Sunday, July 3, 2011

Re-training Gringo

So, it was decided by my MIL that I should start to work with Gringo and get him going under saddle, finally. Seeing as the vet okay'd the work since the x-rays showed no serious changes, I've slowly started working with him again to see what he remembers.

Well, the first attempt about a month ago was a disaster. Gringo was really good w/t on the lunge but the moment I asked for a canter, he kinda lost it. I was able to get him back and I thought all was well, until we switched directions. Cantering on the right lead he again lost it and thought "Yipee". Out pops the left shoulder and there he goes... literally.

After watching him run around, like the lunatic he is, I finally was able to catch him again. I didn't attempt to ask for the canter again, but I did end the session on a good note by having a nice w/t and WHOA on the lunge line. Called it quits for the day after that.

So this past Wednesday, I decided to work with Gringo again. Better try to make it more consistent, otherwise I won't be getting anywhere. I started off the same way as before, but unlike the first time, this time Gringo was fully tacked. Bridle, surcingle and side reins. We worked on the same things. Walk/Trot/WHOA. The WHOA being especially important. The biggest thing I've learned with Gringo is that he loves positive attention, so as soon as he does something that I like, I praise him. Same goes for if he doesn't something wrong.

I didn't push for the canter, so I only got it a couple times each direction. But he did listen a lot better this time and I think being fully tacked up helped tremendously. Eventually, I'll be adding a saddle up there, but I've got time. I'm in no hurry to get him going under saddle. If it happens, it happens. I won't be upset if it doesn't. And I WON'T be the first person on his back.

So here's to small, baby steps in the progress of Gringo's training. He is listening to me and is understanding what WHOA means. Hopefully one day, all I'll need to say is "whoa" and he stops on a dime. That's my goal for him.

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