Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Carol Coppinger Clinic: Skills & Notes

Here are some notes that I took during both sessions (combined). They are by no means complete. Some of them may only mean something to me and my horse.. And some of them may be incorrect or incomplete. If you see something blatantly wrong, please correct me! :-)


Phases/Pleased vs. Displeased

Carol C. started out the Level 2/3 clinic with a discussion about always starting with the lightest "ask" (Phase 1, hair) and moving up the phases to a Phase 4 using the popper on the rope only. No need to beat your horse to get him to do something - especially considering what a bot fly can get a horse to do and they don't even sting! She also wanted us to feel and then utilize our feelings of being "pleased" versus "displeased" to motivate our horses - remembering to feel pleased most of the time!

Snappy Back-Up
  1. lift rope (no slack so can to direct nose "two eyes", but don't pull)
  2. scoop stick under chest "you'd better move!"
  3. flick what is stuck
Goal: straightness, lowered head, rounded back (vertical flexion) to cause diagonals to move. Direct nose to move butt opposite direction to keep straight.

Circle Game - Priorities: 1. Gait 2. Direction 3. Look where going

"Better back = better circle", be conscious of belly button (bullhorn) energy. "Drift and teeter" to keep extra slack out of rope, but belly of rope on ground is good.

Imagine a clock face and horse moving clockwise. Horse at 12:00, hand and toe at 4:00, stick at 8:00, then touch 12:00 if needed.

3 different methods: 3 tags OR spank 12:00 OR touch what is left of horse at position when asked to move.

To speed up:
1. allow horse to pass my leading shoulder
2. turn with horse, stick at 180 degrees
3. Reel in rope and stick to 45 degrees
4. Reel in more and *tag* tail head! (If horse stops, shorten rope and tag nose (?).)

To slow:
1. turn against motion
2. release string
3. step forward
4. step out with stick in front and STOP

Change of direction: (flowing)
1. allow horse to pass leading shoulder (change stick hand)
2. turn with horse (stick pointed at Zone 5) to increase energy
3. draw toward until straight
4. redirect shoulder in other direction

Unmounted Exercises
  • Position horse 8' away, turn and run forward, stop - horse should follow but remain 8' away. If not, turn and back vigerously away.
  • "Power Position Game" tug of war while both people stand on buckets using a 22' rope!
  • Jump the string while circling it with the stick
  • Blow up balloons and practice flicking with popper on Savvy String. Will only pop if you flick it just right!
  • Back horse out to 22' - how little does it take to move just one front foot sideways? Now the other the opposite way? (Widen horse's stance.) Cue: Move my foot. Ask to mirror me!
Advanced games: (If ever horse blows thru my stick, SHUT DOWN.)

Backward "S" Pattern
Builds draw.
  1. Walk backward, in a curve if needed to get a question
  2. Yield shoulder
  3. Cross arms and draw, switch hands
  4. Yield other shoulder
Goal: Flow, don't drop gait, no real disengage

Falling Leaf Pattern (see Level 4 On-line DVD with Pat)
Builds respect and drive.
  1. Walk forward - look off into distance, straight line ideal, move with purpose!
  2. Send/Allow (switch hands by crossing stick under rope - handle first, lay rope on wrist )
  3. Yield HQ (point stick - don't bend over)
  4. Yield Shoulder (tennis swing)
  5. Sideways
  6. Allow (repeat)
Rockslide Pattern (backing while fishtailing)
  1. Back
  2. Yield shoulder
  3. Sideways
  4. Yield HQ
  5. Back
  6. Yield other shoulder
  7. Sideways
  8. (repeat)
Liberty Exercise:
  • all halters off
  • protect your herd of 2
  • move away from rail if lost horse
  • don't panic if multiple horses run, attract last horse in group
  • take own horse with you to push another horse (smootch, swish, GO!)
45' rope tips (at L3, handle often!)
  • Handle rope in over hand position (don't let it cross my palm or will burn), use tips of fingers only.
  • Power Position by turning and bracing rope across hip and under butt cheek - but only for a second or will burn!
  • Coils should be organized to roll off of fingers in direction of toss
  • Thow only 1/2 of coils & let the rest feed out.

Mounted (at L3, "live with that carrot stick")

  1. Eyes
  2. Belly Button
  3. Leg
  4. Stick/Rope/Reins

Review of Basic Maneuvers

  1. Attention (lift rein)
  2. life up
  3. steady squeeze (butt to legs)
  4. rhythmic spank (air, hair)
  5. STOP and start over
Note: Savvy String popper too sharp.

Indirect "Rein"
- my weight should be on my inside leg, close my inside ribs. Inside hand to stabs belly button, nails up. Turn and look at inside hip. The horse's hind legs should cross (hold this position until they do). This is the same as "disengaging hindquarters" and "yielding HQ."

Direct "Rein" - Lift rein, open the "gate" (truckin' position), push with my outside leg. My weight on outside stirrup. Rock weight back and lift. Don't pull horse or will cross hind legs over.

Halt - horse's weight to rear by lifting rein straight up, bend our knees to stop forward rolling momentum.

Backing - Lift rein to rock weight back, suck belly button in and backward
With stick: 1 rein (steady) with stick on opposite side (rhythm) waving from nose to ear. When nose moves, tap shoulder.

Spin - using supporting rein and stick
  1. back horse
  2. lift outside rein
  3. focus forward - stick straight
  4. focus across - tap shoulder if needed and *push* over at girth.

Remember to PUSH through turns - don't pull!

Notes to self:
- don't lift rein so much to go - just a little to give horse notice
- look forward, not down
- move like I am sitting on a swing

"Whatever the trouble, it can be traced to issues with the first three games: friendly, porcupine and/or driving."

Mounted Exercises:
  • Trot circle, disengage in same direction of bend, switch stuff, trot other direction, disengage
  • Circle to inside of arena at walk using outside leg to push (no direct rein). Put stick way out to side 180 degrees, use to direct shoulder if needed, look up and over
  • Leap frog along rail
  • Cross arms and disengage - use to slow gait down. Practice at halt then walk then trot then canter. Teaches to listen to seat.
  • Leg yield - move over, at girth my outside toe out & down
  • Bow Tie pattern


Parelli Central said...

Carol is so talented as an instructor. Sounds like it was a great experience.

Parelli Central

Naturally Gaited said...

It was surely the right thing at the right time for my horse & me! :-)

Parelli Central said...

Wonderful. BTW... I like your horse's name.

Parelli Central

Naturally Gaited said...

And I like yours so much that I named my son Brett! :-)

Parelli Central said...

And you even spelled it correctly... with two "t"s. Excellent. There aren't a lot of Bretts. Whenever I meet one... seems like we inevitably get to whether we spell our names with one t or two. Then we give each other static if they aren't the same. Have a good day.

Parelli Central

Naturally Gaited said...

It's a great cowboy name. :-)