Sunday, March 4, 2012

Vaccination Day!

And a week's worth of riding too...  I may not have done a good job of updating this week, but it's been a really good week with the boys!  Plus, a week isn't TOO far behind lol.

Anyway, like I said, today was vaccination day, and tomorrow they're both getting their feet trimmed.  Doc Woodington came out to Dusty Acres from 11-1 to do anybody who wanted to get their horses done.  I showed up around noon and pulled both the boys out - Snickers wasn't THAT hard to catch, but I'm still using a handful of treats to keep him still while I throw the lead rope over his neck.  I'm not so sure that he doesn't wan't caught - I think it's more of him wanting to keep me in front of him where he can see what's going on and get treats lol.  However, if he realizes I don't have any treats he wants and gets uninterested, then I have to do a little dance to get to his neck because he just wanders away from me and does try to avoid getting caught with minimal effort.  I did some clicker training with getting him to come to me yesterday, so maybe that's why it was easy to catch him today.  Flash, of course, walks right to me once he thinks I'm really coming for him.  Never trotting or loping, just a steady walk and taking his time lol.  Yesterday he walked all the way to the gate as soon as I came in.  Today, though, I had to come half way before he started walking.  Oh well, it's not like it's a huge area.  Plus, once he's with me, he never leaves :)

With Snickers, the focus this week has been on fixing the bridle issue and working into an extended trot.  I did a good clicker training session with him the other day and got him to where he at least wasn't freaking out, though he was still putting up a fuss.  Yesterday he started off really well and we got it to where I could put the bridle on reasonably easily and fuss with his ears in doing so.  One thing that I think helped was loosening up the bridle - not only did it make it less tricky to get the bridle on in the first place with more room to work with, but it looked good at the longer length so I think it may have been a tad too tight.

Snickers collets pretty easily with me now, but we've got to both get used to an extended trot to cover ground fast for endurance :)  The first day I decided to work on that, there was a guy out there with an English saddle that was friendly, so I asked him about an extended trot.  He explained it to me and told me to work on transitions within the gait to get it from Snickers by collecting on the corners and extending down the side of the arena.  Every now and then his movement got quite a bit bigger and I could really feel the difference on top of him, so I think that's him getting into an extended trot.  Yesterday I brought the camcorder, but I can't really see much. I'll have to just work on it more until I can get the other endurance lady out there, Sandy (who I met at the SWIT&DR banquet and then ran into the night I was working on Snickers accepting the bridle), or something like that to watch me ride and let me know what I need to do still.  Yesterday, we started doing the extended trot across the arena in a diagonal, making a sort of figure 8.  That seemed to work pretty well, especially since I wasn't battling him trying to shy away from the side of the arena where all the other horses and stuff are that he gets nervous about sometimes.  The rides have felt pretty good and I love the leggings Shelly sold me :)  They're so warm and comfortable!  I'm figuring out the half chaps a little more too so they don't rub on me.

Flash has been doing good too, though we've mostly been having fun haha.   We did a little lunging work, particularly to get him to pick up directional cues when I point and switch hands with the lunge whip.  We've also done a lot of liberty leading, and he started loping after me one time!  So now we do liberty leading at a walk, trot, and lope.  It's pretty sweet :)  My surcingle came in the mail, so I thought I'd give it a shot with Flash yesterday.  It was a tad bit big, but the straps were nylon so I just tied a knot in each one and that took it in enough to fit him.  I didn't get it as snug as I would have liked (or could have done actually), because Flash was moving around a bit when I put it on.  I ran the long lines through the holes and clipped them to his halter - I hope my cavesson comes soon because that will make it a bit easier.  At first he reacted the same way he did with the bridle, backing up and tossing his head a little bit.  However, since he didn't have a bit pulling on his mouth, he settled down.  First we did some flexing, which he figured out pretty quick.  It was a little harder to get him to move forward and then turn, but he was beginning to get it last night so we stopped there :)

So overall, it was a very productive and good week!  I started talking to the lady in Texas whose blog I follow and she's (kind of) doing endurance.  She has the same GPS as I do, so she explained to me how to set it up for conditioning.  It does some awesome stuff - way more than I thought it tracked! I got my trip computer page set up so I can start using it on my next ride.  Now I can start logging my miles for 2012!

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