Sunday, August 22, 2010

Canter to me!

Today the plan was to go into the arena, and play with, yet again, those elusive changes of direction.  (I felt like I was on the verge of a breakthrough yesterday, and then asked for too much and everything fell apart.)  But once in the indoor, Cal didn't want to stick around to halter.  So I went to play with having him catch me better, and our session turned into a liberty one instead.

The beginning was all about warming up and waiting for him to feel good about the arena and our communication, as he was holding in some tension.  I paid particular attention to how light I was being and where his thresholds were.  It took him a little while, but he eventually licked and chewed and let some tension out, and then we could really play.

I improved our canter-stop stick-to-me transitions.  Did some figure-8 in the open arena (vs. the edge of the round corral, which is where I've been doing it).  And then I itched him some as a reward, and suddenly, he was desparate to for more.  Haha.  So I did some problem solving with my sideways towards (he would just swing his butt around and end up doing a spin, so I had to get the front end moving, too), and got the working pretty well.  Threw in some trotting sideways away from me.  Was getting some great enthusiasm with cantering, and he was stuck to me when I asked him to stick close and did a tight circle.

And theeeen, I played with some yo-yo games.  Started with about 45' back and asking for a quick bring back.  Ended up with him probably at 100' away, and cantering back to me!  Yahoo!

Getting my horse to canter to me has been on that list of things of I reeaaally wanted.  (The dream list of: being able to ride anywhere bareback and bridleless, have my horse come running over, playing at liberty in wide open spaces...all with a willing partner.)  Feeling pretty good today!  I wish I didn't take forever to figure things out, but at least they're happening eventually!  =P


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