Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Pushing Thresholds & the Monster Rock

I hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving! Ours was full of family and fun, but without any real horse-time. Family left yesterday so it was “back to work” today!

Both *Red and *Beau were fabulous today, allowing me to push their thresholds. Last week was *Red’s first time working with me and the wand. Today he showed just how much he remembered. I use, not only physical cues, but verbal cues as well. I ask for movement with the horse’s name, as in *Red, Walk on” and I ask for a downward shift in motion, or stop, by drawing out the word “and” then adding on the gait I’m looking for, such as “and trot”. *Red showed that he recalled that very well! The first time I said “aaaannnnnnd whoa” he stopped on a dime! By the end of our time together he was stopping with the wand swinging in toward his chest and the beginning of the word “and”! I was thrilled.

*Beau was also on top of his game today, even remembering that just because you need to walk past those sexy mares you don’t need to talk, you DO need to pay attention because you might be asked to do something!! This may seem like no big deal but it is something he forgets when he is first near the ladies in the fall.

Last up was *Jack, and today I added in backing up while I was standing to his side. He is used to backing up when I face him; he knows the word “back”, he understands pressure to the nose or shoulder. Today, we started backing up and trying to stay straight. What I’ve found is that when they first are asked to do this, because they are used to facing you, they tend to back out away from you, so that they stop and are facing you. With the help of C/T we got it right many times. The most fun, however, was when he spied the ROCK. “Oh my, what is that big white thing in the field? I’ve never seen it before!” he said (it was a snow covered rock). So off we went to examine it. He’s so brave, that one! Marched right up with me and when I asked him to ‘touch’ he reached his nose right down to find out what it was. I love it when we just have to go touch that “boogie monster”!

All in all, we each had a good time!

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