Thursday, April 1, 2010

Out of the Roundpen

This evening, I rearranged the toys in the back paddock/pasture while the boys were eating dinner. Once they finished, I locked Cody & Smokey in with some hay, and invited Guinness out with me. After a bit, he got curious about what I was doing and joined up with me.

We stepped into the roundpen where I scratched his new bug bites (the downside of warming weather) for a minute. Then I haltered him and we played "keep a stick's length away from me" on the 22' line as we played point to point. He was happy and engaged, so I took him out into the paddock where we played touch-it, weave & circling with some new 1/2 barrels (garnished with cookies). He also got all 4 feet up on the tractor tire pedestal and then backed off when asked, all at 22' away.

Next, we went back into the roundpen where I mounted and we played pushing passenger lesson at the walk using a bareback pad and halter with rope reins. Even though I had to go all the way to phase 4 - "spank the hair" - with my savvy string, Guinness remained level-headed, if a little "what's in it for me?" about it. Once things were going well, we exited the roundpen and played point to point with cookies on barrels located at each corner of the pasture. He argued a bit about following my focus, but soon discovered that I have a knack for finding cookies. We both ended the session happy & confident!

I'd bet that the next time we play, Guinness makes a bee line for the corners of the pasture. This is already totally different than Smokey, who freaks when ridden anywhere beyond the hen house in his own pasture!!

Speaking of which, we finished off the evening by giving my husband a pony ride on Smokey.


Lisa said...

A strategy I used with Cricket when my confidence wasn't so high and her propensity for making me nervous was - a modified "tit for tat." I just called it "your idea, my idea." In a round corral or arena, I let Cricket wander around and every now and then, I'd suggest we go where I wanted. Nothing big, just a suggestion. It helped me guide her without holding, bracing, insisting or whatever. We didn't fight, we just wandered - sometimes where she wanted to go, sometimes where I wanted to go. It was relaxed and very low pressure.

This gets me thinking . . . maybe I'll go blog about it . . .

inchwormwv said...

You are making great progress every time you play - Way to Go!

Naturally Gaited said...

Great idea, Lisa. Yes, please blog about it! :-)

My L4 buddy is going to stop by tomorrow to coach me a bit online. I can't wait for her feedback..

Happy Spring!!