Sunday, March 1, 2009

Lessons at the walk

The last couple of days I've been working Cali in her usual groundwork routine, then saddling-up and doing a little more. Yesterday, my 15 year-old, Dave, came with me. He got some pictures of her reaction to going to the right at the canter; it was a little bronc show. I just kept asking and finally she figured out that I was serious and when she did it right, she got a break and praise. Today when we went through that routine, I could see her thinking about bucking, then she remembered it wasn't worth it. She likes the praise better. I rode her some more and she's doing great. I asked for more of everything today. Instead of just doing a passenger ride, asked her to move forward, to bend left and right, to stop, to yield her hindquarters away from the pressure of one heel or the other. She was great, except that nearly every time I asked her to flex her head around she'd try to grab my shin, toe or the girth with her teeth. Notice I didn't say bite; okay, maybe she was trying to bite that 'bug' in her ribs, but I don't think she was trying to bite me! I try to remember this is all new for her and she's trying to figure it out. I had to resist the urge to kick her in the face, I just shook my foot wildly. I pleased with our progress, and I really like that girl. Once she's consistent with her cues at the walk, we'll move on to the trot.

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