Thursday, April 5, 2012

Half-halts

Rhythm and I had a lesson tonight and we worked a lot on half-halts. It made a huge difference. I have been allowing him to run through my aids way too much, and need to be constantly re-balancing him and asking him to stay down and round. I also need to stay really aware of my position, with my eyes up, shoulders back, and heels down.

We got our best canter work ever tonight! Our transitions are slowly improving and the actual canter was great improved with a strong leg and half-halt. Mary told me to not be afraid of being too strong with my hands but however strong I am using my hands I need to be 80% stronger than that with me legs. Since I tend to be on the nice side anyway with both my hands and my legs I need to be thinking "more." We had a beautiful canter down the quarter line on the long side of the arena. Rhythm was balanced and adjustable. We need to get there consistently. We also worked on our sticky traver tonight and actually had a few good steps of half pass both directions! They are definitely improving.

Pretty started to figure out her clicker tonight. Right now I am doing target training with her. She has a "target" which in my case is a spray bottle I was holding up. When she puts her nose on it she gets a click and then a treat. Last night she never really understood it, but she didn't sniff the bottle a few times and get a treat. However, tonight she started to make a connection between the target and the click. It was really cute watching her become more confident nudging the bottle to receive her treat. We'll see what she remembers tomorrow night. She is getting her feet re-done tomorrow, and her Auntie Tarra has graciously agreed to hold her for me. I'm hoping that she will be a really good girl. She can be hit or miss with being good for her feet. If I pick them up while she is cross tied in the wash rack she hops around and tries to jerk it away. She is better about it when I do it in her stall. The time I had her trimmed when I had her over the summer she was pretty decent. I definitely think she needs more boundaries and expectations. She appears to have been the boss back at her old house and is very impatient and inattentive. I certainly can't blame her since up until now her training has had a lot of holes. Hopefully we can fill that in as we go.

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