Thursday, March 3, 2011

March plans?

Law of Nature: If Shannon sees a bandwagon, Shannon will jump on said bandwagon.

I've been seeing a bunch of goals posts on other blogs so I've decided to do my own. I have two goals for March: 1) teach Coriander the canter cue and 2) get a solid whoa and go with Gwen under saddle. Should be doable, right?
I was documenting his hooves for my records, thus the board.
Here's the thing- the last time I tried to get Coriander to canter in a ring he wouldn't do it. Granted he was lame from thrush at the time (and yeah, I felt like a total jerk once I realized that), so I really can't blame him for not wanting to grind all of our weight onto one painful forefoot at a time, but now I'm feeling defeated before I've even started.

I'm figuring what I need to do is throw him on the lunge line and get a really solid voice cue for it. Then, when I'm riding him, I can teach him to associate the leg and seat cue with the voice cue and, Viola!, canter cue complete (Except for the leads. Details, details.). Does this sound like a good plan?

Getting a whoa and go with Gwen is going to be much easier in comparison, I just need a safe place to do it. I'm planning on riding her on the pasture but that's dependent on the footing in the pasture, and right now it's crap. Melt snow, melt! Dang it!

I'm SO ready for spring!


  1. I'm all for adding enough steps to make it simple for the horse so putting verbal cues on the ground is part of my training program. I like to do them for both lunging and long lining. I do the same for the whoa cue. Work first on the ground. I also do a precursor for let cues on the ground by teaching the horse to move away from pressure applied where the leg would be. I do that on both sides. Moving away is movement and it will convert over to forward when you convert to riding and using both legs together because the horse has learned it should move something, it will look for the right something.

    I want spring to get here too. This winter is killing me.

  2. Gem knows walk, back, stand, wait, over, whoa and I kiss the air twice to get him to jog, although he know TA-rot and Canter on the lunge line. For loping I say "Hup!" as I squeeze my legs. Don't ask me where I got Hup! from...I have no idea.

    Having verbal cues to reinforce leg and seat cues is a good thing, I think. The way I look at it is that there may be occasions when I am not able to ride with only seat and leg when I am really sore from a lesson.... :-)

  3. Yeah I am a big fan of vocal cues myself. They seem to really help translate work from the ground to the saddle.

    If he really does not want to canter in the ring, maybe take him into a wide open space? That is where I taught Bodhi to canter for the first time.

  4. Thanks MiKael, that's similar to what I was thinking and what I did when before I taught him to move his hindquarters over. You've also reminded me that I need to do more of this with Gwen :)

    Good pointers Wolfie, for some reason I forget to use my voice as a cue. And hey, if "Hup" works, stick with it.

    Hi Golden, glad to have you back :) Thing is he's more than happy to canter and gallop outside of the ring, I don't know if it's the footing or the confinement that keeps him from doing it in the ring. I suspect the footing, which might make this whole thing a moot point since his feet have improved. I guess I'll just have to see what happens.

  5. I had issues cantering my old gelding in confined places. Getting out in open places really helped. He was able to build muscle and confidence and eventually he learned to canter in the ring as well. I remember the first time I was able to get him to canter a full lap of the was one of those great moments of riding!

    I'm a fan of voice commands, too. Whoa to stop, cluck to trot, kiss to canter. I also use kisses as a pre-cue for things like rollbacks and lead changes.

  6. Hey Story, that's a good idea too- especially since he doesn't mind cantering outside of the arena. He could stand to build a bit of muscle too.

  7. Sounds like a good plan to get the verbal command before you ask from his back.

    I like the idea of canter outside of the pasture. My Pie is lazy and our first canter will be outside the pasture just to let the "freedom" help us move forward happily.

  8. Very good and attainable plans, I think! I agree with you assessment--I've found that if my horses know verbal cues from the ground that they transition to riding much better.
    I also use verbal cues in the saddle, which a lot if people don't like to do, but it's always worked best for me. :)
    If you don't have a pen to work Gwen in, can you have someone hold onto a lungeline and that way you have a backup in case she quits listening and doesn't stop?