Thursday, September 30, 2010

Spring day finally

Oh my goodness it's been lovely this week - it was 22 degrees today...

I went to Woodhill Sands again with Garbo - took my bareback pad just in case, my 45, 22, and 12ft lines, carrot stick... just as well I have a Parelli bag!

He loaded well - 3/10 - and unloaded about the same not too bad - actually, I am being harsh it was 4/10. He still starts backing before I ask.

So - the things going on there were amazing - and once I would have though Uh oh - but today I though Oh Boy. There was a tractor moving big cross country jumps all over the place, the local farmer came down on his quad bike yelling at the trailing dogs to "get in behind" - for you overseas readers that's a Kiwi saying farmers use to tell their dogs to get behind them and behave. There was harrowing in the arenas, a lady giving her daughter who was about 8, a lesson on a pony - jumping... and then Bronwyn arrived with Rose - a pretty mare who Garbo loved instantly - of course.

So cast your memory back (those of you who knew me that long ago) to 3.5 years ago, pre-Parelli, at the same grounds, at a Ribbon Day... Garbo on edge, me not really being able to tell, but knowing enough to be nervous, on anyway, Garbo bucking on the spot non stop as soon as all the other horses started trotting in the same ring. So I hadn't ridden him here since apart from a short ride on the path to the carpark.... not in the huge arenas. It's really just a huge sand area that could fit about 50 dressage arenas in.

So - started online - 12 foot, and worked on getting him to stay looking inwards on the circle at walk. Then stopping as a reward if he did. He's slowly getting better. Then we did some transitions with the carrot stick along the fence, also improving - unless we are heading towards the pretty mare called Rose of course. He was a little wary of the tractor but I did lots of yo yo with my back to the tractor so he felt like he could see it and could move away, and back - approach and retreat in a way.

Then I got him to back through the middle of two poles, facing the tractor and back to tractor.

He wasn't 100% listening to me so I did some Falling Leaf - as Pat says practice what you are not good at.... I had to be assertive to get him to move in time so he didn't walk or trot through the carrot stick - in the end he was doing turns on the HQ with front feet off ground!

About an hour had passed - yes I know!! and I felt he was ready for me to get on briefly. I took him to the large cross country jump to get on bareback - he stayed next to it so nicely - about a 6/10, and I hopped on. We walked back to Rose and Bronwyn and he was very calm.

I asked him to walk away and go to the fence which was about 50m away I guess.. he got about 10m and he felt he needed to go back to Rose. He did that a few times. Remembering Linda's blog about Crest I decided just to let him stay within his comfort zone today - and I just let him graze happily and then got off.

I think that was the right thing to do - considering every other time I have ridden him there it's been in a pretty stressful environment, plus I was nervous then too.... and I think this is Step 1 in our goal to be calm in company and at shows etc... (riding)... oh yeah and BAREBACK in a halter !!! LOL

Coming home - we had been away 3 hours - Maraschino was fine and Garbo unloaded very fast - so I led him on again, he charged off, on again, he rushed off, so - I decided to back him into it! Twice. That really made him think! Calmed him down too - so we'll see what that does for next time.

Other news - Maraschino's entered into the Golden Horse Ribbon Day (inhand) on Nov 28 - in the Pinto/Paint/Appaloosa ring. I've ordered a western outfit to wear!! Yay. It'll be his first show but I know he'll be fine. We'll go somewhere a few times first...


Cilla said...

Yeehaw cowgirl! Go you! Enjoy the in hand show xxx

Parelli Central said...

Really enjoyed reading your blog, Vicky. Sounds like you had a fabulous day with Garbo..
Keep up the good play!

Petra Christensen
Parelli 2Star Junior Trainee Instructor
Parelli Central

Twinnie said...

Well done Vicki!! Great progress.

(Oh and I am pleased to say I have met Petra - and her gorgeous mare Cash that my room mate Sophie loaned...)


Vicki said...

Thanks everyone... it felt good to get over another hurdle without being nervous