Sunday, September 27, 2009

Idle Hooves

It's been raining for a lot of the week and really windy - typical early spring weather except about 4 weeks late!

The poor horses basically spent most of the week heads down in the rain looking miserable so I took the rain covers off this afternoon to give then a good groom.

Garbo was being his own smoochy self, telling the others to bugger off and sniffing my ear telling me secrets. So I think he missed me. lol.

At one point though he leaned round and nipped ever so slowly my sleeve (careful not to get skin), it was so slow and calculated I decided he must be bored out of his tree. We couldn't do anything in the paddock as it was a bit wet again, so I backed him, online, into the space made by the open gate in the washbay.

As you can see from his aeroplane ears he was a bit skeptical of my judgement but he managed it at phase 1/2. (that's the 'look' and a very slight wiggle of my finger)... I gave him a big bunch of long grass picked form over the yard fence. I asked once more online then put the rope over his head and asked at liberty but with no carrot stick - still aiming for phase 1/2.

He didn't go all the way in but he got most of the way so I gave him another bunch of grass. I want to get where Cilla and Liz are with this and have him offer it at liberty. It's always been a bit of a sticking point for him (with tight spaces in Zone 5).

I groomed Maraschino too he was loving it. Coco came in for the whole time. the little monkeys, while I was haltering Garbo the two of them had found my bag of apples in the wash bay and were proceeding to try and eat them through the plastic bag.

Coco needs a blimmen good brush but I have only managed his hiney so far and his back legs. He was licking me again yesterday while I groomed Garbo. I try and kiss him on the nose loudly every day just to keep him ok with noises and close ups.

Maraschino below showing off his newly brushed mane in the wind....

Garbo being bossy telling the others to leave us alone in peace.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Gee Gee Dentist

My Horse's dentist has a number plate GGTEEF. Amanda came round and had earlier suggested I use Kava Kalm on Garbo before his session. Last time he kept trying to get the rasps out of his mouth and going backwards.

So I bought some Kava Kalm as it's all natural. Kava extract - The well known muscle relaxing and mild sedating properties of Kava make this product ideal as an aid to training the nervous or easily excited horse. The natural chemicals found in Kava have been clinically proven to relieve tension and anxiety in humans.

So - not having used it before I was not sure what to expect - and it's not like he's excitable anyway. But I think it made him a bit less anxious. We got the job done anyway.

This is Amanda before she started on Garbo - he was a bit unsure of all her tools so I let him smell them all. I think the gag smelled like a mare!

He didn't need alot doing and he didn't back up as much this time. Without the gag he stood still for the rasping (thanks to my carrot stick prep) so I think I need to put the carrot stick in further next time - as it was the high up teeth he was not sure about having the tools near.

Just before Amanda arrived Maraschino was standing in Garbo's yard grinding on his teeth again - so I took a short video so I could show Amanda.

She asked me I wanted her to take a look. I said yes, and she had a look and saw that two molars had come through and the caps were just sitting on top - and that it was most likely imbalanced. So - she asked if he had had a bridle on (as the gag fits like a bridle and is quite heavy. I said no but that was ok. I stuck some molasses on the metal part of the gag and soon enough he was trying to lick it so opened his mouth enough for her to sit the two plates on his upper and lower teeth.

She opened it one click both sides and then closed it straight away. Once he got used to the clicking sound and the jerk that accompanied it he kind of got that sleepy look in his eyes. I checked his respiration and other body language signs but he looked relaxed so I told her to continue. A few more goes and she had the gag open and both caps off!

She took the gag off and then he stood completely calmly while she rasped his teeth - how cool is that!! We asked Garbo if he was taking notes but he couldn't care less he said.

These are the caps....

And see the hook on this one - no wonder he was trying to get rid of it!!

Monday, September 14, 2009

23 degrees

It got to 23.3 degrees today at our place at lunch time - lovely.

First I played with Maraschino while Garbo did some lawn mowing. Soon after that George got the real mower out! As he appeared from behind the barn Maraschino jumped, towards me, as we were having a wait/think moment.

He is so funny he tries very hard to sit in my lap. He always wants to come in very very close.
He hates getting things wrong, hates being corrected. Over-reacts completely.

We did some more weave - good on near side not so good on far side. I can get him to go round the cone (drive away) fairly straight but when I draw him in he turns and comes straight to me instead of carrying on straight.

Did some more Figure 8 - think he has that now. At walk on 12ft. I use the 22ft when I play with him as I need it for the circling but the rest of the time I use 12ft but try and increase slowly.

Good news is today he was sniffing each cone. Seemed alot braver today. Did driving with CS from Zone 3 - on both sides today - definitely harder from the far side. Otherwise I think he did pretty well.

Then it was Garbo's turn - I was going to ride but it was nearly dusk (and dinner time). So we just played online - did some weave and I spent today asking for slower, asking for less. Then he kind of volunteered the weave which was nice. And then Fig 8 - oh but then he chewed on the spools and tried to put his hoof on them.... then he dragged me to the tire - he really wants to get up there again but I didn't have any carrots on me so I thought - best save that.

Did a bit of circling on the 22ft - he offered canter - amazing - from stand still.

Time for the 45ft a bit more I think - I am still so clunky with it.

Then I took the rope off and we tried weave close range at liberty - he wandered off a couple of times (mostly whe we were heading away from the barn) but - he came back each time - so cute... and we continued till we got it twice both directions. Yay.

The it was dinner time for all.

Coco has a dreadlock between his ears - can you see it.

Oh yeah dentist was postponed from last week - now it's Wednesday - guess what time...
Two Thirty (tooth hurty)

Sunday, September 13, 2009

18 degrees

Hmm - I dropped my laptop on the tiled floor today and now it jiggles when I type (uneven)....

Anyway - Played with Maraschino today as I intend to go to Waimarie tomorrow again.

We started with backing up from chest - he still seems to need me to hold the lead rope for him to get this... we will work a bit more on that...

Then yo yo back to the end of the 22ft, and wait, lick and chew - good, circle to your easy side please. Off he went at walk - that was a good start. We tried the other side after one circle, and then I did weave and figure 8 at walk, at about 12ft I guess. (L1). He was really responsive. We did a little bit of Touch it, the spools, the cones.

The we went back to circle game. He kept coming in behind me on half a circle (phew pressure is off) so I had to do a slightly stronger send. This got him a little worried but we got there in the end. When I asked him in he would come in and hide his head a little, Garbo used to do that too - now I know it's introversion. At one point I leaned down to pick up the CS and he jumped so he had gone a little far!

I really concentrated on asking quietly and waiting till he looked at me or asked a question before upping the phases or asking again - this worked really well. (Do's and Don'ts chart)...

I tried a couple more sends and a couple he got the direction wrong and over-reacted when I blocked him with the carrot stick up in the air (little rear and baby strike with one leg) so we did some more slapping the ground (we seem to have to do this every time lol)... and then I asked him to send over the pole and turn face and wait. He got that good today - calm. Waited a bit.

Then I asked for circle over the pole but thinking back (and judging by his RB reaction to it) I think he was a little scared because up until now if he tried to go past me once over the pole I had shaken the rope to stop him, so obviously my send for circle and send for over the pole are not different enough to be clear. Clear as mud at the moment it seems!!

I asked for send over the pole at walk to finish it at the pole then I decided (after a wee think break) that we needed to do some driving from Zone 3, close range with the carrot stick - to get him used to it being in his vision and on his back. After about 5 minutes I had him doing 360's with the front end with driving from the CS so that was pretty cool. We did it from both sides. Hmmm - did I??? Can't recall now. He does tend to 'keep' me on his near side. Note to self.

So we finished up the session with weave pattern throught the cones driving from Z3 short range. He did it superbly.

Rather than take the halter off straight away we headed back to the wash bay and I put his cover on and gave him a date - which was the right thing to do, as when I took the halter off today, he didn't shake his head and let out his breath!


Garbo ate grass in the yard the entire time (his treat)... and Coco helped me as you can see. The garss is really growing like crazy now. It was do warm today and still is now. (10pm)
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Thursday, September 10, 2009

A3 posters

I printed the Horsenality Do's and Don'ts from the magazine and laminated them (A3) and stuck them on the wall in the barn, I think they will be very handy.

I also printed the assessment sheets for each savvy and stuck them up... and marked off where I was online...

Under the patterns charts I stuck A3's of the patterns assessment sheets and the finesse assessment.... won't need that one for a bit!

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

First spring ride at home

It was a nice day and some rain is due later in the week so I wanted to make the most of the sunshine. I couldn't decide whether to ride or play or both, and ride bareback, or with the bb pad, or saddle... decision decisions!! I did decide to use the new Parelli Hackamore since they made the comment my 'made' one was too big for him - so here is the red one - looks quite flash doesn't it. It was hard choosing between green, blue, black or red....when my favourite colour is brown! I thought it would clash with his colour but it looks quite smart.

I went for the saddle option just in case I wanted to do some trotting. I laid out the cones again while Garbo waited patiently.

We started with weave at walk, and he was really good at it without me having to use the reins. Then we tried at trot - think the cones need to be a bit further apart for that - it was a bit tight! But he tried really hard.

We then did some figure eight and then we tried a circle at walk and I think I got a really nice bend and no opposition reflex - I was pleasantly surprised at how light he was actually - do you think it could be the hackamore??

We did some sideways along a pole - took us a while to get the right question for that. But we got it in the end. Then we did some point to point at trot (gate to tire) and he didn't stop at the tire so I backed him up about 8 steps. That was a big chew worth!

Then we cantered back to the gate, it was so much fun we trotted back to the tire again just to do it all over. We did it about 3 times in the end. We also just had a bit of a tit for tat walk around the paddock.
After the ride I thought we better do some dentist prep since Amanda is coming on Friday. He was great so fingers crossed.!!

Anyone think of anything else I can do?

I am thinking of doing a clinic in November - maybe I can talk Hana and Jane in joining me and we can have a fab time!

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Playtime in the spring

Another gorgeous day today so I couldn't let it pass by without playing in the paddocks with the boys because - yay - they have no mud now, YAY. There will be no excuses now!!!!

First I played with Maraschino because Garbo walked off when he saw the halter. Then as soon as I haltered Maraschino he came over of course so I protected mine and Maraschino's space and took Maraschino into the paddock with my cones and laid out the cones for the weave pattern. Yes - I looked at my pattern charts and weave is next for Maraschino.

Well on the near side he is much calmer about the carrot stick and string but on the far side he is very wary. All I need to do is flick the string out of the way behind me and he jumps and says "how high?" Yikes. Think I need to spend like two days desensitizing him! I can walk forwards and backwards slapping the string on the ground now so that's good.

So we did weave at walk and a couple of cones at trot with a rear and a panic. LOL. He is soooooooo sensitive. I don't even touch him with the carrot stick - all that I do is lift it!

Then we did figure 8 - he has that now at walk.

Then I took him to a large pole (fence strainer size) and asked him over it. He lifted one foot and then took it back - did that a few times. I waited till he stopped trying and lifted my carrot stick very slowly and carefully. Finally he went over but not relaxed - kind of trotted over and rushed round the side of me. I bumped him and asked him to turn and face and asked him to go back over the pole the other way. Same thing. This continue with me having to really insist on stopping afterwards and turning and facing that he did a big sigh and a lick. Then I asked him over again and he walked over calmly and turned and faced.

I ended it there.

You know what is really interesting. The last week after these sessions, as soon as I take the halter off, he shakes his head and does a big sigh and a lick and chew. It's like the halter is pressure for him too.


Oh - Coco followed us over to the pole and the cones and looked at what we were doing. During a think break near the pole he went right up to it so I asked him over very very softly but he kinda looked at me and said - nah. He's taking it all in though.

Mind you after they had dinner he headed back into the middle paddock and suddenly saw the cones and trotted a big arc round them and turned and faced them, stared for a while and then went back to grazing.

After Maraschino Garbo was ready to talk so off we headed with the 22ft to test out the weave - first at walk, then at trot but he decided he couldn't do it at trot so I had to tag him to drive him further away from me - he kicked out but carried on. So the walk was great on the 22ft and the trot not so great.

After that I asked for a circle and guess what - he cantered two whole circles while I did nothing!!! I ended it there - short and sweet.

This is Garbo having a groom before our session - check out all the hair!!

Monday, September 7, 2009

Spring day at Waimarie

It was another beautiful clear spring day and I think I got a bit sunburnt!

I played with Maraschino before we left (and I was good and picked out his feet) and he managed a whole circle so I asked him in (at walk) and then I just backed him up and waited. He doesn't like being out on the end of the line, always wants to come in. Just like Garbo was. Spent more time playing friendly with the carrot stick and string and walking along slapping the ground with it. Unlike Garbo at the beginning, Maraschino doesn't take his eyes off me.

We only had one big reaction to the send today, and it was more subdued than yesterday.

We did some touch it too - the tire, the jump stands, the log, and today he had confidence to touch things, so I was hoping that I had read the situation correctly yesterday, in that he had lost some confidence over winter due to the fact we had not done alot on line, and this was transferring over ot him being worried when left behind.

So I tied Garbo at the float just out of sight, but Maraschino came to the fence. I walked away from Garbo and he sensed something was up and started bucking on the spot (he does that when he's unconfident and tied). I went back and untied him and put the rope on his back and let him eat grass.

Then I went to put the buckets out for Maraschino and Coco.

Walked away with them eating happily.

Garbo loaded like an angel with me outside to the side of the ramp and off we went. I tried to look back but my mirrors were so dirty I couldn't see anything!

Twenty minutes later we parked at Waimarie and unloaded. I left the barrier up for a bit while I took the poos off, and Garbo was just eating hay. I undid the barrier and he backed off nice and slowly. There were no other horses around and his head went up a little.

Michelle arrived and went to get Scribble. Scribble used to graze here so they know each other, and Scribble is a LBE and he calls out alot - being the social thing he is. Garbo called back which was sweet. I went into the arena with the 22ft and we got to work doing travelling circles. Garbo was really funny he stopped at every pole, straddled it and said "would you like me to go sideways over this"? I said not at the moment thank you - carry on.

He was not in a state to ride and I had already said to myself what Cilla said a week or so ago - warm up strong to ride soft - or something along those lines.... so I was quite prepared not to ride if he didn't get calmer. No one else probably would have picked it but his head was just a little high and he was looking out on the circle.

We tried sideways along the long side (which is about 100ft long) and he spotted some mares and said "look at me I am very handsome when I do this" and showed off! Down the other long side I asked for trot sideways and got it although his HQ was lagging a bit but that was a first!!

He was offering so much (touching all the cones along the side of the arena - even the sprinklers)... I got the 45ft for a brief play - still feels quite clumsy and uncomfortable using it... but we managed to get some touch it on about 35 ft I guess and then sideways at about 30ft, and I kept my feet still - after about 35ft he looked at me driving him and said "say what!!!"... and stopped. LOL

Tried some circles and we even did a change of direction or two. Then Garbo decided to circle round me while I was trying to coil it in, and proceeded to wrap me up with it and then stand in all the coils on the ground. Hmmmm... thanks Garbo.

Got the 22ft back again and played a bit more then I stuck the 12ft on and hopped on. He stood still which was good. We didn't do alot - just some lateral flexion, then some walking with transitions, follow the rail, figure 8's, and back up through poles, backed up over poles, then my friend got on her horse - she has just started him and jumped on with a bareback pad and halter. He was so good - following us around doing the patterns. Garbo was really good about it too (as he was quite close).

I asked Michelle if he would be ok if we trotted (she has decided just to walk him for a bit), and she just stopped him and watched.
We did some indirect rein turns and I practised the turning the HQ (only) with phase one or less like on the end of the L2 DVD, and that was great, then we did some sideways. I rode at walk into the corner, direct rein turn and we trotted down the long side with a transition -and no bucks - yay. I did it one more time, and no bucks. Then I got off. So good considering he's been ridden once all winter!

He had a warm shower there and then we left to load. Scribble started calling out and Garbo got a bit worried again. He didn't load straight away from the ramp so I decided rather than make him more worried I would walk him on, he stayed on and ate his carrots and I got off carefully and did the barriers up.

Off we went home. Got home to see Maraschino in the middle paddock - he looked up and walked over to us.

Apparently he had called out quite a bit but no bucking and jumping so YAY.
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Saturday, September 5, 2009

Time away

My turn?

The odd thing about today taking Garbo down the road was that Coco kept looking out for us as well.

So off we went up the road leaving the two youngin's behind. Back and forward as soon as Maraschino got a little tense (his tension shows as bucking and chasing Coco!!). He also kept leaning over the gate.

So anyway - off we went and luckily no dogs barking today going past here...

I zoomed in here - Maraschino was trying to eat the tree over the fence!
Garbo saw Wilma about now and decided he was on a mission to go see her (she is way way way in the distance here...)

The road turns into a ridge here so we end up going down hill so are therefore out of sight...

After a bit I convinced Garbo to tear himself away and turn around and head back - look what we saw when we neared the top of the ridge.
I'll zoom in so you can see more clearly....
He was pretty good - no calling out that I could hear...
Another beautiful day today, I put the boys up by the gate for a bit of grass while I did some spraying and then I haltered Maraschino first. Garbo came over and told me he wanted to be first but I explained to him that I needed to do some stuff with Maraschino first so that I could take him for a walk up the road. So - Garbo went off to eat grass. I had to protect Maraschino from him with the rope. We started with Touch it but there wasn't alot to touch so we went to the pedatsal, interestingly enough Coco followed us and gazed on from afar.

I asked him to step onto the pedastal and it took about 15 minutes I guess, nose neck, maybe the feet, then wait. Only asking again when he was not trying.
He let out a huge breath and then took a step on.

He took his foot off again but I waited and then asked him again and he put both feet on but funnily enough not really with any weight.

Check out Coco.

Then we just did some sending up the little hill and back up (along with our Shadow).

Then we stopped. He shook his head after I took the halter off.