Monday, January 28, 2013

Preparation

Once in a while, I get all fired up again about putting Ah-D to a cart, and this time it happened to hit me right smack dab in the middle of January.  This looks fairly simple, but getting my Curly to understand that he is supposed to be out in front of me has been quite the undertaking.  He had an epiphany on Sunday.

He looks nice and relaxed in this photo, the way I would like him to be, with a nice forward cadence to his walk.  You can see that I am working hard to keep up with him.  I ground drove our Haflinger first, thinking that Allie is a slowpoke, so it wouldn't be too much of a big deal, but if you imagine walking as fast as you can through fairly deep snow (or a sandy beach far up from the water line), that is what it was like.  I was reasonably tuckered by the time I had done the trail loop with Allie, and so by the time I worked Ah-D, well lets just say I didn't practice "whoa" and "stand" just for his benefit.

Here I am gasping for breath.  Most of the time I had to hold him at the stand, because he was quite excited and did not want to stand still, but a couple of times he nailed it.  We have made huge progress with the ground driving, but we still have a ways to go, for sure.  I realized when I was doing this that I really want to be driving from Ah-D's left (because I am right handed??), so several times I switched over to the other side.  Same with the "stands," a couple of times on the gee-rounds (circle to the right) and haw-rounds (circle to the left) Ah-D sailed smoothly on through it, and sometimes he was confused.  Once when he was confused it was driver's error; I called a haw-round a gee-round - ooops. When he (or I!!) get confused, we stop, calm down, and do a "do-over."  The only time I let him trot was when we were back out on the road.  By the time I have him in a cart, I am hoping to build some muscle and up-my metabolism a bit.  That, Ladies and Gents, is what is known as a win-win situation.  Harold, I had no time to look for Bigfoot on this outing because I was too busy concentrating on my pony, but I promise to try to be more aware next time we give it a go.

8 comments:

  1. Boy Susan, there has been bigfoot sightings all over the country,,, he must have overpopulated, I think the one Donna seen has curly hair and black, I am waiting for a picture from you seeing him,,,, Good luck on the buggy with the horse,,,

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    1. no actual sighting yet, Harold, only the footprints and scat...maybe this weekend?

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  2. You're giving me the itch again, Susan! Good work and I'm sure it felt good to have Ah-D start to figure things out!

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  3. What a workout! I love your comment about the whoas not being just for his benefit! Made me laugh! So maybe if there are no Bigfoot signs while driving that is to mean he is more curious about people being on horses?? Hmmm, food for thought

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    1. Donna, I was too busy gasping for air, keeping light contact, remembering gee and haw, and keeping my balance in the snow to be able to look for Bigfoot. He was probably watching and getting a big kick out of it.

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  4. Awesome Susan! That first encounter of "you need to be in front of me" can really confuse a horse.....and then all of a sudden they understand! I can relate to the "whoa is my favorite gait" us humans have. I will watch your progress with great interest.

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    1. Thank you, Linda, it was wonderful when "out in front" finally clicked for him. He has been so frustrated!

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