Free rides. Step right up. Join me on the trails with my human and horse buddies. What a wonderful day down Wonderful Rd. You can just jump right up on Cowboy's back and ride along.
After you're all relaxed from your ride, let's sit and talk about Beautiful's training, Day #2. She let me get her out of the pasture--as usual at the back 20. But that's about where the good left off.
The Girl wouldn't lead away from her herd! I tried to get her moving forward with no success, so finally I decided to do something either really stupid or really smart, only time will tell. Since she wanted to back up, I backed her up through all three pasture gates--the whole way, yep, about ten acres, all the way to the barn.
In honesty, I think it was stupid, but my thinking was that if she was going to back up or balk, I might as well be directing her feet for her.
Believe it or not, that's not where I lost my cool.
We got to the barn with Old Red whinnying at us and running behind which scared BG as we left the barn to go to the arena. Once at the arena we worked on leading with the same issues--balking and backing. This time I had my lunge whip and I could fling it behind her and get her moving forward. But in the fifteen minutes of work to get her moving out smoothly and consistently, I lost my cool. My energy level had gone from 0 to 60 without me even knowing it. I finally caught myself and brought it back down. And, how I caught myself was that I saw the look in her eye change to a kind of startled expression. Oops. Horses really are mirrors.
I had to finish what I started, but with the lowered energy and consistency she started doing nice controlled circles both ways.
Time to practice leading. Again, I used the whip to tap her hind, if she balked, and keep her going forward. I was wishing I had one of those flags that Kitty Lauman uses--but the hard end of the whip served its purpose. With the other horses I can fling the end of the lead around (15' lead), but she needed a little more. We walked and trotted together around the arena and around barrels.
Time to bring the energy further down. Last, we worked on bending, but not moving the feet, as if I was getting ready to mount. I put pressure against her withers and brought her head in, giving her line each time she came all the way around. What I discovered is that BG is better on her left than right.
By the end of the lesson I had thoroughly regained my cool, she was partnering with me and seemed to be enjoying herself, and we ended on a good note, releasing her once again back to the herd. However, she didn't run off. She stood by me. I had to shoo off the other horses, but we stood and relaxed together.
Every day is a surprise, isn't it--both about her and about me. Can't wait for day #3.