Monday, August 2, 2010

Turns on the Forehand

This evening, just before dark, I decided to play with Guinness with emphasis on practicing turns on the forehand. In preparation, I chopped up some carrots and bagged up his dinner, then went to the roundpen to wait for him.

After a few minutes, as I was dozing, he briskly walked over to the roundpen and stared at me. I invited him in and he offered circling game. I encouraged him to walk around me and he did 3 laps in both directions, no problem.

Next, I asked him to do a little sideways over an object. He has the sideways down, but doesn't get the "over an object" part yet. He tends to trample all over it. We need to practice more with barrels..

Then we approached a large pink hula-hoop with the intention of eventually having him turn on the forehand with one foot planted within the hoola-hoop. Fortunately, the rattly noise didn't bother him a bit. We practiced with me in zone 3, lifting the rope with my inside hand, turning and looking at his HQ, and porcupining him a little with my outside hand. He would swing around well, but a bit too quickly. Next time, I'm going to have him take one step and then stop (repeat).

We played with the same task mounted and I got him to pretty much plant his inside front foot, however he was still too quick to be precise.

When I asked him to back up, he offered me a lovely parade-style rear, which cracked me up. However, I didn't dare click it or he'd be offering it to be every time! I think that I must have cued him too strongly considering that I was sitting directly on him bareback without a pad..

After walking forward a bit, I dismounted and asked him to sidepass over some cones (laying down). Eventually, he did it pretty well and he won his grain.

In hindsight, I think that the carrot pennies that I took out for treats today were too yummy for him to concentrate well. I need to go back to cheerios.

Tomorrow evening is the final trail obstacle class and I believe that there will be a little competition. We'll see how it goes!

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