Friday, December 5, 2008

MiKael Meets Richard...........More on Vee

Part 1

The next day we were back to the round pen with the Arabian horse. Richard had a plan based on a conversation with one of his friends. He was still thinking that weight was a factor in this equation. I, on the other hand, was still thinking the mare was going on auto pilot thinking she knew what was expected.

I was making that decision based on the look on the mare's face each time I'd asked her to lope. Knowing my horses and their expressions can really tell me a lot about what's going through their minds. Lots of times that knowledge helps with problem solving.

In this instance I was pretty darn sure that the horse was not listening to the cues as given by the rider. Instead she thought she had things all figured out and was trying to show off to get some major kudos. Then when that didn't work, her frustration set in making her try all the harder to show us what she knew. The harder she tried, the less she listened to her rider........the mare just kept trying to lope whether asked or not......and each time, she got the wrong lead.

Of course, it probably helped with my decision I'd been through this before. I've had a few over acheivers in my herd and they tend to think and act the same way.

For Richard's plan was riding the horse in the round pen with Jessica in the saddle playing at dead weight. Vee picked up the correct leads over and over with Richard calling all the cues. Then Richard asked me to get onto the mare cross checking to see if weight was really affecting this scenario.

As before, the mare picked up the leads each time that Richard asked....but as he asked, I used my cue as well. When Richard quit giving the mare a cue and I asked, the mare still nailed her leads every time. At least for now, that put to rest the idea of weight being this mare's issue and put it onto the horse paying attention.

Jessica continued to ride the horse daily, in the round pen with Richard giving the cue (for both the horse and Jessica) for days. When Richard would ask the mare to lope using her voice, Jessica would follow his cue and force(pushed through the trot into the canter without a cue)the mare into the canter. Gradually the mare was weaned off Richard's voice and into being "forced" into the canter by Jessica in the round pen. Over and over the leads were correct.

Days and days of that were done before the move was made back into the arena with Jessica riding the mare on the rail. When they did make that move Jessica would trot the mare in a circle forcing her into the canter and then proceed down the rail once they knew her lead was correct. Now the mare was getting those leads nearly every time. Most of the time the horse was off resulted if Jessica acted unsure. That question from the rider would translate down to the mare and result in an incorrect lead.

The important thing is the balance issue has been resolved. The horse is now listening to the rider instead of assuming she knows what the rider is asking. The end result is the mare is getting her leads most of the time. Soon we will begin working on collection.

Note: The little darling in this photograph is Vee. This is one of my favorite pictures of her. She ran up to me while I was photographing her sister and pleaded, "Take my picture, take my picture!" How could I resist that?

The Ghost Horse

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  1. Hey MiKael, I am hoping that no news is good news and that you are okay, drop me an e and update if you feel up to it. You are in my thoughts.

    Snowing and freezing here again today, nasty LOL sub freezing still.

    I am enjoying these posts, I wish I was a dedicated as you are, but I suspect that under different circumstances I would feel a whole bunch different about stufff than I do now.



  2. Hi Mikael,
    Shoot me an email when your up to it,so I can add you to the reader tlist for 20 meter