Sunday, November 28, 2010

Golden Horse Show

We had an early start and planned to start loading at 7.30am, to get to the show for the 9.30am start.
We started loading about 7.45 and both boys were on and we were off by 8am. They travelled really well - it was awesome being able to see them on my new float cam - that my hubby installed for me (a Christmas present from 2 years ago we had not used yet)... it's so nice to see Garbo so relaxed travelling - never knew he was quite that relaxed! Hopefully his calmness will rub off on Maraschino.

He was a little more worried and pooed everywhere, managing to flick it with his tail bits of poop ended up on; Garbo's ear, the roof of the float, the wall in front of him and the tack box.

Maraschino soon calmed down once we got there even though there were so many floats and horses and all kinds of people there. With the help of my friends Jane and Michelle the boys and I were ready in time and all calm.

Garbo made friends quickly, as usual, a little girl in pink came up to me and asked if she could pat my horse. I said which one? She said the pretty one and pointed at Garbo.

Unfortunately the two rings they were entered in were not next to each other and seperated by trees and yards, and about 50m I guess. So the calling to each other started quite soon on. In hindsight it would have been better to get Garbo to just stand on the edge of the Paint ring for Maraschino - but hindsight is not called that for nothing is it.

Maraschino and I got through three classes - they were huge - I have never seen so many paints all in one spot. He was so good I decided the best thing (since it was his first ever outing) was to leave it at that and head home (after a relax back at the float).

I gave them some food and they were very happy eating grass.

All in all a great day - even if we didn't stay for the whole thing. I didn't want to agitate Maraschino too much by separating him and Garbo with so much else going on.

They travelled well again on the way home and off they got into a new paddock of grass.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Lesson with Jackie

Had a very brief lesson with Jackie Chant today - it was supposed to originally be a one day clinic - but due to not enough people (and a three day clinic on the weekend before down south Auckland), it was changed to lessons... anyway - with the float being returned and the lesson having to be here instead - coupled with someone else wanting a lesson before me at the last minute, my 3-4 hour lesson ended up being just over 1.5 hours. But - the results were awesome.

Garbo was cantering point to point and in circles round the point to point on the 45ft line!!!!! I was so happy and it was actually very simple... I was (as I had suspected) being too boring and needed to be more provocative...I just wasn't entirely sure how? But Jackie suggested initially just driving him on the 45ft to the barrel and rest, then in a circle and back to the barrel and rest, then add another barrel, circle, travelling - to next barrel and rest. Voila!!!!

We added a couple of jump stands on another part for him to trot/canter through, and a trot pole (which he jumped over lol).... he was having so much fun!

Then she said he 'got that' so to change the rules of the game - ie go past that barrel and stop at the other, go inside that one outside this one, stop here or there, but not the same both times.

Then - we did sideways from one barrel to the other - he got it on the 2nd time, half way along and you could see the lightbulb go off.... Jackie said this would lead to him going sideways to the barrel as they were our focus points.

Then we did sideways from Zone 1 - haven't done that before...

So lots to ponder on and practise... she said I need to put everything in a different place every time I play!! That'll keep me fit!

Thanks for organising everything Jane and for looking after and playing with Mr M.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

and then there were two - on

Maraschino is such a brave boy - I had the personal access door open and we took him round to the back of the float and he just got on while Michelle and I were chatting! Then suddenly the catch failed on the personal access door and it slammed shut in the wind. He hurried off backwards - poor wee thing... well not so wee...

He and Garbo had a bath yesterday and I spent hours combing out the knots in the tails and manes and trimming them up for the show on Sunday.

Anyway - Michelle showed Maraschino how to porcupine over when in the float and we managed to get him on again calmly - and over! So after a few goes at that (he needed to know that we or things might touch him in all areas - and that he didn't need to jump)... we did the divider up with him in Garbo's spot.

Then I got Garbo and he went on just fine - the blimmen door slammed again and Garbo didn't care because there was an apple in sight.!

We tried to get Maraschino in the 2nd space and it didn't seem possible. So off they both came and we put Maraschino in spot one and I tried to convince Garbo to go in spot 2 - well I could get him in there backwards!! But the way he looked at me was like - there's just not enough room and ANYWAY this isn't MY spot.!! In the way a Left Brain does!

So handy hubby George came to the rescue and drilled out the next hole along for the dividers (it was too small) and we moved the divider between them, up one notch - meaning Garbo was snug but good.

Then we got Maraschino on too! And the dividers done up.... then suddenly Garbo leaned on the middle one and it came undone and pushed on Maraschino - who was locked in so couldn't go anywhere - he jumped... but stayed calm... phew... we got them both off relatively calmly and left at that for the day.

At least Maraschino fits!!

I have just sent an email to the Float manufacturer asking if they can come and collect, repair and get back to me by Saturday!! Fingers crossed. When Garbo leans on the divider the catch fails basically. Thank good news is we found out now and not on travels somewhere.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

The new float - dahdahdadaaaaaaahhh

So Garbo got on after a few asks... and a bit of a smell and some carrots..... the float wiggles around a bit more than the other one so he has some new things to get used to... or is that just me making excuses?

The 2nd day, I took Maraschino there too to see if I could tell if he was going to fit in spot #2, and after getting Maraschino in but not turned on an angle George took him round the side of the float and Garbo panicked - must have pushed against the divider, I must not have done it up completely - the divider opened and off Garbo came backwards at a huge rate of knots!

So I loaded him again and asked him off backwards slowly - he was still a bit 'up' so I backed him on to the 2nd spot - for some reason backing in to the float was always so difficult for him, but with some assertiveness from my part I find that if he succeeds he gains confidence.

So - at least I know Maraschino will fit!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Waiting for the Right Brain

I heard Linda talking about Horsenalities on the last Audio CD and as usual I was riveted. It was so interesting how she developed the concept and tested it out.

She was saying a lady gave her some feedback after getting her report on her RBI. She hadn't realised how much she needed to wait. She asked for send and waited, waited, waited... until finally the horse let out a big breath and moved.

So I decided to do a little experimenting with this with Maraschino. On asking him through the barrels I waited (but my send arm got sore after 5 minutes lol)... but I think generally he really appreciated the extra time before lifting the carrot stick.

I am making great progress with Maraschino - he's now trotting and cantering on the circle on the 22ft and yesterday we did our first successful change of direction at trot.

I've been float training him every day too...

Day 1. Sniff the float all over and find surprise carrots, put foot on ramp for carrot.
Day 2. Put two feet on ramp for carrot, rest on ramp. Then finish.
Day 3. Four feet on ramp and lead into float for carrots... with Garbo in there.
Day 4. Send in to float with me outside - to find carrots - goes half way in
Day 5. Lead into float to find bucket of grain at front (no Garbo).
Day 6. (today)... send into float from ramp to find bucket of grain (well not a whole bucket full but you get the picture)...

Plan for next 2 days...

moving hind quarters over, doing up dividers, doors closed, short drive. Yikes. Lesson with Jackie with both boys off the property on Tuesday. I have asked if it all turns to custard can we do the lesson here.

Liberty Lovely.

Oh my goodness... I got some lovely liberty trot circles on the edge of the round pen today from Garbo - first time ever!!!!!

I hadn't tried much liberty lately but until now I have never tried liberty apart from in a large arena or a large paddock!! He's never had the security of the round pen, either online or at liberty. I heard LInda say it's nice to use the round pen as they have a boundary initially - and I have just realised what a help it can be. Hmmmmm.

Also - I added some barrels.... and Garbo could not stop playing with them so my hunch was right - he was bored. The 7 games were becoming the 7 tortures!

I am so busy focussing on the fact that he has never really done nice relaxed many laps at canter on the 22+ circle that I forgot to add obstacles in as well.

So initially I made a small gap between the two - we are leading up to jumping the barrels - they are quite tall as you can see. Garbo stopped and moved them with his nose - everytime. And you know it kept him out on the circle because they were by the railing. I worked on getting him to go through them without pausing LOL - that was a challenge in itself - as it was obviously too much fun moving them round. He really is so much more confident with some things now.

Then I took the rope off and I got the most gorgeous relaxed trot circles on the 30ft point, at liberty that I have ever had. Boy I was pleased. I even did a successful change of direction (after two attempts) at liberty!

Clever boy.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

New float

Well my new float arrived yesterday - well I towed it home (just over an hour)... and today Garbo went in it on about the third ask, after having a good sniff and some carrots. And then I took maraschino to see it... he got 2 feet on the ramp and we just waited there for a bit.... had some carrots and then left it there.

I have a lesson away from home with them both next Tuesday so I am really trying hard not to put pressure on Maraschino to load by then.

Then a few days later we are all going o a show... (inhand).

Practising every day - car permanently hooked up to float for now...

I'll take some photos tomorrow.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Ride, Lead, Play

Mum was staying this week and before she left I decided to ride Garbo again. I stuck the bareback pad an Cherokee bridle on Maraschino and took him in there too.

The round pen is nice and smooth (ish) now.

Garbo was nappy again and wanting to be by the round pen gate all the time or going over to Mum who was sitting on the tire outside the pen all the time (to say hi).

At first when we led Maraschino online - and I asked for trot Garbo did a buck and Maraschino got a fright and pulled back - the rope pulled out of my hands and catapulted over Maraschinos head!! He was not amused at all! He stood in the middle with the rope over his neck while I kept on with Garbo and let him think about it all.

I managed to get a few laps at trot from Garbo doing lots of transitions. Then after 10 minutes we picked up Maraschino again and did a couple more laps of follow the rail, before I got off.

Then I just left Garbo in the round pen while I had a go at leaning on Maraschino, he was so calm it was very tempting to get on after all my weight was on him - but I thought better and decided to wait till a Parelli friend was on hand.

So after a bit of that I let Maraschino loose and took Garbo's saddle off. I asked for a circle and he was doing the 'whatever' face so I tagged the area behind him and boy did he move - he was galloping! Round and round the pen (oh btw it was at liberty!!). He kept sneaking in still which must be really hard at gallop!! So I pushed him out and he bucked and snorted. I asked him in and then sent him the other way... same again - crazy fast!! This carried on for 10 minutes I suppose, till finally I got a nice canter. Then I stopped. He was very unsure at the end and was hiding his head in me. It will be interesting to see what he's like next time.

Photos to come... Mum took some!!

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Quick Ride on Garbo

This afternoon I had a quick ride on Garbo and played with both the boys, I was quite impressed how I fitted all that in as well as work! I had to make my staff member redundant so it's up to me now to do it all.... and fit in the horses and everything else - wish me luck!!

Garbo didn't like being ridden in the round pen it was all puggy from winter - so I have asked Tim to come and rip it which is like major harrowing. I don't really need to put the surface down till next year.

So we went into the paddock and all he really wanted to do was go back to the barn at canter! I kept on persisting and asking him back away from the barn, to the tire, to the jump etc - but got off after a short while as I could feel it was escalating into a battle of wills. I think it was mainly he was bored, and I had not planned anything specific. My bad.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Maraschino's first ride

It was a bit chilly till the wind died down but we made some great progress with Maraschino.

I put the rhythm beads on him, the cherokee bridle and the bareback pad - all without any reaction from him. The jingle bells are a bit loud for him sometimes as they go over his ears but he was really good.

I had a play with him, we did some walking on the tarp, backed up onto the tarp, looked at the barrel and the cows, and then some circle in trot and canter, and I got two trot circles!

He did a nice squeeze in between the tire and the round pen and Michelle started by just leaning on him, then jumping up next to him - all of which he was fine with because I've done all that with him right from day one practically. The only glitch we had was the end of the savvy string came loose and flicked him in the eye so we took it off after he over-reacted a little, and then didn't swing ropes over his head - just not today. We didn't want to stress him out.

So then I was charged with having him online basically while Michelle got on and took turns putting her knees up and rubbing him etc, he moved forward the first time, but I positioned him again after going 360 round the tire and after that he was fine. She was armed with carrots so every time he looked round at her he got a carrot which he thought was pretty cool.

So it wasn't too long before she was able to get her leg over and sit up - literally about 10 minutes. And she sat there for a while and rubbed him, gave him carrots etc.

Then it was my job to move him in a way that everyone would be safe, since Michelle didn't have reins. I moved him forward then immediately stopped him by lifting the rope and moving his HQ over.

All he really did was stumble a little, trying to get his balance and figure out how to move forward with Michelle on top. Then when stopped he looked round at her shoes which looked very much like carrots in all fairness.

We walked forward again, then stopped after a few steps and repeated that a few times, went backwards, and then Michelle got off, then back on again and by this stage he was walking out with me with his head down and relaxed and he licked and chewed.

Then Michelle had a go with the rope at directing him forward, left and right - and he was so soft and so responsive!

Just like that!!!!!!! How cool is that...

Here's the money shot!

Thanks Michelle. xx