Wednesday, 16 September 2015

Being more provocative

I have realised I need to be more provocative with Fina. I said at the start of the year that I wanted to complete the Parelli level 2 audition and we still seem to be messing about so I got the task sheet out. There is a list of things you should be able to do and certain compulsories to be shown in the video submission, it's much like an Interdressage test. It's all about improving communication and connection. The checklist has things like back your horse out to the end of the 22' rope and 2 to 4 laps circling at trot with change of direction, sending the horse to to different points using the 22', you standing still, etc. all of which we can do, kinda... but I need to get Fina doing with more enthusiasm 
and less of the "well if I must but I'm really not interested"... 

Yesterday I thought I'd up the game, see what happens. So after some circles where I let her discover that if she didn't pay attention to the speed of the trot she would slip on the wet ground, and sending her around markers at distance, I set up a squeeze where she passes round a marker and then I disengage her to stop and face me. The first time she went through the gap and stopped when she felt like it; the second time I just focused strongly on a spot on the ground behind her (where she should no longer be) as she went through the gap and that woke her up, she zoomed through and turned and stopped with head high and ears pricked... I don't want to scare her, just motivate her, and it worked, next time I got a snappy departure and her full attention on the game, and I didn't have to do anything; she offered more and with an interest in it. So this looks like the way to go and I was right, I was being boring and ineffective and she switches off. With the girls it's so easy to get this wrong and offend them; with boys it's much easier to wake up the play drive.

Then we went for a hack, the day was nice and cool but still some nasty biting flies around.

Afterwards I let them graze in the orchard while I poo-picked; the grass has been well grazed in their field now and Lucie keeps telling me I should open more field; so when she goes back in she's looking round for where I've moved the fence. I will have to get this on video, she is so cheeky! I had moved a section but she didn't see it. I was taking them towards it and tried to remove a fly from Lucie's side but she was cross with me because she thought she didn't have anything fresh to eat and took umbrage, galloping off and taking Fina with her. They did three laps of the field flat out, with some high kicks, then pulled up and came over, hot and puffing like two old ladies and I had to stick around guarding the water trough until they had cooled off enough for it to be safe to let them drink Amazingly Lucie who is lame and was resting that leg afterwards, was moving fine this morning. Silly girls. I expect i'll give in and open more grazing today.

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