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Forward Backward Left Right

I didn't think Cookie and I would be able to get any work in this week due to the cold rainy weather, however today provided lots of sunshine even if it wasn't as warm as I would have liked. So pre-spring training continues! Yeah! 

Today we did a few different things. As always we warm up on the lunge going both directions. The one thing she hates the most right now, with her pinning ears, though I think she's getting the hang of it. She's much better at the walk, gets worse at the trot and when she's done with changing directions she rodeos. She is a lot better, just not happy about it yet. We'll get there... as we're both still learning. 

The first thing we worked on was backing a straight line without turning her head into me on the off side. I'm not sure why she does this, I do know it's quite annoying because as she turns her head towards me, her butt goes in the opposite direction. Now I want her to back straight up without zig zagging all over the place and without so much control on her head. In other words, I want to have a nice straight back up without having to direct her head.  What I did first was, walk her into the parallel logs straight ahead on the left side. Then I asked her to drop her head by placing my hand on her face. Gently pushing backwards and giving the verbal cue, we backed up one small step at a time. She did great while on the left side. On her right side, we had issues because she kept turning her head into me. So I took the butt of my whip and placed it on her cheek, then we began again. It worked much better, though I had to keep the whip there going forwards and backwards. Eventually we got to where I didn't have to touch her with it; I just held it by her cheek. We ended on a good straight back up. 

Then I had her disengage her hindquarters by asking her to move in a semi-circle and then side-pass up to a fence in both directions. This she did very well so we didn't spend a lot of time on it. 

For the next part, I walked her across the poles so that her hind feet were in between them. Then I asked her to lower her head again and take small steps sideways. This was a bit more trickier. Going from left to right, she would step forward or backward instead of sideways. Again I only asked for small steps at a time and when she got way off track, I walked her out of the poles, then around and back in them to begin again. Going from right to left was really good. We did it both ways until she did it good then walked out of the poles. I had her stand by herself while I re-arranged the poles into 3 different ground cavaletti. 

When she first began the lunge at the walk, she wanted to go around them. Always the lazy way out. lol I enforced the rules of engagement and she walked nicely over them. We proceeded at the trot. I had one set on an inward turn where she likes to short cut the circle sometimes so she couldn't get out of going over at least 2 of them in either direction. This is not one of her favorite things to do either. She did pretty well though and she's learning feet placement as well as to look at where she's going. When we ended today's session, I brushed her down really good and ended up wearing quite a bit of her shedding hairs. You can really tell Spring is around the corner when you wear more hair after working with your horse than when you began. 

Now if the weather holds up we'll continue backing and side-passing the poles as well as lunging the cavaletti and side passing up to a fence or mounting block.


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  1. julian johansen
    julian johansen
    hey, just wanna say your doin really good, but there are even better methods to work with horses. if you are the kind of person who whant to be FRIEND with your horse, read carefully what im telling ya here. im a not educated horse trainer who yet still have trained 7 horses and helped with 6 oders. to all of them, ive made it clear to them that whips and spurs is no good in a good partnership/friendship betwing horse and human.... what is most importen however, is that you find out what your HORSE intrest is, not what YOUR goal and intrest to do with the horse is. just like us, the horses have there own intrest they like to do, and so is there things that just don't intrest them at all. to that, its importen to accepth if that kind of sport you whant to do with it not is the kind of sports the horse whants. fx if you whanted jump contests, and the horse more is to the easy lazy trips in the forest or the beach, then its no good for you and your horse friendship to still push it to do YOUR intrest. in doin so, you lag the most importing thing abute horses, 'undestanding'. think of it like this. your out with one of your friends, and you whant to go in bio and see a movie, but your friend says, naa, its boring, i rather whant to go to a party or disco.... wuld you push your friend to go with you to the bio with you anyway? or wuld you try find something you both like to do instead? this was just an exempel... but its the same with horses, if theres something the horse dont like to do, then forget it, and find on something ells. thats undestanding, thats friendship, thats bonding with your horse!!!!! oderwise, YOUR DOIN FINE!!!! but drop the whip okay?
    1. Rene Wright
      Rene Wright
      Whips, spurs, quarts are all tools and when used properly are very effective. Some people do not use them properly and abuse their horses, I am not one of those people. I'm not out to make friends with my horse.. as I'm not going to ask it to go on a leisurely stroll down the beach and wait for an answer. Each horse is better at somethings and not so good at others. When I figure out what that talent is, I teach the horse within that talent. I'm not going to take a Clydesdale and run it down the track. That's not what they're bred for. Just as I wouldn't expect a Thoroughbred to pull a cart. Horses are bred for specific jobs and generally speaking are used in their respective areas. I have a relationship with my horse that involves respect and understanding on both sides. I use the aid of tools when necessary as an extension of my body, not because I'm trying to cause pain. I respect you have your way of doing things and that it's your perspective to see the horse as your friend. I however do not share that same ideology. If I find some of your methods to be useful, then I'll use them and if I don't then I won't. Each horse has their own temperament, their own way of learning and even timing in learning just as people do. Cookie and I are learning together many things. In fact every time I go out there to be with her we are learning and growing our relationship.
      1. julian johansen
        julian johansen
        what i ment is that horses have intrests and have an idea of what they mean abute everything, just as we have, or any oder living things. you can fx mean its to be a jump contest horse becures thats what its breed to be, but jump contest may not be what that horse likes to do, and if one push that horse to do this anyway, thats no good for a good relasionship with the horse. you can drag, push, and force a horse to things yes, and ya you can do a lot, but the horse within will never come. so its importen to accepth if theres a horse that just don't whant to do what you ask of it, and find out what you two can do thats in your both intrest and both of you WHANT to do thugether. not becures its learned to do it with you, but becures it whant to, not becures it have to... allow your horse to have choses. let it choose whatever or not it whant to do what you ask it to do, and ya find something only those few ppl who truelig undestand horses can have....

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