Thursday, April 7, 2011

Day 28

We had a great morning with Marley went out nice and early before work and school while it was still cool and quiet at the barn.  When we arrived the horses were still eating breakfast, and this usually means that Marley doesn't come to greet me at the gate.  He acknowledges me, and will let me put his halter on in between bites, but that's about it.  Today though, when I called him before I opened his gate, he nickered and turned away from his gigantic pile of hay and came right over.  It was a pretty cool start to a great day.

Mike and Marley

Mike came with me this morning and helped me with some ground work training.  They are both doing so well, Mike is learning a lot of about horses and how to work with and around Marley, and Marley is starting to be really comfortable around multiple people and situations.  He also knows that Mike is a pretty reliable source of carrots, and they've become good friends.

Mike took a lot of video today so I had to split it up because it was too long to post.  Marley is really starting to understand bend through his body and he has become very reliable and almost immediately responsive to aids.  He is so soft in the hand and is starting to understand contact and the outside rein.  He is dropping his shoulders less and less, and after his feet were trimmed yesterday I feel like he is moving better and much more forward.  I'm thinking of transitioning him into the snaffle bit in the next 2 or 3 rides.  He is still being ridden without a bit, and now that he is understanding contact, bend, and softness, I want to establish connection.  I think this is the perfect time to transition him as he is still learning a lot on a daily basis, but he comfortable and confident enough that I think the transition is going to be easy and positive.  He already understands what he is supposed to do, and I want him to remain soft and light in my hand so it was important in my training plan that he didn't figure out the bit by pulling on it and having it bump him in the mouth while he tried to understand everything else that was changing in his world.  

Marley has gotten better but is still a little funny about riding near other horses.  Most people at the barn tie their horses up to the outside of the arena to tack them up, and this morning I used it as a training opportunity when someone was doing just that.  Eventually Marley was ignoring the other horse, and we moved on.

I also had some trot poles set up in the arena which Marley figured out immediately.  He is really smart with his feet, so Mike set up a small cross rail for us and we trotted over that a few times too.  To finish up our session I took Marley over to the "bridge" in the arena and for the first time we went over it under saddle, and even trotted over it.  He's such a little smarty pants!

1 comment:

  1. He is so cute! All of your videos were great. He seems to be having as much fun as you are. Great job!