Monday, July 12, 2010

Gwen's good day

I've been slowly teaching Gwen to longe/lunge/lounge (however you want to spell it). I started with just her lead rope and a dressage whip and clicked and reinforced her for walking out around me. At first I clicked her for just a few steps, then a half circle, and finally for walking all the way around me. I concentrated on keeping her comfortable and calm most of all and I'm pretty proud of how relaxed she's been.

Today I upped the ante a bit and using an actual longe line and whip I started out asking her for one or two circles around me. She did great, she wasn't flustered by the whip and she kept a nice distance between us. I even asked her for a few steps of trot! I clicked her as soon as she started trotting and pretty quickly she learned to step up at just the word. That was exciting.

Even more exciting: Gwen wore the western saddle today! She was a little tense when I first put it on her back and the pad slipped back. I was worried she'd blow up if I tried to mess with it so I let it be. I clicked her for each little step and she stood like a rock for it. After I cinched the girth she was a little uncertain. At first she tried to back up to get away from it but finally responded to my urging to come forward. A few steps and a handful of treats later she was walking forward calmly.

Again, I know very little about western saddles, if you notice that the saddle isn't in the right place please let me know. I'm pretty sure the pad is too far back but is the saddle too far back too? What do you think, is the pad too big?

I like this next picture though, any picture that shows her neck relaxed while she's wearing a saddle is very reassuring to me.
Sadly Coriander is still lame, poor boy. I hate rocks now.


  1. Geez, I am sorry to hear about Coriander. But, Yay, Gwen!!! She actually looks very relaxed under that saddle. The saddle seems a tad far back to me. For me, I use Gem's withers and the top of his shoulders as a guide. Position of the Western saddle is very similar to an English saddle. If you move your cinch up a couple of inches, you should be OK. Green is her colour and she sure looks good in Western tack! ;-)

  2. She does look good in green! I think the saddle maybe a smidge too far back but I am an English person too so maybe just ignore that! haha

    Yay sounds like Gwen is enjoying her work! I love when they start to really understand what you want and offer it up willingly and with controlled enthusiasm. Good work!

  3. Thanks guys, I'll make sure to put the saddle further forward next time.

    I'm still on a little high from how well she did yesterday. Good girl!

  4. It's so good to hear how much progress Gwen is making. I know nothing about western saddles, not even how to cinch one up, so you're ahead of me on that one. She's gorgeous in green. I'm partial to hunter green as it's Dusty's color.

    Hope Coriander is feeling better soon. I hate rocks too! Dusty has a stone bruise and is sort of off a little.

  5. Green is my favorite color, really she's lucky that it looks so good on her because she'd probably be wearing it even if it looked awful. I bet Dusty looks great in green too, she's a pretty color as it is.

    This rock hard footing hasn't been easy on anyone, hopefully our horses will both recuperate quickly.