Saturday, August 14, 2010

Day 22-23 Figure eights and the Enchanted Forest.

Between my schedule and the heat I was not able to do much with Eclipse Wednesday. We did spend some time together working on ground tying. This is a rather time intensive task and I have found it is a good thing to work on when I am teaching other lessons. It pretty much involves putting your horse in one spot and giving him a que and putting him back into the same spot until he gets the idea that he is not to move. The first time I tried this he was all over like an ADD child. Now he is getting where he will stand in one place but pivot to face me where ever I am.

Thursday I had time to put another ride on Eclipse. We worked in the arena starting to play with a figure 8 pattern at a trot. This was the first time I started to ask for body bends as he made his circles. Like most green horses on a circle they have druthers. This is when their circles look more like eggs because they "druther" be somewhere else! Usually it is the gate or another horse. Eclipse is no different. His circles would get a little lopsided towards the gate so I would pick up his shoulder and push it to the inside of the circle until he crossed over with his front feet. To the right we could do this at the trot, but when circling to the left we would have to break it down to a walk to get the step over. Just like us , these guys are born right handed or left handed and it is up to me to help these horses find their coordination with their week side. I would work the circle moving the shoulder over every time he would leak towards the gate and continue the circle until I could go by the sticky spots with little or no correction. At that point I would give him a break and then start the new direction. Once He was staying on a circle well I then played with changing directions by changing the bend creating the figure eight. I did work up to the canter getting simple lead changes. I still have to set him up more for the right lead, but i am hoping as he gains coordination this will get easier. Once we reached a good place with that I left the arena to cool him out in the play yard.
We walked around the obstacles as usual and when we were board with that the opening in the woods to the enchanted forest called our name. We headed for the dark opening taking our time because I could feel the hesitation in Eclipse. I mean he came from Nevada... how many trees are there anyway? Tuesday's trail experience still lerks in the back of my mind, and the silence of the two of us entering the woods put me on edge knowing that any sudden noise could cause another spook. So i decided to sing a lullaby. We went at a slow pace venturing over the tarp, through the curtain, past the exotic creatures and over the bridge to the tune of "Twinkle twinkle little star". I wouldn't say that Eclipse was relaxed but he was on standby. Without another horse to follow I was very pleased with his bravery. A great come back from Tuesdays trail ride.

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