Her head flew up and she whipped around and came instantly when I called today.
I stayed in her paddock again. I was doing an extended session of leading from behind when things were just not going very connectedly. Like in the arena the other day, she kept whipping around to go back to the same corner of the paddock, blasting through any quiet blocking I’d try to do as I guided her. So instead, I tried to do more of reciprocal movements instead of just leading from behind. Basically, I found the figure-8 pattern she wanted to do and kept asking her to do it again and again and at increased speed (We got to work on canter/gallop leading from behind! Quite advanced! ;) ). Soon, she settled into it and started tuning into me, as if she could no longer tell the difference between what I wanted and what she wanted.
Then I learned from yesterday and for the rest of the session, focused only on the connection. While we still did quite a few things, my main priority was doing whatever felt right to keep or increase the connection. Sometimes it involved doing things – if she seemed to be “at attention,” I asked for a trick – and sometimes not – once I left her merely to go get her a treat, as nothing else seemed to be connecting. This seemed to work very well and kept me from getting legalistic about what was “right” or “wrong” to be doing/cuing her at the time.
I had totally forgotten about chase the tiger, so started that today, with a rag on the end of a stick. I just dragged it around the paddock and she followed and I treated a few times when she seemed to be more focused on or aggressive toward it. Within minutes she was of a much higher energy and playing a little with it!
Worked on tricks, having her hold her jambettes for longer. Also did “smile” and “no,” which were fine. She almost understands parking out.
I rode, this time with no BB. She let me mount from the fence, but instantly got nervous/rushy again. I just sat up there for minutes feeding her treats constantly until she realized I wasn’t asking for anything and she calmed down enormously. She did start to walk around, but it was a much slower walk and she was willing to stop much more. I did have to tell her “whoa” once or twice when she started to spool up, but it was not bad at all. The connection was there, so she was far more trained. At the end, she walked forward and stopped very calmly with focus on body cues only, and I got off and was done. Great!
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Wednesday, May 19, 2010 at 6:33 AM |
bridleless , chase the tiger , connection , leading from behind , Maia#039;s Training Diary , Maia's Training Diary , reciprocal movements
May 19 - calmest tackless ride yet
bridleless|chase the tiger|connection|leading from behind|Maia#039;s Training Diary|Maia's Training Diary|reciprocal movements|
Try These Out!
- Art of Natural Dressage Forum (people interested in dressage at liberty)
- Beyond Imagination (The blog of my sister, who is in Papua New Guinea!)
- Dance in Freedom (a resource for alternative horsemanship)
- Horsemanship Through Feel (Leslie Desmond's site)
- Ivy's Horse Training Blog (tricks and dressage at liberty)
- Karen Musson Horsemanship (one of my mentors)
- Prayers of Light (my personal, non-horsemanship blog)
- Reflections of Truth (my acting/modeling website)