Sunday, February 6, 2011

Mounting and other tales

So I posted a while back that I was going to try sending Kieran off when he refused to stand for the mounting block and then let him stand beside it and relax while I got on.

Yeah, he's decided he's supposed to run off when I get up on the block (it also did not help that it seemed like every time I went to put my foot in the stirrup, a big sheet of ice would slide off the roof so he had extra incentive to be all, "running awwaaaay!"). I think he thinks it's some kind of game, now because after a few tries, he finally will stand stock still for me to get up, get situated, and go.

So anyway, I won't be using that technique anymore to make him stand. Even though he's very food motivated, I don't really want to do the treat technique because he'll come to expect them. And he knows when I've got 'em and when I don't.

Though I suppose I could combine that with the clicker I have somewhere and clicker train him. I bet he'd pick it up quick. :)

Anyway, lesson was no cantering (don't ride for two weeks and any riding stamina I have goes to crap) but did lots of trotting over ground poles, then cavaletti and a low vertical (not enough to get him to jump, really...I think he did once sorta) and lots of work for me on waiting to go up into two point until I feel him actually pick up his front feet to go over the rail.

Also lots of ice sliding off the roof giving Kieran an excuse to spook and Christina to yell at me, "don't let him stop! Send him forward!" since my reaction is to tighten up and hold on instead of...sending him forward.

Anyway, it turned out to be a fairly productive lesson. I told Christina I think I might switch to doing two half hour lessons a week instead of one full hour as I think those would be a better fit for us and enable me to do more consistent work with Kieran. Plus, if I go a bit early and have him warmed up ahead of time, we can jump right into working for the lesson and I think we'll get just as much bang for the buck, so to speak.

And I don't have any pictures of Kieran today, but here's one of Kate:

She's a very itchy mare and someone outside the frame is itching her belly. ;)

She's also available for adoption from Gentle Giants.

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