I’ve been putting some thoughts together regarding Chapiro; basically where has my bitless delving left me with regards to his early work. I’ve enlisted Moralejo to help me with this project as he has gone back to the beginning again (in many senses) and has had problems that have made me look at my training and myself in a new light.
I know that sometimes I have been guilty of getting bogged down in the detail BUT it is all IN the detail. For instance, if I’m thinking about transitions and how to improve them I can’t just go out and ride hundreds; I have to drip feed information to my horse and assess the feedback. In Beudant’s words; observe and reflect. So this last week I’ve been doing a lot of reflecting, OK I can hear the groans guys!
Some really simple observations when working with Moralejo…. he goes brilliantly off my voice and body aids when used in combination, not so good off each separately. The cordeo and liberty work really highlight this because he can pretty much walk off whenever he chooses; although remarkably he doesn’t. He may not walk away and in fact he seems to choose to interact with me but he isn’t as finely tuned unless I use voice and body. I’ve therefore set out to correct this and we’re working on voice only to begin with, it’s quite a slow process because I want it to be right, no having to go back and do it again. This is definitely something I want to do with Chaps although it will be in much smaller chunks as he has no ‘data’ stored like Moo; mind you that could be a good thing.
So with Chaps the work we already have in place covers the basics of forwards, stopping, turning, backing and moving away from a cue. The next logical step would therefore involve separating the aiding systems (voice and body) and then fine tuning them. Importantly, I feel, the work is of short duration; no more than 15 minutes and no more than twice a week. He remains a real baby in spite of being less than a month away from his 4th birthday. I’m in no hurry but the ‘loose’ plan would be to progress this in-hand/liberty work to eventually include lunging; plus some despooking, walking out on the lanes and tracks and other confidence exercises.
I am not intending to use a bit but should I change my mind I can always introduce one at a later date-it’s important to keep an open mind.
I had an excellent ridden session with Moo today but I’m too tired now to write it up…it will keep.