Monday, July 21, 2014

Testing Out the Listening Skills

It wasn't actually planned, but we gave the horses a good test of their listening skills this evening.  P.S. had a lesson scheduled, but the horse trainer couldn't come, so she asked if I wanted to go on a trail ride, and I didn't, but I told her to go ahead and do whatever she wanted, and I might catch up with her later in the arena.  It's hard for me to do much of anything after 5:00 PM, because I have to feed and medicate the dogs, take them out multiple times, and make dinner.

Once I got done with the dogs, I was tacking up Bombay while P.S. was riding Gabbrielle out to the trails alone, and Gabbrielle didn't want to leave without Bombay.  She pitched a little fit and tried to run back to him, but P.S. stopped her and made her listen.  She went on her trail ride while I worked Bombay in the round pen.  The horses were confused and anxious, because they always do the same thing together, but today they did different activities and had to listen to their riders.

When they returned from the trails, we rode in the sandy arena, but did different activities.  Each horse had to learn to go whatever pace its rider asked it to without being concerned about which pace the other horse was moving at.  It seems like such a basic thing to train a horse to do, but we've been in the habit of always doing the same thing at the same time with our horses, and they became attached at the hip as a result.

 We worked on sidepassing along the fence...

I haven't worked with Bombay on sidepassing in years, so I stopped the cues and petted him as soon as he took one step in the right direction with no forward or backward movement...

We worked on neck reining, but he's at a beginning stage with that.  I got best results by laying the outside rein against his neck and using slight direct rein on the inside along with some leg.

He does remember his slow jog, but I had to keep reining him in each time we turned toward the barn.  He wanted to run to his stall so he could get served his dinner.  At one point, P.S. led Gabbrielle out of the gate to go pick a rock out of her hoof and he broke gait to chase after them.  He got a big NO for that.  A couple of times he lost his footing and slipped, but caught himself before we went down.  I think it's ridiculous that he can gallop all over the place and do all kinds of advanced acrobatic maneuvers when he's playing with Rock, but he acts like the sand is too deep if I'm simply trying to sidepass him or ride him at the jog.

I petted Gabbrielle with my riding crop... my Sun Devils T-shirt as the sun set.


Crystal said...

Sounds like a good ride. I have issues with my horses not wanting to leave the yard alone too...Well except Jessie and Bailey they are good. I like the pics, I am so getting a go pro its just too hard to try to take my camera along....either that or get a photographer.

achieve1dream said...

OMG I fail at being a blog friend!!! I'm so far behind on your blog again (don't feel bad it's not just you; I have several hundred posts to catch up on). I'm going to try to get caught up.

P.S. This reminds me I really need to work on neck reining with Chrome!