Saturday, June 7, 2014
Two VERY Successful Rides at a Walk
On Thursday night I went to the barn with the intent of working with all three of my horses in under an hour. Because I'm only riding for ten minutes, and only at a walk, it was shockingly easy. I grabbed Hola and gave her a good brushing over the saddle/cinch area. I popped on a saddle, cinched it up, walked her outside and tied her to the wall. I took a single brush out and did the same quick brush of both mares (Marm and Abby). Abby then got tied to the wall and I had Marm tacked in just a few minutes. I rode Marm for less than ten minutes with the idea that I was going to simply work on having her move forward when I pick up my energy and stop when I exhale deeply and sit deep. I was so relaxed and so specific in my intent that she responded instantly. We only did it a dozen times before I decided to call it a success and quit. I dropped her cinch before walking back to the barn. I took her right up beside where Abby was tied and slipped the saddle off of Marm and right on to Abs. I tied Marm to the wall and cinched Abs up. The same exercise on her (for less than ten minutes), the same dropped cinch while she stood from that last stop and I was back to the barn. I let both mares loose and took Hola for a short walk down the road to where I know there is another horse in a neighboring pasture. I wanted her to stay with me while that horse ran the fence line. After a few minutes of turning left, right, back, forward, stop, back, left right (just changing directions every few seconds so that she had to focus on me) she settled down and started ignoring that other horse. I walked her home, slipped the saddle off of her an called it a night. Less than an hour and I felt like I had total success on all three horses.
Last night I tried to run the same play with pretty much the same result only this time I worked on having them ride straight until told to turn (not allowing them to turn at the corners on their own). This meant having to either ask them to turn before they hit the end of the arena/corner or having them stop straight looking that the fence and asking them to weight there until I actually ask for the turn. Less than ten minutes for each and it felt like I really accomplished something. I love that I had one very simple objective in mind and I rode until it started clicking and then quit rather than moving on to something else. I could get used to this kind of riding in a hurry. Both night on both horses I quit with my horses licking and chewing. Love it. And last night with Hola I just tacked her, tied to the wall while I worked the other mares and then walked her over to the other side of the barn (where we rarely if ever go) and asked her to move in a narrow space between me and the tractor without bowing in to my space. Again my focus, intent and task was so specific that we had almost immediate success. Love it!