Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Phew, it's hot!
Back in Scotland, when it's too rainy even for Scots to get anything done outdoors, we say the day was a complete washout. I can only describe yesterday as a complete burnout. At least for me and the ponies. They were actually in the loafing shed trying to cool off at 9am.

I thought that by getting up super early this morning I might get something done with them, but we only managed a bit of grooming in the shade. Bruce lay down during that, and let me finish while he lay there. That was kinda fun.

Meanwhile, when the heat wasn't too bad today I worked on the roundpen a bit. It's coming along faster than I imagined. Clearing the hazards and old weeds away. I've placed it so that it can be an extension of the arena, and if I want to play with the gate open and they leave they will just end up in the arena. Later I will also clear the area outside it, so that if I leave the arena gate open I will be able to ride out of the arena and do a circular ride the rail around the pen. That will give us a little more variety while I develop the bigger play areas.

One thing we have been progressing with is liberty, though. I want to get to where I can move them around the farm without lead ropes. So I thought a good start was to only have a rope on one of them. Yesterday I led Iona and Bruce had to stick to me. He was so hot I wondered if I'd get him moving, but once he understood he got quite interested (treats were involved) and did a lovely job, even though since we were coming from the loafing shed it wasn't our usual morning route. Turned them out later the same way. This morning it was Iona's turn, and she did a great job, too.

By about 7 this evening it had cooled off, and after an afternoon spent watching some inspiring PNH stuff on DVD I really felt like getting Iona and playing. I want out to the track to get her, and of course Bruce assumed just what I have been teaching him, that he should come with us at liberty! Or maybe he just wanted the nice grass on the other side of the gate we tried to go through. Anyway, he was pretty easy to catch and redirect, so it was fine. I will have to work out some clearer signals about my intentions!

We cut across the pasture rather than going along the track, but that meant that I was seperating them, so Iona got a bit high headed and bracey. I just kept giving her things to do and she managed to keep it together. In the arena she was still a little uptight, but we managed to do some friendly game with both the ball and flag. Actually, I think we had a bit of a breakthrough with the flag. When she got worried and turned zone 5 to me (to leave, not to kick) I actually increased the pressure and played a sort of catching game. That interrupted the leaving pattern, and I think it was the right thing as at this stage I feel she is more offended by the flag then really fearful. Gee, maybe I am finally learning to read horses! I think my timing was better tonight than in the previous session. We managed to end on a lick and chew and relax.

It was a great moment to challenge myself with some bareback pushing passenger, because as soon as I got on her, she just wanted to dash to the gate (a piece of old rope, remember) toward Bruce. Not quite bracey, but a nice jolting trot and very determined. So then I would have to stop pushing and turn her, as I didn't want her to test the "gate". (Okay, I'll get a better gate!) It was good practise, though!

We finished up with some point to point on the 45' line. Wow! That was really easy! Cool! We walked back out to the track at liberty, and I was very proud that she waited while I shut a gate and never offered to run ahead to get back to Bruce.

Just to cool us all off, here are some photos I forgot to add last time. It's Bruce and Sara having a laugh with the hose after the ride on Sunday.

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  1. Well, here in good old Fife it's rainy & has been for a while. We had a playday planned last Saturday, but the storm on Friday night caused us to change the plan.It was a complete washout !! We had a horseless playday instead, far more comfortable in the house!We watched Karen Rohlf's Dressage Naturally dvd & Shelley led the simulations.

    So no short sleeves for us just yet- we're still wearing lots of layers and wellies !

  2. I could use one of your cold rainy days, Sue. Could you send me one?

    However, the result is the same - sitting in the house watching DVDs. Yesterday I watched the Right Brained Extrovert from the recent trailer loading/horsenality DVD, and then Dave Stuart with Snoopy and Pat from the 2003 UK conference. Boy, I can see so much more now that I did in 2003!

  3. Kris,
    I LOVE the picts of us playing with the hose. Bruce really enjoyed getting me wet and I am still giggling at his antics!

  4. Hi,

    You said you'd like to meet Parelli students so here I am! I'm Shelly Morris, an honorary member of Savvy Scotland (here in the USA--GA). That's how I found your blog. I'm Level 1 on saddle, Level 2 on ground...working on audition tape now.
    Your site is lovely!
    Take care,
    Shelly :)
    I'm at