Thursday, January 22, 2009

Turn on Haunches and Forehand

Yesterday we worked on some cool stuff! Turn on forehand and turn on haunches. At first, I tried these up against a fence, which only made Sabumi want to go backwards and up, in some cases. So, instead I used the shadow from the top rail of the fence and tried again. Sure, enough- he got it! It wasn't immediate, but he got it. For turn on the haunches to the right, I put my right leg back and held it, not pressing, against his side. My left leg was active at the girth and my hands were steady, not allowing him to go forward. My left leg pressed at the girth and he would step over. It was slow, but we did it! For the turn on the forehand to the right, the cues were reversed. My right leg was at the girth, still and not pressing, but touching lightly. My left leg was back and active. The hands were the same. I pressed with my left leg to encourage his back left leg to cross over his back right leg. This was also slow and one step at a time at first, but eventually we could make a half circle along the shadow line. I like using the shadow because it is a mental/visual barrier for me but it means nothing at all to the horse. We reviewed collecting and impulsion. I really really wish I had a dressage trainer. I have no idea what we look like from the ground or how to acheive what I want us to look like. Alas, no instructors within an hour radius. And the best trainer around only gives lessons for intermediate- grand prix. We are totally intro/training level and will be for a while. I like learning from books, but there is no substitute for hands on feedback and instruction.

I worked with Pete again and was a bit miffed about a phone call I got the night before. His owner wanted to call me to make sure I would be out there between 3:30 and 4:30 because she had a farrier appointment. Of course, I had nothing better to do but it still rubbed me the wrong way that she just assumed she could use me to stand in for her appointments. To add to that, the farrier didn't show up until almost 5 because apparantly someone else had made the appointment with the farrier and she told me the appoinment was 4:30-5:30. This other girl also knew where the check was for Pete trim job. So, if the horse owner knew that someone else was having their horse trimmed and told her where the check was, why did she need me out there for it?

That aside, Pete seems to be improving. I worked him for about 20 minutes and he is doing well with transitions. He almost has all of the voice commands down. Woah is still impossible unless I step towards him. I bridled him for the last 10 minutes and worked on in hand turns, stopping, and backing. I think I am about ready to ride him as soon as my time and the weather allow. Today is supposed to be 68* and sunny and I will be in Tulsa for class. Saturday is supposed to have a high of 32*. So, I will just have to feel things out. Maybe Friday evening will work out for a ride.
Here is what I wrote in his log:

1/21/09 30 minutes

Pete's transitions are getting better. He is still slow to 'woah' and resists and pressure from a leadrope or lunge line to aid in stopping. I bridled him again and worked from the ground on turns, stops, and backing. He did very well. For yielding his sides I baked him to a fence and moved his shoulder over. This seemed to reinforce the cue w/o allowing his to back up. For moving his hips over, I faced him towards the fence- he was slower to understand this, but he did get it.

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