Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Ground Work Lesson Day 4:



Ground Work Lesson Day 4:

I rode Cole in the indoor arena for a half hour. The thermometer said it was only 20 degrees—which isn’t bad for me, but it turned Cole into a frisky colt. He was like riding a stick of TNT—very volatile. We didn’t get much accomplished other than reinforcing “whoa” and convincing him that bolting to the doorway wasn’t a good idea. We did get some very elevated trotting!

I was more than ready to dismount and work on our ground work. First, we reviewed move forward from light tap on the hock and croup on both sides. He is now a champ with that. It was time to focus walking small circles. I think the exercise is for teaching a bend on command and lightness with the reins. You aren’t supposed to force him into the circle but guide lightly. This is a step to get us prepared for shoulder-in.

He was perfect in both directions. We did more practicing with clicking—and then something happened. He started changing things. First, I noticed him watching my feet and trying to match my steps. I had to cross my feet over, and he tried that, too. He started to do his high-stepping silly walk on the circle. That wasn’t enough. He leaned way to the outside and started lifting his inside leg really high in the silliest way. He became so enthusiastic with the exercise that I couldn’t help but click him for his creativity.

And then in a flash, it hit me—we weren’t learning dressage exercises—we were learning dance steps. This is so cool! We are going to have so much fun with this—who knows where Cole will take me?

In the meantime, I will learn the technique to do this with my future colt—who is bound to be a normal horse.

I then tried to introduce a new exercise where the horse circles around you similar to a turn on the haunches, but the front legs move, too, just in a smaller circle than the back legs. He did start to step a little with the back legs, and I clicked him for that, but I don’t think he really understood it. I didn’t get to work on the other side because my hands got too cold. It was time to go in. when we got to the barn door, he didn’t want to go in—he planted his feet and refused. I think he wanted to continue the game. I tapped his hock, and he took a step forward and I got him inside.

1 comment:

achieve1dream said...

That is so cool! Have you seen the videos of the dancing horses? Cole could totally do that!!!