The week started out back at the arena. This was our last week of three days. A little silliness with the mounting block, but still an improvement. Asking for the hip over, I felt her teeth on my arm, she got yelled at and a smack for her trouble! After that, mounted up, stood still, rode on loose rein, reviewed head down cue, which builds the loose rein technique. Dismounted, checked cinch and tightened, mounted back up without incidence. Gaining some self sufficiency!
We started playing with some starting techniques to have our horse “come to me” first on the lead, and then without. Smokey thought she could stretch her neck to me without moving her feet forward to play the game, haha!
We had another session at the obstacle course today, an opportunity for sunshine, even though chilly, our work kept us busy! I did this session in-hand, practicing our leading exercises, keeping her back of me, like I want her on the trail if I feel the need to lead.
We had practice with the enclosure hung with noodles, that generated some curiosity, ground poles, umbrella, moved out of the arena to the trench and bridge platform, over logs, straddling and stopping for mounting, tree limb piles, boughs that got brushed along her sides, a log pile to pick her way through, a trail bordered by logs to go forward and backward, a campfire to check out, some flag waving, pulling a wagon, as you would a log, the car wash hanging strips!
Smokey received some practice loading up, tying, and then backing out of the trailer!
Our last day saw some de-sensitizing with some big balls, bags of empty plastic bottles, some boxes, that packing material that snaps, crackles, and pops! I didn’t see anything that bothered Smokey. We then learned and practiced roll backs, and put that to use with the keyhole game! This day Smokey and I were coached at the mounting block to use small steps forward and the hip over, she was very responsive!
How have you been filling your toolbox? I’d love to know!
You can catch a short video here of the keyhole game!