Friday, May 22, 2009

Rode E Oh

I really need to post some updated pictures. Zee is so big now. She is doing so many big girl things too! She has learned to target my hand and her halter and fly mask for scratches. I learned this technique from watching a YouTube video. It works really well. She is willing to follow my hand (as the target) around the arena for scratches. She thinks it's the neatest thing to do something and get a click and a reward. Hopefully, I will remember the camera for tomorrow!

I have been working Drifter in the round pen, despite the large cut on her leg. She has been sound on it the whole time- she's a tough girl. I have worked her with and without saddle, with bridle and the Shrake Rhythm Collector- to help her balance and rebuild those back muscles. She's been pretty good about staying focused on work and not on Zee. Today was the first ride on her since the foal. She started out really good-standing still for a ground mount. Then walking several times around the round pen quietly. One our fourth or so time around she stopped to look at Zee and I urged her on with my legs- she EXPLODED into a bucking fit around the round pen. I was so shocked and startled the most I could do was focus to keep my seat. After the first three bucks I remembered that I didn't have to steer much, just keep her head up and get her stopped. She did stop and I worked her on some very small turns and circles for a few minutes. We did go back to walking in both directions around the round pen, but with me in a very defensive riding position. I dismounted and then worked her at trot and canter from the ground. Naughty mamma.

I plan to ride again tomorrow, just to reinforce the "back to work" time.

These pictures are from 5/9/09. She still looks little in these. These are of the girls with their fly masks on to protect their pink little noses!

Friday, May 8, 2009

Updates on Drifter and Zee

Zee first: She is doing better with wearing her halter and fly mask- although she has also learned to take off her fly mask. I have started teaching her to give to pressure using a lead rope around her body (NOT on the halter). She got the concept really quickly as I paired it with a tongue click and scratches. I just need a longer rope to do some more refined work. She is still spunky and really enjoys turnout time.

Drifter: I separated her from Zee for the first time on Tuesday to work her in the round pen. She did pretty well after being a bit upset at first. After 10 minutes she began to settle and listen to voice commands for walk, trot and halt. It's a bit like starting over in a way :-(
On Thursday, she somehow got her hind legs hung up on the stall door and ripped a whole into her left hind- so we are now treating that with cleaning, dressing and wrapping it. Hopefully, this will not delay her return to "work".

Last time I had a mare with foal at side I was not concerned about training or getting them back into a training routine. I also had all my horses right at home, so a lot of training happened naturally. Now, I have to schedule time to go to the barn and it's a lot harder then I expected to do all I want to do. I am trying to keep an open perspective on the whole thing, but like many people I feel I am always looking for a few more hours in the day.