Thursday, September 4, 2008

Romeo Training 09/03/08 Ride 1

I'll mark these as listed above to capture what Les tells me for each of Romeo's training rides. I'll also label appropriately for later use.

Les saddled Romeo, and tied him to the horse stocks, and ran some errands including loading up his tractor to haul for tire repair. About an hour after being tied, he bitted him with a Tom Thumb (leather strap under the chin, instead of a chain), tightened the girth, and took him to the round pen.

Les asked for neck reining in a figure eight pattern at walk & trot. He asked first by laying the rein, then a gentle tug on the direct rein, followed by increasing spur pokes. After a time, Romeo picked up on the lesson. The first few pokes weren't gentle, but Romeo was completely ignoring the aids. By the end of the ride, Romeo was performing figure eight neck reins at the walk & trot, with only neck rein & calf pressure.

Romeo was refusing to back up beyond three steps, before planting his feet & tossing his head up in the air. Les persisted, and held contact until Romeo would give & back up. Les told me he's going to repeat this until Romeo learns to back up on easy contact, and continue to back up until the pressure is removed.

Les asked Romeo to canter, and he had two speeds - super fast trot, and gallop. Any time Les asked him to "ease up", Romeo would fall directly into the fast trot. Romeo is also leaning at the gallop, inside or outside. Les said he would "pick him back up" with his legs to get him straight. To keep him in the gallop, Les also had to keep pressure on him with leg to not let him drop gait. Much more work needs done in this area.

After about an hour's work, Les unsaddled Romeo, hosed the sweat down (very sweaty horse), tied him again to let him dry, then fed about 45 minutes after.

The overall lesson is Romeo is very smart, quick to learn, bends around easy. But, he does get fired up, irritated, swishes his tail, and more angry the longer the ride goes. He did pick up on the figure eight pattern neck rein lesson, but still has learning to do at the lope. We want a lope, not a gallop. If I want a gallop, I'll ask for it, from the lope, but not until the lope is controlled.

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