Thursday, May 31, 2012

Thursday's practice with Mezza

Since I didn't squeeze in the long lines on Tuesday, I felt they needed to be practiced again today. Miss Mezza is doing well with them, and starting to get the turns down, so I want to practice them regularly enough that we can see ground driving later this summer.

Currently I am incorporating as many basics as I can think of into her practice, which is about 3 times per week. I try to rotate some of the activities so the sessions remain between 1 and 2 hours, but others need to be practiced each time. Since Mezza will be showing in halter and showmanship she needs to be really light and comfortable handling at side in different locations. It is really easy to get in a routine, and then forget about some of my "mini goals". The true test will be in the actual show ring itself.

Ideally I would add at least one more day per week, but with our own 2 horses and work, that is still in the "planning" phase! What might work better is to add one or two short sessions, of just handling her mouth, washing her hooves with a sponge and bucket, practicing just spray, or just bending, etc.

Usually I try to start by stalking her in the round pen, and then practicing in-hand there for more focus before taking her to another location on the property. This way she may start in the round pen, get tacked and groomed in the barn, get additional work in the indoor or outdoor arena, or even in the obstacles in the small field, and then go back to the round pen for long lining before de-tacking again in the barn.

Right now part of her getting used to different locations will be achieved by trailering her with Dawn's other horses to different events.

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