Friday, August 16, 2013

My, oh my: The Attitude Change

Wednesday I moved forward with my disciple (if you read my last post, you read about his stopping ordeal). I gave him benefit of doubt and went out without a crop. I wore the usual spurs which I didn't use, but I thought I should have them for reinforcement when the time came. I didn't use them because I wanted him to think it was his idea to head out to work. We went around a set of trees to try something new for a warm up, and he was great (to the one direction). I circled on the side of the trees where the barn is to turn around, and he stopped. GREAT.

We headed back to the barn where we tack up, and he was so excited to be going where he wanted. Little did he know, it was just for the whip which I left out on the mounting block. I didn't even have to use it, and Spyder was a whole new horse (peppy and ready to go - up for listening, too!). All you have to do is hold it, and he's on point. His ears are back waiting for the next command, and it's a lot less arguing. We worked on the track at w/t/c and the canter was the best we've had yet. It was consistent with speed and had little attitude. I am even getting bend by pushing off of my leg. He is holding it longer, but it is still in a circle. Once we go straight, it falls apart, but I think the bending will help him think he's on his circle.

Thursday, I didn't use the whip, but kept it out just in case. I was hoping it  was enough to threaten Spyder as I'd like to think he saw it and thought twice about acting up. We went out to the field, and I kept him on the buckle. Again, I wanted him to think it was his idea to. We got out there without a fight, and rode with another horse. Ok, they rode in the dressage ring, and we went in the field next to it. He was excited to be in the ring with someone else, and because of that, I didn't need much leg to get him going.

We worked on the usual w/t, but went all around the field and worked on circles, bending, and even steering. When the other horse and rider left, he didn't throw a fit like he usually does, either. He was focused. We did our steering, bending, and moving off of leg in the canter, too. Instead of figure 8, we worked on pushing through a few circles and then switched directions. I brought him back down to trot to work on an S up and down the field to work on direction. He was bad at halting so we worked on that for the last 10 minutes for our cool down. He kept pulling to walk back, but I think he learned his lesson from last time. You listen, then you can go back. Our 30 minute rides turn into 40 minute rides because he can't help himself. Let's hope he learns soon.