Thursday, May 20, 2010

3 Laps!

I confess. I've been avoiding Guinness since Monday evening, when we arrived home from the clinic. At first, I figured that he was probably sick of me. Then I kept "shoulding" myself about all of the other things that I needed to do..

This afternoon, while I was finally cleaning out my camping stuff from the trailer, Guinness kept hanging over the fence begging for attention. It was about dinner time, and I had discovered a left-over baggy of grain, so I shoved it into my fanny pack along with a few alfalfa cubes. I headed over to play with him with a plan in mind!

Here is the plan and how it worked out:

1. Hide grain in fanny pack, so that it would be a surprise when G. earned it - and so that it wouldn't have as much draw as a bucket of grain.

2. Tie G. up while confining the other horses.

3. Release G. and mosey into the roundpen. Allow him to discover nothing in his feed bowl. Find exact center of arena and place bucket there. Draw a circle in the sand around it.

4. Play "fetch the Carrot stick" and Friendly to encourage his mood to play.

5. Play "Snappy Back Up" (per instructions in last post). The cue for this differs from the slow, careful backing that he usually does. It works GREAT and he would even do it from a distance - diagonally-moving legs and all.

6. Play Send-One-Stride-Then-Hide-Your-Hiney in both directions. He was practically leaping out of the proverbial starting gate. Guess this qualifies as doing less then he expected?

7. Next we did, (with heightened anticipation): Snappy Back Up followed by a send plus tagging the ground where he was 3 times (as I was laughing at how fast he zoomed away). The first couple of times we did this, I drew him in before he stopped (not caring what gait he was in).

8. Then we played "keep going until I bring you in or else I will stroke your nose and immediately back you out and send you the other way" a few times. The first time that he made it around a full lap and passed my leading shoulder, I turned and brought him in and gave him an alfalfa cube. The second time, I brought him in at 2 laps. The 3rd time, I brought him in at 3 laps - and he hadn't slowed down yet!!! He won the jackpot of the secret grain in his feed bowl. :-))

When he finished, I haltered him (oh yeah, this was all at Liberty in the roundpen) and we trotted over to a sideways barrel. He jumped it and then we ran all the way out of the gate and over to the grass in my back yard.

All of this took maybe 15 minutes. This was best circling EVER for him. What a great session for us both. :-)


Michelle AKA arabhorselover1 said...

Clare, looks like you are Guiness are well on your way. I also think you two look wonderful! I am so happy htat you've been able to find the time and money to participate in so many clinics. I have yet to go to one! Congrats. Looking forward to seeing you.


Lisa said...

When Cricket gets over whatever is bothering her (something in her right leg/shoulder - or maybe her neck/rib???), this is our plan.

In our clinic, Carol talked about "using the cream" - asking for and getting the best and then letting it be.

In planning play sessions with two horses, I want to work with the "cream" that Cricket offers and then focus on building my relationship with Bleu. But of course Cricket has to get sound for this plan to work out!

Naturally Gaited said...

I look forward to hearing more about Bleu. I wonder if you will be able (or inclined) to play with them both together? Michelle (arabhorselover) used to do this all of the time, but I've never gotten up the gumption. ;-)