Today I started with Killian because he is getting a little rude and pushy and also because riding him first makes me appreciate my more athletic paint horse.
I do not ask much of Killian, he has earned his position as keeper of the youngsters. He puts up with giving "pony rides" to anyone who shows up asking to ride. He takes care of Simon out on the trails and on the rare occasion that TC rides he takes care of him to.
With all of that being said I do expect him to stop when asked, move off my leg and stand still when mounting. The last time I rode him he refused to do any of those things. So today we worked on that. I used the technique I am using on Trax. Walk stop back up. I noticed that he also backs up crooked but in the opposite direction as Trax. Although for killian, asking him to move his shoulder is the key to straightening out where as with Trax it is more pressure on a rein.
We did a couple of mounts and by the third one he did pretty well although I cheated a little by keeping his nose in the corner of the fence.
It did not take long before he was stopping like he used too and moving off my leg pretty smoothly. When he was acting more respectful I asked for one more good stop and then called it quits.
Then it was Trax's turn. Before I mounted up I said my affirmations out loud to my horse. Then we started with some ground work. Trax suddenly forgot how to move in a circle and was sure that the long lead line was going to attack him.
We worked through it and eventually it was time to ride.
We started slow and easy and dang he was giving me those instant stops. Walk or trot it didn't matter if I sat it right he gave it to me. It was pretty darn nice.
I asked him to lope to the right. It felt weird and awkward and I couldn't figure out why. I even wondered if it had just been so long since I had loped him that it just felt wierd.
As I type this I am wondering how many of you are guessing what the problem was?
If you guessed the wrong lead you are correct.
I looked down and thought "well duh"
Feeling where he was at mentally I knew that it was the wrong time to ask for a stop or a slow down to try to switch so I just turned him to the left and he smoothed right out.
So we continued to lope and I asked for rate and chose our circles and pretty soon he was feeling pretty good in my hands.
I moved to the center of the arena and asked for a stop and he ran right through it.
There was a battle of wills, words were exchanged and I said, " No, you will stop and then you back up and you will back up with purpose!"
And when we finally stopped we both let out a big sigh. I petted his neck and told him he was a good boy.
We spent a long time doing correct lead departures, lope half the arena, or sometimes a circle and then I'd say,"ready and whoa". Always in a different spot or different direction that the last. After about 3 times he was stopping at the "Annd". Before I even sat the stop which through me out of my seat a little.
I couldn't get mad at that cuz dang he was trying so hard to please me. I just shortened my cue a little and he started nailing it.
We took a break from stopping and worked our gate. He really does that pretty well.
Then it was time to work on our spins and man we just fell apart. When I start with the circle he is trying to anticipate the command and in doing so his hip falls out and it just goes down hill from there. It didn't matte which direction we just couldn't get it together. The next thing I knew we were just trotting blindly all over the place and so I had to get us lined out again.
We went back to stops and backing and the moving the shoulder and change directions. After a few of these I was able to move his shoulders a little better.
We went to our loping stops again and he was doing real good, but this time each time we came to a place we had stopped before I could feel him anticipating again. I just pushed him through and then one time he gave me the best stop yet so I called it a day.
Truthfully I was so happy with our ride and if we keep going along his good I have no doubt that we will reach our goal. I wa thinking that we had a month and a half but actually it is 2.5 months so that is even better. Maybe by then we will have our problem with the spins worked through.