop etc. He also really likes that game. I tried to concentrate on moving him away from me a little.

Then we did some figure 8's and he still pawed at the left hand barrel a bit. George thinks he can see the carrot stick and he can't really see it the other way - I think that's kind of right but it's me that is blocking him. Tomorrow I will try with a 22ft line.

Then I took the halter off to try some Liberty - first time really since we moved here (apart from going to and from the paddock to the yard)... we touched the barrels and then walked along the track towards where Maraschino was eating. We did some stop, trot, stop, back up and he was really listening. Then he chased Maraschino away and came straight back to me. So sweet.

Then - we went into the middle paddock with the tire... and trotted some more. He stuck with me the whole time and did not miss a beat. We got to the tire and I stood on it and stroked him a bit on the neck. Then I got him to move round the tire while I walked round it (my tire is so cool!).

On the way back we did some sideways without a fence - which we have never achieved at Liberty - I was so pleased, we trotted back to the yard and I went to get him an apple and tell George!

By then it was pretty late so I didn't get to play with Maraschino - I fed them both. Tomorrow is another day!

Friday, October 10, 2008

Yeehaa Figure 8

yep well I watched the first two patterns on the Online Patterns DVD (yes, they arrived - I now have 4 pizza boxes!)... each savvy (online, liberty, freestyle and finesse) comes in a pizza box. In each is a DVD, a pattern booklet, and a large colour book.

So - armed with Touch This and Figure 8 patterns I got the boys in. Well - I opened the gate and they just continued eating.... eventually Garbo came out - he couldn't resist seeing if I had a carrot for him.

I took their covers off (Maraschino came over as well and hung out in his yard, and Garbo's, and snuk a bite of Garbo's Likit!)... and gave Garbo a quick groom... I had already got the barrels out of the hay shed, and put out some cones, and got the green swiss ball out...

I tried on Garbo's bareback pad after he checked it out.... he agreed - very good quality!

We started with touch it with Garbo - and here's me thinking he had forgotten this game we started so long ago (oh - btw - 12 ft line today)... and touched the barrels, the wheelbarrow, the cover hanging on the rail, his new bareback pad, the cones (that was harder as it was ground level), he offered the fence post, and the green ball. He did really well and seemed to be really interested in where we were going to go next. I didn't get the tarp out as it was a tad windy. Mental note to self to get some rocks. Then we went into the play paddock and touched the tire and the jump stands, and went via up and over the clay hill, with some back down the clay hill.

The main challenge for me was keeping him at 12 ft away - he likes stick to me game so much he reverts to that quite often! We had a bit of a communication problem at one point - I was trying to drive Zone 2 away from me and he turned Zone 5 towards me. hmmmmm how interesting - wonder what I was doing? Coz that could turn into liberty backwards towards me....

Then we tried figure 8 round the two barrels.... oh - I had them on their side while I was grooming Garbo and the wind blew them and they started rolling - in opposite directions... the boys weren't too phased and I think were quite amused watching me run after them. Maraschino went into the safety of his yard to watch.

Ok - so Figure 8 and Garbo.... he got one side pretty well and the change of direction but when he got to the outside of the 2nd barrel he stopped and lifted up his foot, over and over, towards the barrel. He did this at the same spot each time... and itwas like he was saying "I don't want to come back to you (he was leaning on the rope a bit too), because you are just going to send me out again.."... well - yes....

So we went and did a bit more touch this... and sideways round the barrel...

Then came back and tried again - this time I backed up on the draw and it worked!!!!! We got about 5 figure 8's in a row - even a bit of trot - yay - I am so happy.

I have posted this piccy of Garbo because his last hoof trim Jools said he had a little bit of white line seperation and I should watch his weight - but I actually think he looks pretty good - what do you think?

So then I put Garbo away in his yard to sunbathe and relax, while I took maraschino out to play touch it... he is sooooo sensitive it's amazing - I put the carrot stick down after a while - he is still so wary of it - he shaked in his boots... I really am at a loss about that, might email the faculty... and we touched the wheelbarrow, the green ball, the cover, Garbo's bareback pad (but no don't eat it Maraschino)... the cones, back to the barrels..... he loved it. I gave him a big rest at each one. With the slightest pressure I got him to move forwards, backwards and sideways. He's a clever horse. Garbo just watched.

Here are some piccys and a video of Maraschino eating Garbo's Likit!

oh and then he backed into his stall.... BIG step...

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Stand still for grooming

Today I used the savvy club dvd 'stand still for grooming' ideas to stop Garbo lifting his leg when I try and brush his torso, and moving all over the place trying to get me to groom particular places! I will get to all the itchy spots but he needs to be patient!

It worked really well.

Then I did some work with Maraschino, he is still very wary of the carrot stick and string. I decided to do some driving and also some walking forward hitting the ground with it. It worked quite well I think. Gosh he is so sensitive to pressure - he is going to be like Vanna.

Sunday, October 5, 2008


Can you believe it's October already?? Crikey!!

Didn't do alot of Parelli today - I had a friend (non horsey friend) come over for a visit and we showed her yo yo and back up from the tail and then some desensitising work with the feather duster lol.

Who would have thought Garbo

would still be quite unsure about a feather duster.

You know he hates my gloves too - as they have possum fur knitted into the wool. He smells them and snorts.

I watched the Loud Noises section of the September Savvy Club DVD which I finally got, and I was a bit disappointed in that section - Pat said the horse was RB but he hardly reacted to anything - including the whip and airhorn! Garbo would have been more RB than that!

This is a piccy of the boys having a snooze yesterday morning - Garbo snatched the odd snack while he was there too. I caught him on video!

Friday, October 3, 2008


Well today after grooming both horses I let Maraschino back into the track (which confused him as he went to his yard to see where his dinner was) and took Garbo to the house paddock to play a bit. This way Maraschino could follow us along side on the other side of the fence.

We did some travelling circle game and only went near the pole, not over it (except for some stick to me)... it was quite funny - if we did get near it he would look at it out the side of his eye and ask a question like "you sure you don't want me to go sideways over that?".. I said no thank you but thanks for asking (with a giggle).

I think I know where my holes are - driving from Zone 3 further away than 12ft. Having an effective phase 4 from 22ft away.

It's quite hard working in that house paddock - it was my winter sacrifice paddock and it got really wet for some reason and now it's very pogged.... so I don't want him to hurt himself.

We are planning a trip to the forest (both boys) for an in-hand walk and play in there, on Monday. So I have told both boys about it. Maraschino of course has not been there before. Lets hope it doesn't ran - showers are forecast.

I did alot of move your HQ over with maraschino in preparation for the float again - as I have an angle load. He yawned alot. We also worked on head down with pressure from above - he does it easily by pressure on the line, - we got his head to about wither height - a good start.