Some videos of our solo rides/water training
Some days Laz is all this...
But mostly he is this ..
He was extra snugly and quiet
So we saddled up and headed out
Snapping photos along the way down the dirt road
He was quite and forward so we kept going...
and turned towards the private pastures to get to the...
mowed thicket that leads to our trails. I haven't seen these trails since early December
We went as far as almost to the trails but alas the footing was SO bad. He was sinking into the ground leaving huge holes about 6-8" deep. I finally gave up when we hit a low spot that had so much standing water and branches/roots that I didn't feel comfortable pushing him through. Laz splashed at it, and I gave him a cookie and turned around to come home
He did great, until we turned to come home. He got VERY anxious and starting tossing his head, curling up to explode and gave a few crow hops and squeals. We small circled our way back to move his ribs, breathe (me too!) and lower his head from a giraffe to a saddlebred to back to his normal relaxed state
We made it home in one piece but it was spotty for a minute. A dog came rushing out at us which didn't help but he knows better and I lost his communication for a minute, and had to fight to get it back
Not terrible for his first outing in that area in months, but not great
Chubbs grazing safely back home with his loosen girth, and muddy legs
We also had a lesson last week and I elected to work on the ground with him to start off in a true spot.
We worked on his respect. Not tossing his head or backing up or away when I rub his face. His reward was when he brought his head back to his chest center and low, I would stop rubbing.
We worked with using my body's energy to move his shoulders/haunches
She wants me to give him treats LESS and reward more with quiet time or a pat (I have a tendency which you may have seen in the video to treat the crap out of him! He's a foodie, what can I say?! But I get her point because he becomes so antsy for the treat that it's counter productive often)
We worked on our circle game (where I stand still and send him off in a direction on the lunge) and when he gets snakes his head/neck I use my whip to slap the ground behind him to mark that moment/spot and within twice of doing that, he quit and quieted down. I don't understand how/why it worked and I'm looking forward to seeing how that may translate in the saddle because he often gives me that sass under saddle. The lesson was really about matching his energy with mine vs shrinking back and knowing and using intention for him to respond to
Our next lesson will be in the saddle and putting some of this to work
Ah, Spring OTTB brains