Sunday, February 26, 2012

Good day with Flash!

Well, I did a pretty thorough job with the video explaining how it went yesterday. There are a few additional things I wanted to note, though. I got to see my boys a day early because yesterday was really windy and was supposed to rain off and on. Thank goodness for an indoor arena! I was really excited to work with Flash, so I pulled him out first. I decided I wasn't going to do anything he hadn't done successfully before, so we can get back to where we were before I got Snickers and was focusing on him instead of Flash. I groomed him down really well - I think it's so funny when he feels the curry comb where his neck meets his chest, and he arches his head up and out. It seems like he really likes it! I cleaned out his feet, too - I had to pull out the clicker on his back foot, which I did second, and then he was fine for the rest of his feet. We started out with him "posing" - which he did really well! He actually kept his head a little higher, more like a dressage pose (though I don't know much about English and next to nothing about dressage, that's just the best I can describe it), which was really good. After that, we did some leading, reviewed posing for a moment, and then did some "at liberty" leading. He did so well! I'm glad he warmed up to me again so quickly :) We'll have to keep working on those and add one new thing at a time and master it before moving on. We'll do some lunging maybe next time, and then eventually ground driving again - but I can't start that for now anyway since I don't have the cavesson or surcingle yet and probably won't until next week. Hopefully my saddle stand comes soon so I can start leaving my tack at Dusty Acres instead of lugging it around in my car and carrying it to and from the barn.

Snickers did well, though we got a rough start. He was pretty worked up having four days off, especially with how windy it was. He was terrified of the garage door opening and shutting, too. Flash was nervous and backed up some, but Snickers looked terrified out of his mind and was bracing back against the hitching pole. Oh well. We lunged quite a bit and he seemed to be all over the place loping - I slowed the video down today and realized he was cross firing to the left almost constantly. (I made a video just showing this and breaking it down in slow motion to show when and how often he was doing it). I'm pretty sure I know, now what happened when I fell off - I remember he felt really funny, especially on the turns (cross firing), stuttered and I lost my seat (correcting himself), and then stopped when I lost my seat and off I went. It makes a lot of sense now. He did do a lot better under saddle, though. In the video, it doesn't look like he's cross firing at all, though he did pick up the wrong lead now and then. The only major issue we had was when I bridled him. I had the halter clipped around his neck and he threw his head off. He fought it so bad that, when I tried to put it on again, he shook his head out of the halter and was loose in the arena. I caught him pretty easily with a cookie and a lead rope. Then, I used the lead rope over his poll pulling him down and clicker training to keep his head low like we did before. I worked through him lowering his head even when my hands were messing around his ears - that's when he was throwing his head up just like before. In the end I got it on, but I wanted just to get on and ride him out since he hadn't been ridden since Monday, so I didn't really focus on making sure he was good about getting it on and off. I'll have to make sure I leave some time to focus on that soon and get him to where he was. Oh well - it just goes to show how he needs consistent work and practice!

 Working with Flash:

 Working with Snickers (see below for cross firing video):

 Snickers cross-firing:

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