Thursday, June 13, 2013

Turn on the fore

I only got to ride once over the weekend and here we are on the downhill slide for the week before I am even posting about it. lol We worked on lateral movement and bending, moving the shoulder over and we are still effectively working on it or at least working on getting it every time. Sunday wasn't a great ride as we did a lot of walking and working on the laterals. We didn't get to do any cow work or play with them as it was getting dark as we finished up.

We did work on moving the hip over though, as in turns on the forehand. Right leg back and asking her to move her hips to the left, yeah we still need to work on that. Left leg back and ask for the hips to move  over to the right, Bam and Done! We all know horses tend to be left or right handed just like we are. One side is easier for them to do things than the other. Aruba is no exception to that rule.

Adding to the difficulty level of it all- she was in heat. We are slowly working on this mare cooperating while she is working during her heat cycles. It's cool though, I understand her plight and those days I try to keep things light while we gradually work towards more.

As we were finishing up and I was asking for the hip to move over to the left, she was getting irritated. At one point she stomped her right hind hoof in protest. She clearly didn't want to move off my leg on that side. At least not that day. But we walked forward a little to change things up. Moved to the right, doing a nice 180 degree pivot. Walked forward a little to change things up and asked her to move the hip to the left again. She wasn't going to budge. 

Well she was, but she was trying to walk off and moving her front feet all over the place. No, stop and stand still. Then she got a bit nervous. I could feel her bunching herself up underneath me. Not good, so I turned her to the left and let her walk off. 

When a horse bunches themselves up like that because they are confused or not wanting to cooperate- walk them forward or do something to let them relax, but make them move and then let go. Let the horse recover for a minute. If you don't, all of that energy is going to go somewhere when they go off. A still horse has the advantage here as they can go off in any direction and you may not be ready for it. They may buck, rear or both as well as a whole host of other things and bad habits are started...   When I finally got a few steps to the left, without the front end moving around, I praised her and got off. We can work on it more later on, like this weekend and next when she's not in heat anymore.