Thursday, September 15, 2011

The Big Trot is Back

I took Cruiser on a quick trail ride before dark, and then it was time to work with Cole in the arena. He was so much more consistent than Monday. We warmed up at a walk, and when he went above the bit, I jiggled the rein until he lowered his head. I clicked the first couple times for it, but after he got the idea, I didn’t click anymore. Once I started trotting, he hardly went above the bit, and when he did, I corrected him easily. We practiced and clicked our trot trans--I think 6 times and then he turned into “featherlite trans” horse. Our circles were rounder. There was a cone in the arena, and I used that as a guide. It made it much easier. I just tried to stay a predetermined distance from it as we went around.

I then started to ask him for “more” trot. I clicked him when I got it and started again. After 4-5 times, “more” trot became “big” trot. I clicked him for it a few times right at the beginning, and then it was back—the “super big” trot that we discovered last week. My sister got one brief video of it before he quit doing it for the weekend, and from what I could tell, it looks spectacular. I was clicking him for it for longer and longer durations. Last night, I seemed to have some control over where he was going. He was able to do it on straight-aways and circles. I didn’t do too much of it, because I didn’t want to sour him on it. It is a lot of exertion for both of us.

That being said, I think I like it better where I get it when I ask for it, and not all the time. This way, I can work on other things without getting exhausted. By working on the circles at a regular trot, then he does better on the circles with the “big” trot, etc.

When I asked for the canter, I got a super-duper big trot. He also tried skipping, and once, he just got his legs all tangled, and we had to stop. No cantering last night. I need to do it more down trail so he learns that canter means canter and not just faster—and no skipping. I wish I had video of that. No one saw it, but my sister saw it a few times. This time seemed even more exaggerated than when she saw it. Clicker training makes horses very creative.

We have been doing “back” the last few arena rides, and I think he is understanding it. We tried it early in his career, but it seemed to cause confusion, so I put it aside until now. I have to make a point in doing it every ride.

I never knew arena riding could be so much fun. It won’t be such a long winter this year…


Mary said...

It sounds like he is really coming along. I hope you are still happy with arena work when it's early long as you can mix it up, I imagine you both will enjoy it. That's the hard part though, thinking of new things to do in an arena.

achieve1dream said...

Yay the big trot is back! That must be the video I saw. I wasn't sure when she posted it. :)

I think you're going to have fun with Cole in the arena this winter. I'm excited for you two.

achieve1dream said...

Wow, I'm behind again lol.

Training Cole to work in a dressage frame with clicker is sooooo much better than side reins. Side reins can cause them to brace and/or move behind the vertical. :)

I can't wait to teach it to Chrome, but I'm not going to start lunging him much until he's three. I think I'll be working on under saddle stuff and in hand stuff all at the same time because I want his growth plates in his legs closed before I put him on a circle too much.

I want to teach him everything in hand (canter, frame, lateral movements) before I teach him under saddle. That way he can learn his balance and gain strength before he has to carry me too. It's the plan anyway. I have an in hand classical dressage book that shows how to teach everything in hand. If you're interested it's call Horse Training In-Hand A Modern Guide to Working from the Ground by Ellen Schuthof-Lesmeister and Kip Mistral. :)