Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Day 61

Marley is still pooped from the weekend away from home.  I spent some time brushing him and we did a lot of ground work and clicker training with his bow, follow, lowering his head, and some work with his feet. 

Photo by Katherine Payne Photography
After ground work, I tied Marley up to the outside of the arena and tacked him up.  For the first time ever, Marley payed no attention to other horses working in the arena.  I basically couldn't stop feeding him carrots, I was so proud of the change.  Even when I went to mount, Marley was non-reactive to other horses trotting and cantering by, and there were three horses in the arena with us which is normally a little bit of an issue.

My ride was very short as I could tell Marley was still tired.  He didn't have the same spring in his step, and it was difficult for him to hold a steady frame on a light contact, which normally he does very easily.  Once I had Marley consistently and quietly moving and bending on a serpentine, I stopped and decided to keep it at that.  Animals, like people, learn best when they aren't tired, and while he could use some fitness, I would rather make better training progress than work on his conditioning.  Usually, the two go hand in hand, but for right now Marley's mental progress is more important than his physical progress (in my opinion). 

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