Saturday, April 19, 2014

Moose and the Jolly Ball

My good friend Stephanie with her cute patootey, Beau (remember from the mini show Moose went to?), came out to help me with my next step with Moose: desensitizing.

She shared a video with me of a local driving trainer who held a desensitizing clinic some time ago, and used a jolly ball as a good means for teaching them to drag something behind them that bumped, bounced, and skooted around. I am hopeful that I can find one of my own this week (Cenex was out of stock today, but I have a friend who said she would give me one of hers) to practice with at home.

So the first step was getting Moose used to the ball in general. My friend tossed the ball towards him repeatedly, you know, usual desensitizing antics until he finally got over it (which wasnt too long), then we followed her around with it dragging behind her, then looped it around Moose's legs for him to drag (which he was a SUPERSTAR) and finally, tied it to his halter so he learned to pull something that jostled.

He really was a wonderful boy. I just love this little pony - he has a phenomenal mind and is a quick study. It's not much, but check out the video of his ball dragging!

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Reining Clinic, with a Twist

Sorry for the delay in posting this, but as life so often is nowadays, posting, and time, come few and far between.

Two weeks ago, March 22, friends Kathy and Stephanie (who I have participated in the group lessons with Sabrina with) hauled Milo and I up with them to Enumclaw for a reining clinic put on by Sabrina. This was her first clinic held here in Washington (remember, she moved up here from Colorado three months ago).

Without going into a huge amount of detail, the best part of the clinic was that we ran through a full reining pattern, twice. Any other clinic I have attended we simply work on each maneuver, which is great, but actually running the pattern was so hugely beneficial to seeing were our problems really lie. We ran pattern number five, a favorite of mine, and the first run through we had some issues with. Charging Milo, kicking Milo, pissy Milo, running-through-the-bit Milo, but all in all not too horrible considering we hadnt ran a full pattern in two years already.

The clinic was wonderful, really helping to work on specific problems for the more patterned horses now (not just beginner exercises, but problem fixing exercises). Sabrina also noted a few things about Milo and I:

Milo was kicking out in the lead changes to the right, and after running through it a few times, she suggested that I quit babying him through it. I focus so much on "hopefully he changes this time" rather then realizing that Milo now has the lead change button on him  and we need to be cleaning up the lead change now. After a reprimand or two over kicking out (a big no no for a lead change), she encouraged me to focus less on getting the change, but focus more on riding him for a correct change. Its hard to describe, but it was a real eye opener to a few things that I dont expect enough from Milo with (sorry buddy).

Sabrina also noted how Milo and I are like an old married couple. We both know whats up, what to expect from the other one, and Milo knows exactly how to push my buttons. From an outsiders perspective, she saw how Milo does some of the things that he does because he knows it gets my goat, but isnt a huge enough thing for a true reprimand. Amusing how seven years together and he has learned how to continue to keep himself entertained. Never a dull moment with this horse.

We learned another great exercise for rollbacks working it at a trot rather then a lope.

It was a great clinic and I wish I had posted sooner for more details. But I'm tired now and a magarita is calling. Enjoy the photos!

That grey next to Milo is Diesel, his bro-mance buddy. They just love each other!