Today was a super day.
However I think Sharlie over indulged on the Doritos and ranch dressing- celebrating the Superbowl- because she is SUPER bloated. She has EFD- Explosive Fart Disorder. Hahaha...
I did halter Sharlie first to groom her a bit. She was a sweetheart despite her discomfort and let me braid her mane. When I led her back to the field, all I had to do was sling the rope over her back and ask her to walk beside me with a click. :)
Then I played with Casper . We messed about a bit in the field, building up his confidence before exiting. I would tell you what I did but I don't remember. Sorry. :)
What I did with Casper in the arena was simple enough. We walked into the arena after stopping for a threshold by the opening. We went to go touch this. Then that. Oh, can you put your nose on that if I stand here? What if I stand here?
Casper becomes very engaged and confident with the Touch It game, but he can easily get bored with objects that he has sniffed before. I have to find new stuff to bring him!
After sniffing the same stuff I decided he was confident enough to go over and sniff the tarp. He blew me away when he just sniffed it and then walked onto it with all 4 feet. I hadn't asked him to! He did seem a bit unconfident though so I just began to stroke him and give him little scratches here and there. Within a few minutes he was falling asleep! So I sat down on the edge of the tarp, right by his head and just began stroking it softly. His eyes were closed and he was breathing deeply and regularly (something he rarely does outside of the field) Then after 15 minutes he started to blow over and over and over again, then he began to bend his knees, as if he wanted to lie down on the tarp with me. I tried to stay calm...this was phenominal! He kept trying to do it for a couple minutes, hesitating. Then just as he was actually lying down onto his knees....the tractor started and it scared him into standing up again. Darn. :(
After the tractor startling him, Casper decided he wanted to explore the arena a bit. I always encourage both horses to have fun in the arena because they are both uncomfortable there. Casper seemed especially interested in the little green grass budding in one corner of the arena. So I sat down there (trying to recover the moment) and we sat there (me sitting, him standing) for about 15 minutes before he decided he had had enough and wanted to go back to the field because it was feeding time. I had to oblige. My jeans were getting wet as the arena is still muddy.
He has accepted the new haltering/unhaltering method quite well (bring your head around to me) He does lateral flexion, almost hugging me against his shoulder. Sweet boy.
After Casper was Sharlie. I was planning to ride her for a walk with Mom so I decided to set it up for sucsess and play the 7 games while ridding her of any unnessicary energy.
We played the games in this order:
Circling ended up as a Stick to Me game, where I finally managed to sucsessfully ask her to canter Stick to Me by mimicking a canter by skipping. It was only a few strides but its great that she did it.
I tried on Sharlie's saddle to see how it fit her and how she did with it. She became tense immediatly and held her breath. I tried to walk her out, let her graze but she stayed very tense and wary eyed. That is going to need some work.
I tried her saddle on to see if I needed shims. I have to think about it very carefully because if I buy the Shims, I have to buy the Theraflex pad. I am looking very hard into these purchases because it is ALOT of money. I wish Parelli had a "trail" period where I could try out the Theraflex pad and shims for 30 days and see if they make a difference worth the money.
After unsaddling her I put the bareback pad on and we went out for a walk with mom out on the trails. She did very well. I kept a casual rein throughout and after a few minutes, she released the built up tension from trying on the saddle. I am pretty sure she is Left Brain bareback. :)
I have set a few new goals for myself thanks to some help from Emily. :)
~ Stop doing more than Sharlie
~ Bring energy up when needed, instead of phases
~Begin to transition Casper from hands and brushes to sticks and strings.
Also on a side note: I LOVE it when you guys comment and give me feedback. So please don't hesitate and tell me what you think!