Monday, March 2, 2009

Cloverleaf Game

Garbo coming to see me as I was taking photos of the house - Hi!

Before I rode I decided to check the fit of Garbo's saddle it's still good. Probably bridges a little in the middle but my Equipedic pad would fix that.

Pulled out my Stages booklets of the old L2 last night and started reading the Freestyle sections. It said to set up two lines of poles about 30ft long, about 4ft apart and back your horse through them every time you ride, and also go sideways along.

Then it said to make a cloverleaf pattern and ride that until your horse gets the pattern, yes, it's probably in the Freestyle patterns too but I have not got to that yet - soooo much to do!

So I set up 5 cones, one as X in the middle and the other four as E for entry and exits of the clover leaf pattern. I walked about 15 steps from X for each come so that E to E was 30 steps. I think I could make it longer for Garbo actually.

So we tried it today - I was wondering how Garbo would go with it - being LBI and not that interested in repetitive riding but he seemed to really enjoy it - and after once round he got the pattern. It said to rest at X after each pattern for at least 5 minutes so they fall in love with X. I also gave Garbo a treat at X but he found it hard to stand very still but we got to about 3 minutes I think. On the last pattern he stopped at X by himself. So he certainly 'got' the pattern. We only did it at walk - well I tried briefly at trot and Garbo got all snooty and pretended to get all spooky in one corner - hmmm - something to work on - like I said a longer E to E I think for trot.

Pat says in the booklet if they can't stand still at X you didn't prepeare them enough online - ha - I did a couple of circles around the washbay as I tightened his girth. As you can see he was pretty cruisy about the whole thing. This picture was taken just as he dropped the hackamore from his mouth after picking it up off the stool and chewing on it.

Then we trotted back to the washbay and into his yard, I decided to try the backing 30 ft - so backed him out of his yard with me in the saddle still. He did it - lovely and straight and no hesitation. Just goes to show -he does know how to do it - just chooses when and where he will.

Then we backed up and I counted 30 of his steps until I asked for stop. I got it so I was basically just lightly combing the rope reins. Very pleased with that!

This is Maraschino coming over to see what he is missing out on after we backed 30 steps. Two years ago I would have not been able to ride in a paddock with 'loose' horses. Actually even a year ago (apart from Blue).

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