Sunday, January 23, 2011

Way too cold

It is 12 degrees when I leave home to drive to barn at 9:00 this morning. And watch the car temperature sensor drop to 5 in some cold areas, go up to 9 and then settle at 7 as I drove up the driveway. How could I do anything with Cici? It is just too cold! Look at Casey - his forelock is frosted - its all white not the usual henna touch ups he has done (and yes that is a piece of hay in the middle).

Watched the latest Savvy Club DVD with Pat a couple of nights ago. He had three of his students riding patterns. And he talked about the important of riding the pattern until the horse gets it. The importance of the circling game - maintain gait, maintain direction, look where you are going. And the importance of stick to the rail. Again maintain gait, maintain direction, look where you are going. That the horse should say, Oh I know this pattern, as long I as stay on it she will leave me alone. And it clicked. Finally clicked with me.

Dilemma, do I play with Cici or not. Decide to as yesterday she made it very clear she really wants to move her feet. Start slow with backing. Being inspired by Kim's postings recently, and other blogs - doing the littlest, and practicing what not good at - I play with backing. Cici is classic introvert and backing is oh so slow. I want to get it better. Play with my energy as well as intent. And slowly achieve 5 to 6 nice steps backwards. Steps with energy. Steps with intent. Wow.

Then over to the wall to play with sideways. Cici does a nice sideways, but her hindend lags. Today is about being particular, not critical. And lo and behold she can move front and back together.

Then circling game. And I decide to see how many laps she can do. At trot I get 1-1/2 and she turns in behind me. I send her and get another 1-1/2 and she turns in behind me. I send her again and canters behind me. Hmmm, how interesting. She is not maintaining gait or direction.

Now she comes in and licks and chews, and when I back her she shakes her head at me while I shake my finger at her LOL! She is feeling more comfortable, more dominant, more LBI.

When she is on the circle and decides to come in and I send her back she is bunching up for a gallop. And off she goes for a few strides before she turns in to me again. I send her back out - this is very provocative for both of us. Then I think of Avery having me slap the savvy string back and forth over my head while I ask her in using porcupine on the lead rope. She is cantering, having ignored my request for trot when I start swinging the carrot stick and porcupine the rope. She has a momentary hissy fit and I swear she is stamping her feet as she turns in and stops facing me with both eyes.

I can see we need to play with circling more than 2 to 4 times. Its that balancing act of boring her and getting through to her. Realize I've been afraid of boring her and clearly have not gotten through yet.


~kim said...

A great post Jaime! Awesome stuff you are experimenting with. I will try the Can You challenge you sent me- the one you mention here too -about slapping the savvy string while on the bring back portion of a circling game. Cici & Dove have a lot of similar responses so I was smiling when I read your post.

JMG said...

Does Dove stamp her feet at you? I used to get very upset when Cici could bunch up and take off and throw in a few bucks. I would ask her how was I ever going to be able to get on her back and ride her if she bucked?
She then started this thing where she would look like she was going to buck, stop herself and still have that energy to express so she would kind of hop up and down stamping her feet!

~kim said...

Cici is so funny! Dove isn't a stomper... yet! She has begun to flick her head at me side to side like a no-no-no-no! Spice is more of a stomper! Cherokee buck kicks lol.

Lately I treat bucking or stomping etc as a LBI moment which is a good thing as my 3 came to me very RB, mostly extroverted, however I think I just didn't know how to recognize the Introverted signs in the beginning.

JMG said...

When Cici came into my life she was a sweet seemingly calm quiet horse. Definitely introvert but I wasn't sure if it was right brain or left brain. As we played and got to know each other realized she had a threshold and would slip between the two quite easily.
On the ground she would get right brain and when I rode her she would get dominant and left brain. She had been someone's trail horse for 10 years. And clearly she was in charge on the trails. "Don't touch the reins"
I do love watching her development and changes - hell I love watching my development and changes!
She started the head shaking when I wiggle my finger at her for backing a couple of months ago. I'd wiggle faster and she'd shake her head more vigorously. She then would add in "sneezing" strong blowing out and licking and chewing. I didn't know if I should give her time or keep asking for backing. When Avery saw her do this she said to just keep working through it.
It is funny to be shaking my finger and have her shake her head right back at me!
I am with you, all these behaviors, bucking, stomping, galloping, head shaking are good LBI, moving and expanding our ponies minds from RBI.