Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Maraschino Trots

Garbo and I had a BIG ride today - the longest ride we have had at home since we moved here - it was at least an hour. He decided he couldn't or wouldn't trot the cloverleaf pattern today and I began getting a bit frustrated. I tried using the carrot stick but with trotting it was bouncing on my shoulder and hurting!! I chucked it outside the cloverleaf and tried with the rope of the hackamore instead and ended up fighting with him so realised I needed to change tact.

I put him on the follow the rail pattern around the outside of the paddock, first at walk, then added two sides of trot. He pretended like he saw something scary in the maize a couple of times during trot but I was persistent in asking him to go back to the rail, and then to trot again and told him that trick wasn't going to work on me today.

We changed directions and did the other way at walk, then trot, and then kept going and kept going until he was not arguing about going out the gate each time we got there. So we went round about 10 or more times in all I think. In the end he had spouts of a nice slow trot, and spurts of a yeeha trot which I asked for him to slow down.... eventuually when we had about 4 laps with no corrections with the reins we stopped.

As Pat says "the more you use your reins, the less the horse uses his brains".

With my recently gained knowledge from watching Pat with Honey I had some new tools to try with Maraschino. He has always been jumping with the carrot stick and string, and what I realised is that just using it for the other games actually can help them gain confidence (with the carrot stick, as well as with other things). I managed to get him to trot today - first time.... he was very good. He panicked (panic-a-holic) a couple of times as he tried to understand - especially when I tried to trot with him. I didn't brace but went with him and a stopped quickly as soon as he reached the end of the rope.

At the end of it all he yawned alot and rolled his eyes back and stuck out his tongue so far...

I then played friendly game with the carrots stick and string and guess what - he wasn't jumpy! Yahoo.

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