Lunging for Learning

Good day, Friends!

The day for Elvis’ date with the vet nears for his gelding appointment!

In preparation for after care, which involves lunging twice a day, we had a session to refine skills for both myself and Elvis.

First we were given a visual with Erika Lafors explaining what we are doing:  addressing nose in, ribs out, shoulder over, maintain gait, maintain direction.

Check it out!

Then it was my turn to be coached.  Elvis learns quickly!

Then we did a little refining on the change of direction!

How do you prepare your partner?  I’d love to hear!

Terri

 

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Catching up With Elvis

Good morning, Friends! 

Elvis continues his progress!  During the last three months of  temperatures in the nineties, I’ve been meeting up with Elvis in the mornings while still cool, to have fun with all things feet!

We have had obstacle work in the indoor arena, some Ttouch work, learning how to give a bow down, preparation for ground tying, practice on proper in-hand leading skills, pedestal fun, some liberty, work on quiet feet, trailer loading and backing out, the game of “around the world” progressing to “sit stay”, and had a first outing to an obstacle course for a day!

Awesome fun!  Let me catch you up!

Here is his trailer loading, first time went in willingly, and then here we are refining, coached by Erika Lefors, part of the ALT Horsemanship team!

Here Elvis is getting good at the bow down.

Getting some Ttouch, built into grooming time. . . . .

Tuned into his handler. . . . . .

some in-hand practice. . . . . .

coached on the pedestal. . . . . .

Practicing technique. . . . .

Playing “around the world”, we achieved twice around this day!

and finally some “sit stay” as I back away, I got two good steps in!

Be sure and follow our progress on our Facebook page DD This Dudes Rad!  Here is the link:

https://www.facebook.com/DD-This-Dudes-Rad-324724784544503/

Stay Tuned!

Terri

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The new Little Missy

Folks!  The summer has been busy, and we are on the cusp of a change of season again!  School has even started in some of the neighborhoods!  The heat in Spokane has again been in the upper 80’s, 90’s and even triple digits.  By my definition and choice, this is too hot to ride out, and we have had smoke, some of the worst air quality in the nation at times, from Canadian fires to the North, Central Washington fires, and wildfires in Montana.  So I sit tight, but still need to satisfy my cravings for horse progress.  Having Elvis at the barn for training keeps the ball rolling forward.  I visit the barn in the mornings while it can still be called cooler, for sessions with Elvis.

Then along came Flicka!

Flicka is a three year old, that came into the barn early Summer for skill building and sale, or re-homing.  I took her on, and I’ve been having fun ever since!

I love my projects, Whiskey is hanging at home until the weather is cooler, and the juggle works.  Of course, I have great support from the training barn, with Angela Tanner, and her daughters Erika Lefors and Z, or else I would not be doing this!  Support is everything!

Flicka is having her first rides, and she is a nice in-between from the youngster Elvis, and older and more accomplished fourteen-year old Whiskey!

She came without any formal training, but had some reactionary responses instilled, which the Angela Tanner team had already made improvements on by the time she arrived on my radar.

She has progressed enough that I am starting to have some sessions with her, so enjoyable!

Groundwork has been started with bridlework techniques.  Here is a demonstration by Angela Tanner, Brandi Lyons Certified Trainer, of which this technique is a key element.

Hugs all around!

 

Terri

Follow our progress on Facebook page My Friend Flicka!

https://www.facebook.com/My-Friend-Flicka-1943833242529698/

 

 

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Sunny Winter Groundplay With Whiskey

Good morning, friends!

IMG_0874Winter 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!

walking forward
walking forward

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!

stopping
stopping

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.

backing up as I do
backing up as I do

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.

creating a wall with the stick.
creating a wall with the stick.

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!

Terri

 

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Going into Fall with Groundwork

WP_20151104_002Groundwork is a way to problem solve and clarify leadership without and before getting into the saddle.  I have found with ground “play”, the riding to follow goes smoothly, and I’m grateful for the positive experiences.   For some years, I have purchased broke horses, and do my tune up and relationship building starting from the ground.  I know this has helped immensely in my transition to the saddle, and I’m grateful to have this tool!  I don’t take anything for granted with a new-to-me horse, and I maintain this consistency.

WP_20151104_003For this session, we played what we called the “catch up to me” game, essentially a leading game.  I start out being friendly with the stick.  I pick up the lead, and give a porcupine feel on the halter.  Whiskey moves softly forward, so I lower the lead and take the pressure off.  My hand is open so the lead can slide through, relieving the pressure and staying soft while asking.

With my “inside” hand, I hold the stick on his back.  When he falls back, I tap him on the croup to catch up to me, so he is at my shoulder.  We do this both ways, both sides, until he consistently stays at my shoulder with the stick staying quiet and the lead rope down with my hand open, pressure off.

WP_20151104_005I found this to make a big difference with Whiskey self loading!  With pressure off, I take Whiskey over to the trailer and send him in, he goes right in, without hesitation or resentment!  He’s been hauled regularly in this trailer, but hasn’t had the happiest attitude about loading.  This leading “ask” made a huge difference!

IMG_0803Back and forth, to and from the barn, we continue to have success with Whiskey’s self loading.  I can leave him loose, or come around and tie him after closing the door.  Whiskey transitioned to backing out with a soft pull of a few tail hairs, coming out slowly, with care and awareness of his feet!

How has your ground work affected your purpose with your buddy?

I’d love to know!

Terri

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Whiskey gets his groove on

What's happening?
What’s happening?

Whiskey is having fun now!  Typically the first three Parelli Games, if it leaves your horse wondering, well, the ones following, they start to have fun with!  Whiskey is no exception!  He was ready to see what I had for him!

waiting, comfortable in our own space.
waiting, comfortable in our own space.

I built on the first three games, and we were able to progress rather quickly, with appropriate licking and chewing.  Soft and responsive on the Porcupine Game, really good at the Driving Game with the disengagement, a little slower on moving the front shoulder.  Whiskey is rather a sneaky pete on the back-up, wants to move forward, even just a step, but with consistency, he softened and said “OK”.  That was super!

This is my human, she likes to wiggle the rope!
This is my human, she likes to wiggle the rope!

I interspersed some stepping over poles, and played with backing up over the pole, taking one step at a time over a pole, watching where he was putting his feet!

oh. . .I see now
oh. . .I see now

Whiskey didn’t know what to make of the Parelli Yo-Yo game, I gave him a little help with some Porcupine and Driving game.  He stayed in his space, and was soft, that was great!

Sending. . . .
Sending. . . .

The Parelli Circle Game took a little reminding to stay out on the circle, he gave the typical “quit” response when I wasn’t looking!  He came in, disengaging, really giving that one some thought!

maintain gait, and direction
maintain gait, and direction

Whiskey’s having fun!  We ended up with a little grooming and Ttouch, and guess what???  He engaged me with his right eye on his right side without my having to ask!  I rewarded with a carrot!

IMG_0568Stay tuned!  How’s your groundwork and partnering up coming along?

I’d love to hear!

Terri

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Whiskey comes back for more. . . .

Coming to catch me!
Coming to catch me!

Another session in the works for Whiskey, more new groundwork for him!

He’s a sweetie, meets me at the gate to catch me up!  We have the usual “peanut gallery” with Handsome Guy, who’s been through all this, and Chica, who has done some. . . .Chica always shows such interest!

new friends!
new friends!

Barney more often than not now also joins the audience!

Today we progressed with the Parelli Driving Game. I’m building on the groundwork already given, repeating and adding.   Whiskey gave a good try, not needing to be perfect, giving a good lick and chew.  Afterwards some grooming and Ttouch.  Interestingly, Whiskey wants to ignore me with his right eye. . . . how interesting!

How's I do today?
How’d I do today?

I’m giving that some thought. . . . .

Stay tuned!

Terri

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