Archive for January, 2016
Yep, today was the day that I started and finished riding Cisco bridleless. I have a friend that calls it naked. It means nothing was on Cisco’s head or in his mouth when I climbed aboard. I, however, had on pounds of winter clothes.
I did a darned clever thing, I had Cisco doing a lot of fast ground play. We practiced trotting in one direction for ten circles. Then we did ten circles the other direction. We rested and started cantering. Cantering at liberty in the round pen didn’t go well. I kept him at it, trying to get Cisco to maintain the canter. Bleh. Cisco went into a right brain mode where rational thought left. His left brain did not return until the canter exercise was over. I have to tone down my “ask” when he drops to a trot. He is very sensitive.
When I let Cisco cease the canter task, he was sweating and gasping for air. This is a perfect time to ride bridleless. Cisco just wants air. He won’t be tense or spooky. He will not run unless I beg him!
My plan was to ride him doing hambone exercise where he turns toward the wall, stops, backs and hindquarters turn back to walking on the rail again. We did this with about 80%success using the “learning accelerator” …i.e. Carrot Stick. We also did some point to point. We did this all at a walk so he would dry out. We also played point to point.
The barrels were in the arena mocking me. I mocked them back and had Cisco jump them. At last Cisco and I jumped the barrels bridleless! Next will be jumping at a trot and then, please keep me alive, at a canter!
I’ve discovered this consistent riding is just amazing for progress. Who knew consistent practice would actually work! I’m amazed. 1% improvement every day adds up fast.
We ar doing well on another liberty task…jump over the barrels with front legs,stand with barrels between front and back legs and side pass to me. We can do this about 80%”of the time. It is awesome sauce!
Also, I can get him to turn a 360 circle while walking in the round pen and then keep walking on the rail. It’s not pretty yet, but is amazing!
Video time coming!
Oh yes, today he pooped in the arena. After we got done riding, Cisco and I got the cart and poop bucket, brought it back into arena, picked up the poop and walked together out to the manure pile to dump. If he would have had opposing thumbs, he would have done all the work! This was the first time I ever had a horse help me with the entire manure chore!
Its exciting in the arena as well as being darn cold. Wretched weather!
The arena where Cisco expands a lot of energy has a sliding door with a larg opening leading to horse heaven. Go through the door of the arena into the barn aisle filled with horses in stalls, standing hay and feed tubs with yummy food. Cisco knows all this to be true because once he opened the door, pushed aside a light table and entered into horse heaven, He probably chatted with horses, then found the hay then followed up that with the grain in the tub. It was a short experience, but impressed our boy deeply and he will never forget.
So, Cisco and I are riding around the arena. We are zipping along. .Cisco tells me every time we come around the curve that contains the escape door to the horse heaven barn aisle, he want to visit. I tell him no with my leg aides and sometimes the reins are used to keep him on the track in the arena, which might not be though of as horse heaven.
So we are zipping along, swerving too much – getting closer to the exit door than I want. The exit door is also protected by a bunch of chairs where we watch others ride horses, or our trainer ride our horses. There a a goodly number of chairs plus a solid two step mounting block
I just not going to fight with Cisco over the turf battle. I’m going to let him go where he want to be. I still try to keep him apart from the end obstacles, but this is finally his turn to decide. We are up to speed limit,FAST, fox trot. We scream through the danger line and encounter the mounting block. BAM BOOM! Cisco’s feet strike the mounting block as we go flying by. I was reall glad that the mounting block slowed us down, but didn’t knock us down.
We went around the arena again and low and behold, Cisco,decides to make the turn into the middle of the arena. Seems like,he didn’t like running into the mounting block! He has learned his lesson. Give that end a mighty dose of extra room! He No longer thinks it is horse heaven!
Yee Haw say I silently!
Yesterday – Cisco and I are now stuck together. I take off the halter and run around the arena and he stays with me. I turn. I stop. I back up. I turn and run the other way. His head stays right even with my body or he runs to catch up. That’s how good we are doing while we are playing in the arena. Alone in the arena.
So, there are other people in the arena yesterday. I decide it is time to do a little Susan and Cisco show off. Riding is done. I take off his saddle and his bridle. I do not put on his halter. This is it, “show off time!” He follows me. He is too close to me when we stop. I tell him to back up with my really cool hand signals. He ignores me. The carrot stick tells him to back up. He ignores it. Inside, I’m screaming at him. Cisco!
Then he looks at the two women in the arena over in the corner. He walks over to them. What! Cisco! I’m using my body signal, come join back up with me, Cisco. I am ignored. Cisco panders to the two women. Good Lordy. I have to go over and put a rope around his neck to lead him away. I’m been humiliated. Erin Patterson and Susan Breau….Cisco wants you to pet him. Sigh…
Today, our riding session is done. I leave him in arena and clean up his stall. He has been in there all last night and day. There is smell. I put new shavings in and dig out that smelly stuff. I clean his water bucket. I put up his hay bag. Then as I’m dragging 1000 pounds of manure thru the other barn aisle, the news of his treachery was shared. Cisco opened the sliding barn door, pushed the little table out of the way and gained entry to a barn aisle that has a tub of grain…tub has a cover. But Cisco also loosed the cover on th grain and started having his own grain festival. He was caught in the act. Good Lordy. I don’t think his grain festival was long enough to cause damage. Only humiliation of his owner. Good Lordy.
On the positive side… I played with Cisco at Liberty today. We were trotting along, side by side. I ran besides the barrels and Cisco jumped the barrels…at Liberty. I’m so proud of him. He jumped the barrels going both ways. Oh Yes!
I’ve been riding him pretend bridleless. I had the bridle on him and pretended it wasn’t there. But there is a big big difference when you really take off the bridle and really ride bridleless. We did that today! I rode bridleless. What do you get when you ride bridleless? You get the truth. Cisco isn’t perfectly tuned into my legs aid signals yet. The carrot stick did a lot of steering today.
Cisco and I have started playing the 4 corner game and the point to point game!
We are coming along, improvement and humiliation! It doesn’t get any better than this journey!