Happiness is not a matter of intensity but of balance, order, rhythm and harmony. ~ Thomas Merton

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Day 13 - Puzzlement

The plan today was on the fly and it was simple - try to figure out why our Figure 8 is broken. I don't know what it is but some part of this pattern is just not working for us. I think we are close to the end of our seven sessions for this particular pattern and I swear she's worse at the end than she was at the beginning.

To start, her draw will go out the window. She'll come around the cone and just stay on the circle rather than acknowledge the draw. Going to the left, she flattens the circle and will often miss the cone or come to a dead halt in front of it. There is no flow to the pattern. At all.

Today I started by checking her drive and draw - both were good so on to the pattern. She repeatedly cut in when going to the left. At one point I interrupted the pattern with quite a bit of intention. She screeched to a halt and immediately licked and chewed. She was still flat on the left. I decided to isolate out the shoulder so we switched over to a circle game and I used the CS and some energy to push her shoulder out on the circle. The first couple of times we did it, she came to a halt when I asked for the shoulder yield. We continued until she could offer the yield and maintain the trot. We finished with some sideways, again with the goal of getting her to carry that shoulder out.

Before I put her away, I jumped on her bareback with the halter and just walked a little and then asked her for a little trot. Nothing special but it was nice to be on her and nice to feel her trot and know I could ride it.

I have a riding lesson tomorrow so I should actually get some real saddle time in.

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