Friday, April 22, 2011
Day 42 - Easy does it
It rained all night last night, so the barn was really muddy and gross this morning. There weren't many people there, but there was one person lunging in the arena, so I took Marley in for some ground work. He didn't really mind the other horse, so I kept moving him a little bit closer until he was about 10 feet off of the other horse's circle. This worried Marley a little bit, especially when the other horse would canter and the person on the ground would kiss and cluck. I continued to work on Marley's "bow" behavior, which he really loves because it involves lots of carrots, and pretty soon he was paying no attention to the other horse. The behavior is almost finished, I really want to get some video of it so everyone can see, but I've been alone the last week at the barn and it's hard to get photos/video and train at the same time.
We also worked on some side pass from the ground, as well as turn on the haunches. Any time Marley is learning something new, he is really focused, and it makes me think that maybe the next time all of the horses are in the arena, I can start something completely new from the ground. That way I can reward him for staying calm and completely relaxed, as well as responding to me when I ask something of him. Once the other horse left the arena I put Marley's bridle on and climbed around him and over him from the mounting block and the fence. He is a little bit unsure of this whole bareback thing, so I spent lots of time just getting on and off, and walking him around on a loose rein. It was fun to just play around with Marley on some trust building exercises, and he could use the day off from really hard work under saddle.