Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Round pen

This is my new round pen - not sure why I have not done this before. I guess because we were doing liberty in a larger area, but I realise now to get Garbo further out from me at liberty then I need to have 'a security' area.

It was hilarious when I was setting it up - Garbo was acting like there was magically going to be some new grass once I had finished.

We started online, I forgot to take my 22ft, so it was just the 12ft. I didn't do a whole lot to warm up and then took the line and halter off. Garbo kept stopping on the circle, on the edge and looking at me - very sweet but having the defined circle made me really concentrate of being clear on what I was asking.

As Pat says - if your horse doesn't do what you asked - you either asked wrong or you asked the wrong question.

So we kept going... I kept asking very quietly and tried not to shout, but I needed to tag once or twice. The sneaking pose didn't really work today. I was really trying to be clear in my send but I realised I needed to work on a snappier send so I put him back online briefly.

I said - please go left, and if your neck is not out of the way by 'now' then you'll be tagged. That got his attention. I also worked on his backing up because at liberty when I asked for back up he went sideways as if to start the circle so I reminded him what back up actually means. Then I took the line off again to make sure he remembered. I concentarted on rhythmic pressure to back up but asking quietly. While online I asked him to come in and he came right in and stood over me so I practiced asking him to stop a bit further away. Finally he got it. He looked a bit worried - he has never really liked staying out after back up - actually he's rather be right next to me all the time.

He spent alot of time putting his head down when he came in.

Ok so back off line - we did some stick to me, walk, trot and canter and back up.
Then we tried some sideways and circle again. I worked on downward transitions with the carrot stick - for some reason Garbo gets that when he is doing stick to me but not on a 22ft circle. Maybe he is picking up my body language rather than what I am doing with the stick, when I am slowing down next to him.

He got too close to me a few times, and tried to come in alot, so I had to tag him once when he turned his back end to me when I asked him to go out again, and he kicked out with both legs - so I kicked him back with the savvy string!! But I got him. He didn't try that again.

One thing that was good - was change of direction! Phew. It's made me realise our long range liberty needs some work, but our short range is level 3. Good and bad.

I am supposed to be going to the forest tomorrow but it's due to rain so I think I'll just do some more of this tomorrow afternoon if the rain stops in time.

This last picture is of Garbo grazing after his sponge down.

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Cilla said...

Very interesting post. The 'electric' fence for a round pen really works doesn't it.
Of course, you know of course I read your posts and then go and try what you do having had you make it clearer for me lol.
C x

Amanda said...

i also just made my roundpen out of electrobraid it works great (of course no electric) its easy to move around and i love it!!

Vicki said...

Hi Amanda
My fences are electrobraid - I didn't think of using that... how do you start and finish it..?