Friday, May 18, 2012

A good Friday!

Mezza and I worked in the round pen on stalking today, walking and trotting in-hand, before going to the barn to work in the stall.

Today's stalking went really smoothly--Mezza circled me 3 or 4 times at an easy lope before she started to look at me. I had her continue on a couple laps, she can get high headed when I don't let her come in when she asks, but this time she simply tried to circle closer and I pushed her out and kept her going a few more laps and then stepped forward and back--she sucked right in and we stood facing each other and I pointed and wiggled the tip of the whip and she headed out in the correct direction. Asking for her to come in and turn with her left eye on me was no sweat, asking for her to step in and then turn from the right eye still takes two tries most of the time. After about 3 turns she is trotting, watching me, and she was really relaxed, except with the turns from the right, where she initially stops, doesn't turn in toward me when I step out and back, but tries to run past without turning, so I make her continue and try again. It was taking two tries, but the last one was really good, so I let her just stop and stand, and the she walked right in very calm.

We practiced our turns on hinds, fores, backing and then her walking and "whoaing" and trotting at side. This is all coming along pretty nicely.

After that we headed into the barn where Mezza and I walked in and out (forward) of the stall with the higher step several times before going to the stall with almost no step to practice backing. We still went in and out forward a couple of times, then worked on coming part way in, standing with the fronts in, then backing out. Finally we worked on coming in completely, standing (almost invariably she'd come in and as soon as her hinds were in she'd swing them! She therefore got a lot of practice with partial turns on the fores so she'd like up straight. I found it easier to practice asking for one or two steps back and then stop her when they were good backing steps so I could rub her. Then I'd ask her to step forward (towards me at the back of the stall) and we'd practice again. When the steps back got less crooked, then I stopped asking her to move forward and simply gave her a rest and a rub after one or two steps. We completed 3 backs out of the stall. It probably took us at least 20 minutes. I am really proud of her! That was all for her for the day.

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