Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Trot work

I was bound and determined to ride today. I didn't ride Sunday or yesterday, so today it was going to happen. Unfortunately it's been snowing and freezing so the outdoor arena is too icy to ride on, we had to work in the indoor.

Neither I nor Coriander like to work in there. It's really dusty, it's really small, and the footing is yucky on the back wall - but it's way better than not riding at all. We made do and got some quality work in. He even trotted over a ground pole for the first time. He ticked it nearly every time we went over it, so I've got some work to do on managing his stride. Going to the left, he wants to dive to the left over the pole. He goes quite straight to the right. The right side is his stiff side so that might be why it's so easy for him to fall in on the left. I have to remember to stay on top of him with my left leg. We also had the usual problem of keeping him in gait, especially in the back where the yucky footing is. He really didn't want to trot through it, he kept trying to dodge it and stop, though I don't really blame him. It forces me to keep riding with intent instead of being a passenger, so it was good for him and me both.

Gwen's progressing on the target training, she's proving how smart she is. Yesterday we worked on it outside of her stall and in front of Coriander's. I got her to turn her head, lower her head, and take a step to touch the target. Today I upped the ante. We went just outside the barn door and worked on it again. Initially it was a little hard to get her attention but once she touched the target with her nose and got her first treat she was right with me. We did more head turning, head lowering, and I even got her to take 3 steps forward to touch the target! I think she even enjoys it for more than just the treats, as if she's looking forward to the next challenge. This seems like to way to go with her for now.

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