Yesterday was a complete turnaround for Tumbleweed. I placed one of the herd leaders into the stall next to him, and when I came out the next morning, T was back to himself--soft eyes, gentle, respectful, and in his thinking mind. His back leg had a bad scrape, as if he'd kicked out at a panel, so I imagine there was a little drama during the night. Whatever happened, it resulted in a 180 turnaround in his behavior.
Still, I worked him without his saddle, then with his saddle on, with that one simple question in mind:
Do I have his full attention?
There are so many ways that one simple concept has been said, but for some reason, it finally took root with me. If you don't have their attention, don't get on. Sheesh, it's not complicated.
But the flipside of that is, if you know the fundamentals are there, (and they are), then when you have his full attention, you can trust that it is time to mount up.
I kept our work simple, going over obstacles and asking him for very precise foot placement--that general rule of being able to move every foot, or ask it to stop and wait. It was all there.
My goals for this week are simple: work on regaining our partnership, keep up the fundamentals, and prepare him for our lesson this coming Tuesday.
Cowgirl is now over 300 days, and I'm watching her closely.
Does this look like wax? Her due date, if there can be said to be one, is the end of May.