I know it’s been a while.. It’s been almost 2 months since Reason went from “city slicker” to country boy! Errika is happy as can be and quite likes showing Reason the ropes. Reason is enjoying the country life and ultimately I think it’s the best option for him. He’s still a bit intrigued when it comes to the nearby cows that emerge frequently while being rotated from different fields, but life is good. The neighbors feed the horses apples and carrots from their garden when they venture to that area of the pasture. They have a nice dirt bath rolling spot at that end too, which makes it extra appealing.
I found a nice flat and footing friendly (well as friendly as you can get without being in an arena) to mark out as my “arena.” It’s perfect for occasional lunging and riding, until I begin to trailer out.
I’m loving the peaceful relaxation of having my very own space and being able to feed whatever I want without restrictions. The horses aren’t allowed to get too fat..but they do munch a lot and enjoy a plentiful dose of grass hay. I can’t wait until the winter comes and the grass begins to sprout…The horses will love that and it will keep them busy all day.
I started working Reason again. He got a good 4 weeks off while I was gone for school. I’ve began lunging mostly, with ground-work mixed in, but little ground-work is needed. Our latest ground-work education has been with ground tying, which Reason has a good understanding about already. Lunging has been pretty interesting with Reason. He would hardly allow me to approach his right side during the process. I’ve been taking my time getting him used to moving out to the right by walking him on the right side, which Reason finds really odd.. Today I tried a new method of pressure-release to approach the right at his pace, without any force, but still on the line. Ground tying came in handy here… Reason stood in the center of the “arena” and I walked slowly backwards, asking him to stay still. Once I got towards the last 5 feet of the line, I stopped and began walking, creating a half-circle around Reason, to the left. Once I got to the left, I walked back and began towards the right. I would look ahead, avoiding looking directly at Reason, watching him from the corner of my eye so I knew when he was getting uncomfortable. If he showed signs of discomfort, I’d pause, sometimes retreat a couple steps back the other way, or proceed forward. This method worked the first time. Once I got in position diagonally behind his bum, still at 5 feet from the end of the line, I’d ask him to move forward. It would quite well!
To make the whole lunging experience more fun, I incorporated poles. I had used poles to mark out each side of the “arena” and then used those to send him over. Reason just LOVES this! Point him in the vicinity of the pole and he’ll make all the changes necessary to get over it. It helps Reason find a focus when things are a little concerning with the right side. I’ll switch back to going left and do some more poles to get his mind back in the game and then go back to the right.
I’m not sure how long it will take until Reason is going right confidently, but that will be when the next goal is made. I’d like to introduce the bridle or saddle when he’s at that point. I couldn’t be more pleased with the progress :).