Monday, November 15, 2010

11-12-10 Harley

Since Harley appeared to be munching peacefully, I caught him with zero effort - he actually walked up to me! :) Sweet! Tacked him up western, took him to the arena.

Free lunged just a little while before adding the elbow pull, and lunging some more. He is starting to get the general idea of the elbow pull - relax your neck, bend at the poll just a little, and that tension on your mouth goes completely away. Good Boy!

I took all his extras off, and noticed he was standing very close to the mounting block. This has been a problem, because he's absolutely convinced the arena fence is hot tape. It's tape, but it's wrapped around each T-post - Not Hot! Today, though, he was right by the block. I very carefully moved his feet a little at a time, front, and back, closer to the mounting block. I could see scared in his eyes, but told him, "You'll see why this is better here just in a second. Be patient with me. I'm putting you here for a reason."

I stepped up on the block, and very gently put my leg over, and sat down. Harley walked off, licking and chewing, with a heavy sigh. I'm hoping that means he understands why I want him by the block, and that makes me getting on a lot easier on both of us.

We worked on walk, and trot. I found straight lines are just about impossible.. Might need to lay out some ground poles in a "tunnel" to improve this. Harley wiggled all over the arena. I rode circles, serpentines, and plenty of transitions.

Deciding he was done, he broke to walk, and started to tip toe back to the mounting block, I assume because he thought that'd be a break or an end. I wiggled my legs, kicked, smooched, clucked, did everything I could think of to get those feets a movin'. Finally, I reached back, and tapped him on the rump with my hand. Whoosh! Whee! He shot straight forward. I pushed him up at the trot just a little, before asking him to walk. I asked for a trot with a squeeze and cluck, and he trotted off. I asked for a walk, and got it with less tiptoe. Great! Maybe, again, he's learned it's easier to go than to be swatted for it.

Total work, about 40 minutes. Fun for sure!

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