Monday, July 1, 2013

Team Work

We have had so much rain, that the river was too high to cross from Wednesday until Sunday. Even on Sunday, it was too high for new horses and fragile horses. I spent a lot of time going up and down the hill to the river! I was able to trot Cole up the hill twice in a row. Usually, he is too excited to do the second trip, quietly. That was an accomplishment.

Sunday, we took Ranger and Cole on a very nice, but uneventful ride.

So, now what everyone has been waiting for:

The Dante Report.

Ellen worked him in the arena last week. He was giving her some trouble when she would circle him near the barn entrance. He would fight to go to the door. She was getting very frustrated. On Saturday, she worked with him away from the barn door—getting closer and clicking him when he mad the turn correctly. We then took him down the hill to the river and he was terrific.

On Sunday, my sister did even better, but still she couldn’t get very close. Than, she offered to let me ride him. Right away, he tried to get to the door as we walked by. Having ridden Cole Train for the last 3 winters in the arena, I have developed a very strong seat—you need it with his huge trot. Dante has a normal trot, and it is so pleasant. I called my strong seat out of winter storage, and we started with some circles in the direction that he behaves perfectly. I did a small one fairly close to the door, and then switched directions and took him right around the corner that Ellen hasn’t been able to trot because of his behavior. It worked! He didn’t expect it, and trotted right through. I clicked him for it.

I then was ready to do it the regular way. I had suspicions that Ellen was floating her outside seat bone on the corner and Dante was walking through the door she left open. (Happens all the time to us right handed—and I worked really hard to get control of mine.) I trotted him down the wall. As we got a closer, I lightly vibrated the inside rein as a very crude half halt and a way to prepare him to bend. When we got the corner, I glued that outside seat bone into position (slightly behind the inside) and placed my outside leg back and lightly on his side. He glided around the corner like a champ. I clicked him.

We did it a few more times. He was giving me a lovely bend and not fighting in the least. I explained it to Ellen, and she gave it a try—he was perfect. She immediately quit, and we went down the hill—where he was perfect. I think she will be fine on her own, now.

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