We got some new moves worked out last night after many attempts.
I got to get Smokey out in the big arena while Misty and Colors did a lesson, which was great to work on Smokey’s focus, which is miserable. I longed him a little, but nothing too serious and only on the clinician’s lead, so it was all tight circles where he had to respect the flag.
Once I hopped on, he was pretty good, aside from trying to get the carrots that I had stuck in the fence for later rewarding. He only turned his head around begging for carrots a few times, so that was progress.
He did throw his head a lot at first when he didn’t yield to my legs and I pulled on his face. I’m trying to remove that entirely from my repertoire since I want him to be a leg yield kind of horse instead of a face yield. I got a little over aggressive with my legs from time to time kicking him in an effort to get his attention (he seems pretty dead sided) and generally being off balance (hello, workout!). Though it wasn’t pretty, we made it around the arena on the rail counter clockwise a few times without too much irritation on either of our parts. I hopped off and did some groundwork on pivoting and yielding to pressure at the girth (which he has apparently entirely forgotten). I hopped back on and managed to get him turned around to go the other way on the rail.
We trotted accidentally a few times, but nothing big. He has a huge working walk right now. It’s actually really impressive that he can cover that much ground at his height at that gait. His head carriage was absolutely fantastic when I wasn’t pulling on him (shame on me). He holds it very level with his back and will look tremendous once we’re on the same page for steering.
Excellent work, handsome!
My list of things to work on tonight:
- Stop pulling on his face. Just stop it, already.
- Less kicking, more tapping and squeezing.
- More groundwork before getting on. Gotta get those pivots back in shape.
- Pack for the Buck Brannaman clinic!