Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Another day of success.

Today was another successful day out at the barn. I worked with Gus first and he was truly a superstar. He started off pretty rough again - very stiff with an up/down movement versus down/out movement but eventually he did work out of it.

Our under saddle work was the same basic principles as last time. We warmed up with some 10m figure-8 circles (we did the whole arena twice) followed up by another 1 1/2 laps of shoulder stretches, both directions. Once that was done, I asked for the trot. Trot work was interesting ... today Gus didn't attempt to avoid contact, but he didn't want to slow down and do a more "jog trot". I did eventually get him to sit down on his hind end and slow down, but it was definitely something I had to keep asking for.

So, for our trot work we ended up doing mainly 3-loop serpentines, at least to start with. That progressed to a few 20m circles and some long-sides.

Canter work was short and very sweet. I just wanted to see what I had to work with. I asked for the right lead canter first ... in the corner going into the short side of the arena. Gus was very obedient and picked up the lead right way. But it was a bit of a hot mess. Very unbalanced and kinda four-beated. Going to the left, I asked for the canter in the same spot and it was much more of a normal canter, least what's "normal" for Gus.

I ended Gus's work out on that note ... after asking for another couple trot laps. He was such a good boy today. Our workout consisted of 15 minutes of lunge work and 25 minutes of under saddle work. The goal is to slowly start working more and with greater intensity to get his strength built back up. I hope I can get there.

Gringo was a really good boy today too, all things considered. He was lame on the lunge to start with, so I opted to go right away to ground driving versus lunging first. Boy, he was just a mess ground driving though. I decided to work on leg yields again, as it's something that is difficult for Gringo (whereas most things he picks up right away). Well, they are still just a mess. He's much, much better leg yielding to the right then he is to the left, but he's still just a mess. Oh well.

We did have some fabulous half-halts though. Gringo was very, very quick to pick up that new command a few weeks back, in his last lesson. So I like to use it often ... although sometimes he's too quick and totally drops down a gait. But, at least he's thinking and hearing me. That's ALWAYS a plus.

At the end of our ground driving session, which was done exclusively at the walk, I did ask for the trot again to see if Gringo worked out of his lameness. And he looked like he had, least for the most part. So we did a few trot laps... working on getting him down and round and moving slowly. He did a FABULOUS job. Very, very proud of Gringo today. I honestly haven't worked with him in seriously, like 2 weeks. Glad this boy remembers things REALLY well.

Both boys had a new experience this afternoon. I used the shop vac and actually vacuumed both boys. Gus was a pro, like I knew he'd be. But Gringo surprised me. He was SO good. He was more afraid of the cord then he was of the really loud noise. Goofy horse. But I was happy to know I can use the shop vac in the future. Now to just figure how to blow instead of suck. Then I can blow out Gringo's winter coat, instead of brushing it out. :-)

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