Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Bareback again

Doesn't Bronwyn look happy - so does Critey.

It's been a while since I rode bareback so today I thought I would. It was all a bit of a rush getting to Jool's on time - I had to go and buy some apples and carrots and on the way three loose cattle were at the end of our road, and about to walk onto State Highway 16, drove back up the road to ask Stanley if they were his, he said they were the people at the end of the road, they were out - luckily just then I think someone from the council arrived and we were able to leave them to it.

So when I got home Garbo was lying down asleep - but hooking the float up woke him up but he was dragging his feet a bit - a bit tired from Monday's ride most likely. I waited until it was his idea to walk forwards again and then loaded him straight on the float basically.

Gave Maraschino a handful of grass and off we went.

Bronwyn came too and she rode bareback too - next time I am going to lend her my spare hackamore. We had a great time.

We did some liberty afterwards and got a nice back up (first ever) at liberty so I was pretty pleased with that.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Forest ride

It was so windy today that when I got the float out Garbo started chasing the others. I wonder if it's excitement - he seems to do that quite often when he sees me get the float out (or worse still after getting the float out that I might hater Maraschino first!).

My plan was (for a 12.30pm ride) to play with Maraschino after grooming Garbo, and then leave. Well - I soon realised while grooming Garbo the wind was spooking him alot. His head was high, he couldn't stand still, and when I tried to put him in his yard he tried to jump out when I walked away to get Maraschino - so change of plan!

I realised I needed to actually play with Garbo to calm him down before loading and that I quickly needed him to realise it was ok (because he was with me). So we did some Figure 8! I figured the change of direction would get him thinking again. Then we did some fast circles.!

Luckily over by the float the house was acting as a wind shelter so loading was fine and off we went.

At the beginning of the ride Garbo went off on his own little cross county course - he is so funny.

Garbo was great - at one stage he did try to get in front of Critey, and I did some partial disengagement (if any dressage queens had of seen what we were doing without a bit they would have been green with envy) - Garbo looked amazing - and he calmed down a bit. Then again near the end when the track was really narrow he started trying to bite Critey's bum again so I asked Bronwyn if Critey could perhaps walk faster?? Garbo doesn't like to dawdle! That fixed it! He was happy then. We could hear the wind high in the trees above us but it was calm in there. Nice!

Afterwards he had a big roll in the sand and off we went home again (after nearly a whole hay bag before and after the ride). When we drove down the road I could see Maraschino and Coco eating happily in the middle (and not close to the gate) - Maraschino had only called out about twice (having grass probably helps!).

Oh - I tried out my new iPhone trail app - we went 3.9km and average speed was 3.5 km/p/h. 55 minutes!

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Circle game update

Ok - so this is what we have been working on.... staying out, backing up nicely - amazing what a treat at the end of the back up will do - he now offers to back up! AND - he doesn't run back in when I turn to walk back to the end of the rope. Yay.

And - staying out - not really staying in canter for much - but you know - he does half a lap each time... guess he needs to get fit hey. He also still curves his body the wrong way (in) especially on the right rein.

This video really makes me laugh.

Level 3 Online Video

I haven't put this up on You Tube because I don't want to take the music off....

Garbo had fallen over two days previous so his canter was a little stiff and he didn't stay in gait hence the more driving than normal in the Circle game.

Anyway - I have sent it off..

Fingers crossed.

ps our circle game has improved alot since this video.... and our back up - it's back to being nice and polite and subtle. Funny how they yo-yo. Actually I look at this now - only 4 weeks ago and cringe at my 'barking' ! Yikes!

Ok - my critique (4 weeks on)..... too higher phases needed on yo-yo, didn't maintain gait in canter, didn't stay out on canter, sideways could have been straighter..... rest ok - actually the lead by tail and leg very good. :-)

Monday, March 22, 2010

Falling leaf finally

I re-watched Linda's Savvy Club DVD 35 on falling leaf, then again without sound, and headed out to practise. She does it the way I was trying to do it - and doesn't disengage the HQ's the way Russell showed me and it looks much easier.

So we did some circle first and we used the pole and he stayed in trot, went up to canter when asked but the most he got was 3/4 of a lap but then would go up a transition again when I asked, and we did this for about 10 laps all up I guess. Got to be making him fitter if nothing else!

I managed to get him to stay out on the 22ft too. And keep going over the pole. And the changes of directions therefore were also good being that he was out further. We have come a long way in the last few weeks. I kept on with my plan of rewarding him while he is out.

Then I tried the falling leaf - and I got it! In a very basic form - and I had to bump him if he went past me a couple of times but he stayed away from me and I managed to get the changes of directions on both sides quite well.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Staying out

Our yo yo out had become a little fuzzy - Garbo was taking it as phase one of the circle game so once a little way out he would go crooked and then head off in the direction he thought I was going to send him. It was quite funny deciding which way I would send him and have him guess.... he usually got it wrong but he tries so hard to get it right.

So today we worked on backing out - then I would drop the rope and walk to him and give him a treat, then I would back back holding my finger up so he wouldn't follow me in, and then either ask him in or send him on a circle. Then I would stop him on the circle (this aid is still unclear even to me to be honest) and walk to him and give him a treat.

If he caem in I would scratch him but no treats.

Boy did he get it quick!

At one stage I was walking back in (it got to a point where I could turn my back and walk away without him following me back) and I would look at him and he was backing away even further.

What a clever boy.

Still not alot of luck with the cantering circles - but we are getting there - well working towards it slowly anyway.

I am trying to achieve it without getting him stressed, or even harder, without him getting confused.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Lesson with Russell Higgins PP

I had a lesson booked with Russell for 5/5.30pm tonight and at 5pm I got a call saying he was running late. He had only just left the lady who had the other lessons.... and that was a good 2.5 hours away in peak traffic (not so much in normal traffic) but at 5 o'clock - heck I even avoid that stretch at all costs, at that time of the day.

I was already at Jool's so I saddled Garbo up (he was more than happy eating the arena grass for 3 hours!) and had a short ride. He was a bit distracted - we have never ridden much at 6pm before... Russell arrived at 6.50pm - and lately it's been getting dark at 7.45pm so we didn't have a lot of time (so much for a two hour lesson).

He asked me if I had a list - I didn't really but I wanted to work on Garbo's canter on the circle. He keeps in real close which makes it really difficult for him, then he turns to the outside instead of the inside! Making it triply hard!

As suspected, Russell suggested I do falling leaf. He seems to love that, as well as bow ties with riding. I tried but could not get my hands co-ordinated to pass the handle end of the carrot stick only under the rope (without changing the direction the carrot stick is facing).. so Russell offered to be the horse, and after one length of the arena I kind of had it - but a Russell Horse is 1000 times slower than Garbo and trying in real life with Garbo just resulted in Garbo crowding me and me trying to block him going past me with the carrot stick, which in turn made him canter - so reduced my time even more.

Russell had a go while I was doing something with the savvy string, just with the 22ft rope and basically threw the end and the coils of the 22ft towards Garbo and jumping at Zone 2... Garbo just about had a freak and of course - cantered on the 22ft a few laps - but to me it was not calm at all. Guessing that comes - but from then on Garbo was hiding from Russell, behind me and not letting Russell into his space at all.

By now it was dark - after having a break with some sideways refining, and we packed up. Garbo was a real star and loaded into a pitch black float, in a pitch black paddock - and it was so dark I didn't realise the personal access door and the tack box door were open - so they had been swinging open on and off the whole way (in reality most likely only on the downhill bit of our road and Jool's driveway).

Russell had suggested I reward Garbo for cantering on the circle by getting him to canter in to me while he was still in canter (not after he goes back into trot), but talking with my friend who has seen us together since we started Parelli - said that he has always loved coming in to me, so perhaps now it's time to start rewarding him for staying out - and stopping him on the circle, and not bringing him in, but go to him with the reward.

What a great idea!

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Three horses to play with now

We had my brother and his wife coming for dinner and I had two hours to play with three horses, pick up three horses poos, feed them and have a shower, cut up fruit for the fruit platter and get the potatoes, beans and snapper ready for cooking. I did it in 2.5 hours - luckily they were 30 minutes late!

So first was Maraschino - he has a habit of chewing on the carrot stick at each rest period, and this photo shows him just after he was chewing it and he dropped it!

Anyway - he does the most lovely circle and bends in on the circle, eye on me at all times, and we even did some change of direction at walk today too. We started with transitions with the carrot stick today and also a bit of driving from Zone 3. Plus friendly game of course, and lots of waiting for my RBI.

Then I played a little with Garbo - just on backing at phase one again (without head up) and staying at trot on the circle. It was just a brief play.

Then while I had Garbo in his yard and Maraschino tied up in the wash bay I haltered Coco and tied the halter up quite high this time. In between scratching the scratchy spots!

He was a bit frightened with me being anywhere less except in front of Zone 1 when I have the stick and or rope. He was even quite scared during yo you - so I had a brain wave - I got Maraschino back out and did them together, just some leading and then some yo yo - this seemed to increase Coco's confidence alot.

After I took the halter off I made sure he didn't rush off, and scratched him - it's like the pay off - the scratches - he loves them so much - he almost agrees to anything lol.

How's that for puzzle solving!!??

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Major breakthrough

Coco is such a brave little guy - he has been backing up to us for scratches and getting braver with his front end too. Yesterday we brushed all of them (the big boys tied up and Coco loose) and while the big guys were still tied I played a round a bit more with the halter over Coco's neck (after being on his back no problems) and I timed it so that I would move it and just as he thought about stepping away I would itch under his tummy on his itchy spot - and he would wait.... kept doing this for a while and then put the halter on his nose and held the ends while I itched some more, then let go, itched some more - did that about three times, then did the knot up... he was a little jumpy but not too bad.

So off we went!! We just had a little lead up the paddock, a teeny yo yo and lots of carrots and back for halter off and more scratches (and an apple)....

Today the halter slipped down too far down his nose and he got a bit scared, so I need to make it smaller...

Cool huh!!