Sunday, November 1, 2009
45ft round pen
I am not really sure why I have not done more of this in L1/2 but I guess it was because I was grazing elsewhere and the yard owners wouldn't really like me setting it up, and then last summer I forgot all about doing it. Just before winter this year I set up a 50ft round pen and it was great - and really the first time we had done online in a round pen.
So today I set it up again but made it 90ft diameter (45ft from middle all round - radius)... and started with some online on the 45ft. he actually stayed out quite well on the end for most of the time. I tried a change of direction - he started to come in instead but we got there in the end, that rope is a bit of a handful for that.
Then I took the rope off for some liberty. He circled really well to the left, but not so good to the right - he tried to change directions (facing the outside) so I tagged him and he tried to tag me with his hoof. Didn't get me though. That got him trotting around the circle. When he did a nice one I asked him in - he cantered in with such a sweet look on his face - really too hard to resist - gave him a treat.
Then we did some stick to me - interestingly enough he is really good at mirroring me when I am on the near side but he is less confident with me on the far side so I will work on that. We did walk trot, stop, back up, sideways, and canter at stick to me. He gets a little close with his shoulder sometimes but I am getting better at keeping him in check.
We ended with some undemanding time in the pen while he ate grass.
About then the people that were picking up some horse manure arrived so I left Garbo in the pen while I went to see them.
After that I lugged my saddle, saddle pad, helmet and saddle blanket into the round pen (oh and the mounting stool - all in one trip!)... and saddled up.
It's really the first time we have ridden in a round pen (we did lots of passenger lesson in a square pen) - it was actually pretty cool - and good that I made it bigger too.
We concentrated today on follow the rail adding in transitions and turns, just to really get Garbo into the pattern in the round pen. Every now and again he would cut a 'corner' but most of the time he was pretty good. As you can see in the video - on the spooky side of the paddock (pen) he has his ears pricked and his body curved the wrong way (out) so I intend to do alot of this until that gets better.
The good thing was I felt totally 100% safe in there. We even did some canter. That's the next challenge - canter on the rail. Russell told me not to do it with him yet but I am going to. We both need it.
I spent some of the time practising the new postures and standing up in the saddle. My crotch ends up over my pommel while standing so me thinks I must be leaning forward....
So - here's the video of some trot and walk, following the rail (mostly).
The last two circles we did he relaxed and did a lovely slow trot - so I ended it there.