Monday, July 2, 2012

Mezza revisits the obstacle course

Today was hot, but that did not stop us!  Mezza watched me like a hawk yesteday, neighing every time I walked by, so she was happy to come out today. As both round pens were in use, we headed down to the indoor arena, and started our session with a longe at the walk and trot over ground poles. Then I had her do the turns (bends) on the longe line, where I toss the rope across her back just behind her shoulder, as I stand to one side of her neck, then walk to the side I tossed it to, pick it up, walk kind of towards her rear, flip it over her butt, and ask her to turn around. She is doing those really well!

It was good practice for her to start in the arena when there was someone riding in there--she has to be used to that for shows. Once the rider left, we worked on some in-hand turns (fores and hinds), backing and walking and trotting at side. The trotting at side started out with her getting ahead, so we went back to walking at side, and then "whoaing". Once she paid attention, we added the trot back in, but only for several paces before asking for a walk again. If she started to scoot ahead, I held the rope or end of the dressage whip in front of her face.  Once we did well, I stopped, and then turned her loose for a break. She was relaxed, and just ambled about for a bit.

So I clicked the lead line on and we went out and groomed and put her sport boots on and headed out to the small field with the obstacle course. We were all alone, and started by walking past all the jumps. One of the ones with telephone poles we both hopped over and proceeded through all of the obstacles:  the 'boxes' made of poles, walked around all of the tires, through the 'W' made of raised poles, over the tarp that is held down between 2 telephone poles, over the 4 or so ground poles, and finally, over the 'bridge'. This time she followed me over the bridge with no problem, but didn't really want to walk over it while I walked beside her. That we will have to practice more. I am really proud of her!

We finished up by walking out to the trailer, where I took off her boots and put fly spray on her, then gave her a few timothy pellets before walking and trotting her back to her pen. The walk and trot back were 'right on', she was in fine form!!

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