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

Monday, January 24, 2011

Chugging Right Along

We are movin' right along.

I've had about a half a dozen carrot stick rides on Cricket.  I've even started working with two sticks at the walk and the trot.

I've been mainly focused on FTR and Corners Game.  It gives me a focus and it gives me a frame of reference to see how well Cricket is following.

Last night we had more stick biting than we've had in the last two rides.  Only after I picked up the second stick, though.  I truly believe this is nothing more than feedback about her frustration with my communication.

I played more with our yields in isolation and the HQ is getting so much better.  The forehand yield is still rather sticky.  Not surprising, especially considering she feels a little dominant.

I'm still not ready to canter her with sticks.  Not quite yet.  But we're getting closer.

I put the sticks down to work a little on our canter.  The right lead was good and the left lead was better than it's been in a LONG time.  I've been using a soft contact rein on the left bend to help Cricket shape her body.  The element I was missing was alternating a lift with a give.  Inadvertently, I've probably been pulling her a little onto her inside shoulder.  Oops!  My friend Ann pointed this out and with a little lift and release, Cricket really set herself more on her hindquarters and gave me a kick-butt left circle with the softest downward transition.

Jumped off and called it a win.


Tina said...

Sounds like you're doing great! I'm a little jealous of your ability to even THINK about what her body is doing. We still sometimes have some challenges just getting and keeping the canter and doing it in a LB sort of way. I need you to come and tell me what I need to do to make Dix better!

Lisa said...

Man I wish we lived closer together - I think we'd have a BLAST playing together.

You need to think of patterns that set Dixie up for mental, emotional and physical success. I used the QB with Cricket because by asking for the transition in one, consistent place, she could prepare mentally and try and puzzle solve.

Have you tried counting strides with Dixie? 20 strides of trot, five strides of canter; shampoo, rinse and repeat. How long does she stay LB at the canter? Stop a stride sooner and bring her back to the trot for a measured number of strides (until she's relaxed) and then repeat the pattern.