Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Working on communication

I started with a few circles today, she's trotting and cantering well. Then I did some desensitizing with a spray bottle. Everything we do is an attempt to desensitize her from scary objects and sensitize her to my cues. Timing is everything. I picked up her feet. Put the saddle on, trotted to the left and right, backed, all the usual stuff.  We tried circle driving and the "C' pattern. She goes out to my left well, but gets stuck going to the right. I point, cluck, and tap her with my stick. She keeps  trying to go to my left even though I'm signaling right. When I waved the stick to 'close the door' to the left, she reared way up, then lunged toward me. I tried to stand my ground and wave her off, but with Philip on my back, I know I backed out of her way while I whacked her shoulder. We tried a few more times, slowly until she got it right. I wasn't worried about her rearing as much as I was about her pushing toward me. She has to respect my space all the time, but she still challenging that a little. We ended on a good note before I put her away. I want to be sure that I'm giving her very clear signals, correcting mistakes immediately and always ending with something she does well.

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