Friday, February 4, 2011

Thursday Night's Rides

Woo Hoo! I got to ride by myself last night. By the time I was saddled up, there wasn’t a boarder in sight, and I never did see one the rest of the night.

I skipped lounging altogether, and brought Cole right into the arena. As I led him about, one of the horses decided to tear his stall down. I just stood there while Cole danced and bucked. Once he quit acting up whenever he heard a noise and stood quietly, I clicked him. He stayed calm after that, so maybe the clicking helped. Finally the horse quit, and I could ride.

We started out so good, I decided today would be the day we tackled full laps for real. I know he just needs to do them for 10-15 minutes and I may never have a problem, again. It just seems that something always gets in the way of this project—like other boarders.

I decided to try the harder direction, first. We made it to the bad corner, and wouldn’t you know it, he spooked. I spun him into that corner, and he stopped. That is just what I didn’t need.

I changed my plan. Instead of full laps, we would do circles on the far end. That way, we could work on going through the corners, but I would have more control. Previously, whenever we did anything on that side at a trot, he would go above the bit and act unfocused—trying to go wherever he pleased. It didn’t take long, with the help of clicker reinforcing him when he got it right, for him to lower his head and take contact with the bit. Soon, he was acting nearly as well as he does on our usual end of the arena.

When I tried to go on the wall, he still got goofy, but I feel we made progress.

This weekend, I won’t be riding on my own, because at minimum, my sister will be riding Ranger with us. I hope to at least do more circles on that end.

Cruiser did a little better. We trotted about 3 minutes, and he is starting to relax counter clockwise. There was no improvement clockwise at a trot, so I didn’t push it. He did do much better at the walk in that direction. He just needs the trail… I think our arena days may be over. He used to do so well, too. I am working on accepting that nothing stays the same, and change is the price of having a horse grow old with you.

1 comment:

achieve1dream said...

Change is hard . . . but necessary.

I'm glad Cole settled in and was good. I wonder why he spooked again. I guess because of the crazy horse thrashing around in his stall. I hate when they do that lol. My trainer had a horse that knew how to lift his door off the stall lol. She had to tie it with haystrings. :)