About Me

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I've been riding for 12 years, training for 8, instructing for 7. I've almost always had 'my own' horse, though Sage is the first one I've ever owned myself. The others were all either leases or training jobs. Sage has been a completely new experience for me, forcing me to learn just as much as I have to teach. I love her to pieces <3 Besides riding, I also ski semi-competitively, write, model, and love photography. I also used to act and teach clinics on outdoor survival. Right now I'm working as a Carpenter's Assistant doing finishing carpentry, but am not sure if I would like to apprentice and get my ticket in that, or make horses my full-time career, rather than just my passion.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Back to ground work!

So, as Sage's respect for me started to randomly dwindle, or so it seems to me, once we moved to this new barn, I've decided, especially because the free-lunging had such great effects, that we're going to stick to ground work again for a short time span. Yesterday we did more free-lunging, just at a walk as she was sore, working on having her respond to just my body language, without the addition of voice commands. She did so well! =D

Now we're working on halter ground work, today was walking forward, turning, and backing without any use of force or even physical contact. Again, a huge success! Tomorrow we'll add work on moving sideways and in all directions. I'm thinking three or four days (including today or tomorrow) should be long enough to perfect this, at which point we'll start working on an equally responsive trot. After that we'll do the same thing with a bridle instead of halter and leadrope, and after that we'll add her saddle and the rest of her tack. Maybe then she'll learn that just because she's tacked doesn't mean it's necessary turn into a disrespectful and completely oblivious (she tends to run into walls because she gets so focused on fighting my steering that she doesn't notice where she's going) almost in-heat-ish mare. >.< After leading manners are good, we start lunging on a lunge line, and then it's time to get back in the saddle!! Yay!!
So far this has been going really well, and her ground manners and patience have really improved!

Of course, she's started testing me when it comes to her stall manners now. So I've been making a point of keeping boundaries and rank very clear during stall time too, using the same body langauge I used when free-lunging her to get her to move away or forward depending on my grooming, stall cleaning, etc. needs.

I'm also looking to get a hackamore for her, as she's so picky about me having really light hands. I'm just interested to see how she does with it, and what her reaction is. If you have one for sale, please leave me a comment! Or if you know of any brands that are particularly good =) (We ride english.)

I've deicided that even once we end up riding again, we're still going to have one day a week that is devoted to ground work (or so I say right now anyway!), just to keep those basics in tact.

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