Saturday, February 5, 2011

Kaycee's re-introduction to her new mom!!

On Tuesday the first, Kaycee and I went to work in the arena at Horseman's, (our local horse club). Our last session was so wonderful, I couldn't wait to go back and see if my confidence and Kaycee's understanding "stuck". We started out in the medium sized warm-up arena working off line and using the ENTIRE arena. I was standing in the middle of the arena working her with verbal and hand commands, (point in the direction I wanted her to go). She started at the walk, moved into the trot....


And then into the canter...


After going round in both directions at all three gaits, I asked her to stop and come to me. She did this with no hesitation, without the aid of a long line or the confines of a smaller round pen.



We then went to the long line. The reason I am still using the line is because early on in OUR training, I created a few holes in Kaycee, one of which is teaching her to pull on me when on a line. We are now in the process of UN-teaching this behavior!! lol



I was pleased that even on the long line Kaycee was soft and willing, she picked up all gaits easily and with no fuss or muss....



I have to laugh because as I am lunging my horse, I have the line in one hand and the camera in the other and was taking photos...


I can safely say that we are making HUGE progress in the re-training of Lisa and Kaycee on the long line. When we finished with lungeing, I bridled Kaycee and we moved on to the continuation of softening both Kaycee's response to the bit and my hands on the reins. (sorry, no photos of this phase, to many other things to focus on).

I mounted up and we started working on right turns, left turns etc... at the walk, I found that Kaycee was quick to respond to my soft requests on the bit so as my confidence was boosted again, I asked for a trot. She was great, just the slightest touch of the reins and she was going any direction I asked. We were doing circles, which previously when I tried to bend her into a circle, she would stop, so this was a huge success to me. After about 20 or 30 minutes of this, all around the arena, I decided we should try at the canter. I took a break for about 5 minutes just to let her think about things before we started something new.
My biggest confidence issue is demanding while I am on Kaycee's back and she knows it! When we started up again, I asked her to trot and off we went, until we got to the far corner of the arena, I asked her to canter and she flat out refused!! She decided that she was done and was not doing this anymore!! She started backing towards the gate and every time I tried to turn her, she either flexed or rufused to move. I realize that the best way to fix this is to make her work while I am still on her back, however, my lack of confidence would not allow this, so I got off of her and made her move her feet, I got back on her and asked her to trot again and she again refused. I got off again and this time put the lead rope on her bit and worked her harder, she tried to pull me off my feet, but I won and pulled her off balance instead! I got back on her and again went to the far end of the arena and asked her to trot, she again refused and started backing towards the gate again. This time I got off and put the long line on her. Right in front of the gate, I made her lope round and round, back and forth both directions and in general made the wrong thing hard. I should take a moment to say that previously when I got off of her, I worked her a little bit and stayed off. No more of that, I have to say that I do believe she was quite surprised when I not only got back on her, 3 times, but I worked her well beyond what I have done in the past. After the long line, I got on, went straight to the far corner and I asked her to walk in a circle and then trot in a circle, aaaahhhhh SUCCESS!! I may not have done it on her back, but I believe I got my point across! We will find out tomorrow.

8 comments:

  1. Good for you to keep on working until you succeeded! Sometimes it takes several tries to get a point across. Sounds like good progress! Keycee looks great in the pictures.

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  2. I echo Jessica's sentiments, and I will add this...DOESN'T LACK OF CONFIDENCE SUCK OUT LOUD??!!!! It is so annoying! But, you stuck right with it, and you should be darn proud of yourself. You used your head and found a way around your "disability." Good for you. You have gumption. (and your Curly is gorgeous!)

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  3. I've been in that situation before, Lisa. Where everything goes really well and sometimes in hind sight we wished we had stopped just a bit sooner. I am learning to build slowly and realize their attention span is only so long to start and always keep the lessons positive and fun. My suggestion is that next time, maybe hold off on the canter for a bit...and run through everything again like you did and PRAISE alot! I don't know what everyone else does, but when I am lunging on the end of the line and I ask for a trot and my horses do it, I will acknowledge they did the right thing with a "good boy" that is soft and encouraging. They hear it and know they did something right. I can slightly wiggle the lead and say "walk" and they will drop down to the walk...and again, I say "good boy". They get so they know when they hear that from me, they got the right answer. Almost like clicker training but without the treats. =] On their backs, I will do the same thing, but add a soft pet on their neck or if they did a really great job, I will rub both sides of their neck and get really enthusiastic about it. I can't help myself!! They respond like crazy to it and thrive on that praise...both of them! =] So that is what I might suggest. Giving time between new things is a good idea like you mentioned. Oh...and one more thought....if you teach something new...and maybe the horse was frustrated or confused, but you got a tiny try...end there with that but go back to something they do really well to end your lesson. That will rebuild their confidence before putting them away. =] Great job working through it!...Keep us posted!

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  4. p.s. I might even wait on the canter for a while...that will come once you build her trust more, build your confidence. I don't know all that kaycee knows but there is lots you can do prior to introducing the canter. Have fun!!

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  5. Way to conquer your fear and keep at it. I can't wait to hear how it goes next time you are out. I bet your own confidence was notched up a bit after this eh??

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  6. Jessica, thank you for the comment and Kaycee compliment, I must say that I think she is beautiful. Susan, you are soooo on the mark with your confidence comment!! It does more than suck out loud, but we can't blog that now can we??? LOL!! Denise, I have to praise you in your comments to all of the RAC riders, your knowledge, suggestions and overall support to each of us is incredible and I myself find it very helpful. Donna, yes my confidence was totally boosted a couple of notches after this session! Thank you all for the positive feed back!! Have fun and be safe...........

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  7. Confidence is such an issue with all of us! Our horses pick up on it and it is a frustrating cycle. You are doing a wonderful job with Kaycee and we all know that hours bring about confidence between us and our horses.

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  8. Kaycee IS super pretty! I am glad that your confidence is boosted! You did great with her!!

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