Good morning, friends!
Winter is a great time to tune up with groundwork! It is a staple for me when I can no longer haul, due to cold, ice, or snowy conditions! There was a lack of snow on the ground this day, and plenty of sunshine! I had to take advantage!
I’m advancing with being friendly with the stick to include all zones of the horse’s body. This day, I played with the stick and string all around Whiskey’s hind end, known as zone 5. He was very non-reactive and relaxed, the horse I was looking for!
From that exercise, I used the 22 foot lead to set up for the next session. Without using the stick, I ask for the “follow-the-feel for stepping forward. Whiskey did well. For this exercise, Whiskey stays behind me, stopping when I stop, maintaining his distance. I back up, and he backs up. We will progress this exercise at a trot.
I ended up with an exercise using the carrot stick to turn Whiskey on the forehand. He stands at my shoulder. I have the stick straight out from my bellybutton. I look and turn into Whiskey, the stick, as an extension of my arm, follows the bellybutton! It presents a wall for Whiskey to turn away from.
This is an exaggeration for Whiskey to follow my body language! This will translate into the saddle when we follow our focus with our eyes, shoulder, and bellybutton! Makes sense, eh?
Let me know what you think!