Friday, March 11, 2011
I need a plan. More than that, I need a realistic plan.
And then I need to put that plan into action.
Saturday night we spring forward and that gives me more usable daylight. The weather is warming and the arena protects me from the rain and the perpetual wet. The excuses for not getting things done are falling away . . .
Lilly is coming along nicely but we have two main issues: friendly game in motion and respect for the halter. She's not a naturally spooky horse so I believe this is something she's learned. Her owner is an incredibly sweet and soft woman and I believe Lilly has been inadvertently rewarded for "chicken little" behavior.
Last night we played with sideways and Lilly just couldn't think through the pressure on the halter to do half-circles on the wall. She bounced back and forth not from the squeeze of approaching the wall but rather because she hit the halter pressure. I played with being a post and repeating the request to stand, perpendicular to the wall. Once she knew that was the right answer, she was wonderful. The key is getting this generalized and replacing the pulling/bolting habit with a giving/yielding habit.
For Cricket, I want to work on her foundation for driving. This is largely dependent upon good weather because we need to work primarily outside the arena. Her motivation in the arena is pretty low. We're doing good with some basic long-line work but need to add more; refine more.
I want to start riding Bleu. There is no point keeping a second horse if I'm not doing something with her. Lately all I've done is obsess about Bleu not wanting to eat.
So there you have it. My goal is to play with Lilly and then work/ride one of the others, trying not to default to Cricket just because she's "easy" (ha! that's funny!)