Yesterday I took Reason out for a walk. First around the property again, which was really nice. Then into the outdoor arena (where we have spent little time).
The outdoor arena houses jumps. There happened to be ground poles set out, so I walked Reason over those. Yay, fun! Hehe. Then there was a little cross-rail, so I walked over it and Reason followed. He looked at it once, wondering what exactly it was, appeared to shrug his shoulders and went over. Each time we returned to that side of the arena, he wanted to go over to the jump.
The good, good, part came when Matt arrived and I enlisted him for assistance services. I walked Reason to the mounting block, where he proceeded to get antsy (wow, he already associates the mounting block…) and then of course, this invited our first “training” sessions of the day.
The mounting block, seems to become some sort of pressure object. I walked Reason to it, let him stand and then I’d either back out or walk out and repeat. I wasn’t worried about how long his quietly stood there, I just rewarded him when I honestly felt he was honestly being quiet.
Next, I had Matt step up the mounting block, get down and Reason and I’d walk away or back out and then repeat. Each time he was getting quieter and quieter. So, finally, after he was consistently being quiet, Matt mounted up and then dismounted and we walked away. The next time, he actually mounted and stayed there and then we proceeded to walk around. What a good boy Reason was!!!
While Matt was up there, we worked more on our halting and walking cues. Starting with the voice and backing it up with a tiny bit of leg pressure if needed. I was impressed with how awesome Reason was. The only time he actually required a leg aid, was when he was looking off to the other horses.
What a good boy Reason was.
On Sunday, Matt, my mom and I drove down to Woodside at the crack of dawn (lol, not that early) to watch the 3day event. It was cross country day! Fellow barn mates were there competing and another there spectating too. It was fun!!! The last time I went and watched an event was years ago. It was as much fun as I remembered.
Everyone was nice. Everyone supported everyone, as we stood at the last fence. Each rider and horse got a good cheer! The horses were also pretty special. I can’t remember what division it was that I was watching, possibly training, but most the horses were on their game. Not only that but you could tell that their heart was in it. They were getting just as much adrenaline rush as their rider. Eventing is unique and challenging in it’s own right. The environment was a mixture of relaxed, focused, exciting, fun and friendly.
I enjoyed photographing the warm-up ring especially. To see the horses different ways of going and personalities before they got on course. You could tell that the horses knew what was coming. They were on their riders’ aids and ready to prep for the run out on cross country.
It was exhilarating to see all this unfold and it really makes me want to strive to achieve that kind of horse-rider relationship with Reason. Then maybe one day, we can be out there too!