Sunday, January 18, 2015

4 Hooves + 4 Poles = Focus

It has been a rough week between inventory and finding out my schedule will be changed come February. That change will cost me 7 1/2% of my pay, which will hurt. On the other hand I am hoping to get more ride time, though it may be at dusk until the days get longer.

Speaking of riding, I have be able to get on in between odd work hours. Peggy and I went for a ride on the girls out on trail. When we came back, Roscoe was at the gate saying "My turn?" I tried to pacify him by doing a little ground work and tricks with him. It did not do much, but he did give up a while after. The next day he came and haunted the gate again. I knew when we put the mares out in the field next to him and he did not follow, he would not be overlooked. Of course it was a freaking cold day. I took a chance by putting the quarter sheet and bareback pad on him.
That became interesting as he flipped his head, forelock flying and hopped with his back end. And while he is broader than my last bareback ride, it was still a iffy situation. I had Mom walk by him, until I could get him listening. Soon we were moving, but it became apparent he was not happy we were staying in the arena. He wanted to go out on trail and that was all he was thinking about. Solved that by closing the gate. I was still getting forelock flips as we walked around the arena. We revisited moving his hindquarters by working corners.

Then I saw his ears prick and felt his walk get energized. I looked over to see Mom carrying a pole. Roscoe locked his focus onto that pole and bee lined for it. His attention was officially off of going out on trails. Mom added 3 more poles, placing them on a circle. Roscoe and I began walking over them, center point to center point. Or at least we tried. Our lines were a bit drunk. I was happy that the 4 poles brought focus. We kept at it and he found his bend to the right. To the left he kept cutting in, so I made him do a square instead. Roscoe did corners and went over the center of the poles. It nicely combined the poles and our earlier hindquarter movements. I wish we could have trotted, but the arena was crunchy in areas. I had to be satisfied by ending with round lines between poles going both directions and a mentally focused pony.
I found a bunch of 4 pole exercises that I can't wait to play with and even make jumps for Comrade. Two more weeks of inventory and maybe that can happen.

1 comment:

  1. aw so adorable that he's so drawn in to the poles - definitely a great way to keep the work fun!