Thursday, January 16, 2014

So, I'm getting a little obsessed with my Clinton Anderson videos- it's a little amazing how well it works in getting Sherwood to focus, pay attention, and not be so pushy. It's almost amusing how he refers to horses like her as big, dumb, fat, lazy horses- unathletic and old. Have we seen Sherwood? Tall, leggy, fairly successful racehorse... 4 years old? It cracks me up every time he says it.

So, tomorrow we're going to work on yielding her front end, doing 1/2-circles- though I have my doubts about those because she's still young.. Do we want those tight circles on her joints?- and switching sides. These are such interesting videos in that I've been doing a LOT of it on my own since I was a teen. I was missing some basic building blocks, but it makes the reason why I could get some "troubled" horses just... be mine. They were the scared ones; I have issues with asserting myself, so I just stayed away from the pushy ones- which is why Sherwood is so difficult for me to deal with on some levels. I'm so glad I got these videos, they're filling in the gaps of the tools I do have, so I can now tackle pushy horses AND scared ones.

I'm also intrigued by this "rub to a halt" idea. I think it may work with Sherwood, I just need to figure out my timing.

Oh yeah- and trailer work. Woot. Maybe even hop on... Oh my.

Monday, January 13, 2014

Trailer. Check.

So, I've been watching the Clinton Anderson Groundwork series and although I recognized a lot of what we've been working on, they're really helping to kind of help me figure out the... thought process behind the teachings and refine my methods. And we saw some excellent results today!

We worked on flexing her head and neck, disengaging her hindquarters, and backing. Then we worked on one of the missing blocks Michelle hadn't worked with us on- I think she thought Sherwood knew it, since she's generally pretty good about her front feet. I found out she's not. Not really. So... we worked on that.

 The we desensitized her to the rope because I noticed she was getting pretty jumpy around it.

I set up a couple obstacles, one of which was a silver tarp held down on one side but left to flap around the other 3 sides. She's never had an issue with tarps, so I upped the ante by letting it flap around her legs in the wind. I'm pretty sure she laughed at me as she walked and trotted over it.

The next was a small gymnastics set along the fence- a 12" cross rail with a pole 9 feet beyond it, or vice versa. We started just going over the pole, yielding and going the opposite direction, then went over the jump, then over both. Back and forth 3 times each side. Next time, I'm upping that damn fence. I'm pretty sure she wasn't done chuckling from the tarp.

Then the tire, just walk over it once as the last refresher of the day. This one I got her attention with. Oy. In between each of these, we stepped away and did some lunging.

THEN we walked over to the trailer and point and shot on (first time ever!!), she turned around all on her own, and stood looking out. Then we played around the in the trailer- turning around, yielding hinds and fores, backing, and going forward, messing around with the rope, and giving feet. We even got one panicked back off, which promptly landed her in some lunging and yielding, and a rest back on the trailer. Overall, she's doing pretty fricking awesome. We called it a day at that.

It was so cute watching her yawn over and over on the crossties. Stress relief, much?

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Winter Wailings

It seems like I always have such good intentions to post on here, but I just never do. Maybe I should make that one of my New Year's resolutions. At the very least, post once per week. We'll work on that.

Sherwood is a trip. The longer I own her, the more I see and realize just how ridiculous she truly is. From picking Dennis's wood blocks out of her water and throwing them at him because she didn't like them, to pulling an attitude because of something I did and going over to threaten Loki, she is just... trippy. I am also re-realizing just how incredibly smart and bored she is- and how important it is so work her more regularly than I've been. Granted, it's been in the teens or below, or raining, or an ice rink here for the past month or so, but... we should work on that. (I'm beginning to see a trend here...)

The trailer issues are working themselves out! Yesterday, we worked on some groundwork in the morning, then came back and did an actual trailer session in the afternoon. It only took about 15 minutes and a monsoon, but she got in, turned around, and stood in the trailer with me for about 5 minutes while we waited for the rain to stop. The attitude she got when the rain really started coming down and she realized we weren't heading back to the barn or stopping was pretty hilarious. She went from working but getting kind of bored to PISSED!! in a matter of seconds. About 5 minutes later, she got in the trailer. haha All I needed was a little help from God. Who says he doesn't answer prayers?

We're going to work on that again today, and tomorrow take her to the local riding center where we had an epic failure last time and see if we can get her worked and reloaded in a reasonable time frame. Wish me luck!