Last night I felt like we were working as a team for the first time. He got to feeling a bit frisky while we were loping and kicked up his heels, but he settled back into his lope and continued working. Rather than get tense, I was able to push him harder and try to get the point across that little things like that were unacceptable, regardless of how bored or tired he may be. His comfort level has increased 100 fold in the past three months.
I started doing trail obstacles outside this past week. The bridge was a piece of cake, of course, because it really didn't require much more than stepping onto it and walking across...something we've done countless times from the ground. Backing a straight line proved to be simple enough because we've been working on our back up in the arena. Turning a 360 and the sidepass, however, proved to be more of a challenge for our boy. We've not worked a whole lot on moving off the legs in tight spaces, but with a bit of see sawing he finally figured out the turn around in the box and now does it easily...at least to the left. Turning to the right is a bit more difficult for him, but he still stays on the inside of the poles; it's just not as pretty.
The sidepass has slowly come. He does it beautifully from the ground, so having the pole beneath his belly is a bit of a clue to him. Last night he stepped four or five nice, fluid steps to the end of his pole. We need to work on him not trying to step forward and over the pole, but it's coming.
But what I take the most pride in is the "L" shaped backup. This is something he wasn't sure of from the ground and he really struggled moving slow enough around the corner to switch gears from hindquarters to shoulders when it came time to turn. From his back, however, its proved to be much easier, and his third time doing it was flawless! Not that the fourth and fifth time were as smooth, lol, but at least I know he's got the concept.
And then Curt turned chicken. He thought I'd say no and be the first to back down!
No, he said, we didn't want to jeopardize anything at this point with just a couple days to go. He said if we had two more weeks, he'd put me on it and he figures Sandy will follow and work it, but he doesn't want to risk anything falling apart right now. So no bull or even driving the calves for us. And I'm having the hardest time with that!
Jay asked again yesterday why I didn't move one of my other horses on and keep Sandy. I told him there were about two thousand reasons why, and they all began with a $. He was surprised, not realizing the horses sold for that much. Darling has expressed an interest in Sandy the past couple of days, but she's very guarded and lucky for her, she's not been with him each day. Saves her the tears and heartbreak...
Anyone want to buy a couple thousand dollars worth of handmade soap???
Join the Hay Burner's Club and donate $15 towards Sandy's upkeep and I'll send you a 5x7 photo. Or buy advertising space in the form of a button.