Saturday, April 30, 2011

back on track

Both worked today! I decided to combine things so that my basic plan of fitting certain things into each week will work, perhaps!

Chapiro and I walked down the track to the bottom field and the field shelter, where we stopped for a good ten minutes and worked on some neck massage into head down, walk on, back etc with the lead resting on his neck. He was pretty settled and I felt he was happy enough to stay with me. I did spoil it (doh) by asking him to go round the bottom track which takes him further away from home and he was getting quite stressy so we turned for home and got the calmness back. I will be interested to see how this improves.

 Moo had a very chilled ridden session in the school, slightly sticky when we turned down the track afterwards but he walked happily on a long rein (even past the five nosey cows who were standing not a foot from the fence line) and only tried to jog a couple of times.

Good day all round.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

best laid and all that

That's the things with plans, they go awry! Plan today was to have time for both but Chapsi had a swollen fly bite between his thighs (think golf ball) and it seemed unfair to do anything too energetic so we just had a groom and massage/stretch.

Moo had an energetic session (mmm well an expanding waistline requires a little work) and we had some relaxed trot work, canter transitions starting on the lunge and then free. He was a good lad.

Cacahuète had his second session (just on the yard) of clicker with me and he is one cutey, he's catching on quickly.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Chapiro plan

I had a brainwave today, only one mind! I was near to the camera so I spoke my thoughts directly to the camera so I didn't forget them. I'm now thinking this could be a great 'cheat' for blogging as it saves lots of typing, lol.

 Following the theme of planning I need to find a viable way forward with Chapiro. I've been having fun playing and delving more into clicker training and learning behaviour but I do need to focus somewhere with all this as I really just want to ride and work with a balanced, relaxed horse who is as happy as can be expected to have a human balancing on his back.

I want to take him out on the tracks or lane at least once a week to improve his confidence. I want to keep going with the liberty work with free shaping being a big part of that, however I will intersperse that with some attached in-hand work to help with his straightness and gymnastic work. He loves pole work and a little free jumping will help him build up his rear end strength and flexibility, perhaps once a week for that and of course ridden work of basic circles, rein changes and transitions.

Oh dear, I forgot there were only 7 days in a week!!!

I'll flesh this plan out more as I go on but here's a fairly dull, if self explanatory, video of today. 

Tuesday, April 26, 2011


I think I need one. So I will take each of the boys and endeavour to create a path that we might tread together.
I will start with Moralejo.
I feel that I have a good relationship with Moo but he's still a little shy and not able to express himself well. This manifests itself as a 'sharpness' and a tendency to spill over all the time. He is embarassed by silence and stillness, trying always to fill it with his excess energy. We've learned to channel that energy but I really want him to find a place where he can be comfortable with us doing nothing.

I've been playing with some free shaping clicker work and he's responded well when we're on the yard but in the school he tends to panic or lose interest. So part of every week's routine will be a free shaping session in the school when Moo can decide what we do. Free shaping is hard for a control freak like me so I feel one day a week is a good goal to begin with.

During the summer months I'd like to get out once a week for a hack with Lydia and after work in the school I want to be able to wander down the track and around the fields on a long rein to cool off. This is directly linked to his confidence/shyness because if he panics it goes pear shaped, so I want to be able to have a plan (other than always having the pony with us and then he's fine) that gets us through the sticky moments.

I love the liberty work but due to his lack of confidence he sometimes needs to be attached in a physical sense so, aside from the free shaping session, if I work from the ground it will start attached only moving on to liberty if the rest of the session has been good. The ultimate aim would be to do all the groundwork at liberty but I'm not sure we have enough years left for that.

It's slowly dawning on me that my 'dressage' in the school has become less important. The fundamental gymnastic training will always be important but the way I want to achieve it is changing. My next task will be to identify where I'm going with the gymnastic work but I'll leave that for now as I'm running out of time.

I'll leave this for now, It's a basic outline and I'll be back to put some meat on the bones shortly.

Monday, April 25, 2011

where does it go?

'It' being time.
Last two weeks it's been school holidays and with fantastic weather it's been great to give the boys a proper bath. This month it's Moo's turn to star in an Interdressage competition and even though I messed up with the video (pressed some button that made it horribly grainy) the organiser is happy to accept the entry.

So it's been a quiet few weeks for me and the boys, Lydia has ridden Moo a couple of times (he is so careful with her) and we've had some fruitful liberty and in-hand sessions. I've been keeping up their massage and body work which seems to be keeping them in good shape and we've been trying some free shaping with the clicker which is really connecting Moo with me.
Tomorrow it's back to school and normal service will resume! Hopefully.

Friday, April 1, 2011

at liberty

As promised some actual work rather than mushy stuff!

I think the captions explain but it's basic clicker training liberty work with Moo, it's taken quite a long time for him to really trust and engage in the liberty work but I'm pleased he's finally come this far.