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Mexican (er, Spanish?) Jumping Bean!

October 24, 2009

Two posts in a matter of days, oh my! Don’t get spoiled, I’m just making up for the recent lack of posts. đŸ˜‰

Lily and I had a ground lesson today to incorporate new things into our routine. Corey watched me lunge her and told me that he thinks we’re not challenging her enough. So we added some ground poles on both sides of the arena, and I free lunged her over them. I’ve done this with her before, and she’s done it herself when I’ve let her romp around, so she didn’t think twice.

So we switched the poles to one mini half X on each side by angling them down from a barrel on it’s side like this:

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Disclaimer: this picture is not from today, because it was nowhere near this nice outside today. In fact, the only time we were outside is when I slogged through the mud to get Lily from the pasture. She was waiting by the gate – it was the first time she neighed excitedly when she saw me coming. She only loves me when I take her somewhere warm and towel her off, apparently.

Anyway, she trotted over the half X’s without a thought, so we made  one of them a little vertical to see what she thought of it. She trotted up to it with momentum, raised her leg, and knocked the pole forward. She then took one step forward so that her forelegs had cleared the pole but her hind legs were still on the other side, and then turned her head towards us as if to say, “was that what you wanted?”

We tried a couple more times with lots of praise for each attempt. The funny thing is that she has a lovely bascule, but each time she literally stopped jumping halfway through and looked in at us. I’m not planning to jump her under saddle anytime, but it was fun to see how she reacted and introduce the concept to her. Corey’s notes to me from this lesson:

-Lily is an athletic horse, but she sometimes wants to be lazy. You can tell she thinks work is fun for the first twenty minutes, and then gets bored. We want her to do what we ask not only because she wants to, but because we asked.

-Work for longer amounts of time, even if it’s just increasing sessions by ten minutes every couple of weeks.

-Keep your energy up, it will keep hers up.

-Remember, ground work is the basis for your bond to carry over to riding. If she will do anything for you on the ground, she is more likely to turn to you first under saddle.

At the end of the lesson Lily was chilling by the end of the indoor arena, where there’s a window overlooking an overgrown paddock that no horses are kept in. Since the property is double-fenced, however, we have some horses that roam – usually the older horses who need the grass but get beat up in the main herd – and two of them made their way over to the tall grass. When their heads popped by the window, poor Lily freaked out and cantered to the gate by where we were. She was literally trembling at the sight of them. Once she had calmed down a little, I walked her over to where they were (she was still snorting and wide-eyed, so we did a big circles gradually getting closer) and let her see there was nothing to worry about. It made me think that I want to teach her to spook in place, though. I saw that spook, and I don’t imagine I would have stayed on! She went sideways FAST and ducked her shoulder at the same time, and then shot forward. Those are the worst spooks! Does anyone have any suggestions about how to teach her before we have one of those big spooks under saddle?

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. October 25, 2009 8:59 pm

    Hey John Lyons writes about spooking in place, if you do a google search, I’m sure you will find the articles.

  2. alittlefaith16 permalink*
    October 26, 2009 7:28 pm

    Thanks, I’ll definitely look into that!

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