The sky was cloudy and it even started to sprinkle, but I was determined. Comrade was completely full of himself. Larry said he was pushy the last few days, so it was not surprising that he tried to take control during my ride. So I called his bluff and made him take control of himself.
I went to the buckle of the reins and asked him to trot. He started to skip into canter, but came back to trot when he realized that I was not going to pick him up. When he continued skipping, my mom had me start doing the "one rein stop." This is a method Clinton Anderson uses to help a horse learn to maintain the speed you set. Worked like a charm for Comrade. After 3 or 4 stops when he picked up canter, we were able to "cruise" around the arena. Going to the right I had to lead him to the rail when he tended to drift. I would pick up the rein lead him over then drop the rein again.
After we had cruise control, mom had me ask for softness using only the inside rein. Going to the left I used the pressure of two fingers on the reins to make contact. Comrade had to think about what I was asking for a little bit, then gave me the right answer by chewing and even reached down. To the left it got to the point that as soon as I lifted the rein he was soft and round. He even carried it on a loose rein for half the ring. Now the right was a different story. When I picked up the inside rein he immediately wanted to stop. I had to insist he keep going. Then he tried over bending causing him to circle smaller and smaller. It can be so hard not to react or pick up the outside rein. I did give in and pick up the outside a little bit. Comrade rounded, but he was tense in his jaw. I did not release the rein until he chewed. He spooked trying to distract me... it worked for a minute...then I put him back on the task.
By the end he had an awesome forward trot on a loose rein, maintaining a soft round neck and a much softer jaw both directions. And no LOST STIRRUPS :)
Of course it rained today so I did not get to follow up. Maybe tomorrow.
Here are some pictures of my ponies.
|Our Girls at Sunset...and someone else. Anybody know who?|
|Our Boys in Blue...the grey boys got new Weatherbeeta turn out sheets|
|Roscoe got his first turnout sheet, thank you Schneiders for having Jr sizes. He is so happy, especially since it rained. He hates to get wet.|