Yesterday I focused on building on what we started the day before. I want to be diligent and focused about taking Bleu through the levels self-assessments and really using the Patterns with her. With Cricket, it's just whatever I can do to make our on-line sessions fun again.
I started with Bleu. The arena was set up with our same Touch It pattern and I "pre-loaded" the obstacles with cookies. When I squeezed her into the arena I noticed she became rather tense. I paused to play friendly game but she wasn't relaxing. I squeezed her out and re-played the squeeze allowing her to show me her thresholds. She finally relaxed and on the next send, walked confidently into the arena.
She was more confident with the Touch It pattern and I had to use less rope/stick to help direct her Zone 1. The tarp was still ultra-scary but in a new tactic, I walked right past it between two obstacles. When she sort of pushed into me, I just moved her shoulder out and said, "don't worry, it's not about the tarp but the next obstacle." Squeezing back past it, she didn't bat an eyelash.
When we finally approached the tarp, she was a little skeptical but more sure of herself. Before long, I couldn't get her off of it! I squeezed her over it in both directions and then walked away for dwell time. She had a big, yet soft, adrenaline release and then proceeded to lick my arm and my leg!
I asked her for sideways on the rail which confused her at first but she figured it out and was nice and soft. To the left is easier than the right. We finished with another squeeze on the tarp followed by retreat and another adrenaline release.
I put Bleu back in her stall and fed her and Dillon. I asked Cricket to come up to be caught and she did so, rather willingly.
We started with the Wendy Puzzle of sideways and backwards. She remembered and we moved on. I asked for some falling leaf and canter transitions. I failed to reward one big effort and she sort of petered out a little. Oh well, sometimes we learn what works by doing what doesn't work.
She was offering me decent energy with good mental connection. I don't really remember her pinning her ears or swishing her tail at all - something she often does when I try to play on-line. I sat on the big soccer ball and dwelled with her. She offered a nice adrenaline release and then proceeded to play with the nearby cones.
I finished with a little rope-stepping friendly game and she was awesome about giving to the pressure. I couldn't be more pleased.
I fed Cricket and Etruska their measly evening rations and before I had the buckets rinsed and ropes put up, they were both done. I turned the horses out, asking Bleu to walk with me down the run and keeping Dillon out of our space. It was funny to see the horses in the adjacent runs mirroring our starts and stops. Not one horse walked in front of me and Bleu. Hmm, how interesting! As is becoming her custom, Cricket hung back until she had me to herself and we had a scratch fest.