Sunday, February 12, 2012


Yes, I think I can say it: we are making progress.  I am so excited! 

Yesterday it was lounging time again.  Particularly as he’s had a five day break over the last week - though I am sure he and everyone else thinks I’m nuts for asking him run around in endless circles!

In fact, I got asked yesterday if I ride him much, sort of in a “Are you one of those only ground work people or do you actually ride your horse” sort of way….   > <   Yes, yes, I DO ride him.  I just try to make sure that the majority of our work together isn’t schooling at this point.  I am focusing on learning by experience{trail rides and in hand ground work} and balance and obedience conditioning{lounge work}.  I am trying to create/encourage a good work ethic in my boy, and I think we are going in the right direction.

Unfortunately, it’s a bit hard to find people to trail ride with at the moment; either the timing doesn’t work so well for one or the other of us, or the type of horse/ride I want doesn’t work.  We are walk-only trail riders at the moment and calm, experienced horses are essential trail buddies for Sparrow’s peace of mind.  Which means that my options are rather limited at times.  Still, that tangent aside, I really think that all this ground work/lounging is good for him.

I can really recommend it if you have a young, green horse that’s a bit squiffy under saddle, or bolshy on the ground – lounge, lounge, lounge them until they can run in circles in their sleep.  I find that it’s helping me to learn to read and lead Sparrow and I think he’s a lot more relaxed after doing it too.

We also spent some time chillin’ and relaxing down by the new jumps that appeared in our jump paddock.   The new girl brought in her set and boy, oh boy, are they pretty!  We now have proper stands, wings, jump poles, cups and even a few ‘scary’ fillers for the ponies to get used to. 

Sparrow was actually really good facing up to all the new, bright horse eating monsters.  We just walked around and through and over some ground poles and although he was ‘looky’, he didn’t really turn a hair. 

I know it’s because I was on the ground leading him.  I have learned that he will pretty much relax and calm down for anything if there is someone by his head leading him over/near the scary things.  Which is really good on one hand – he trusts me enough to listen even if he’s spooking.  On the other hand, I have to figure out how to transfer that trust in me on the ground to when I am in the saddle. 

I am not sure how to do that at this stage, but personally I think that the more we do together, the more that will happen.  So we will wait and find out.

More updates later – I am trying the Pessoa system on him today so we will see how that goes!

See ya!


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