Thursday, August 8, 2013

August 7- Ride #3 Western

After a very light day Monday of turnout and walking over the liverpool / practice bridge, I rode on Tuesday. We were both still a bit sore from a hard weekend.
I put the Western saddle on Sherlock and bungeed the stirrups together so they wouldn't clank. He hardly looked at it. I decided to use my new rope halter-sidepull just as an experiment, as I hadn't changed bit onto bridles yet.

A little groundwork with the rope, then took it off so he could trot with the saddle. He did great but the saddle slipped back gradually. I reset it and was getting the mounting block when he walked off. This time with no bungees on, the stirrups clanked a lot and he was a bit anxious, but I kept blocking him so he only walked and didn't jangle them any louder. He let me catch him in a just a minute.

So I got on and Sherlock was a bit anxious at first again, I just petted him a lot when he halted, asked him to walk and halt. He tends to circle near the gate, but stretches that as the lesson goes on, and we build it into a figure-eight, then a U with a reverse on each end, then a full-pen circle. I wanted a "power walk" this time, as in the retraining manual from

And Sherlock did well, getting some stretchy strides and relaxing his head. He also halted better, but was a bit more stubborn on turns. More work over the practice bridge afterward.

Then Wednesday we did Parelli games in the corral, just trying to improve groundwork communication so he can speak the same language as the trainer. I can't recall them all but we did practice Yo-Yo game for backing up and then coming forward to me while I'm facing him.  Squeeze game is like basic lunging with reverses, which he's fine at. Sideways game is tough for him, but with work he started to get it, esp. from the normal leading side.
He needs practice on the other side but tried.

It's hard to be consistent- he needs much more pressure on the off side - I want his good eye to be a plus, but he's so much more compliant on the near, blind side. Vanishing out of his vision gets a much better turn on the forehand than "pushing" on the seeing side.

Nancy Headrick and Scarlett
I have an appointment for Saturday morning with a local trainer who I hope to be bragging up here very very soon.

Energy is low, and I keep thinking about my dear departed friend Nancy. I suppose from now until September 11 is anniversary time, when she was hurt in the trailer loading accident and the cancer returned in her fractured arm bone. I miss you so much, Nancy. Someday we will take to the trails again together.

Packing list for Friday:
Vetwrap for silencing Western stirrups
Chocolate to repel Dementors

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