Tuesday, January 17, 2012
I have to say Quick and I have experienced the same thing. So with all the extra time sitting in front of the heater to warm up I came up with a plan to stay on track even when the weather doesn’t seem like the most willing partner. I realized that during my daily horse chores I can add in a little progress. For example, I need to bring Quick from the pasture up to the barn for grain and Parelli Essentials J, well Pat says there are only 7 games in 5 zones so why not make the walk from zone 5 (after all my one rein driving could use a little more straightness) and when we come across a puddle or mud patch I can use my body language to turn him on the way to the barn, it’s working as a great point to point to help his straightness! Then I take an extra 2 minutes and just before I grain him we play with the clippers, what a great way to set up a positive pattern – put up with the vibrating clippers and then get something you love – grain! And as you can imagine we have to go back to the pasture (good draw) so I can practice two things that could always be better backwards and sideways “The better your horse goes backwards and sideways the they do everything else”, so we play a little ‘Rockslide’ on the way back to the pasture.
I vary the routine slightly but at least this way I get some progress time in with him even on the days that are below freezing and we get a chance to stay connected during the challenging winter months. I hope this helps inspire some ideas on how you could make the best of the time with your horse even if it is limited. Stay warm ad have a progressive winter!
Saturday, January 14, 2012
Day 1: For a warm-up before going to liberty, I asked Quick to jump the single barrel laying down (SBLD) from a walk at 12’, then the same at 22’ feet. Both distances he was able to ‘seek the barrel and jump with just a suggestion (phase 1). I then asked for the same at the trot. Once this was going well we moved into the round pen. I asked for him to jump 3 BLD set against the fence, and progressed to one barrel laying down against the rail.
Day 2: We warmed up with a liberty review from day 1. All went well, next we moved to 3 laying down barrels off the rail, no problem So, on to 2 and then 1. We finished on 3 upright barrels against the rail via squeeze game.
Day 3: We started with 2 barrels against the rail and reviewed the day before. With everything going well we moved to 3 upright barrels about 3 feet off the rail. Once Quick was able to hunt this jump we finished our round pen session with a bucket of grain inside the round pen
Day 4: We warmed up reviewing the previous days. When I moved to 3 upright barrels a few feet off the rail I played some stick to me with the barrels ‘in the way’ to be sure I was clear in my communication that the ‘jump’ was the solution to this puzzle, success with the upright barrels and stick-to-me. We finished with some grazing inside of the round pen.
Day 5: Again, we warmed up briefly reviewing the previous days. Things were going well, so I asked for a 3 upright barrels from 12’, then 15’ using squeeze game. Quick is such a great partner and loves to figure out puzzles! So, this was a fun week for us both.