Thursday, January 21, 2010
Quick update (Dolly & Diamond)
Several nights ago I got on Dolly bareback without a halter or anything. Diamond was finishing her feed. I wanted to see if Dolly would listen to me with only leg cues. The answer is...sort of. She figured out go forward and backward, and sometimes she did all right with the turning, but sometimes she took pressure from one leg as a cue to go faster. (I learned that I need to work on leg cues with her.) And she was SO excited, she wouldn't stop. I tried everything I could think of to ask for a whoa. I said Whoa as deeply and calmly as possible (usually she is very lazy and stops instantly). I tried deepening my seat. I tried breathing slowly. I closed my eyes and visualized her stopping. I relaxed every muscle I could. Etc. NOTHING was getting through to her for a stop.
So I've tried two more nights while Diamond finishes her feed (she's a slow eater). This time, I used a halter. Dolly doesn't normally like to be ridden, but she's been fairly excited about it this week (probably because it's something new and she's been bored). Last night, I didn't get out there until around 11 p.m. so it was a pretty late ride. But she did really well. Diamond finished her feed and tried like crazy to come into the pen with us. It's only separated off by a lounge line wrapped around two posts. Diamond leaned and leaned and leaned against it. So I kept navigating Dolly back over toward Diamond to shoo Diamond away from the line. Later, I realized that throughout my being distracted by Diamond, Dolly did *everything* asked of her on the first try. She listened beautifully. I shared an apple with them before leaving.
(These pictures are from a few days ago. It's hard to photograph Diamond when she thinks I'm holding apples.) I almost forgot to mention that I've also done a little more groundwork with Diamond. She's a very different girl. It's hard to describe. I enjoy the differences between them, though. I've grown very attached to them both, even though I haven't had Diamond that long. They've both wormed their way into my heart and are "my babies". :) (Shared status with my dog, of course.)
Posted by Amber at 5:36 PM
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